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I'm sure many of you have heard about Patrick the Pit Bull who was rescued and brought to an Associated Humane Society shelter after being thrown down the garbage chute by his owner. He was starved, near death, not much more than literally skin and bones. The story of his rescue and subsequent recovery at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists clinic has garnered international attention and over 100,000 fans on Facebook.

Patrick, more recently:

It's no surprise his story resonates with so many people. It's got a classic theme of the little guy who survives against all odds, of kindness triumphing over cruelty, of good over evil.

Here's a more recent story involving a dog named Harper who was also going to be disposed in the trash but was rescued at the last moment.

The thought that anyone would want to do harm to an innocent creature like Harper is appalling to most people with an iota of compassion for animals and so when such an animal is saved from a terrible death, it is always welcome news.

There was also, recently, the incredible story of Faith, posted online a couple of months ago by Kalena Mallon.

Saturday July 23 around 11pm I was crossing the street on my way home from Tim Hortons I have a rare heart condition which branches off other medical issues. I was three houses away from my home when according to bystanders who watched in amazment but never helped me) I passed out on the road. This street is very busy. Bystanders say a dog appeared almost out of no where and stood over me barking at cars as they honked there horns and drove around this dog. My husband wondering what the commontion outside was all about came outside to see a Pitbull cross standing over me risking her own life to save me. He lifted me into the house giving me my medication and I was fine. The pup followed she stayed by my side for 3 hours getting alone fine with my other two dogs and when she went to walk past my 7 pound cat he swapped at her she ran in the cornor with her tail betweem her legs the pitbull cross was horrified of my cat. I named her Faith my husband knocked on doors but no-one knew who she belonged to. Facing a min $5000.00 fine and a min of 30 days in jail because pitbull cross's are illegal in Brantford and Ontario unless they were born before 2007 my husband called the emergencey line to the SPCA who told him they don't deal with strays at night to cal the police. I wanted to keep her so bad as she cuddled with me on our couch. I named her Faith.A really nice Brantford police officer came out at first her was leary of her but the she jumped up on him and licked his face he was so gentle with her and talking to her as he put her in the car. I cried as he left with my Hero who saved my life and risked her own. I called the SPCA two days later to find out the vet estimated Faith is between 10 months to a year old and no one claimed her. Because of her age the Brantford SPCA is suspecting someone of illegally breeding them and the dumping her. I am doing everything I can because I want my baby back she saved my life and is my Hero It was Love at first sight. If not for her the cars would have not see me at night and I would not be typing this(in tears). The SPCA changed her name to Casidy and she is only allowed to be adopted out of Ontario if not she will be..... I can't even type it. Al'ls I know is Faith I still call her, is a Hero and to her I owe my life. I am trying to get the brantford government to make a exception for her because she saved my life. If anyone you know lives outside Ontario and can temporaily take her unil I have gone through all this red tape please contact me through here or at our new email at PLEASE HELP ME SAVE FAITH I will pay anycost involed wth traveling and getting her out of the SPCA as well as her expenses for food ect. I just need about a month PLEASE HELP US

The Brantford SPCA says there was never any chance they would have euthanized Faith but it would be impossible for the dog to stay in Ontario because of the DOLA. Eventually, a foster home in Calgary was found for the dog.

The obvious connection between these three stories is they all involve Pit Bulls and the people who cared for them and loved them. The other connection is that if these three dogs were in Ontario (or remained in Ontario in the case of Faith), they'd all be locked up and then killed as required by our anti-Pit Bull legislation, otherwise known as the Dog Owner's Liability Act.

In Ontario, Patrick would not be a happy, well fed pup playing fetch. He would be dead.

In Ontario, Harper would not be a puppy swimming and learning to walk with a big goofy smile on his face. He would be dead.

In Ontario, Faith, despite having helped save the life of a sick woman, would still not be welcome in this province and if Faith had been kept here, the law would have taken her life.

The supporters of anti-Pit Bull legislation would be more than happy to see dogs like Patrick, Harper and Faith eradicated and it's unfortunate we find these types of people in our provincial government creating ineffective, unjust laws which victimize innocent dogs and polarize communities.

Most of you have already voted or have already decided who you will be voting for in this provincial election today, so that die is already cast, but tomorrow, regardless of who is in power, the DOLA will still be there, a constant and ugly reminder of the uniquely human skill of punishing those who cannot defend themselves for one's own political gain.

Michael Bryant, architect of the DOLA of 2005:

Would you date this man?

3 Comments to “Not in Ontario”

  1. I wouldn't date him if he were the only man on earth, and I sure as shoot wouldn't vote for him if he tries to get back into politics.

    Stop spending on education in this province. Stupid can't be cured, and the voters of Ontario are showing just how stupid they are by re-electing any Lie-beral.

    More years of dogs dying solely because they were pawns in the Lie-berals' political game.

  2. BTW, this was a beautiful post, tying the stories of Patrick, Harper and Faith into commentary on the abysmal Liberal record in Ontario.

  3. Indeed, this is a beautiful post. For me it began with tears and then sobs of disgust and hopelessness, but it ended with tears of joy and laughter with Harper. I decided to stop at the story of Michael Bryant because I wanted the joy and hope I felt to last. Thank you for this. I'll get back to Bryant tomorrow.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.