Dog owner loses fight over Winnipeg's pitbull ban
Steve Gagnon fined $1K for breaching dog bylaw, says he will move out of city
A Winnipeg man who had challenged the city's pitbull ban lost his fight in court Friday.
Steve Gagnon owns a Staffordshire Terrier - one of several pitbull-like breeds banned in Winnipeg.
His dog, Odie, was reported to animal services last year by people in the neighbourhood.
Friday, Gagnon told the judge that Odie is a good-natured dog, who's never hurt any dog, or anyone.
But the judge said the rules don't take into account whether the dog is good natured, that a bylaw is a bylaw. Gagnon disagreed.
"I was appalled," he said. "It makes no sense. It's prejudicial. It's biased."
Odie had a license from the city, but in the space for breed, the city official had written "unknown."
The license was revoked when the animal was reported to city services and Odie was ordered removed from the city.
Gagnon tried to enlist supporters from celebrated dog trainer Cesar Millan to animal organizations opposed to banning dog breeds. No one showed up in court on Gagnon's behalf.
The judge said, in any case, it was her job to uphold the bylaw, "no exceptions."
Gagnon bought the dog in B.C. where the breed is permitted, and admitted he knew Winnipeg banned pitbulls.
He maintained his dog is not a threat, but he was fighting back tears as he left court.
"Now I have no option, except to actually fight the bylaw which is not going to be an easy task I'm sure," he said.
Odie is currently staying at an animal shelter outside Winnipeg.
Gagnon said he plans to move out of the city, so he can live with his dog.