The legislation prevents people from acquiring a number of breeds of dogs classified as pit bulls, and requires those who already own the dogs to neuter and muzzle their animals.
Banning the breed might give people a false sense of security, worried Sheila McDonald, director of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. "There are other breeds that have been involved in dog incidents [...] [One] huge thing that is extremely lacking in Canada is a database of dog bite incidents. And that has been recommended at several inquests into fatal dog attacks and has never been followed up on."
toronto.ctv.ca July 2, 2007
A 17-month-old girl is dead after being mauled by her grandparents' dog near Ottawa on Canada Day.
Police say the Korie-Lyn Edwards was visiting her grandparents in Montague Township when their 10-year-old Rottweiler-German shepherd mix attacked her.
"Basically the girl had just wandered where the dog was tied up. The dog had no history of biting, socialized with adults and children, so this is obviously just a tragic circumstance," said Const. Paige Whiting of the Ontario Provincial Police on Monday.
Edwards suffered severe head injuries. The girl's parents rushed her to the local hospital and she was later airlifted to the children's hospital in Ottawa, where she died.
The dog has been turned over to Lanark County animal control officials and is expected to be euthanized at the family's request.
"It's just a wake up call for most dog owners that even pets, we have to be vigilant especially around small children, they can be very unpredictable," Whiting said.
An autopsy will be performed in the next few days. Police don't expect to lay charges.
Michael Bryant bears a measure of responsibility for this child's death. When someone in a position of authority insists that there are "safe" breeds and "dangerous" breeds, and encourages people to believe that their responsibility for preventing dog bites begins and ends with the selection of a "safe" breed, he is lying to the public, and he is putting children, in particular, at risk of serious injury.
For more about Bryant, pit bulls, generalizations and stereotypes, see Malcolm Gladwell's article Troublemakers: what pit bulls can teach us about profiling. Link in the sidebar --- it's a classic.