`Dangerous dogs are a product of poor upbringing, not genes,' says 86 per cent of Canadian Ipsos respondents

    Dangerous and Disruptive Pets Survey released by Ipsos Canada at Summit
    for Urban Animal Strategies

    CALGARY, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - Most community members polled from across the
country believe that an animal's upbringing plays a bigger role than breed and
size when determining dangerous behaviour. With that being the case, it is not
surprising that pet owners were named as the primarily responsible party for
managing disruptive pets, with local humane societies coming in second and the
municipal government being named as third. These were just some of the
findings of the 2007 Urban Animal Survey, released today by Ipsos Canada at
the Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies.
    The online survey asked questions about disruptive and dangerous pets to
a nationally representative Canadian Household Panel, in eight communities
throughout Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Although the
questions focused on potentially harmful urban pets in general, an
overwhelming majority (95 per cent) of Canadians who have felt threatened by
pets named canines as the culprit. In fact, dogs also came out on top as the
most common type of pet found to be disruptive (93 per cent of instances) -
whether that be making excessive noise, or leaving feces on public or personal
    Of the Canadians surveyed, 83 per cent have had their lifestyle disturbed
by a pet. Be that as it may, over one-fifth (22 per cent) of our tolerant
community members were not at all concerned about disruptive pets in the
    "We discovered that although more than half of respondents felt that the
existing legislation in their community was sufficient for managing disruptive
pets, an even larger majority of constituents - seven in 10 - indicated
knowing little or nothing about pet-related legislation," says David Webb,
Senior Research Manager for Ipsos Canada. "Given these stats, there is clearly
still work to be done on an education and awareness front."
    When it came to dangerous pets, community members were concerned for
their own safety, that of their family and that of others in the community in
similar proportions (32 per cent, 39 per cent and 39 per cent respectively).
Interestingly, 77 per cent of Canadians surveyed said that pet owners should
be the responsible party for managing dangerous pets, but 70 per cent believed
that the humane society or SPCA were the ones doing the job. Is there a
perception that pet owners are shirking their responsibilities? Perhaps, since
almost half of respondents (49 per cent) completely agree that how a dog is
raised determines its behaviour - not genetics.
    Despite this fact - there is still a consensus among community members
(53 per cent) that people should be banned from having specific types of pets,
and a similar percentage (51 per cent) are in favour of banning specific
breeds of dogs from `Leash Free Parks.' In fact, a particularly cautious 24
per cent of respondents want all dogs to wear muzzles in public places.
    "In speaking with our session leaders and delegates, we discovered that
the topic of disruptive and dangerous animals was one that stimulated a great
deal of discussion and debate," says Larry Evans, Chair of the Banff Summit
Organizing Committee. "With this in mind, we commissioned this survey by Ipsos
Canada to find out how the community at large were affected by these types of
animals in their everyday lives."

    How do the Communities Compare?

    Hamilton/Burlington, Ontario

    -  Fifty-five per cent of people in Hamilton/Burlington, the highest of
       any community surveyed, do not believe that larger dogs are more
       likely to be dangerous than smaller dogs
    -  Thirty per cent of those surveyed in this area agree with legislation
       requiring all dogs to undergo a behaviour assessment before entering
       the community
    -  Consistent with the average for all respondents in this survey, 37 per
       cent of people in Hamilton/Burlington would like legislation governing
       dangerous pets to be `completely proactive'

    St. Catharines, Ontario

    -  Ninety-two per cent of people from St. Catharines (six per cent
       higher than the overall average) believe that how a dog is raised
       plays a bigger role in determining dangerous behaviour than the dog's
       breed and size
    -  Caution wins out - St. Catharines is home to the highest percentage of
       those in favour of banning `Leash Free Parks' for dogs (22 per cent)
    -  One in two respondents support legislation requiring specific breeds
       of dogs to wear muzzles when in public places
    -  Twelve per cent of respondents are `very concerned' about disruptive
       pets in the community (highest of all participating communities)

    London, Ontario

    -  Londoners enjoy a well-heeled companion - 30 per cent support
       legislation requiring all dogs to undergo professional dog training
       (highest of all participating communities)
    -  When asked how prevalent dangerous pets are in the community, over
       one-quarter answered `very or somewhat' prevalent
    -  People in London felt the most threatened of all communities surveyed
       by an animal that approached aggressively, at 73 per cent
    -  Londoners make friendly neighbours - almost half of respondents (47
       per cent) were concerned for the safety of other community members due
       to dangerous pets, and 46 per cent were concerned for their own

    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    -  Sixty per cent of people in Saskatoon do not agree with legislation
       requiring all pets to undergo a behaviour assessment before entering
       the community
    -  Half of respondents disagree with legislation that bans pet owners
       from having specific types of dogs (only 17 per cent `completely
       agree' with this legislation)
    -  Residents of Saskatoon like their dogs to run free - 72 per cent are
       not supportive of legislation that would ban `Leash Free Parks'
    -  Sixty-two per cent of Saskatoon respondents, the highest of all
       communities surveyed, think police officers are responsible for
       managing dangerous pets in their community (but 80 per cent think it
       should be pet owners)

    St. Albert, Alberta

    -  Residents of St. Albert appear to be more knowledgeable about pet
       legislation than other survey respondents; 43 per cent claim to know
       `some or a lot' - the highest of any community
    -  An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) also agree with legislation
       requiring all dog owners to register their dogs with the municipality
    -  Watch out for animals in St. Albert - 20 per cent of those who had
       felt personally threatened by a dangerous pet said the dog was biting
       (highest of any community) - as opposed to barking or growling

    Calgary, Alberta

    -  When Calgarians were asked how concerned they were about disruptive
       pets in the community, over one-quarter (26 per cent) said they were
       `not at all concerned'
    -  The people of Calgary would like the government to stay out of it - 20
       per cent of respondents believe that disruptive pets are a private
    -  Eighty-two per cent of Calgarians (highest of all communities) have
       not felt personally threatened by a dangerous pet in the community

    Vancouver, British Columbia

    -  People in Vancouver are divided on whether or not size matters - one
       in two disagree that larger dogs are more likely to be dangerous than
       smaller breeds
    -  Vancouverites are the least knowledgeable about pet legislation when
       compared to their fellow survey respondents - 75 per cent claim to
       know `little or nothing'
    -  The same percentage (75 per cent) believe that the Humane Society/SPCA
       are responsible for managing dangerous pets in the community - but
       when asked who should be managing dangerous pets, `pet owners' were
       named by 73 per cent of respondents
    -  Respondents are concerned about their furry friends - 33 per cent were
       concerned for the safety of their own pets, due to other dangerous
       animals in the community

    Capital Regional District of British Columbia

    -  Only two per cent of Victorians feel they know a lot about pet
       legislation in their community - the lowest of all communities in the
    -  One-third of Victorians (33 per cent) - the highest of all communities
       surveyed - have felt a dangerous animal has posed a personal threat to
       them, their family or their pets
    -  Of those feeling threatened, 98 per cent named dogs as the aggressor

    About Ipsos Canada

    Ipsos-Reid is Canada's leading marketing research and public affairs
company in Canada, both in terms of size and reputation. It operates in seven
cities and employs more than 300 researchers and support staff in Canada. It
has the biggest network of telephone call centres, as well as the largest
pre-recruited household and online panels in Canada. Its Canadian marketing
research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research
consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds offering the premier
suite of research vehicles in Canada, including the Ipsos Trend Report, the
leading source of public opinion in the country. Ipsos-Reid is a member of the
Ipsos Group, the second largest survey-based marketing research company in the
    For copies of other news releases, please visit:

    About the Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies

    The Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies (BSUAS) is a specialized
conference of thought leaders from across North America who come together to
consider strategies for improving animal care in the community. Delegates who
are known for their contributions to Animal Control, Animal Welfare, Animal
Wellness and Community Collaboration are invited by the event's selection
committee. This year's Summit, which was held at the Banff Centre from
Tuesday, October 16 to Thursday, October 18, focused on the theme of
"Disruptive and Dangerous Animals in Our Communities."
    Further information regarding the BSUAS can be found at www.bsuas.com.

    These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted from September 7
to 21, 2007, of panelists living in the participating communities. A sample
from the Canadian Household Panel was sent an e-mail invitation asking them to
participate in the study. With a sample of this size, the results are
considered accurate to within +/- 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20,
of what they would have been had the entire adult population been polled. For
individual communities, the margin of error would range from +/- 5.4 to +/-
7.6 per cent. The Canadian Household Panel is continually monitored and
balanced against Statistics Canada demographics including gender, age and
income to ensure it is representative of Canadian communities.

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, contact Charlene Lo,
Optimum Public Relations - (416) 436-8651, charlene.lo@cossette.com or David
Webb, Ipsos Canada - (519) 780-4704, David.Webb@Ipsos-Reid.com

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