Dog owners choked by the law

BY SAMANTHA RUSSELL

Dog lovers are now forced to stop using choke and chain collars. As of March 1 a new bylaw was put into effect to ban all choke and choke chain collars. The new ban could pose a problem for large breed dog owners and pet retailers in Toronto.

Studies say that the choke collars actually help owners to control their dogs and are used for training. Not all dogs need the choke collar but depending on the breed of the dog, it is sometimes necessary.

“I don’t think the ban is practical, especially for those of us who depend on these collars to walk their dogs,” said Emalyn Romano, a large breed dog owner of two malamutes.

“If my dogs were to wear a regular collar I would be forced to run or struggle to manage them and I would most likely have asthma attacks because I suffer from emphysema and asthma, ” she adds.

The choke collars help owners to control their dogs and protect their dogs and other animals from dangerous situations.

“Furthermore, the collar also protects other dogs from potentially catastrophic situations such as off-leash ones who have bolted towards us,” Romano adds.

This ban can potentially cause adverse consequences for people with certain health and mobility issues.

Pet storeowners are now worried about losing a lot of their sales and business due to the ban.

“I own my own pet store in Brampton, because of this new bylaw I am worried that it will come to Brampton and I will lose customers who want to by choke and chain collars,” said Mark Holt, Global pet foods store owner.

“The choke and chain collars do not hurt the animal but it is how the owner uses it with the animal that determines how much of a pinch they feel,” he adds.

This ban is not only affecting pet owners but it is affecting trainers, storeowners and vets.

“I have been a vet for over 10 years now, the choke and chain collars help to control the dogs in tough situations,” said Christina Swanson, Cheltenham vet clinic veterinarian.

“I have been in a situation where a dog was out of control and I couldn’t do my examination. I had to put the choke collar on to keep it from pulling and moving,” Swanson added.

This ban was created late last year because a woman from Toronto was found guilty for animal cruelty. Her dog was found with prongs stuck in its neck from a choke collar.

The new bylaw states that dog owners who are using the choke and chain collars will have a risk of being ticketed. The fine is still undetermined; the bylaw was put into place on March 1. More information will be out soon about the ban at the City of Toronto website.

 

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