Cobourg, Ontario, Canada: Pet dog seized, ruled “pit bull”

Another sad case in Ontario, where a dog’s physical appearance determines whether it lives or dies. It took a warrant and four police officers, in addition to the animal control officer, to seize a pet dog that “appears to be” a pit bull. The burden of proof of innocence is now on the owner, who must prove that the dog is NOT a “pit bull.”

Dog lovers protest breed ban after pet seized

Updated 1 day ago

COBOURG/PORT HOPE -Punish the deed, not the breed: that was the message of a protest Saturday in front of the Northumberland County courthouse in Cobourg.

Tracey Van Slyke organized the protest after Animal Control officer Ross Barth and four Port Hope Police officers served a warrant at her home on Wednesday, March 9, and subsequently seized her 11-month-old dog, Chaos.

Officers said Chaos appears to be a pit bull, and therefore falls under banned breed legislation which states that no pit bulls are to be born after the legislation was enacted in August 2005.[…]

“I don’t believe I ever had an illegal dog,” Van Slyke said at Saturday’s protest.

[…] Barth said he has to act under the law when a complaint is made, and if the owners can prove the animal is not a pit bull it would be released back to them.

“I can’t say whether I agree with the law or not,” he said. “That’s not for me to decide. The law is in place and I have to enforce the law.”

Barth said nobody involved in this incident wants to see the dog destroyed, “but we know if the court decides we have no option.”[…]

Full article retrieved 3/15/11 from


One response to “Cobourg, Ontario, Canada: Pet dog seized, ruled “pit bull”

  1. Don’t give up Tracey. There are a lot of people out here pulling for you and for Chaos. It is a shame that so many allow fear and ignorance to rule them, hence the existence of Breed Specific Legislation, but someday it will become apparent to the public and those who make the laws that BSL does NOT keep the public safe but only brings pain to those being unfairly punished for something that has yet to occur.