*Note: I am not Teddy's human, but I started this campaign to help her get the funds she needs to provide Teddy with a strong legal defense.*
What would you do if an off-leash, at-large dog comes charging at your pack? Do you think the law is there to protect you, should your dog act in self-defense and protect you?
From the owner:
"When I asked what I was supposed to do, the answer was nothing. Well, that isn't a good enough answer to then declare Teddy a dangerous dog if I 'exercised reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from engaging in a dangerous act.'"
Read on to find out more.
Who is Teddy?
Teddy is a quiet, calm dog who helps foster dogs with behavioural issues. He is laidback, lazy, and sweet.
What happened? The story from the owner:
On September 4, 2017 at approximately 8:15 a.m., I left my house to walk my pack that was walking in a controlled manner each on six foot leashes.
While walking east on Elfindale Crescent, we passed a young couple. Generally I ‘side’ and move my dogs off the sidewalk onto the grass by the road, however, they moved onto the road and carried on their walk.
After walking the distance of a few houses, I had my dogs in a ‘stand’ while I finished cleaning up dog poop. This location is approximately 40 meters from the path entrance to Shaunessey Public School.
I looked up and noticed a small-medium sized brown poodle cross dog at large approaching us from the west. There was no leash, no owner in sight. My dogs were at a ‘hold’ so I quietly short leashed them. One visiting dog is leash reactive, and my attention was on him. My eldest dog and youngest dog were at attention in their hold. I was moving my dogs off to the road away from this dog that continued to approach us.
My eldest dog does not like unknown dogs getting in his face. Despite my most valiant attempt to move my pack away and inhibit the at-large dog’s progress to my pack with an alpha stance, the dog continued to approach and got in one of my dog’s face. A scuffle ensued and despite all efforts, the at-large off leash dog was pinned and its jugular was pierced.
What happened is upsetting, but Teddy acted in self-defense, against an off-leash dog.
I gathered my dogs and continued to look for someone associated with this dog. No one in the neighbourhood was outside, and the couple that we had passed earlier was not in the vicinity.
After about three minutes, I decided to continue my walk east and return to my home to drop my dogs off and call 311 to report. I did not bring my phone with me on this walk.
As I passed the path entrance to Shaugnessy Public School, I noticed two ladies walking south on the path from the school towards Elfindale. One had a retriever-type on a halti, the other did not have a dog however had a leash hung around her neck. This lady has since been identified (name ommitted for privacy reasons). They were happily carrying on a conversation – there was no frantic calling or looking for a dog. I ‘side’ed my dogs and proceeded to went onto the road to allow them the sidewalk.
We continued walked 60m when I heard a ‘HEY!’ I turned around and it was the male of the young couple. I said I was going home to call 311. Then I noticed the woman by the now-deceased dog.
We turned around and I stood off the south side of the street. It became apparent that the woman was the owner/walker of the now deceased dog.
The owners of two houses in the vicinity came out to see what was happening. The couple had now arrived at the location of the incident and were expressing to the ladies they watched as I had tried everything to stop the attack, but they were unable to assist and no one else was around. Understandably, the owner of the deceased dog was upset and became verbally abusive towards me. I did not provide my contact information to her knowing the vigilantist nature of some of the older community residents, and also that Toronto Animal Services has my dogs on file as registered with the city (they are the only greyhounds in the neighbourhood and it is easy to search).
The owner of the deceased dog picked up her dog and the two women walked east on Elfindale. The couple waited in the area, and I left walking west on Elfindale, to then walk east on Havenbrook.
From September 21, 2017, and for the remainder of his life, Teddy is deemed to be a Dangerous Dog within the geographical boundaries of the City of Toronto, pursuant to City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, for acting in self-defense while an off leash, at large dog approached our pack and would not retreat.
We have been in contact with The Lexus Project, Legal Defense for Dogs, who are amazing and very skilled in these cases, are in contact with a Toronto law firm that specializes in Dangerous Dog orders.
From the owner:
"The consultation with Gartner and Associates (the Toronto law firm) was very good. They are real people, and they are passionate people. Our odds don't look good. A level 5 bite (resulting in death) is seen as a closed case generally by the 5-person committee. Period. End of story. End of detail. But, they agreed to take our case, and know that it may be an uphill battle. We know this, but we cannot NOT do something. It's not going to be easy, and it's not going to be cheap. But this order isn't RIGHT."
What will you do with the funds?
The funds will go toward paying for the legal defense. Any leftover funds will be donated to The Lexus Project, Legal Defense for Dogs.
The legal defense is needed now to help fight the dangerous dog order. Any help is appreciated, whether you donate or share this campaign.
Why is this important?
Tedddy is family and is not a dangerous dog. If the order cannot be reversed, Teddy, his brothers, their cat friends, and their human will have to move.
From the owner:
"This is not 'just' about Teddy wearing a muzzle out in public. A non-reversal will set the precedence for greyhounds to be declared dangerous dogs, as they will now be a statistic on this legislation."
Greyhounds and Greyhound Racing:
Teddy is a retired greyhound racer. It is important to note that the use of live baiting in greyhound racing stopped in the early 1920s with the introduction of the mechanical lure.
No greyhound in the United States has been trained with rabbits or any other animal in almost 100 years. Many greyhounds, including Teddy, are small dog safe. Teddy and his brothers even live with two cats.
As a breed, greyhounds are not considered to be dangerous. If Teddy continues to be deemed a dangerous dog, this will also effect how greyhounds as a breed are viewed.
About Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 - Dangerous Dogs:
§ 349-15. Dogs that have bitten, attacked or pose a menace.
A. Every owner of a dog shall exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from
engaging in a dangerous act.
B. Where the Executive Director has reason to believe that a dog has engaged in a
dangerous act against a person or domestic animal, an officer shall:
(1) Where the dangerous act is the first on record with the City, serve the owner of
the dog with a written warning.
(2) Despite Subsection B(1), if it is the officer's opinion that the dangerous act is
severe, determine the dog to be a dangerous dog and serve the owner of the dog
with an order to comply with the requirements for owners of a dangerous dog
under § 349-15.1.
C. Dog acting in self-defence.
(1) Prior to the determination that a dog is a dangerous dog, the officer shall have
regard to whether the dog was acting in self-defence at the time the dangerous act
(2) Despite Subsections B(2), (3) and (4), where an officer concludes that the dog was
acting in self-defence at the time the dangerous act occurred, the officer may
determine that the dog is not a dangerous dog and may determine that no order to
comply shall be issued.
§ 349-15.1 Dangerous dog requirements; order to comply.
A. Where an owner is served with a dangerous dog order to comply pursuant to § 349-15 of
this Chapter, the owner shall, at the owners' expense and for the life of the dangerous
(1) The dangerous dog is muzzled at all times when off the owners property;
(2) The dangerous dog is not permitted to enter into a designated leash-free area of a
City park at any time;
(3) That a dangerous dog tag is purchased from the City, the dangerous dog tag fee
specified in Chapter 441, Fees and Charges, is paid and the dangerous dog is
wearing the dangerous dog tag provided by the City at all times;
(4) That a warning sign is posted on the owners' private property in the form and
location required by the Executive Director;
(5) That the dangerous dog is microchipped;
(6) That arrangements are made with the City to enable the City to collect a photograph of the dangerous dog and any other necessary identifying information; and
(7) That the dangerous dog receives training in the form required by the Executive
Director within 90 days of the order to comply being served on the owner.
DonationsSee top donations
- Darleen, John, and Coco (and Izzy)
- Julia Dempsey
- Charlene Howe
- Carolyn Lochhead
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more