When Dogcatchers Attack!

silverman helpsSince Silverman is no longer helpful, I'm here for you. I'm here for the working man, the downtrodden, the prisoners and the hurt.

This note comes from Amanda who is looking for answers. Read her story and offer her advice in the comments.

I work late nights at a busy restaurant in Little Portugal. I usually sleep in late to get a solid 8 hours and was doing exactly that at around 1pm on Monday, 22 August. I live above a store on Queen Street West and share a building with two upstairs neighbours and my own roommate, none of whom were home at the time.

We are diligent about locking the door to Queen Street because, well, just about anybody could climb the stairs to our homes from there! I was abruptly awoken by fists pounding my door. I jumped from my bed, terrified, in my pajamas, and grabbed my phone. I ran to the door and through the peephole could see three uniformed dogcatchers pounding away on my door.

I opened the door, concerned that a rabid lion had escaped some twilight zone zoo, and immediately the first catcher, a grey-haired man, tried to push his way into my apartment. I demanded to know who he was and what was going on, and he asked if I knew where the puppy was. Confused, I asked again who he was and he quickly flashed an ID badge in my face. I asked to see it again to confirm a name but he had pocketed it, and the three (two men and a woman) stared me down asking where the dogs were. They claimed they were from Toronto Public Health and needed to know how to get to the other apartments. I refused, told them there were no dogs, and asked who they were looking for. They then stormed upward towards the other apartment telling me to mind my own business.

I'm fairly certain that as soon as you wake a person and interrogate them in their doorway (standing in their underpants) they should be privy to a little more information. They shouted each question at me, they were patronizing and rude, and kept telling me to stay out of their way. I told them to leave, and threatened to call the police. I then asked how they got in my front door, and the woman laughed as she retorted "it was open!". Since when is any person, city employee or not, permitted to walk into a person's front door without announcement, notice, or request? Especially because I know that the door was almost certainly locked!

They proceeded to run around the sides of my building, pounding on doors and jeering "come out come out wherever you are!" what sort of witch hunt was this!? I stood on my deck, still asking who they were and what they were doing. they indicated that they were looking for another tenant who's name I'll choose not to release as I have not been able to reach them. They leered up at me and told me to get in my apartment and mind my own business. I finally shouted that an apology would have been nice, and they laughed and marched to the street. I ran down (clothed now, thank goodness) and entered the shop below my apartment. The dogcatchers had done the same to the storeowner, and he was as confused as me. By now the team had disappeared and I was shaky and bewildered, and so I tweeted. What the hell was this? Who can I complain to? And should my neighbours be concerned for their pets?

Additionally, when did any asshole with a badge earn the right to start playing cops n' robbers? Am I late to this realization?

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Comments (4 - click here to join in!)

Mike from Lowville

aahhh, ummmm maybe they were TTC inspectors.

August 23, 2011 @ 5:02 PM

Mike from Lowville

Seriously, by-law officers are the worst SOB's on the planet. Could not make cop so, they take by-law badge's. Stinking badges.

August 23, 2011 @ 5:07 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Sign of the times, no civility with the badge carrying snivel service. Look at the older black gentleman (just recovering from heart surgery to boot) in Brampton who was interrogated by the female cop, no explanation of whats taking place, bully tactics is all the badge knows.

As for the dog catchers, some serious azz beating and some heavy discipline from their superiors in order. They are only dog catchers for chri$t$ sake not Canada Border Services looking for a dangerous illegal to deport.

August 23, 2011 @ 6:44 PM

Ryan G

Lodge your complaint via 311.

Ya they may ultimately protect their fellow city workers, but give them an opportunity to investigate first, and ensure you get a reference number, name and do a follow up a week or so later.

I've used 311 a number of times over the last year and I must say I'm fairly impressed. Some things move quicker than others, but it has made a difference with some issues I had (eg illegal dumping in my neighbourhood).

The follow up is crucial though, because I've learned that if you don't bother, they might figure the situation has resolved itself, which often I'm guessing it does.

After a week for so, if you still haven't got a satisfactory response from them, contact them again and advise that you'll be sharing your story with the media. That might expedite things as well.

August 24, 2011 @ 7:24 AM

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