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Toronto Rejects Pit Bulls; Welcome Mark Buehrle – Not Your Dog


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Mark Buehrle should have stayed in Chicago.

Rarely does a major league baseball player get traded to a city where his family isn’t welcomed. After being swapped from Miami to Toronto on November 13  – it’s now happened twice, where the left-handed pitcher can move, but his entire family isn’t allowed to.

Last off-season Buehrle was traded from the White Sox to the Florida Marlins, who are based in Miami.

Unfortunately, Buehrle’s family wasn’t allowed to settle in Miami. Among Buehrle and his wife Jamie’s four dogs is a dog that’s identified as an American Staffordshire Terrier, named Slater. Miami has had a breed ban in place since 1989 which prohibits dogs that look like Slater.

For all his millions, Buehrle and his family weren’t allowed to settle in Miami. It didn’t matter that Slater was a very good and very sweet dog.

Now, Buehrle’s shipped in a deal to the Toronto Blue Jays.

At least the Buerhle’s could settle just outside Dade County (which his family did) when playing for the Marlins. In Canada, the entire province of Ontario has a breed ban. Where does Slater live?

Buehrle told the told the Miami Herald“It’s kind of ridiculous that because of the way a dog looks, people will ban it. Every kind of dog has good and bad, and that depends on the handlers. If you leave a dog outside all the time, it’ll be crazy. Slater would never do anything harmful.” Of course, he’s correct.

Slater happens to be a native Chicago dog, adopted from Found Chicago.

While in Chicago,  Jamie and Mark began Sox for Strays in Chicago, an outgrowth of Dog Days – which I started many years ago, and brought in the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association as a partner. In Miami, Jamie (and others) led a movement overturn the Dade County ban on pit bull-looking dogs, and won public support, though they ultimately lost (this time around).  In both cities the Bruehrle’s became involved in human education and supporting child welfare. How often do pro athletes make a difference for the better these days? And truly becoming engaged?

Maybe Jamie and Mark’s passion will make a difference in Ontario. Or perhaps with their luck, Mark will next be traded to the Rockies; Denver is the only other town with a major league baseball team and a breed ban.

Few cities continue to have a breed ban. And Ontario is the only Canadian province with a ban. Simply put, breed bans have not been shown to decrease dog attacks or dog bites.

Ironically, it seems Michael Vick (who Buehrle had the fortitude to express the truth about) has an easier time getting a dog of his choice these days.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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