My kingdom for a muzzle…

On Tuesday, Mom and I had our appointment with the chiropractor, downtown. I dropped Mom off and then parked. I passed one of the usual panhandlers who have their spots in the area, a young man with his lovely Pitbull-mix. I cannot recall her name. I keep forgetting. She is the sweetest girl and while I am not a big DOG person and not a BIG dog person, there are many dogs who I get along with really well. This is one of those dogs. She is gentle and very laid back in her approach. She isn’t the sort of dog who jumps all over you she just sits and lets you pet her. She greets all the “regular” visitors to their spot quietly.

The young man told me that the day before, he had walked her through the Market area and a policeman had stopped him. He impounded the dog and he was forced to bail her out because she wasn’t wearing a muzzle. One of the women who works in the area drove him to the pound. He was issued a warning.

I was unaware that since 2005, Ontario has had a Pitbull ban. No dogs are to be bred and, while any dogs born prior to the law coming into effect are permitted, no younger dogs will be permitted. They have to be spayed or neutered, muzzled and on a leash no longer than 1/8 metres long.

  • Pit bull owners are required to ensure their pit bulls are in compliance with the amendments and regulations.
  • The full text of the regulations can be found on the e-laws website. The text below summarizes certain key elements of the regulations and is not authoritative.
  • By October 28, 2005, pit bull owners will have to have their pit bulls leashed and muzzled in public and comply with sterilization requirements.
  • The regulations stipulate that restricted pit bulls be muzzled and leashed unless the dogs are on their owners’ enclosed property or on enclosed property occupied by another person who consents to the pit bull being without a muzzle or leash.
  • Among other specific requirements, a leash may be a maximum of 1.8 metres long.
  • Muzzles should be humane, but strong enough and well-fitted enough to prevent the pit bull from biting, without interfering with the breathing, panting, or vision of the pit bull or with the pit bull’s ability to drink.
  • All pit bulls must be sterilized by October 28, 2005.
  • If this would require a pit bull to be sterilized before it reaches 36-weeks of age, the owner may wait until the dog reaches that age to have it sterilized.
  • There are limited exemptions to the sterilization requirement if, in the written opinion of a veterinarian, a pit bull is physically unfit to be anaesthetized because of old age or infirmity. See the regulations for further details.

So… okay. Dogs have to be muzzled. He can’t afford to buy a muzzle. So I said that I would buy him one for her. I went to PetSmart, the pet superstore chain. They don’t carry any muzzles except the mesh-type for smaller dogs. They sent me to Pet Valu, a smaller chain. They only carry the mesh and a sort of fabric one. Both are not the kind required for Pitbulls.

The Pet Valu DID have a single plastic/rubber “cage”-style muzzle. It was on sale because they are phasing them out. I got probably the last in the city. AND I don’t know if the thing will fit!

So… they have a law which owners are expected to comply with but then you can’t purchase the muzzle in order to comply!

I went down to the spot where the young man sits and he wasn’t there. I hope that he’s there tomorrow and that the muzzle fits and that it isn’t to late.



  1. jenn said,

    September 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I know its quite some time ago, but did u ever see the dog again? I am a concerned staffy owner 🙂

    • mudhooks said,

      September 23, 2012 at 7:51 am

      I’m afraid that both the dog and the panhandler have disappeared. I heard that at one point he went to another city but I don’t know.

  2. azahar said,

    March 12, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I find dogs to be very unpredictable, which hasn’t stopped me from nuzzling massive mastifs and huge german shepards in the past … can’t imagine cuddling a pitbull though. Still, it’s crazy you can’t find the right muzzle – they should be handing them out as a public service at the local ASPCA, or whatever it’s called these days.

    • mudhooks said,

      March 12, 2011 at 3:54 am

      Apparently, I do have the right muzzle, but it appears to be the only one in the city. A friend on Facebook has told me of another chain store that probably has them. If this one doesn’t fit, I can try there.

      The problem now is finding the owner of the dog. He hasn’t been at his usual spot for the last three days, probably because of the weather. I will try again on Monday. Hopefully, it won’t be too late.

  3. sledpress said,

    March 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I’d be scared to death to be anywhere near that dog but I like that you are doing this.

    • mudhooks said,

      March 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      I think that you can generally tell a dog that’s a laid-back animal. I’ve been around Pitbulls that I was VERY uncomfortable with and owners who just say “Oh… he’s really just a big baby”. They are misreading their animal and putting the onus on the visitor to understand their dog. If someone is uncomfortable with a dog, the owner needs to handle their dog properly.

      This dog is very laid back. Certainly, I would never advise children to be all over a pitbull.

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