Pit Bull Ban Prompts Ontario Pitcher Mark Buehrle to Leave Family Behind

Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 04:32 PM

By Michael Mullins

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After being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle decided he can live without his wife and 3-year-old daughter if it means keeping them with his pit pull "Slater," a dog breed banned in Ontario.

Slater is part bulldog and part American Staffordshire and is one of four dogs owned by Buehrle.

Rather than make his family part with Slater or force the dog to live in a kennel in Canada to conform with the law, Buehrle decided to leave them all behind in the United States.

"He's an awesome dog," Buehrle told The Associated Press. "That's what's a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated."

"It's something we're going to deal with. It's going to be tough at the beginning, not seeing your kids, but people deal with it and we'll make it work," Buehrle added.

The former Chicago White Sox pitcher said he didn't want to see Slater living out of cage and wasn't willing to break the law, despite some people telling him that local authorities wouldn't pursue the matter.

"We've had people say, 'Oh, you can bring them up here. Knowing you have money, no one's going to take your dog because they know you're going to fight against it,'" Buehrle said. "But the thing is, Slater will have to sit in a cage until that court date gets there, and that could be two weeks, it could be three months. If people don't own dogs, they're not going to understand you're leaving your family and your kids behind over a dog."

"It's not like we're not going to see each other," Buehrle said. "But we just feel like with all the training and all the stuff that we've done with the dogs, it's better that they stay with my wife."

After spending 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, where he had 161 wins and 119 loses, the left hander signed a four-year contract with the Miami Marlins in December 2011 for $58 million.

Related stories:

Breed-Specific Dog Bans Favoring Pit Bulls Could End in Oklahoma

Cuban Baseball Defector Returns Home Under New Law

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