Saturday, April 18, 2009

Owner challenges pit bull ban

An Ontario pit-bull owner seeking to overturn the province's ban on the dogs wants her case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Clayton Ruby, a lawyer for pit-bull owner Catherine Cochrane, said he has filed an application to appeal to the Supreme Court a decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal that upheld the province's ban on the animals.

Under the Dog Owners' Liability Act, breeding, owning or importing American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire bull terriers or any dog that looks similar is banned in Ontario. Dogs born before the law came into effect were "grandfathered in."

Owners are required to have their dogs sterilized, muzzled and on a leash in public. Violators face a maximum penalty of $10,000 and six months in jail.

Ruby argues the definition of "pit-bull" is overly broad and vague and snares dozens of breeds that look like pit-bulls, but are other breeds, half-breeds or mutts.