Two boxer-crosses seized as "pit bulls" in Brampton

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

Mr. Grant Gibson

Ms. Elaine Moore

Mr. John Hutton

Mr. Paul Palleschi

Mr. Bob Callahan

Mr. John Sanderson

Ms. Sandra Hames

Ms. Gael Miles

Mr. Vicky Dhillon

Mr. John Sprovieri

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:

I have included the story here in order to make sure it remains in circulation after it disappears from the Guardian archives.

This blog entry was copied in its entirety from with permission.

Rambo on death row as city, owners battle over breeding
Friday January 29 2010


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.

© Copyright 1996 – 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd.


  1. These dogs are not pits. This is an injustice to the owners and the dogs. How can they accept only one opinion (their vet) that these dogs are pits? These dogs should not be euthenized just because someone thought they were pits. Are these dogs going to die because someone can’t accept that they made a mistake? I have a pit mix and cannot immagine loosing her because of BSL. She has been with me for 12 1/2 years. She loves children, people, cats, dogs. Anything that comes to visit is welcomed by her. Killing our best friends just because of their looks does not make sense. Should we kill all men that do not meet someone’s approval like a man going bald, or women that are too short or too tall would that make sense? Should we start a petition to kill all prisoners because of the mistakes they made? Our pits have not made any mistakes to deserve the death penalty. Prisoners have hurt or killed more humans than pitbulls ever have.

  2. we do not have the death penalty in this counrty for humans so what gives the ontario governtment the right to put helpless animals to death?

  3. Especially since the death penalty in any western civilization is reserved for those found guilty of particularly ruthless and heinous murders. These dogs (and their owners) have not been accused of anything except being!

  4. Our once proud province of Ontario has now become a fascist state. We no longer live in a democratic country or province. Any fool can see that these two dogs are NOT pit bulls and have NO pit bull in them. Once again the City of Brampton has screwed up. These two pets should be returned to their owners post haste and the families compensated for having to go through all of this. If the City euthanizes these two loving pets, the City should be put on trial for murder in the first degree as it would be premeditated! Wake up Ontarians and Bramptonites – it’s time the people of this province and this city become the voice for these loving pets. We can no longer stand by and be the quiet majority – we must take a stand NOW!!!

  5. If it was a Lab mix or a Shepperd mix. You wouldn’t be putting the dog down. It would get a second chance and it wouldn’t be put in the spot light like this. It is unfair to the breed and there owners.

  6. I think you people should educate yourself and realize that the law is not specific to Pit Bull Terriers, it is as stated “American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers or any other breeds sharing ‘substantially similar’ characteristics”. In this case it is clearly evident that the dogs are similiar as defined by this law, thus the people are breaking the law. It is unfortunate, but the law is the law. It is also quite evident that this breed has proven over and over to be quite destructive in it’s attacks, it may not be the breed with the highest rate of attacks but the outcomes are by far the most serious. This law includes a large portion of the “pit Bull type” dogs, not just Pit Bulls. Now lets open the flood gates as I see most on this blog are anti legislation!

  7. It shouldn’t even matter what breed they are!!!!!! They have shown no aggression and had no complaints filed against them. By the way its obvious that Pablo doesn’t own a dog that he considers to be part of his family, probably no kids either because he obviously doesn’t understand the positon that these families are in! I noticed that the deadline was Feb. 5th, an update as to the fate of these two family pets would be appreciated. Fingers crossed for good news
    P.S. I have had large breed dogs all my life, German Shepards, Pit bulls, and a Rottie. I have NEVER been bitten or had any of my Trained Family pets shown aggression towards me. It all about the owners! Although I have been bitten in the face by a Jack Russel when I was in an ice cream store. A dog that was obviously thought to be safe if the owner thought it was ok to bring him to his work where the general public are.

  8. As “Win” stated on Feb/22/2010,Ontario is indeed a Fascist State, thanks to our wonderful former Attorney General “Michael Bryant” who brought this Injustice of the so called “PIT BULL” Ban legislation in Ontario is himself before our so called “JURISPRUDENCE” for his crimes ! He won’t be Euthanized, as our Dog was sent straight to the Giullotine ,deemed a “PIT BULL” by our wonderful and I might add Keystone Kops personnel from the Animal Control Corporation of Brampton!! And now we have been honoured with 5 gifts[Summons] from the Justice Department for possessing a so called “PIT BULL”!! My what wonderful gifts !! Can’t wait to see what the Prosecutor[Executioner] has planned for us !! Will keep you informed..til then… Good Day.

  9. Amazing , i think its time to hit Ontario where it hurts . And add for our lovely visitors who travel to Ontario .Thanks for coming to Ontario if we get our way we will destroy all dogs ,if we think they look bad we kill them because we can .

    There is enough people to change this law but we all need to go out at once , i dont care if its pitbull crossed with a lion if the owner trained it well it will never hurt anyone.

    A drunk driving drugged up ex mp gets a 165 dollard fine , and honest harding working people gets there world torn apart by people who know nothing about pets.

  10. Pablo, you tell us to “get educated” truth is you are arguing with some of the most educated people on the internet when it comes to Ontario’s fascist Breed Specific Legislation. It is you who need to be educated. Educated about the fact that it is not in fact the breed that makes an animal tend toward aggression, it is in fact purely the fact that they are an animal. Any dog NO MATTER THE BREED is capable of becoming a red zone aggressive dog and viciously attacking. It just so happens that some breeds are better equipped than others to do damage because of their size or physiology. Pit bulls and other like breeds with lock jaws are of course some of the most likely candidates for causing the most damage simply because of the power in their jaws. However, banning these dogs from existence in Ontario is not the answer. Take a look at the dog bite stats post BSL in Ontario. Now they are saying Mastiffs should be added to the ban. I suppose you agree with that too? Where will it end? When will the government be happy? How many breeds will be eradicated by stupid legislations that do not solve the problem? The only thing that will solve the problem of dogs randomly and suddenly attacking no matter what their breed, is proper animal welfare legislation and enforcement, and stiffer sentences for offenders. Aggression in dogs is directly related to how they are trained and raised. I share my home with eight dogs, and some of them are of mixed breed but do not contain the genes of pitbulls or any other breed that falls under the legislation. Are you telling me that I should have to force them to walk around muzzled simply because some moron who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground may accuse them of being a banned breed? I think not! My dogs have a right to walk around without a muzzle they have committed no crime. And furthermore, why should I be forced to take my dogs out masked and unable to defend themselves against someones German Shepherd or Husky? Both breeds are known for aggression as is the Akita, the Portuguese Cattle dog and any other number of large powerful breeds not legislated by the breed ban. People like you need to wake up and realize that just because someone makes it a law doesn’t make it right. Should we all take on the persona of Hitler and eradicate all breeds of dog we do not like? What is wrong with a law that condemns all dogs based on the actions of a few bad ones? You tell me Pablo apparently you are far more educated on the subject than I.

  11. Janette, no offense, but perhaps educate yourself a little more also. No dog has ‘lock jaws,’ and besides, pit bulls have no stronger jaws than other breeds. The one study done showed pit bulls has less PSI in their bite than both German Shepherd dogs and Rottweilers.

  12. This is disgusting> Pittbulls or not the dogs did nuthing wrong. Its just another case of the goverment on a power trip. Perhaps they should spend more time locking up the human criminals who make some of these dogs fight, bite etc and there wouldnt be so much fear of the breed. Its not the breed of dog its the way they are raised. Nature vs nurture and nurture always wins. I think it is rediculous to condem an entire breed because of human error witch is all it is. Humans make dogs saussy and then the dogs suffer. It takes very closed minded fearfull individuals to not see that. The goverment is going to push and push but eventually people are going to push back. It sickens me to my core to think of these pour animals basically being punished because we decided they make nice pets. Its all on humans not the animals they do what comes naturally or what they think we humans want as their beloved masters, they only try to please us and get slaughtered for it. Its a pritty sick world. This pour senior citazin cant keep a harmless pet but a famous football player can pritty much get away with anything. Funny isnt it

  13. wow lock-jaw??? really?? pick up a book once in a while. There is no lock jaw. wow common sense would tell you that. Get your facts straight and its the way they are raised that makes them aggressive again the fault of humans so hey punish the humans not the dogs. Ya they are animals and we were the ones who wanted to domesticate them so guess what again our fault.

  14. I am appalled that the town of Brampton would behave in such a manner. I believe they should be sued for causing pain, stress, anxiety and any charge that could be levelled against them. I would personally contribute to paying for a lawyer to see this injustice fixed. I will also petition everyone I know to support the two dogs and their families.
    this is beyond disgusting. It is cruel, incompetent and unjust. We live in Canada. I am ashamed of everyperson involved in this seizure and would like to see each person fired for their incompetence. I will be phoning, petitioning and writing letters. I am just incensed that this could happen to a dog who has done nothing to derserve this attention.
    Anne McKeown.

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