Fighter dogs like the Mastiff-Presa Canarios that fatally attacked a small therapy dog on the Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna last Sunday should not be allowed in public without wearing an unbreakable muzzle. Yet this is permitted in our community.

What are we waiting for? A child to be mauled to death? That will likely happen if something’s not done about the shockingly weak dog laws in the Okanagan and the continued importation of these animals.

The barbaric death of an innocent five-year-old boy could have easily happened when Jayden McCartney’s precious pet was attacked last weekend. If Jayden had been holding Cazzie’s leash like he often did, he could have been viciously killed as well.

Thank goodness that did not happen and his parents will not suffer the unimaginable heartache hundreds of other parents have been left with after their children were senselessly slaughtered.

The parents of a seven-year-old boy who was mauled to death by two pitbulls in Massachusetts the day before Cazzie’s attack are not as fortunate. Neither is the family of a middle-aged woman destroyed by her own trusted pitbull in Australia four days later.

Set your Google alerts to dog attacks and you’ll see the never-ending reports of gruesome assaults on people and pets each and every day — almost always by pitbull type dogs. Not because that’s what the media chooses to report on, but because these attacks are far more catastrophic than the bites from regular non-fighting breed dogs.

It’s hard to argue with so many dead and mutilated bodies, but the fanatics do exactly that. One of their most common statements is “it’s all how you raise them.” That is entirely untrue, with countless cases of well raised, much loved pitbull type dogs suddenly attacking without provocation, often on their owners.

But even if it were true, why should anyone’s life depend on how well someone else raises their inherently dangerous dog?

Our community should be grateful to the McCartney family for bravely sharing their story with the public. Dog-attack victims aren’t just victimized by the physical and emotional pain inflicted by their terrifying ordeal and the aftermath, but by the verbal and written abuse from fanatics who don’t care about them and only care about protecting the reputation of the breed.

The media isn’t informed about most of these attacks, so the vast majority of them never even make the news. But they always should, and the breed should always be identified. The public has a right to know.

Pitbull type dogs kill, disfigure and severely injure more humans and animals than all other breeds combined. They can do as much damage to their victim as a lion and should not be treated like they are regular dogs. They were bred for centuries for blood sport, and no amount of love or training can keep them from killing if they decide to attack. They are like loaded guns that can pull their own trigger.

Our current dog laws benefit the owners of the attacking dogs rather than the victims. Breed specific legislation (BSL) would change that.

The purpose of BSL for pitbull-type dogs is to eliminate mauling injuries and deaths by the breeds that inflict the majority of severe and deadly attacks.

Ontario has banned pitbulls for 13 years now to great success, implementing stricter regulations such as having to wear a muzzle for grandfathered pitbulls and requiring comprehensive insurance on their dangerous animal.

There is also a provincewide ban in the works for Quebec after 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais was killed by her neighbour’s pitbull a year

ago.

But the brutal killing five months before that in Kamloops of 78-year-old Kathleen Green by her grandson’s bull terrier has seemingly made no impact on our current dog regulations.

So what’s it going to take, council? Please don’t wait until the tragic death of an innocent child before doing the right thing. Use your power and protect the public now.

The only ones who won’t benefit from BSL are dogfighters, breeders, anyone else profiting from their existence and owners who don’t want to comply with reasonable regulations to keep the public safe.

When dog fighting was outlawed, the breeding of all pitbull type dogs should have been outlawed too. They were never meant to be pets.

Google the recent Fifth Estate episode: Pitbulls Unleashed to learn more.

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