It has been 8 years since Ontario implemented the controversial pi bull ban. The ban doesn’t protect people, but has become an animal welfare concern. To learn more about pit bulls and breed-specific legislation, here are a few book suggestions:
Dog Lost, (written by Ingrid Lee, published in 2010 by Chicken House), introduces children to the problems with breed-specific legislation. As a small city is preposing a ban on pit bulls, a pit bull puppy gets lost While pit bulls are being maligned, this puppy manages to become a hero not only to people in his community, but also to the dozens of shelter pit bulls whose lives are at risk from the proposed ban. Dog Lost provides a detailed, balanced view of breed banning, while remaining hopeful for breed banning to end.
Dogtown, (written by Stefan Bechtel, published in 2010 by National Geographic), tells the true stories of many dogs who have been rescued by Best Friends Animal Society, the world’s latest no-kill shelter. While this book focus on all dog breeds, it also tells the story of the “Victory Dogs,” dispelling the myth of pit bulls being untrainable, vicious brutes. It turns out they are just like any other dog.
No Shelter Here, (written by Rob Laidlaw, president of Zoocheck Canada, published in 2012 by Pajama Press): No Shelter Here introduces children to the many issues facing dogs worldwide, including breed-specific legislation. A recommended read for young readers interested in animal rights.
As well as reading about breed-specific legislation, I would recommend Ontarians contact their local MPPs, asking that the pit bull ban be reversed, and replaced with stronger animal protection legislation.
Ontario MPP Madliene Meilleur promises this Friday, the OSPCA will receive an extra $5.5 million dollars each year. The OSPCA will also get more investigators to protect animals from abuse, provide twice yearly inspections of all zoos, and provide a 24/7 emergency phone line. While these are not legislative changes, these policies will help improve animal welfare in Ontario.