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A Letter in Support of Bill 147 – To Repeal Ontario’s “Pit Bull” Ban

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation has always supported breed-neutral legislation and is a strong ally to HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society and Justice for Bullies. It was brought to our attention that PETA misconstrued a quote made by our Executive Director in a newspaper interview from over four years ago, in order to inflate support for their anti-pitbull stance.

In response, we have written the following letter to all members of the Ontario Legislature in support of Bill 147. It is unfortunate that PETA chose to mislead decision-makers on this very important issue, however, it has provided us with a platform to reiterate our position.

If you would like to email, call or write members of the legislature, you can find their contact information here.

Dear Members of the Ontario Legislature,

I am writing on behalf of Paws for Hope Animal Foundation in support of Bill 147, to repeal the ban on pit bull-type dogs in the Province of Ontario. Paws for Hope is a BC animal welfare charity that envisions communities that embrace all pets as family, ensuring they are loved, free from harm, and where no pet is left behind. To that end, our mission is to shift the culture of companion animal welfare in British Columbia by creating new models of practice and remediating the underlying causes of harm through cross-sector collaboration, education and advocacy.

Paws for Hope supports the position that dangerous dog legislation must be breed-neutral as followed by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour, Humane Canada, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society and BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (to name a few).

Targeting specific breeds as a method to control dangerous dogs, discriminates against innocent members of that specific breed, and is not supported by scientific evidence that shows no one breed is inherently more dangerous than another. Breed-specific legislation does not improve public safety because the factors that attribute to aggressive dog behaviour are not taken into consideration. The labelling of dangerous and banning of one specific breed can create a false sense of safety and removes the responsibility that should be required of pet guardians to properly socialize, train and care for dogs of all breeds. The most effective way to reduce dog aggression incidences is through proactive legislation that focuses on education, common-sense rules, and targeting factors that contribute to animal aggression

In closing, I would like to respond to a quote of mine PETA misconstrued in their letter dated March 6th. It would seem that they attempted to identify Paws for Hope as an animal welfare organization that supports breed bans by taking an interview quote out of context. For your information, you can see the original interview here. In this interview, you will see the topic was dog importing, not pit bulls. It is unfortunate that they used this misleading tactic, and I would like to reiterate we do not support any type of breed-specific legislation for the reasons stated above.

Thank you for moving this legislation as far as you have to date. It is in public safety and animal welfare’s best interest to repeal the ban and replace it with progressive animal welfare policies.

Kind regards, 

Kathy Powelson
Executive Director

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