Friday, March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006.

Lindsay Luby to Campaign for Tougher Laws to Protect Police Service Animals

Toronto City Hall - Gloria Lindsay Luby, Toronto City Councillor (Ward 4 - Etobicoke Centre) and former Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board today launched her campaign for tougher laws to protect police service animals. Despite the significant dangers they face, police service animals are not protected under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the eyes of the law, they are seen just as any other animal.

�We need laws that will specifically defend horses and dogs that belong to our police service. These service animals are heros on four legs and need to be protected and acknowledged for their courage and hard work.�

Along with 1,500 grieving Torontonians, Lindsay Luby attended Brigadier�s memorial at Ricoh Coliseum on Monday to pay her respects to an animal who gave his life to public service and protection for this City. The driver who hit Brigadier was not charged for harming the horse. Many officers have expressed frustration with the lack of laws to protect their service animals.

Councillor Lindsay Luby will be kicking off her campaign by writing letters to Federal and Provincial officials. She will also be presenting a motion to Council that she hopes will receive unanimous support. The Councillor will appear today on AM640 the Beat with Ross MacLeod and Craig Bromell to gain public support for the campaign.

�Not everyone realizes the risks and dangers these animals face. Taxpayer dollars pay to train them to assist our officers in protecting the public. The least the animals can expect is for us is to protect them.�


For further information please call:
Jim Burnett, Councillor Lindsay Luby�s Office
March 9, 2006.

The Hon. Vic Toews,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General,
284 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, Ontario. K1A 0H8

Dear Minister Toews:

I write this letter as the City of Toronto continues to grieve the loss of one of its police heros, Brigadier. Although Brigadier was a police service horse, 1,500 Torontonians attended his memorial to pay their respects for his bravery and service to public safety.

Brigadier was killed recklessly and deliberately by a driver in a hit and run. Although the driver was charged, he was not charged with intentionally hitting the horse because there are no Criminal Code provisions against it. On that day Toronto not only lost an animal dedicated to protecting its citizens, but also lost the significant amount of time and resources it invested to train this animal. If you had attended Brigadier�s memorial, you would also realize that police officers and the general public held this animal in special regard.

There are many examples across Canada where police service animals are intentionally killed by criminals without any legal consequence. Sections 444 and 445 of the Code make no mention of police service animals as you can read in the attached.

I am asking the Government of Canada to update and strengthen the Criminal Code to include the protection of police service animals against intentional harm. These animals should be recognized for the dangers and risks they face to serve and protect the public.

There are many jurisdictions outside Canada that offer protection for police service animals. I have attached Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX - Crimes - Chapter 2921 Offenses against Justice and Public Administration for your information. Many other states have passed similar legislation.

Thank you, Minister, for your time and attention to this matter. This matter affects service animals at all orders of government. I have copied this letter to other government officials and ask for their assistance and support. The public is looking to you for leadership to bring the laws into the 21st Century.

Yours very truly,

Gloria Lindsay Luby,
Toronto City Councillor,
Etobicoke Centre - Ward 4.


cc. The Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Hon. Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario
The Hon. Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
William Blair, Chief of Police, Toronto Police Services
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