We're all trapped in 1984.
Or what do veterinarians know about dogs, anyway?
Two dogs, Brittany and Rambo, are in the care of Brampton animal services after being seized from their owners in mid-January. These dogs who know nothing but life with their families, face execution or being sent outside the province under the terms of the "Bryant" law (the Ontario Dog Owner's Liability Act) that bans pit bulls in Ontario.
In the case of these two-year-old animals (from the same litter of nine pups), there were no threats, no bad behavior, no complaints. Rather, Brampton animal service officials spied Rambo standing atop his doghouse in the backyard of the Gaspar family and hauled him in because they believed he was a pit bull. They also picked up his sister who lived with the Branco family in another part of town. Veterinarians have sworn these dogs aren't pit bulls. In fact, in Star reporter Jim Wilkes' story today, Brittany's owner Rui Branco, who also owns their mother, Jersey, says she is a purebred boxer and their father, Tyson, a boxer/American bulldog mix. The story says:
"But Branco and Joe Gaspar, whose family pet Rambo was also seized Jan. 13, have letters from four veterinarians and a company that inserts microchips under a dog's skin supporting their claims there is no pit bull in either dog.
One Brampton vet wrote that he would stake his 51-year veterinary reputation that Tyson was an American bulldog-boxer mix."
Further, said Gaspar of Rambo:
"He's never hurt a soul. Kids come by and pull his ears, play with him all the time," Gaspar said. "I don't know what more we can do to prove that Rambo isn't a pit bull.
"They say it doesn't matter what we show them. In their eyes, he's a pit bull, so these papers mean nothing to them. We've got nothing to hide. He's just a sweet dog."
Brittany's vet, Dr. David Kirkham, told the Globe: "I don't understand why (city officials) are fighting me so hard on this. Brittany doesn't look anything like a pit bull."
Neither, it would seem, does Rambo, pictured here with his red collar.
Apparently, there was an error with Tyson's registration in 2006 and, despite lawyers hired to straighten out the matter, Brampton officials aren't budging in their insistence the pups are pit bulls.
I guess there's something to be learned here. Next time Brampton residents want an animal neutered or a pet's elimination problem investigated (especially that), head straight for City Hall. Don't waste time with your vet.
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Here are a few contacts if you are aware dogs don't have have Blackberries and sympathize with the predicament of Brittany and Rambo:
- Mayor Susan Fennell, Office of the Mayor, City of Brampton, 2 Wellington St. W., Brampton, ON L6Y 4R2
The salutation is, "Your Worship."
Phone - 905-8742600; fax - 905-874-2620; email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Here's a link to city councillors and their contact information: http://www.brampton.ca/en/City-Hall/CouncilOffice/Pages/Welcome.aspx
- And, finally, Brampton animal services: http://www.brampton.ca/en/residents/Animal-Services/Pages/welcome.aspx