Thursday, November 4, 2010

What? Fighting dogs being used for - gasp - FIGHTING?!

Online ads point to dogfighting rings in Calgary area


CALGARY — A spike in online ads for “bully” dogs described as fearless aggressive monsters, coupled with canines turning up with strange scars and missing ears, has animal welfare officials fearing underground dogfighting rings are popping up in the Calgary area.
In the past six months the Calgary Humane Society has seen at least three large breed dogs surrendered to the shelter with unexplained injuries, including a pit bull with a massive cut to her face and such serious injuries to one eye that it had to be removed.
“They have scratches and bites and scrapes and they come in looking a little rough,” Desiree Arsenault, a spokeswoman for the humane society said Thursday. “At the very least they’ve been in a dogfight and it’s possible they have been involved in illegal dogfighting.”
While no dogfighting rings have been discovered within the city, Calgary’s bylaw boss says he’s received several tips in the past six months there is one operating on the southern edge of the city.
If that’s the case it won’t be long before the underground rings — where dogs fight other dogs for “sport” in front of spectators, pop up in other locations, said Bill Bruce, director of animal and bylaw services.
“We need to get on this because it’s only a matter of time before they try to set up a ring for their filthy activities here in the city,” he said.
Arsenault and Bruce say the proliferation of online ads in which Alberta breeders describe the dogs as Xtreme, ferocious, monstrous, aggressive and with champion blood lines is proof that such breeds as pit bulls, mastiffs and a popular guard dog breed called Cane Corso, are being bred to fight.
“Whenever we see an ad advertising how big the dog’s head is, that is fight lingo,” said Bruce.
“The bigger the head the bigger the jaw so the more powerful the dog’s going to be and ultimately be a better fighter.”
The humane society is reportedly working with the local online advertising website Kijiji to scrutinize and remove ads that contain “red flag words.”

“When there’s a suspicion that we’re dealing with such ads where a poster might be trading a dog for the purpose of fighting, we’re going to take down the ad,” Christian Jasserand, head of the Kijiji’s customer support, told the National Post.
Bruce and Arsenault say it’s also possible that the dogs being bred in Alberta are being shipped to fight in the U.S.
Calgary Herald

Read more:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or treating with Calgary's favorite dog breed..

Girl bit by pitbull while trick-or-treating

Last Updated: November 1, 2010 8:52pm
CALGARY - Before trick-or-treating 10-year-old Aishlyn Fairweather had a chance to taste any Halloween candy, a neighbour’s pit bull sank its teeth into her.
Dressed as a zombie, Fairweather said she was meeting with friends outside her home on Covehaven Gardens N.E. just before collecting treats when she was attacked by what initially seemed like a phantom pit bull.
“All of a sudden, I feel a hard pain rushing through my hand and up into my arm -- I didn’t know what was happening,” said Fairweather, adding she was on the sidewalk with two other girls near the dog’s home.
“I’m bleeding, I look behind me and there’s a dog...everybody started screaming.”
The girl said the dog bit her twice on the right hand before an off-duty firefighter neighbour scared off the animal.
Her mom, Doris, said the dog has been a problem for neighbours in the past and apparently ran out of an open garage door and attacked.
“It’s a good thing a baby didn’t get bitten -- fortunately, Aishlyn’s a tall girl,” said the mom.
“It’s sad pet owners aren’t more responsible.”
She said the pit bull’s owners grabbed their dog and drove off immediately after the incident without checking on the damage their pet had caused.
Fairweather said when she went to purchase some painkillers for her daughter at a nearby pharmacy, she was surprised to encounter one of the dog’s owners there.
“I said ‘Your dog bit my daughter,’” she said, adding the woman apologized and offered to pay for the medicine.
Aishlyn suffered minor cuts to her hand.
Last year, the girl was sidelined from trick-or-treating by a bout of H1N1 flu and was unable to go to a single door on Sunday, said her mom.
“She was so excited to go out and then this happens,” she said.
Two-year-old pit bull Titan broke through a barrier and lunged toward a reporter who’d just been allowed into its owner’s home on Monday.
But a couple who share the house with Titan -- who didn’t want to be named -- insisted the dog was not aggressive and was probably “spooked” by trick-or-treaters.
The man said he’d keep Titan on a leash between the house and the car from now on.
City animal control boss Bill Bruce said the dog in question was a licensed pit bull whose owners are facing charges and a likely $250 fine.
“If the dog has bitten before, there’ll be a hearing,” said Bruce, adding that could lead to the animal being destroyed.
He said most aggressive dogs’ behaviour is a reflection of their owners.
“It’s very unnatural behaviour for a pit bull or any dog,” he said.
Both Aishlyn and her mother say they’d like to see the dog put down.
“She doesn’t want to see any more kids get hurt,” said Doris.


A $250 fine?  Wow, Bill, that's some serious punishment.  And a newsflash - aggression isn't unnatural in fighting dogs.  Idiot.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pit bulls attack cat

Two pit bulls with "previous infractions" attacked a leashed cat in Calgary yesterday.  The cat was leashed because Calgary's bylaws require cats to remain on their own property and it is my understanding that the cat bylaw in Calgary is strictly enforced.  The loose, attacking pit bull bylaw looks to maybe have a little more wiggle room? 

I predict they'll be released to attack another cat, maybe even a toddler.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A pit bull nearly kills a child, the attack is hushed up but then the mother starts squawking...

What does any good pit bull propogandist do in this dire situation? 

1.  Deny the breed
2.  Talk about Petey, Helen Keller, and the first World War.
3.  Spout garbage about "the perfect family dog" and "nanny dogs".
4.  First there was the "Decade of the Doberman"!
5.  Blame huskies (if you're in Canada) and chihuahuas.
6.  Tell us that every dog over 50 lbs is a ticking time bomb just waiting for the      opportunity to kill a child.

And Bill Bruce has managed a 6 for 6, with a couple of twists even I am impressed with!

1. “Basically, we don’t have a definition,” he says. "It’s not an exact science.”

2. "Petey was an endearing Staffordshire terrier made popular by The Little Rascals.
The TV-show pooch harkens to a time when pit bull-type dogs were not saddled with the label.

They were a decorated hero dog during the First World War, Helen Keller owned one, and renowned dog expert, Cesar Millan defied stereotypes with his sweet pit bull, Daddy.
3. Once touted as the perfect family dog, they are now maligned in public perception as nothing more than a toothy, ticking time-bomb, indisputably, with the power to launch devastating attacks."  (okay, these quotes are from the reporter, not from Bruce directly, but I'm guessing where she got her information)

4. “In the early 1900s the bloodhound was the devil dog, in the ’60s it was the German shepherd, in the ’70s it was the Doberman pincer, then it was the Rotweiller and then it was the era of pit bulls,” Bruce says (did he actually say pincer and misspell Rottweiler or is the grammar and spelling of reporters really going to the dogs?)
5.  Bruce says huskies are behind the bulk of human fatalities caused by dogs in Canada.
"The worst bite I saw was by a 15-lb chihuahua cross which took a (chunk) almost as big as a tennis ball out of a person’s leg,” he says." 
6. “Bites are worst than ever in Ontario since the legislation,” Bruce says. “If you do not train it, do not control it and it is left unattended with children or running at large, all large dogs can and will bite,” he says.
But my personal favorite quote from Bill doesn't fit in the top 6, in fact I've never quite seen anything like it before.  A new trend, perhaps?
"The pit bull attacked, likely in a bid to offer protection, when its owner began throwing punches at his girlfriend.

His owner told city officials to euthanize it.

It was a done deal but heartbreaking, says Bruce, given the darling pooch passed behaviour assessments with flying colours.

“Her only offence was being a pit bull,” Bruce says of the case several years ago in Calgary where two people were bitten by their own dog"


Now, the only case of a pit bull attacking its owners and being put down in Calgary that I can recall showing up in the news occurred in March of 2009.  The dog attacked the man first, then the woman, and the man was unable to free the woman from the dog's grip.  The responding police officers had to taser the dog 3 times to subdue it.  The only article still in existence that I could locate regarding that attack was this one:

Dog attacks owner couple to stop their fight

March-28-09 9:05:49 PM by IANS ( Leave a comment )

Toronto, March 29 (IANS) A fight between a Canadian couple upset their faithful dog so much that he attacked them to end the fight.

But in the process, the dog bloodied the husband and his wife so badly that they had to be rushed to hospital for multiple stitches.

The incident happened Friday night in Calgary city when a pit bull cross got angry as it saw his masters fighting. According to Calgary Herald, the pit bull cross attacked its owners when the couple began shouting at each other loudly.

A police spokesman told the newspaper said the attack began just before 9 p.m. when the argument between the man and woman became nasty.

The dog first attacked the man and then the woman.

“The man managed to get the dog off, but the woman could not,” said the police spokesman.

“They were both bitten very seriously, all over their bodies, head, face, neck, arms, everywhere,” he added.

The bleeding couple were immediately rushed to hospital where they received multiple stitches for bite injuries.

Ed Karout, a neighbour who witnessed the attack, told the newspaper, the dog was “all over” the woman. “The dog was actually bitting at her and pulling at her.

“It was pretty bad.”

He said, “I saw blood all over her shirt. She was trying to get into the house. (The man) was trying to pull her in, and the (dog was) dragging her back out.”

He said he started honking his horn to distract the dog, but it didn’t work.

The dog was captured and handed over to veterinary authorities, police said.

More at : Dog attacks owner couple to stop their fight

The dog's "only offense" was certainly not being a pit bull, it was savagely and relentlessly attacking 2 people for 10 to 15 minutes and sending them both to the hospital.   And that dog was a male - I remember Bruce making mewling noises about it not being neutered and it being "dominant".  Was there another attack that didn't make the news or is he just forgetting things?

So Alphie wasn't the first dangerous pit bull that passed Calgary's behaviour assessment with "flying colours"?  Methinks Calgary needs a new behaviour assessment tool.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

But, but, but...every little pit bull bite makes the news!?

But apparently this one didn't.  This 9 year-old boy was mauled by a pit bull sometime "last month" in Calgary, according to this article.  Judging from the current state of his facial wounds, his attack happened a week or more (I would say more) ago and I didn't see a single report.  Surgeons say the little boy nearly died from his wounds but the attack wasn't even reported?  I wonder if it was even recorded?   Bill?  Greg?

Here's the article.  Everything in parentheses is mine.

Here's the link, look at the pictures:


Mother calls for pit bull ban

Dakota Van Diest Pollon survived a viscious attack by a pit bull.

Dakota Van Diest Pollon ended up needing surgery and more than 300 stitches after the pit bull attack

At the request of his owner, Bruno was put down after the attack (good thing, because you know rehoming is the favored method of pit bull abatement in Algarycay).

The mother of a nine-year-old Calgary boy is calling for a province-wide ban on pit bull terriers and rottweilers.

Dakota Van Diest Pollon was attacked by a pit bull last month while at the home of his sister's boyfriend.

The boyfriend wasn't home at the time and the sister eventually mustered up the strength to pull off the dog.

By the time is was over, Dakota needed surgery and more than 300 stitches.

"I honestly thought he was on his death bed. It looked so horrific," says Angie Pollon, Dakota's mother.

Surgeons say the nine-year-old came within an inch of losing his life.

Dakota has a long recovery ahead of him as he tries to heal from more than the physical wounds. "Every night I wake up and see pit bulls surrounding my whole bed, everywhere, they're jumping up and barking at me," says Dakota.

The three-year-old pit bull had never attacked before. At the owner's request, he was put down on Tuesday.

Dakota's mother is now calling for a provincial ban on pit bulls and rottweilers. She wants them to be labeled dangerous dogs like they are in Ontario. "I would say to any pit bull owner that they're harbouring a killer," says Pollon.

Officials with Calgary Bylaw Services say the city will not be advocating for a ban because it believes the owner is at fault, not the breed. "This is a behaviour issue, not a breed issue," says Greg Steinraths.
"We look at the whole philosophy. We make sure the dog is licenced, spayed, neutered, they need proper training and care and ensure they do not become a nuisance or threat," says Steinraths. (And don't forget about rehoming them, Greg, because you KNOW biting dogs that get new homes immediately cease Alphie).

Bylaw Services says its policies do work and adds that Calgary has less dog bites per capita than other cities around the world (I wonder how many of them are from pit bulls?  I wonder how many of them, like this one, never make the news?).

The province also says it is not considering a ban on pit bulls.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alphie - triple biter, cop threatener, and....loving wigglebutt with "no serious issues"?

Family brawl sparks dog attack in Calgary

CALGARY - Three people were taken to hospital with bite wounds after the family dog attacked them during a brawl Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

Mark Travadi was walking home from the store about 2:30 p.m. when he saw the door to his Pinemont Rd. N.E. house fly open, his brother, sister and nephew spill out to the lawn and begin fighting.

Before he knew it, his one-and-a-half-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier, a pitbull-type breed, started attacking them one by one.

Travadi said his sister, Lauren Henault, threw a backpack at her 14-year-old son, Lennon Henault, and the dog, named Alphie, responded aggressively, he believes defensively.

He intervened and took Alphie into the garage where he then bit his brother, Basil Travadi, on the arm.

“He’s never responded well to violence but it is a surprise he would take it to this level,” Travadi said.

“I’ve never seen him behave like that.

“Once he gets mad, it’s hard to stop him.”

Previously, a cop called to the house to break up a fight between him and his brother had to pull a gun on the dog when he became aggressive, Travadi said.

While Alphie is usually very well behaved, trained, and walked often, he acts up when people are aggressive, he said.

“I love the fact that he’s territorial but I can’t have a dog I can’t trust,” he said.

“I can’t control him when people are violent and I’m not there.

“It’s very inappropriate, I’m embarrassed.”

The dog first latched onto his nephew’s shoe, biting into his foot, before nipping his sister’s thigh.

“He’ll bite the person that he loves,” he said referring to the teen.

Paramedics took the three to hospital in stable condition and bylaw officers seized the dog.
“I’m a dog lover, he’s my first dog,” he said.

“It hurts like hell to lose a dog but people come before animals.

“I shouldn’t have left him unattended.”

The dog, which Bill Bruce, director of animal and bylaw services said has never been a problem before, will be assessed and the matter investigated.

Bruce said it’s not uncommon for dogs to become aggressive during a chaotic situation.

“They can’t stand disorder in the pack,” he said.

Neighbour Craig Northup said he saw a family melee break out that looked like it was a fight over the dog.

“I heard yelling and screaming and then louder yelling and screaming and ‘he’s taking the dog, he’s taking the dog’,” he said.

“One guy was trying to take the dog and the dog became confused.

“It’s not even the dog’s fault — everyone was yelling.”


This dog bit three separate people badly enough that all three had to be taken to the hospital.  Previously, this dog had acted aggressively toward a police officer, causing the officer to draw his gun.  The dog is clearly unstable in situations which involved heightened emotion AND it now has a bite history.  Surely Bill Bruce will appropriately "punish the deed", right?

Nope.  Bill's going to send this dog to live with a different member of the same family.


"The pitbull that attacked members of its owner’s family when they started fighting has passed a behaviour assessment and will now live with other relatives, bylaw officials said Monday.

Alphie, an American Staffordshire Terrier, bit three people Aug. 15 when they started fighting at their Pinemont Rd. N.E. home.

Animal control officers seized the dog as all three were sent to hospital to have bite marks treated.

“The dog had a clean record otherwise,” said bylaw head Bill Bruce.

“It happened inside a family unit and we met with the family and the dog owner and another family member who felt he could provide a more stable environment for the dog.”

A behaviour assessment showed no serious issues, said Bruce, so the dog was released on Friday to the owner’s relative, who lives outside the city.

“They’ve consented to all the conditions about training,” said Bruce.

“Of course we’re going to stay on this very carefully.

“The dog’s behaviour assessment is very promising and the owners who are taking over know exactly what they are doing, they know what has to happen and in terms of public safety, we’re comfortable all the safeguards are in place.”


The behaviour assessment showed no serious issues?  WTH?  The real-world behaviour assessment just showed us some really serious issues, didn't it Bill? 

Did you appropriately test the dog?  Really?  What was the test?  Did you test the dog around a group of angry adults or excited children, for instance?   What happens when the new owner walks this dog past an arguing couple on a street?  What happens when the next door neighbour's kids start screaming as kids are prone to doing?

I predict we haven't heard the last of Alphie.