Community Rallies Behind Woman Who Had Pit Bull Puppy Seized


Gabriela Nowakowska just wants her dog, Rambo, back.

This ten-month-old pit bull puppy has been scheduled to be euthanized under Ontario, Canada’s new dog laws.

Rambo was caught by Mississauga animal control officers on Christmas Day after he got loose from his backyard. Rambo’s owner, Gabriela Nowakowska, was told she is not permitted to own Rambo under amendments passed by the Ontario government to limit pit bulls.

Nowakowska said she wants to go to court to fight for Rambo, but the city of Mississauga officials have told her that she will most likely lose.

She said she doesn’t have the money for a legal fight, but animal welfare groups are helping her find a lawyer and is rallying up public support and donations for her fight to get Rambo back.

A petition to free Rambo has been started and one person who is collecting signatures said, “Your taking her dog is like taking her child. I think this is animal cruelty. You are going to kill an innocent puppy and for what? Because he is a pit bull?”

Meanwhile, Rambo has been held at the city animal control center until his fate is decided for him.

Source: The Mississauga News

(Thanks shibadiva)

25 Responses to “Community Rallies Behind Woman Who Had Pit Bull Puppy Seized”

  1. Amanda says:

    I hope she gets him back :( That is so wrong!!

  2. shibadiva says:

    Michael Bryant, who brought in BSL for Ontario in 2005, was unable to identify a purebred pit bull from a group of 24 dogs. He picked a Presa Canario.

    Although there is a paper petition circulating in Mississauga, there is nothing online yet that I could find.

    Two of the Mississauga councillors, Carolyn Parrish and Pat Saito, have taken up Rambo’s cause, asking for leniency and possibly a transfer to an out-of-province rescue (where there is no BSL). You can write to them to offer support:

    More here:


    You can also visit the Toronto Humane Society’s website and leave comments there (THS is FOR Rambo; Mississauga Animal Services is the group that is threatening to euthanize him).


  3. EmilyS says:

    they do this in Denver, and other places with draconian anti-breed laws. They seize innocent family pets carefully owned by responsible loving people.. dogs that have never gotten into trouble (other than in this case escaping). AND KILL THEM. In the name of safety. Denver kills 100’s of innocent pets every year in this way.

    Truly truly sick

  4. shibadiva says:

    I caught a snippet on tonight’s TV news on a related subject. I don’t have the full details, but it sounds as though Toronto Animal Services is planning a door-to-door campaign to “ensure” that all pets are licensed and if not, there could be fines of $240 per animal, and up to $5,000 if the case goes to court. City council appears to be considering additional funding for TAS for this effort.

    First they come for your neighbour…

  5. Colby says:

    I have heard of the pit bull outlaws in Denver and have a friend who owns an American Staffordshire Terrier who has sworn never to visit Denver because of their ban on pit bulls. His American Staffordshire Terrier is probably one of the most well behaved dogs I know.

    Hopefully the woman gets her dog back or he gets transferred to a rescue facility in an area that allows pit bulls.

  6. shibadiva says:

    “Substantially similar” dogs do get relocated. Bandit, for example, who woulda been PTS here in Ontario, is now a K-9 Law Dog in Washington.

    There’s a video on YouTube about this sweet dog:

    2000+ “substantially similar” dogs PTS in Ontario since the ill-conceived legislation was enacted in 2005…

  7. Paula says:

    This is just so awful and frightening, that laws can be passed. I have owned two part pit bull dogs and I never had one attack a human, it all depends on their enviorment and the care they are given by their owners. This just sickens me that wonderful dogs are just simply killed and disposed of because someone has classified them “ALL” as dangerous. Maybe the law makers need to be better educated and see more positive pitbull dog related stories to open their eyes and minds.

  8. G in INdiana says:

    What’s next, Jack Russell Terriers? I read about one attacking and killing a 6 month old baby the other day. Idiot people.
    That said, did this woman know about those laws before she got the puppy? If so, why put herself on the other side of the law (very bad law not withstanding) and the innocent dog in danger?

  9. shibadiva says:

    She didn’t know about the law, apparently. And when she picked up the puppy (from a BYB at a flea market), it wasn’t apparent that it was a pit bull mix. Even her veterinarian says it’s hard to be sure exactly what breed the little guy is; he’s a mutt of some sort.

    Interesting that a Presa Canario (identified as “the pit bull” by Michael Bryant) is legal in Ontario, but not a mutt that could have lab and boxer blood.

    I think the stats are something like 3 human deaths in all of Canada (since the beginning of recorded history) due to dog bites. Michael Bryant is the deadly one that animals need protection from.

  10. Hazel Chambers says:

    This is totally insane.

  11. Lynne says:

    # shibadiva says:
    First they come for your neighbour…

    Exactly right. This is a PRIME example of government overreaching. It makes me wonder what exactly is the proper function of government? I used to think I knew but now am not sure. I do know it isn’t to kill people’s pets.

  12. shibadiva says:

    Lynne, the Animal Services folks told Gabriela that it was only a matter of time before they found out about her dog anyway.

    Instead of investing in a door-to-door enforcement campaign (WTF?), why don’t they just round up anything that moves? Oh right, they do that NOW…

  13. shibadiva says:

    In Ontario, over the past two years, authorities have targeted, threatened, and confiscated a staggering number of dogs of many breeds and types. Here is just a short list:

    Seven-week-old mixed-breed puppies, American Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Collie/Jack Russell mix, Dalmatian, Dogue de Bordeaux, Hungarian Vizla, Jack Russell Terrier cross, Labrador Retriever, Neapolitan mastiff, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler.

    A record number of dogs of all shapes and sizes have been confiscated and killed in this province over the past two years, all accused of being “pit bulls”. An unknown, unidentifiable, non-existent “breed” has somehow managed to be regularly and frequently identified by unqualified, untrained personnel and, because of the way the law is written, once that unqualified, often biased, person has identified your dog as a “pit bull”, the chance of you ever seeing your dog again is pretty well nil.

    Many of these confiscations have occurred without proof of wrongdoing, without warrants, through the use of threats and intimidation. Owners have been threatened with arrest, with imprisonment, with inappropriate use-of-force, and with the removal of other pets in the house if they don’t surrender the particular dogs in question. Police officers have been encouraged to shoot loose-running dogs on sight, regardless of breed (although short, stocky dogs are definitely more at risk) and regardless of the actions or temperaments of the dogs.

    When is a Labrador Retriever a pit bull?

    What about a Jack Russell mix?

    More at:


  14. The Lioness says:

    He’s so cute! What a lovely dog! Whatever happens, I hope he finds a new, safe, forever home!

    ~The Lioness

  15. animal lover says:

    I hope that the woman gets her dog back. Pit Bulls can be very well behaved and very good dogs. My son has one and he is the most friendliest dog to any person or animal.
    They will let a murderer sit in jail for life but they will put a dog down just like that for nothing at all. That is so very, very wrong.
    Should we then put people down just because of their race? Animals have the same right to life as all of us. God put them on this earth for a reason and we just can’t aliminate then because of their breed.

  16. shibadiva says:

    Another story from the Toronto area. Honest, we don’t ALL get our pets at flea markets. This person got one from a BYB at a flea market. It got sick, so they dumped it at the humane society. Turned out it had rabies.

    It was the cutest little puppy in the world and it was for sale. But those who couldn’t help petting and playing with the little dog may now be in danger.

    Toronto Public Health has issued an alert to people who were at a popular local flea market during the weekend of January 12th and 13th, after an eight-week-old border collie died from rabies. The dog was sold at Dr. Flea’s near Albion and Highway 27 that weekend.

    The new owner noticed something wrong with the pup and took it to the vet, but found treating it would be too costly. So it was turned over to the Toronto Humane Society for care. It died in its cage on Monday and tests quickly revealed the reason, prompting the public warning.

  17. Velvet's Dad says:

    This is an example of government tyranny and over-reaching. It is fundamentally immoral in that animals are being singled out not for any wrongdoing, but because of what they are.

    While not to be compared with Germany of the 30s, the measure and intent are the same.

    It is time the citizens of Toronto, Denver and elsewhere demanded the abolishment of such draconian, immoral, insane statutes posing as “law.”

    Law must be fair, just and REASONABLE. It must be for the common good. Killing a perfectly fine animal simply because of its breed or mixture is pure criminality.

  18. shibadiva says:

    Thank you for that, Velvet’s Dad (as always).

    In their zeal to adhere to these ill-considered laws, these agencies are committing a morally criminal act.

  19. Troy Schultz says:

    I have a major issue with breed specific laws, the real problem is problem animals which are almost always the result of bad owners.

    I have known a number of pit-bulls, and other similar dogs, that I would never fear, and at the same time I have known poddles and other small dogs that are just plane crazy.

    True, pit-bull type dogs have a stronger jaw than many other dogs, but does that also mean that we need to outlaw bigger and stronger humans that may also pose a risk?

    How can we as a society allow any form of breed specific law?
    This is little different from discrimination amongst ourselves!

    It has been my experience that good people typically have good animals, and bad people typically have bad animals. We need to prevent bad animal owners!!!

  20. Vetgurl says:

    I am a vet student at the U of Guelph. I have encountered many “substantially similar” dogs that could fall under this law’s vague umbrella.
    This law was flawed from the very beginning. Breed banning is such an easy, yet ineffective way for politicians to give false hope and security.
    Part of the problem with dogs in our society is the fact that owners insist on trying to “humanize” their pets. We dress them, have them eat off our forks, let them sleep in our beds and do not recognize dominant aggressive behavior before it is too late. We may even encourage this behaviour.
    There are certain breeds of dogs that are more likely to exhibit this behaviour, the Springer Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel included, but all dogs of any breed can portray this behaviour. Let’s throw intact males, roaming dogs, dogs in packs and tethered dogs into the mix and we have a recipe for disaster.
    I hope “rambo” can return to his owner, but what I really hope is that ALL dog owners will smarten up and train/ socialize their dogs. We would not have this crap to deal with if there were no “incidents”.

  21. debbie crawford says:

    OH,.MY,……..GOD !!!! what a beautiful pup ! GIVE THIS WOMAN HER DOG BACK ! or at least prove the dog is evil ! i am the PROUD owner of a pit bull pup 8 mo. & he is better mannered than most humans i know, seriously, what gives you dick heads the right to confiscate this womans child ? is the dog licensed? if so give it back. if not GIVE IT BACK

  22. Kobi's Mom says:

    I have never been in favour of specific breed bans. Dangerous dogs can come in any breed or mix, so why is the Pit being targeted? There are a few reasons.

    1. Pit Bulls have become a status for thugs and tough guys. They like their dogs mean and aggressive and ensure this behaviour by mistreating them.

    2. Many Pit Bulls are poorly bred. They are typically bred by BYBs who do not test for health or temperament. They are being bred bigger and stronger than the breed standard. Check out a few ‘breeders’ on the web and it becomes obvious that these are not dogs being bred to be family pets.

    3. Because of the power these dogs have an attack by a Pit Bull is very serious.

    4. Well meaning owners fail to understand the extra training, socialization and care needed to own this or any other power breed. It takes a lot more than a 100lb woman with a flexi lead to control such a dog.

    I do not want to see this breed of dog banned anywhere else. But IMO, the breed is being ruined by irresponsible breeder and owners. Something has to be done or the sweet, non-human aggressive, ‘nanny’ dog will all but disappear. I wish people who support and love Pit Bulls would stop repeating how misjudged the breed is and how every Pit is sweet and lovable. This is not the case. There are lots of aggressive pits out there as well and the appetite for aggressive Pits is increasing. Please encourage local authorities to crack down on unethical breeders and irresponsible owners or BSL will happen in your area next.

  23. carson coleman says:

    how could any one do such a stupid thing to a puppies owner. i am deeply offended by how rude and ignorant those people are to pit bull owners. those people are being racist against specific dog breeds. I’m only a young teen and know enough about pit bulls to give a speech about them and how much people should respect the breed as well as any other breed. every breed should be shown respect, so why not give pit bulls, rottweilers, chow chows, etc….. i have owned pit bulls and rottweilers my whole life and got nothing but love from those dogs. pleas any one who happens to read this please think about my comments. please….. thanks.

  24. lulu says:

    sick. where are people getting their information from that pits are terrible animals.if people actually did their research they would find that pits are third from the BOTTOM on the temperment test. i will always have a pittie. amazing dogs. i would take this pup if i could

  25. dave says:

    Pit bit my little girl get a lab

E-mail It