Unbelievable misuse of taxpayers’ money

I have to say, I cannot recall ever seeing a city do this before.  The City of Brampton has taken out a full-page ad in their local newspaper in order to "defend" their employees’ actions in seizing two family pets and scheduling their destruction.  So, not only does Rui Branco (the owner of one of the dogs) have to pay for his own lawyer, but his (and many other irate dog owners’) taxes are being used to help the city try to kill his dog and to try to hoodwink the public with cover-their-butt propaganda!

According to KC Dog Blog, the cost of this ad to an average person would be $7,291!!  How is a normal dog owner supposed to compete with that?  Clearly, the letter from the city contains a number of misstatements and errors, especially in relation to what their options are.  Is Rui Branco supposed to just come up with more than seven grand in order to put his point of view forward?  Should he?  Is this case supposed to be tried in the court of public opinion?

The city says in their letter that they won’t comment on a case that’s before the courts, yet they just spent seven thousand dollars doing just that!

Here is a photocopy of the original ad from the Brampton Guardian courtesy of KC Dog Blog:

http://btoellner.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451f90869e20128779a0aab970c-pi

Here is the text of that same ad:

On behalf of the City of Brampton, I am writing to clarify the circumstances surrounding two dogs, Brittany and Rambo, currently being looked after by the City’s Animal Shelter. I would also like to correct some of the misinformation about why these family pets have come under our care.

The Province of Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act, 2005 has been hotly debated since it was first introduced. Under the legislation, identified pit bulls born prior to November 29th, 2005 are considered “legal” pit bulls in Ontario. The law also says that these dogs must be spayed, neutered, microchipped, registered and licensed annually by the City. Pit bulls born after November 29, 2005 are considered “illegal” under the provincial law.

Rambo and Brittany, the two dogs currently at the Animal Shelter were both born after November 2005 and are, therefore, considered illegal pit bulls under the provincial law. As a result, both dogs were taken into care by the city on Jan. 13. Once in the care and custody of our Animal Services, the legislation is very clear about what can and cannot be done with the dogs. Both the owners and the City are now faced with limited options about how to proceed. At the heart of this issue is whether the dogs are pit bulls.

Many of you will have read that the families have called for the return of their dogs, as they contend that Rambo and Brittany are not pit bulls. Even though the provincial legislation does not provide an appeal route for resolving this issue, the City approached the families’ lawyer last week to see if a mediated settlement was possible.

Unfortunately, the City could not reach an agreement with the families’ lawyer on the details of how this mediated process would work. The City’s offer remains open to the owners but, regretfully, the City anticipates that the family may seek an application before the Ontario Superior Court to argue that their dogs are not pit bulls and should be returned.

Readers should know that in instances where legal action is pending, as in the case with Rambo and Brittany, city staff and elected officials are unable to comment.

As we move forward, I want to assure everyone that Rambo and Brittany will continue to receive the highest level of care at our Animal Shelter. The dogs have been, and will continue to be, examined by an independent veterinarian to ensure their health and well being.

Throughout this process, we have understood that this is a sensitive issue involving family pets. It is our hope that the information in this letter has helped to set the record straight. We know that Brampton residents care deeply for their family pets, and that issues like this must be thoughtfully and cautiously considered.

We stand behind our Animal Services staff – they provide an important and compassionate service in our city.

Our team takes enormous pride in how we approach and interact with every family and their pet. This case has been no exception.

Jamie Lowery
Commissioner, Community Services

Of course, they don’t mention the fact that they browbeat a 75-year-old lady, who doesn’t speak English very well and didn’t know her rights, into giving up her family pet.  They don’t mention that, when the second dog owner stood up for his rights, he ended up facing six police cruisers, having the police break his door, and being physically manhandled while animal control officers took his dog.

They don’t mention that all of this was done without a warrant.  The city’s "we must follow the law" stance seems to skip the part where they’re REQUIRED to obtain a warrant to seize a dog from a home!!

The law that this city is supposedly enforcing clearly states:

Where the circumstances in clauses 13 (1) (a) and (b) exist [Author’s note: Where in the interest of public safety, it has been determined that a dog should not be in a particular location] and it would be impracticable to obtain a warrant because of exigent circumstances, a peace officer may exercise any of the powers of a peace officer described in section 13 [Author’s note: seize the dog from a home].

In this section, 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.

This means that the ONLY reason that a peace officer is allowed to seize a dog from a home without a warrant is if somebody is about to die or be seriously injured!!

The city has never accused these dogs of being dangerous, threatening anyone, biting anyone, running loose, or doing anything that could be considered a danger to public safety. There clearly were no "exigent circumstances" in which the officers need to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to a person or an animal.

So the city of Brampton, apparently so concerned about making sure the letter of the law is followed to the extreme, broke the law themselves when they seized these dogs.

Now, they’ve spent YOUR money defending their actions in a newspaper!

Something smells here.

Residents of Brampton, we have encountered a number of cases in both Canada and the United States where politicians have been ousted during elections because of their anti-dog policies.

Please remember that YOUR VOTE COUNTS.  If every enraged (and scared) dog owner decides they’ve had enough of this type of discrimination and intimidation, then you can get rid of Mayor Susan Fennell and all the city councillors who don’t have the backbone to stand up for these dogs and their owners.

9 thoughts on “Unbelievable misuse of taxpayers’ money

  1. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable. How can the average tax paying citizen even attempt to put his/her case out like the City of Brampton has done? THEY even get to spend that citizen’s tax dollars against them!

    What country am I living in? THIS is NOT the Canada I was raised in and believed in.

  2. Unbelievable. Brampton is making a whole series of bad decisions. Makes me wonder about not only the Council, but the Administration at City Hall who make the day to day decisions. Perhaps Council needs to be called to task, and maybe they need to call their Administrative Officer to task. I’m also wondering who is calling this blog post offensive on FB. When I tried to “share” it there from someone else who had posted the link, FB came up with a warning that some users had labeled the link as offensive. Since the post is more of an informative nature than a personal attack, it makes me wonder who is trying to block the circulation of information….

  3. Good luck to Brampton trying to control a bunch of really upset, pissed off moms and dads who have pets that are banned in their own god**** province. You know, that act alone just makes me even more pissed off!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for the next protest!!

  4. Brampton as usual is making a big mistake
    As an owner of a white boxer and a fawn boxer I find this particular incident to be a horrible injustice. The dogs that were seized illegally and they clearly from their pictures are not any type of pit bull. I have 2 rescue boxers and these animals are the best breed around …- they are gentle, sweet, loyal and loving and would not hurt anyone as I am sure Rambo and Brittany are the same. Brampton – do your homework – this BSL is a crazy law – it is not dogs that cause problems it is bad owners. OUr white boxer who is deaf went through 4 foster homes before we got him and boy did they miss out on a great dog. I moved north away from Brampton because everyone that saw him called him a Pit. There is a huge difference. Having lived in Brampton for over 25 years, this is not the only incident that they are making a mistake with especially under the elusive Fennell or should I say the McCallion wannabe!! Illegal election practices, poor planning, ignoring the influx of Jane and Finch into the area are but a few examples. These dogs deserve to be with their families and each day they are away they are causing irreperable damage. The owners have papers as I do saying they are boxers and american bull dogs which has nothing to do with Pit Bulls. Change the part of the law that leaves it ambiguous like all other municipalities have done – the part that says and all dogs of similar characteristics – this could encompass a huge part of the canine world. Get with it Brampton – and show that you are a caring, current and great place for families to live and raise their pets.

  5. Angela, it’s probably the same person(s) marking posts on the Brampton Guardian as offensive, trying to get them taken down.

    Some people (guess who?) in the City of Brampton must be running pretty damm scared to try such juvenile tactics. They make themselves look worse and worse.

  6. Add to that $7,291:

    – the cost of the Brampton Animal Control officers (paycheques, benefits, vehicles, gas, insurance) ignoring dangerous dogs and seizing peaceful dogs;

    – the cost of the vet who demonized these dogs and is now supposedly treating them;

    – the cost of City workers receiving the e-mails, faxes and snail mail and cruising blogs about this matter;

    – the cost of the private security firm and the idling vehicles to “protect” Animal Control office from peaceful protestors (probably to be repeated on the 20th);

    – the cost of City lawyers to cooper up an obviously unacceptable “offer” and “negotiate” with the owners and their lawyers;

    – the cost of City lawyers and communications people to write the letter printed over Jamie Lowery’s name,

    – the cost for the City to send letters trying to CIA;

    – the cost to the City to follow this through the courts.

    I’d estimate that the City of Brampton has spent probably $200,000, almost a quarter of a million dollars, since it seized dogs that have done no wrong.

    A Brampton taxpayer should do a Freedom of Information enquiry to get the numbers. Wonder if Brampton will come back with some bumpf like the McGuinty government, that releasing the actual dollars spent would be “injurious” to it.

  7. I am absolutely revolted that family pets were illegally seized but a city a few hours drive from where I live, in a country that loves to call itself civilized. This Brampton act should be followed by ALL the Canadian press and media. All Canadian citizens should be worried when a City not only acts unlawfully towards its citizens, but continue so in spending taxpayers into an unecessary and unacceptable situation: are we back into the Warlords Era???? Taxpayers of Brampton, stand up against this. Canadians, speak up!!! Please keep us posted on the status, and the court cases.

  8. Obviously, there is no requirement for a basic literacy test to qualify for council or a municipal job in Brampton.

    The law is not only unnecessary and pointless, it is also optional. Perhaps somebody should host a remedial reading seminar for these dunces.

    Scary to think these people have the power to send goon squads out to steal people’s dogs, isn’t it?

    And worse, the idiots still believe in ‘pit bulls’.

    PS, I didn’t read the other comments so may be duplicating here.

  9. After reading this crap, it makes me feel good to live way over here in the west.
    I’m sorry that the government Reich seems to deem fit that they they can exterminate a breed……… Oh my wait a minute didn’t that happen in Germany as well somewhere between 1933 to 1945.
    Come on, give us a break and stop punishing the breed with these damned BSL and start punishing the owners who act irresponsibly instead.
    What gets me is the fact that the way they worded it technically you could have any dog forcibly removed from you if they even suspect it might look like a pitbull-type dog.
    Look out if you have a muscular looking chihuahua they will prolly take that too.
    Gotta love these governmental witch hunts huh???

    I’m glad I live where I live, especially whilst I cuddle on the couch with my extremely lovable Pet-Bull terrier.
    Who I might add, would much rather waggle her bum, or lick yer face till you were drippin with slobber, than to harm a hair on yer head.

    Just like the government to NOT research a breed before they systematically execute them one by one.

    All I have to say to them is “BIG SMILE……. BIG SMILE”

    ….and to those that didn’t get that last joke, go watch Lethal Weapon 2 and it will come to you.

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