REAL-LIFE VICTIMS OF BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
THE VICTIMS: PHILLIP RAZAC HUGGINS & GINGER
Phillip Razac Huggins & his dog Ginger, an 8 yr old mixed breed brown female dog.The Incident
On November 29, 2005, Phillip Razac Huggins' mother was walking Ginger, leashed and muzzled, in a Toronto park. An unleashed dog named Buddy came running towards Ginger and Miss Razac, attacking Ginger. Buddy tore off Ginger's muzzle.
Both dogs suffered minor injuries. Ginger suffered permanent damage to the bottom of her left eye. Miss Razac also suffered bite injuries caused by Buddy.The Seizure
While Phillip was at work, City of Toronto Animal Control Officers seized Ginger from Miss Razac without a warrant or consent. Ginger was seized from Miss Razac, not Phillip Razac Huggins who is Ginger's owner. After the seizure, Toronto Animal Control failed to provide any paperwork indicating the whereabouts of Ginger.The Aftermath – The Court Case
Phillip was charged with three counts under the Dog Owners' Liability Act. Possible penalties are $10,000 in fines and six months imprisonment FOR EACH COUNT. Ginger was impounded for 3 ½ years, simply for defending herself and Phillip's mother. A destruction order was placed on Ginger's life and prosecutors attempted to strike a deal with Phillip, offering to drop all charges if he agreed to Ginger's destruction. Phillip would have nothing to do with it, and said he would fight to the end.
Clayton Ruby, an established human rights lawyer, took over the case to fight for Ginger. Ruby knew the City of Toronto was breaking the law by holding Ginger. The Animals for Research Act, which regulates poundkeepers, states that the dogs are only to be held for 30 days in quarantine and subsequently released to the owner if no signs of illness are present.
Clayton Ruby won the case for Phillip and Ginger was released to her loving home after 3 ½ years. Happily reunited, Phillip and Ginger are now together, but their battle isn't over. The court awarded the city of Toronto an appeal.The Implications
As a result of the charges and the battle in court, Phillip lost his job because of the time commitment he had to take for court appearances. He ended up on welfare and suffers from depression. Ginger was unable to be with her loving owner and was impounded for 3 ½ years.The Future
The battle is not over for Phillip and Ginger. The City of Toronto has been granted an appeal and Phillip is scheduled to appear in court again on May 26, 2010.How You Can Help
To help Phillip and his family with the costs of their defence, please donate through our Donate page HERE. Please make sure you label the donation for GINGER.