Brampton, Ontario, has really put their foot in it this time! These are two more cases that really need both media and public attention, ASAP.
Please read the story and then write letters to the mayor and the city councillors. Here are their e-mail addresses:
Mayor Ms. Susan Fennell firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Grant Gibson email@example.com
Ms. Elaine Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. John Hutton email@example.com
Mr. Paul Palleschi firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Bob Callahan email@example.com
Mr. John Sanderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sandra Hames email@example.com
Ms. Gael Miles firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Vicky Dhillon email@example.com
Mr. John Sprovieri firstname.lastname@example.org
If it is possible for you to send a fax or a physical letter, you may be able to avoid some of the e-mail filtering that is often implemented in cases like this.
Mayor Fax: 905-874-2620
All Councillors Fax: 905-874-2644
City Hall address is:
Brampton City Hall
City Clerk’s Office
2 Wellington Street West
Brampton, Ontario L6Y 4R2
The original story is from the Brampton Guardian at:
Rambo on death row as city, owners battle over breeding
Friday January 29 2010
By PAM DOUGLAS
Rambo wasn’t hurting anyone.
No one had complained about the young dog, he hadn’t escaped 75-year-old Maria Gaspar’s Vodden Street yard, and he had never bitten anyone.
But Rambo and his sister, Brittany, are on death row at the City of Brampton’s Animal Shelter right now while their owners are embroiled in a battle to get their beloved pets back before they are euthanized. The deadline- Feb. 5.
Both dogs were seized from separate homes on Jan. 13 by city animal control officials who said they believed the dogs to be pitbulls.
Their owners say that’s not true, and both say they have proof from veterinarians tracing their backgrounds as boxers/American bulldogs.
The city’s veterinarian has a conflicting opinion, according to a letter sent to the Branco family, who own Brittany.
Gaspar is heartbroken. The senior citizen can’t understand why Rambo was seized. She said the confusing part is, the city has licensed Rambo as a boxer/American bulldog cross for the past two years. His vaccination certificate from North Town Veterinary Hospital classifies his breed as a boxer cross. And, no one who has seen the dog has ever thought he was a pitbull, according to the distraught Gaspar.
The city told Gaspar that no one had complained about Rambo. He had not escaped the back yard. If anything, he made passersby laugh the way he would jump up onto the roof of his dog house to look over the fence, she said.
But it was that quirky little habit that led to him being removed from his home and held by the city under threat of euthanasia.
A passing animal control officer spotted Rambo on his perch in December, looking over the six-foot fence, and told Maria Gaspar she had to move the doghouse because Rambo could escape. Gaspar agreed, but then the issue of Rambo’s breed came up. She was told to get a letter from her veterinarian attesting to the dog’s breed, and to have him neutered. Gaspar said she got the required letter, and an estimate for neutering, and gave both to the city.
In response, the city sent a letter telling Gaspar there is no completed certificate from a veterinarian, and that “Rambo has been confirmed to be a pitbull by his parentage as well as the characteristics as defined in the City of Brampton Dog By-law…”
The bylaw defines a pitbull as a pitbull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, American pitbull terrier, or “a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those dogs.”
“It’s not, it’s not pitbull,” said Gaspar emphatically, struggling for the English words to describe her upset. She can’t talk about Rambo without crying.
“This problem is like a son problem,” she said, emphasizing how important Rambo is to her. “Now, I no have dog, I no have money, I no have nothing… It’s not fair.”
They can’t fight the city because her family doesn’t have any money for a lawyer, she said, but Rui Branco is taking on the fight for both dogs.
His family owns Brittany, and they are in a similar predicament. Like Rambo, there were no complaints or allegations of biting against Brittany. The licence for Brittany’s father, Tyson, was due for renewal, and an animal control officer went to the Branco’s house to collect the $20. She was told Tyson was given away to a friend, but that’s when the issue of Brittany’s lineage arouse, according to Branco.
He has hired a lawyer who is preparing to file a motion in court to get the dogs back.
“This is an injustice,” Branco said, pointing out how ironic it is that he will not only have to pay a lawyer to fight for his family’s dog, but, as a resident of Brampton, he will also contribute to the cost of defending the city.
Tyson, also Rambo’s father, was also licensed by the city at one time, although Branco said the family did not realize the city had classified him as a pitbull, especially since he was born in December 2005, one full month after the grace period for owning a pitbull. If he was a pitbull, Branco said, the city should not have issued a licence to him at all. But, he says, the real mistake was labeling him a pitbull in the first place.
He has the microchip paperwork for Tyson, and a veterinarian’s letter, stating, “He is in my opinion a healthy and well-socialized pet and is a cross between an American Bulldog and a Boxer.”
A second veterinarian, Dr. David Kirkham of the Cheltenham Veterinary Centre, has added a letter stating Brittany’s mother, Jersey, is “unquestionably a purebred boxer.”
“I don’t understand why they are fighting me so hard on this,” he said. “Brittany doesn’t look anything like a pitbull.”
The Branco’s said the city did not have a warrant to seize Brittany when they arrived on Jan. 13, and Rui’s brother, John, confronted the city worker, who then called for backup. Several police officers and other city animal control officials arrived, and, ultimately, the dog was handed over. However, the Branco’s argue they were intimidated into willingly turning over their pet and feel proper procedure (a warrant) was not followed.
For their part, the city is considering four charges against the Branco family- owning a pitbull born after Nov. 29, 2005 in relation to Brittany and in relation to Tyson, failing to licence a pitbull, transferring a pitbull without consent of the poundkeeper and permitting a pitbull to breed.
The Gaspar family faces one charge of owning a pitbull.
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