Mark Buehrle to play 2013 season away from family due to Ontario's pit bull ban
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Animals, Causes, Sports
Tags: .
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Jamie Buehrle

As a professional baseball pitcher you would think joy would ensue, but after being traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays, Mark Buehrle encountered nothing but trouble regarding his pit bull (American Staffordshire terrier), Slater.

Last year, we reported that Buehrle would not be allowed to bring Slater to Ontario, because of its pit bull ban. The pitcher, and his wife, Jamie, are avid animal lovers, and this law made decision making quite difficult.

Would they leave their beloved dog behind with family and friends, while they moved to Canada for the season? Would they live across the Canadian border in Buffalo, N.Y, giving Buehrle a 90-minute commute? Would Buehrle’s family stay behind in St. Louis, while he moved by himself?

According to ESPN, they chose the latter. While Buehrle is playing pro-ball, his wife, kids and four dogs, including Slater, will be more than 800 miles away from their dad and husband.

“We’re not trying to make people feel sorry for us,” Buehrle said. “Obviously they’re going to say, ‘You make a lot of money. Boo-hoo.’ I know it’s part of baseball and every person deals with it, but this is our first time being away from each other all season. We’re going to travel and see each other and make it work. But those nights when we have a Sunday day game and I can go home and have dinner with the family and give the kids a bath and put them to bed, that’s what I’m going to miss.”

Mark Buehrle to play 2013 season away from family due to Ontario's pit bull ban
Buehrle and his wife have been dog lovers, and animal advocates for years. So, to simply leave Slater with someone else wasn’t a choice.

“A lot of people have said, ‘We’ll just keep Slater for you,’” Jamie said. “To me, that would be like if we moved somewhere that only allowed boys. I wouldn’t leave my daughter behind. Six or seven months is a lot of time. Slater would adjust. He’s real easygoing. But I don’t want him to bond with someone else. He’s our dog. That wasn’t really an option.”

Many states, countries and provinces have induced pit bull bans, because the breed has been labeled as dangerous.

Jamie Buehrle says it best, “I don’t think everyone should own a pit bull, just like I don’t think everyone should own a Lab or a poodle or a Chihuahua. I think you should be responsible for whatever dog you choose. If you tether a Lab outside in your backyard all the time and treat it cruelly, I can guarantee it will be aggressive. People need to realize that. And if you do that, you should be held responsible.”

The Buehrle’s have been extremely outspoken regarding pit bull laws and animal abusers, especially toward Michael Vick and his dog fighting days. They once wished the NFL player would get hurt, during a game, for his actions.

Despite the hardship of being far away from his loved ones, Buehrle said he is excited to join his team in Canada and looks forward to the season.

The best of luck to Buehrle this season, and hopefully he can see his family and pets more often than not.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner is a graduate from Emerson College where she obtained her Master’s in Print & Multimedia journalism. Passionate about writing, reading and entertainment, she is looking to make her way into the journalism profession.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fran-Coughlin/100001923665930 Fran Coughlin

    So many good Ontarians have moved away and many are waiting for this horrific ban to be removed so they can come home to families and friends. Mark’s story is NOT unusual as many military familes are devastated when they are transferred to Ontario and find they cannot bring their family pets without FEAR of having them seized and killed. Ontario bans THREE different breeds of dogs and all dogs deemed “substantually similar”. If one has a short haired, medium sized dog with a short, smooth coat and is muscular in built, without papers any idiot can label it “pit bull type” and the poor dog is doomed. Does not matter how well behaved, well trained or socialization the family pet may be.