While bans on pitbulls are increasingly common, Saskatoon has become the first city in the world to ban dogs under 5 pounds (2.27 kg) because they are "noisy, annoying and not really dogs."
In a split-vote decision, City Council passed the by-law to shut the city gates to a long list of dogs that are commonly referred to as "Purse Dogs" because they fit in a handbag, or "Dinky Doo Doo Doggies" because their pooies are the size of Raisinettes.
"Saskatooners are not New Yorkers. We have big dogs," said Mayor Don Atchison, sitting in his office where his stuffed Alsatian stands guard beside his desk. The taxidermied and snarling former family pet, Potash, was run over and killed while chasing a Dickie Dee Ice Cream van last summer. ("Potash hated that Greensleeves song but loved Butterscotch Brickle," says the Mayor softly.)
In addition to banning any dog with "Teacup", "Miniature", or "L'il" in its name, the City of 240,000 has issued a list of dogs now illegal to own within City limits:
- Bichu Frise
- Lhaso Apso
- Rat Terrier
- Pug, Pugg, or Pugglet
- Japanese Chin
The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) has filed notice they will appeal the by-law.
"The actual by-law bans any dog with a bowel movement under 50 grams (1.7637 oz.)," says Elaine Pinscher, SSPCA Vice-President of Spaying, Neutering and De-Worming. "So dogs are being banned because they don't shit big enough? Hell, a Newfoundlander can plop a small one now and again."
Heiress Paris Hilton is discredited with making "Purse Dogs" a fashion must for twentysomething A-listers, being photographed thousands of times with miniature pooches peeking out of her name-brand bags. TMZ Celebrity News ran seven clips (December 15, 2012) of Hilton being unable to remember the name of her Purse Dog, and it is reported she leases the Teacup Rescue Doggettes by the half dozen.
Other cities reported to have so-called "Weeny Dog Ban" bylaws in the works include Victoria, Spokane, Hamilton, Providence, and Dallas.
Visitors to Saskatoon are allowed to bring their small dogs into the City with an "Undersized Canine Temporary Licence" permit available at www.saskatoon.ca.
Reporting for The Lapine