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« BSL/MSN San Francisco (part 3.5 of 4) | Main | So what's the agenda? (Epilogue to BSL/MSN) »

March 21, 2008



Great work, Brent! I haven't read the Houston papers yet but will do so ASAP.

Terrierman has a post about this subject today as well, mostly about the myth of overpopulation and the problem of unprepared dog owners:

S. Kennedy

Part of the answer probably lies in the low income focus. Calgary seems to be mostly people with financial means. Which translates to less socieo-economic stuff like the crime, gangs,drug pushing,illegal activity not of white collar type. If this is the case, that's partially why compliance in Calgary was easier. I could probably go to a rich neighborhood or city and do the same. So the focus for the dogs, if they are targeting lower income structure type thing, is the targeted education of those who want the dogs for the right reasons. We can't stop bad owners necessarily,but we can help teach the owners that want help. A study of shelter adopters done awhile back showed that many of them WANTED help after adopting dogs and got little help from shelters or otherwise. Dog training is usually not free but that low cost altering should include low cost training. I think part of the non outreach could be due to only purebred dogs being thought of as training candidates. The complete opposite is true. And puppy class is not necessarily the right time to train a dog, I think many of them start a little early in large groups where the dogs end up forgetting everything.


Calgary is the fastest-growing city in Canada. The population has more than doubled since the AC program was started.

Don't be fooled - there are low income people in Calgary and with the scarcity of housing - affordable or not - and the high cost of living, they expect their low-income demographic to grow.

It sounds as though people are well off there when they earn $50 - 80K for jobs that might pay half that elsewhere. The high cost of living puts them on a pretty even keel with other areas though.

There are a few reasons why it works:

1. Active enforcement of bylaws, which are very logical and benign.
2. Enlistment of support among the good pet owners by being the good guys, not the bad guys.
3. Rolling of all revenues collected into the AC account - not a general revenue slush fund as is usually seen.
4. Hand-picked people who are educated, well paid and well equipped thanks to point 3.
5. Educational programs in schools, for service workers, etc on bite prevention and how to behave around dogs.

The program won't be an instant success, it would take a couple of years to really see results but that's no reason to resist doing it. The longer we go down this rocky road following the red herrings, the more the image of AC tanks, the more resistant experienced dog people become, the more problems occur.

Punitive, misguided laws targeting the wrong aspects of the (very overblown, imo) issue will not create a culture of responsibility anywhere.


People are so quick to dismiss Calgary's success because they see the average Household income and assume that everyone in Calgary is rich, thus, no problem. Calgary is a large city (over 1 million people) and as such, has all the same demographic groups as other cities. In fact, 12.5% of the people in Calgary live below the Low Income cutoffs (due to the extreme cost of living in the city). By comparison, 14.7% of Canadians live below the low income cutoff -- so they are below average, but not by a lot. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 12.7% of people in the US live below the povery line. They are a city like all others -- with their fair share of all income classes.


I don't really care if Calgary's model won't work exactly the same in all has to be better than what we're doing. Plus, (true) No-Kill has worked in many different types of cities and follows many of the same principles.

S. Kennedy

That's good re Calgary. No 2 cities are exactly alike. But I point this out because we all know everyone else will.

Rochelle Vincent

I really liked ur blog....I comepletely agree with everything u've said...and I like how u've really done ur research. Facts are really what our Government needs to see to be convinced. I'm currently trying to write a letter to my MLA to prove my defense against the Ban. Have u writtten a letter to urs because u definately should...this is exactly what they need to hear!
Keep up the good work


Hello, I just want to know a few things don't know if anyone can help i have a story, i have well had 2 adult dogs one is a pit bull who is spayed and licensed, the other was a stray when i took her in she was very abused and skinny, ok so i got her health back to normal and everything now she is NOT a pit bull she is a boxer mix, she does not even look like a pit bull, i have owned pit bulls my whole life, i love the breed, she had 10 puppies, we think she was pregnant by our next door neighbors dog and he was a pit bull. Now we kept all 10 dogs healthy got the puppies we were going to keeps shots, and did try to sell some but we were very picky and only were able to sell like 2 puppies, they are 11wks now, so I come home Friday to find all 10 of my dogs GONE, of course the city picked them up, I called in raising CANE becuase there original excuse was that they came over for our neighbors dog, becuase I'll admit they don't take care of him, we used to put food and things over the fence so he could eat, they would leave him out there for days at a time, so they got a call about him, when the officer was taking him from that yard, my dog started barking at him (normal all dogs are territorial) but she was on a chain. SO he calls the police thinking she is an aggressive fighting dog and in case he gets bit wants a witness(now my dog has not one scar on her face her ears are not clipped, she is a big baby she is just VERY protective, never BEEN in a fight, NEVER i do not approve of that or anyone who engages there animals to that abuse) so then he realizes i have all 8 puppies,they had a big kennel the length of the back yard, they have hay and lots of shelter and food/water, (even the animal control officer at the shelter was prasing me on how healthy they all were) but he decides since we have too many that they will take them all, then they try and tell me that she is a PIT BULL so i go up to the shelter, to try and get them and at least 2 of my puppies back, and then it begins, they tell me that she is a pit im steadily telling them she is not, once they research it more they find out she is indeed a BOXER MIX!!! I did have to pay $50 to get out my pit bull because her license had expired 2 wks prior to the date they picked her up, then they told me it was $110 per puppy they would have to fix them and get them licensed also it would be $150 for my adult boxer?? Now i just cried because i can't afford that i am just making ends meat you know. and if they won't adot them out because they beleive they are mixed with some type of PIT BULL so they will put them all to sleep. So im trying to figure out do ALL breeds have to be spayed or neutered in KC MO, or just pit bulls they are telling me i MUST get my Boxer Mix spayed to get her out!! Also can i do anything about my puppies like call a rescue and see if they will pick them up but the shelter won't "adopt them out" im so upset does anyone know? i can't find a site for the ordinaces either. Thanks alot
A Very Loving Owner


Your puppies are not old enough to fall under this law even if they are pit bulls. March down there and tell them you want them out and you want them out now. Please email me ASAP [email protected]


Darn, I didn't realize pit bulls had to be s/n by 8 weeks. This is ridiculous...there is a place in there where they wil s/n for free if you can't afford it. But you don't know they are pit bull mixes? The mom is a boxer?

See Ch 14


Eight weeks? Who's the genius who came up with that one?

Is it because those dogs with super powers can reproduce months before other types?

Makes me sick.

Get a lawyer, would be my advice, and get your dogs out of the pound ASAP. See if there's a free or low-cost legal clinic in your area.


The same guy who testified to KCMO AC only answering 20% of their calls, Mike Schumacher. I talked to this woman and she thinks the limit is 12 weeks but I haven't gotten the research done. Regardless, the puppies are 11 weeks so KCMO is making up the rules as they go. I've got her the number of legal aid as well.

KCMO is so much safer now with all those puppies off the streets!


Unbelievable. Ah well, that's what happens when people let militant AR counsel them about 'healthy pets' and all that jazz.

I'd dispute the 'pit bull' designation for starters and don't they need a warrant to trespass, search and seize property without due process?

If not, we all have a big job to do to set this right.

Carol Henry

I have a 5 month old puppy and when I walk him he will just sit and refuse to move. Do you have any advice. Thanks, Carol

Airell Dior

Carol, I think you should search google to find some good dog training tips.

Airell Dior

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