Mark Buehrle moves to Toronto alone so his dog can stay with the family

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Mark Buehrle and his pit bull Slater are making news once again. Buehrle has run into issues with breed specific bans, but he has most recently been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The entire province of Ontario prohibits pit bulls, leaving Buehrle and his family with a difficult decision.

Last year Buehrle and Slater made headlines when Buehrle signed a contract with the Miami Marlins. Miami-Dade County prohibits pit bulls, so Buehrle and his family had to buy a home outside of Miami to keep their dog.  The Buehrle family used the opportunity to speak out against breed specific legislation.

With Buehrle’s trade to Toronto, the solution for Slater and the Buehrle family wasn’t as easy as it was in Miami. The entire province of Ontario outlaws pit bulls. This means the family would likely have to be split up in some way. Slater would be left behind in someone’s care for the season, Buehrle would go to Toronto on his own, or the family would stay and Buehrle would have to commute 90 minute each way from Niagara Falls. The Buehrle’s chose to keep Slater with the family and send Mark alone to Toronto.

“We’re not trying to make people feel sorry for us,” said Buehrle. “Obviously they’re going to say, ‘You make a lot of money. Boo hoo.’ I know it’s a part of baseball and every person deals with it, but this is our first time being away from each other all season…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.”

Although many people offered to keep Slater for the Buehrles, that option wasn’t one they were willing to consider. “To me, that would be like if we moved somewhere that only allowed boys,” said Buehrle’s wife Jamie. “I wouldn’t leave my daughter behind. Six or seven months is a lot of time. Slater would adjust. He’s really easygoing. But I don’t want him to bond with someone else. He’s our dog. That wasn’t really an option.”

Jamie and Mark Buehrle have been long-time animal advocates. The family owns four dogs and rescued Slater 24 hours before he was to be euthanized. Slater has received his Canine Good Citizenship award and is an aspiring therapy dog. Despite Slater’s training he’s not been welcome now in two cities where Buehrle has played. The Buehrles, like others who own pit bulls and are against breed specific legislation, identify that the problem is not the breed but reckless owners.

Numerous organizations argue that breed specific bans are ineffective. “Bottom line, a pit-bull ban that keeps the compassionate, loving Buehrle family from staying together, as a ban in Toronto does, can’t be right,” said Cynthia Bathurst, executive director of Safe Humane Chicago. “It’s very impressive that Mark and Jamie put their family and compassion first, and they should be emulated. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money someone has.”

19 thoughts on “Mark Buehrle moves to Toronto alone so his dog can stay with the family”

  1. “To me, that would be like if we moved somewhere that only allowed boys,” said Buehrle’s wife Jamie. “I wouldn’t leave my daughter behind. “…….

    I love this statement!! True animal lovers! 🙂

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    • I love it too. Good for them. I am an animal lover myself and this is ridiculous. It is the owners and not the dog. <3

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  2. I am SO sorry that your family has to be faced with this situation. No one should tell you to separate a family member. I would be devastated to be in your situation. Keep up the fight – it’s the owners, not the dogs. BSL will be changed eventually!

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  3. Why wouldn’t Mark move to Niagara Falls, NY? It’s barely 90 minutes away from the Rogers Centre.

    The Blue Jays should buy the house for his family, hire a driver, get his whole family Nexus passes, buy them a nice brand new fully loaded Cadillac stretch limo and have him driven to games, practices and meetings so he can still be with his family.

    While I agree the law is absolutely ridiculous. We can’t expect a government to do anything constructive really this fast so we need to have a work around.

    A player that’s making such high levels of money and is so important to the team should not have to sacrifice. 90 minutes is not a long commute, especially in a stretch limousine.

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  4. As an animal lover I have no love lost over a millionaire who can’t keep his vicious dog. Where do you draw the line. Wolves? Lions? Keep it away, before it hurts *MY* dog.

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    • Wow … I have 2 pits and they are anything BUT vicious …. I run an in home day care and all my kiddos LOVE the pups and in 4 years we have never had any issues at all! I had a rat terrier and he bit someone and was nipping at my day care children … now that was a vicious dog!

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  5. Lets show Kathleen Wynne the power of our votes. Will she be a one trick pony with a shelf life like that of Kim Campbell and Joe Clark, or will she listen to the people of Ontario and repeal BSL and the propaganda that goes with it? Let Ms. Wynne know that we the people who have hired her and placed her in this public position, works for the people and should follow the will of the people. If not, her term as Premier will be a short one.

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  6. I agree with all the above comments except for that nasty hurr durr. Don’t separate family members and a beloved dog is definitely a family member.

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