Nanaimo, BC, Canada: Dog owners wage breed battle (2 articles)

Note: Nanimo already has BSL. Owners of “pit bulls” must follow certain restrictions that other dog owners do not have to follow. Nothing further has been officially proposed, but it should be noted that the media is pushing the idea of a breed ban.

Additionally, Nanaimo Animal Shelter manager Helen Roberts probably needs some education about “pit bulls.” Her comments in the first article: 

“Pit bulls are very different from other breeds,” said Roberts. She claims they have been bred to kill… Roberts argues that any pit bull has the potential for spontaneous aggression, no matter how good a dog it has been.

Nanaimo Animal Shelter: (250) 754-1397

Dog owners wage breed battle

Dealing with bad dogs and bad owners is not simple

By Paul Walton, Daily News
September 11, 2009

[…] Among their suggestions is an outright ban on the breed.

It’s a drastic and controversial step that has been taken by the province of Ontario and a handful of municipalities across the country. Dog behaviour experts back up the contention of the breed’s supporters, saying breed bans are not an effective way of protecting the public. And although Nanaimo city officials say they have no immediate plans to change the current dog bylaw, some city politicians have said in the past that they will consider a tougher law if they are convinced it is the only way to protect public safety.[…]

Full article retrieved 9/12/09 from

Kennel club targets dog education

By Toby Gorman – Nanaimo News Bulletin
Published: September 07, 2009 3:00 PM

[…] Nanaimo doesn’t keep dog bite or aggressive dog statistics and Roberts said it is impossible to know what percentage of dogs here are properly registered with the city.[…]

Full article retrieved 9/12/09 from


6 responses to “Nanaimo, BC, Canada: Dog owners wage breed battle (2 articles)

  1. mansbestfriends

    You know BSL is within the rights of a community. However, the dogs already in the county should be grand-fathered in and only pertain to new dogs.

    I am as big a dog lover and activist as they come.

    How would you like it if someone said, hey you can no longer voice opinions against your government as it is no longer supported by the 21st ammendment? When you push anti-BSL you are paving the way to destruction of our 21st ammendment, unalienable rights as citizens of the USA.

    • Thanks for the comment. I have no problem with you voicing your opinion; yet you seem to have a problem with me voicing my opinion. Could you explain that incongruity?

      Further, your argument is unclear. The 21st amendment repealed prohibition. Please explain how protesting BSL “paves the way to destruction of our 21st ammendment” [sic], i.e. our ability to legally make and buy alcoholic beverages.

      Arguments against BSL don’t require any mention of the U.S. Constitution at all. BSL costs a lot to enforce, and in the end, it doesn’t improve public safety. In many cases, dog bites increase after BSL is passed. BSL is the wrong choice for a community to make, plain and simple. Many people, like myself, speak against BSL based simply on this information. We expect and deserve laws that work, not laws that “feel good.”

      Of course, if you want to bring the Constitution into it, I could mention that our society has decided it is not okay to discriminate (legally) based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. I wonder, how is it that you can conclude that it is okay to discriminate (legally) against a person based simply on the shape of his/her dog’s body?

  2. mansbestfriends

    I do not know where I was saying I had a problem with you actually giving your opinion. I simply disagree with it and felt we could actually get a conversation and a dialogue going on this.

    I cant believe I wrote 21st when I am clearly referring to the first amendments rights of free speech. I just think if enough of a community band together with intentions of making public policy it should not only be accepted but encouraged. That is one of the few distinguishing factors of our country.

    A law is only as good as it is enforceable. If the majority want it, it should be. So many times big interests get in the way of public desire.

    I would never vote for BSL but I also would not vote against freedom of speech. If you dont see the correlation then maybe you need to take a step back. I know you have the best intentions and I do not desire to argue with a fellow pet lover. We just need to make good moves right now to foster an attitude of personal responsibility when it comes to pets.

    Timing is everything. We must first make people realize their responsibilities through enforcement agencies such as the police and National Guard Reserves..stiff fines and jail time come to offenders and get people to be much more cautious when adopting and breeding pets.

    • I’m certainly open for dialogue. I’m afraid I don’t understand your argument that approving of BSL is approving of the right to free speech. I think you’re probably a little unclear on this point.

      What I hear you saying is that “majority rules” should drive our laws. But “majority rules” is not the same as free speech. Consider the legal actions that have historically been taken under the “majority rules” mantle in this country: slavery, Jim Crow laws, Japanese internment camps, Native American resettlement, and so on. Essentially, “majority rules” puts a minority group at risk of oppression–not always, but sometimes.

      The whole point of our Constitution, which allows us not only the right to free speech but also other basic rights, is to avoid the “majority rules” mindset that could lead to unequal treatment of a minority. In many cities, especially the smaller ones, “pit bull” owners are in the minority–even if they got their “community” (pit bull owners) to “band together” to fight the majority’s push for BSL, they will inevitably lose under your “majority rules” scenario. Further, it has been documented in several communities that “pit bull” owners who dare to speak out publicly against proposed BSL have been subsequently retaliated against by city leaders and animal control. Talk about oppression of free speech!

      I believe strongly in free speech. I also believe that BSL is, in fact, a violation of basic rights; it is legalized discrimination. It is the oppression of a minority–the stifling of that minority’s right to speak their minds and live their lives–for no reason other than that their dogs “look scary” to the majority (and yes, BSL is entirely appearance based, and has nothing to do with actual behavior or genetics). It’s not okay for towns and cities to kick out minority groups based on the color of their skin. So, again, I wonder: why do people feel that BSL–a form of legalized discrimination–is something that cities and towns should have the right to implement if they want to?

      You are right: We must foster an attitude of personal responsibility for pets. BSL doesn’t do that–BSL actually takes the responsibility off pet owners by virtue of the dog’s purported breed.

      The best move is always to oppose BSL. That doesn’t mean “do nothing.” There are plenty of non-breed-specific alternatives to BSL that, properly implemented, will do the job just fine (and certainly better than BSL). If you want to make a “good move,” which is admirable, why not push these non-breed-specific laws instead of telling BSL fighters to hush up (i.e. by claiming that people who are anti-BSL are destroying our Constitution, per your first post)?

  3. Janice Richards

    I recently had my dog tempted out of his yard by Bull Mastiffs with owner. No leashes. My small breed now has two neck disks squished from a 15 second tangle while the owner just stood by and watched as I was running to get my dog.
    Bull Matiffs off leash. Being walked by owner who thinks they are gentle. And no alpha control over the scenario.
    My life is upside down, I am in debt with vet bills, my dog is in huge pain, his life, our life will never be the same. I need to call someone to help me but I know not who.

    • Janice, I’m not a lawyer or an animal control officer, and I don’t know exactly where you live or what your leash laws are, but based on your description of the incident, both you and the other dog owner are probably considered at fault. All of the dogs were at large, including yours. You didn’t have “alpha control” (whatever that means) over your dog either, or else your dog wouldn’t have been charging out of the yard to confront a couple of bigger dogs (“tempted out” is a bunch of bull, sorry… unless those Bull Mastiffs were standing there holding a couple of raw steaks going “here doggy doggy.” Your dog made the decision to leave the yard, and you had no control over whether he did or not.). That’s the cut and dry. If you want to discuss the incident with someone that is in a position to do something, you can call your animal control department and talk to them about what happened. Be prepared, though, if they say that they would have to cite you and the other dog owner alike for having dogs at large.

      That said, I’m sorry about what happened to your dog and I hope he heals up quickly. And I hope your story is a valuable lesson to other dog owners: keep your dogs properly and safely contained.