Pit bulls banned in Ontario sent to Saskatoon SPCA
Sask. trainer relieved province is safe haven for pit bulls, calls ban a 'witch hunt'
Bitty, a three-year-old pit bull mix, doesn't bark once as she wanders around the Saskatoon SPCA after arriving from Ontario this week.
If the city's animal shelter didn't take her in, she would have likely been euthanized because of a pit bull ban in the province.
Animal shelters from Ontario and Manitoba have sent 16 pit bulls to the Saskatoon SPCA since July.
Ontario's ban, called the Dog Owners' Liability Act, came into effect in 2005.
Winnipeg made it illegal to own pit bulls 15 years before that.
Montreal banned the breed in October after a 55-year-old mother was mauled to death in her own backyard. However, according to the local Humane Society it was not a pit bull, but a boxer that attacked the woman.
'Modern day witch hunt'
Barbara Lloyd, a dog behaviourist who runs Dog's Den Training School in Regina, is relieved the province is a safe haven for pit bulls.
She said bans in other parts of the country are cruel.
They're really just kind, loving dogs looking for a second chance.- Cathy Brin, Saskatoon SPCA
"It's a modern day witch hunt," she told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
"People are afraid. They hear about things happening and they become extremely reactionary."
Lloyd said the most violent behaviour she has seen from her years working with dogs came from two chocolate Labrador retrievers, who badly bit Lloyd.
She emphasizes violent behaviour shouldn't be associated with certain breeds.
Dog attacks need to be considered on a case-by-case basis instead of banning an entire breed, said Lloyd.
Pit bull stigma
Cathy Brin, volunteer and public relations co-ordinator with the Saskatoon SPCA, said there's a stigma around pit bulls.
"I think it's just a lot of misinformation that slowly just gets passed along," said Brin.
"People don't need to fear a breed that doesn't need to be feared."
For the most part, Brin said people who come into the SPCA aren't fazed by pit bulls.
Other shelters cover the cost to fly the dogs over and get their vaccinations.
Once they're in Saskatoon, the SPCA does an assessment to make sure the animals are behaviorally fit to be adopted.
Bitty passed the test no problem and once she got the green light, people were interested in taking her home.
About 24 hours after arriving in Saskatoon, Bitty was adopted.
"They're really just kind, loving dogs looking for a second chance," said Brin.
With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning