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Stop Canine Profiling - Calgary - Keys To Success
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With Dalton McGuinty stepping down as premiere of our province and proroguing the government business, Bill 16 has been killed with all other members bills that were currently on the floor. We will continue our fight with a new bill once government business is back under way.
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Keys To Success
Keys To Success:
  • Provide valued services rather than simply punishing citizens into compliance
  • Buy in and cooperation among community stakeholders
  • Have extensive education and PR campaign to emphasize responsible pet ownership
  • Have low license fees and modest differential fees for intact pets
  • Enforce anti-tethering laws
  • Enforce mandatory spay/neuter
  • Enforce breed specific legislation
  • Enforce pet limit laws

The net results of their efforts have been impressive. Calgary's dog attacks fall to lowest level in 25 years despite the absence of breed-specific legislations. Over the past 20 years, Calgary has cut their number of dog bites and chases by more than 75% (all the while, the human and dog population of Calgary has doubled). So much has been accomplished by focusing on root issues of problems, providing service to their "customers" and getting people to obey their current laws. "Its not about enforcement, it's about compliance" says Bruce.

Canada Post has also noticed a slight reduction in dog incidents involving its letter carriers in Calgary that bucks the trend nationally. From January to August last year, 25 dog incidents were reported by carriers, two of which resulted in time off work. In the same time period in 2007, 28 incidents were reported, with three requiring time away from work. Partnerships with the city and other organizations that send employees into residential neighbourhoods has helped reduce dog attacks. Even though the numbers are low, Calgary plans to delve deeper into the causes of dog attacks to try to bring the incidents even lower. "We want to look at everything that led up to an aggressive dog attack," said Bruce. "We're hoping to find four to six common things that people do that causes dogs to bite. Our goal is not to have anyone bitten by a dog."

Calgary bylaw officers recorded 340 reported aggressive dog incidents in 2008 which included chases, bites and damage to property. Of those, 145 complaints were bites. In 2007, 374 aggressive dog calls were made, including 137 bites, and in 2006, of 402 aggressive dog complaints, 199 were for bites. By comparison, back in 1985, the city received a whopping 1,938 aggressive dog complaints, including 621 bites, at a time when Calgary had a population of just over 600,000.

While dog bites have been going down, the number of pit bulls coming to the city has been increasing. Yet "pit bulls" fare significantly better in Calgary, where there are no breed bans or breed restrictions. Pit Bulls For Life brings the dogs in from jurisdictions with breed-specific legislation that sees many breeds deemed dangers, including pit bulls, targeted for euthanasia. She said 20 per cent of the dogs they help come from Ontario. "We have a lot more pit bulls in Calgary now," said Campbell-Briggs. "Part of the reason is we don't have breed-specific legislation. I'm proud to be a Calgarian because our animal by-law officers deal with specific incidents and don't deal with it as a breed issue. There's no bias and that's so important." "If you've got a 'pit bull' and it's properly licensed and it's not bothering anybody and it's well cared for, it's none of the government's business," said Bruce. "But if the dog becomes a threat to the community, oh yeah, it's my business."

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