In 1995, the County of Guysborough, Nova Scotia passed breed specific legislation against Pit Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers; Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and any mixed breed dogs of the aforementioned breeds. There was little, if any, public input prior to enacting the ban. They failed to notify the public and the owners of these dogs, and they failed to grandfather in any of these dogs. In 2004, they added Rottweilers to the list of banned breeds but included a grandfather clause for them.
In response to a formal request by the DLCC, no evidence has been provided, to date, indicating that any of the breeds banned have actually been responsible for any bites to humans in this community.
In 2005, the DLCC learned of a family in Guysborough County that has been caught up in this unfair bylaw and now their beloved Zeus’ life hangs in the balance.
Zeus is a "pit bull" type dog. As a puppy, Zeus was rescued by a local shelter and then adopted by a young man, who was either unable or unwilling to be a responsible owner. His parents, the Camerons, assumed their son's responsibility and Zeus was welcomed into their home, where he has lived without incident for the last 13 years. Zeus has grown old and is ailing but, to this day, he peacefully sleeps at his owners' feet each night. He is completely unaware that his fate lies in the hands of a Council that lacks compassion and is pursuing a euthanasia order.
The Cameron family is already battling many demons. Mr. Cameron is undergoing chemotherapy and is recovering from throat cancer. Mrs. Cameron works outside the community to support the family. Zeus is Mr. Cameron’s companion while she is away. The family is grieving the loss of a cherished 17 year-old canine companion that they gently put to sleep a short time ago.
It was then that their nightmare got worse. At a court appearance in this matter, the Cameron’s were blind-sided with the news that Council has identified their 8-month old Lab/Hound cross, Sandy, as a “pit bull” and were also seeking to seize that dog as well.
Under the current law, the Cameron’s had two options, move both dogs out of Guysborough County or surrender them for euthanasia. In Zeus’ case, his family state that either way he will die. Zeus suffers from a medical condition that is exacerbated by stress and moving him would surely cause his death. Sandy, on the other hand, is not a “pit bull”. So, the Camerons are standing their ground and they will fight.
Councillor Bradley MacLeod was one of the few Guysborough County representatives who supported the Cameron's. He stated, "I'm backing these folks. My dog is 13 and if I had to get rid of him, I'd be fighting too." MacLeod has tried to get an amendment to the existing dog control by-law to include a grandfather clause for Pit Bulls but has not been successful.
UPDATE - January 26, 2007
UPDATE - April 1, 2008
The Cameron's WIN their suit against the Municipality of Guysborough!! Zeus can stay!!
The Cameron family thanks each and every person for their past support. April 1, 2008 the Cameron's said a final goodbye to 17 year old Zeus who passed away from heart failure.
UPDATE - April 1, 2008
So far, the Municipality of Guysborough has NOT amended their by-law!
To voice your concerns regarding this matter, please contact Warden Hines HERE You may also write, call or fax the Municipality of Guysborough at the following co-ordinates:
P. O. Box 79
Guysborough NS B0H 1N0
An article that was written about the Camerons' and their situation