City of Brampton hires an outside lawyer

The city of Brampton has hired an outside lawyer to continue to persecute the owners of docile family pets, including a 75-year-old lady on a pension.

 

Original story here:

http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news/cityhall/article/623570–city-hires-pitbull-lawyer

 

Text of story below:

City hires pitbull lawyer

February 24, 2010

The City of Brampton has hired a Toronto lawyer to help defend the seizure of two dogs last month.

Barnet Kussner of the firm Weirfoulds is on the case for the city, and that has one of the canines’ owners feeling like the underdog.

“Personally, I feel like it’s David versus Goliath,” said Rui Branco, whose family owns Brittany, one of two dogs held by the city since Jan. 13. Weirfoulds specializes in advisory work for municipal and other governments in all areas including contracts, land use planning and development.

Branco said with no other option to try to get the dogs home, he will take the city to court, but no one will win because he has to pay his own legal bills, and, as a resident of Brampton, his tax money will also be used to pay for the city’s lawyer.

“The taxpayers lose. I lose, being a taxpayer and also paying for my attorney. Most of all, the poor dogs lose because they are in captivity throughout the proceedings, which I understand can take months.”

Branco and Maria Gaspar, whose family owns Rambo, insist the dogs are boxer/American bulldog crosses, but the city has labelled them pitbulls and taken them from their separate homes. The families have not been allowed to visit them at the animal shelter.

Branco is concerned about the dogs’ health and well-being because they are being kept away from their families and kept in cages.

“I don’t care how much walking or attention the shelter or city says those dogs are getting, they have to be locked up because of liability issues and manpower issues at least 22 hours a day,” Branco said.

The families say a city Animal Control Officer seized the dogs without a warrant, adding they were intimidated into turning over the dogs when police arrived on Branco’s doorstep.

Attorney General spokesperson Brendan Crawley pointed to the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA) on the issue of seizure. The DOLA indicates a warrant is needed to seize a dog from a home. Seizure without a warrant is possible only if “… it would be impracticable to obtain a warrant because of exigent circumstances…exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the peace officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that entry into any building, receptacle or place, including a dwelling house, is necessary to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to any person or domestic animal.”

Dogs can also be seized in a public place under DOLA:

www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90d16_e.htm.

Copyright 2010, Brampton Guardian.

3 Comments

  1. I really don’t get all these lawsuits and arguing over what breed these dogs are. Do a simple, cheap genetic test and forget the huge lawyers fees. It sucks that good dogs get killed just because they are pit bulls, but you can’t simply blame the government for this. Irresponsible and undesirable pet owners seem to flock to these dogs. And owners of these dogs don’t do themselves justice by allowing them to roam free in public parks without muzzles. Justified or not, these dogs make people nervous. The last time I was in Eglinton Park there were 3 pit bulls off-leash and unmuzzled. One of them ran onto the snow pile that numerous children were playing on. I’m tired of having large dogs of all breeds running up and jumping on my child in parks NOT designated as off-leash parks. Maybe the DOLA law sucks, but so do lots of dog owners out there. And for the love of God, please stop obsessing about the fact that a pit bull is not a breed. It’s a means of classifying three specific breeds and crosses of those three. We get it. Talk to the dog whisperer who loves and owns many pit bulls and identifies them as such.

  2. And we are tired of unleashed, unmuzzled kids mauling our dogs.

    Were the children in the snow pile hurt? If not, what is your beef? Dogs should not be allowed to jump on people but if no one gets hurt what is the big deal? We allow children to do way worse crap and dismiss it with a chuckle and a “kids will be kids” and children should at least have more sense than a dog.

    As far as what you say about the term “pit bull”, using the term “race” is used as a means of classifying specific ethnic groups or crosses of those but it is still not the correct term and ignorant to use. Just because some people use a word to classify things erroneously doesn’t make it right. As far as the Dog Whisperer, he may have knowledge in training dogs but I see nothing in his CV that qualifies him as a dog breed expert so who gives a rat’s arse what he calls the dogs?

  3. Screw DNA testing proving whether a dog is pit bull or not is so not the point! the point folks is that banning any breed, because of iresponsible owners rather than make said owners accoutable, while punishing only the responsible ones is backwoods thinking, and worthy of a third world country! I thought this was Canada? not Nazi Germany!

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