Chatham dogs saved, time to end breed-specific legislation: DiNovo

Cheri DiNovo, NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park, welcomed news that the dogs rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Chatham area will be sent to Florida for rehabilitation – but said the case highlights the need to end legislation that targets dogs based on their breed or even just their appearance.

“For too long, Ontario has allowed healthy dogs to be euthanized by labelling them as ‘pit bulls’ and denying them a chance for rehabilitation,” said DiNovo who is the author of a Private Member’s Bill aimed at repealing Ontario’s breed specific legislation (BSL).

“It took an 18-month legal battle to save these dogs, who are also victims in this case,” said DiNovo. “The Chatham dogs were targeted based on physical appearance, which makes no sense,” added DiNovo. “It is time Ontario ended BSL.” 

DiNovo’s bill to repeal BSL was tabled for a third time October 2016 on the one year anniversary of the Chatham 21 dogs being seized. 

A previous tri-party bill passed the committee stage on the way to becoming law, but the Liberal government halted it by failing to bring the bill forward for third reading – the last stage needed to become law. That bill died when an election was called.