I don’t want to go into too much preamble before getting into a personal story that was written by the daughter of someone I know personally.
In 2005 the Ontario Liberal Party amended the Dog Owners Liability Act to add breed specific language banning 3 purebred breeds and any dog thought to look substantially similar (which of course is subjective). The act has been in place since the late 1800’s and it was overall a good law however the penalties needed to be stiffened and even though the law has been in place well over a century it is rarely enforced.
The breed specific component to the law makes the penalties much stiffer for certain dogs and commonly the law is not enforced due to animal control stating the law “only applies to those dogs described in the breed specific portion”.
The law does apply to all dog owners but unfairly targets owners that own dogs that look a certain way or are from any of the 3 breeds listed (which I might add are among Canada’s rarest breeds). There were very few purebreds of any of the listed purebreds prior to the ban being enacted. The penalties are far more severe for any dog found to match the breed specific language.
I have personally volunteered for over a decade working with dog owners that have been unfairly targeted by the law, helping them to find resources to defend themselves. There are a few commonalities among those people targeted…