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Mark Buehrle to Play Season Without Family, Dog Because of Canadian Law

Mark Buehrle, a St. Charles-native and pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, will play the season in Toronto apart from his family because of an Ontario law that bans pit bull dogs.

It wasn't an easy decision for Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Buehrle, but at the end of the day, Buehrle's three dogs were as much a part of his family as his kids were. And he wasn't giving up on one of them. 

According to several media reports, Buehrle will play the regular season in Tornoto while his family—Buehrle's wife, two young children and four dogs, one a pit bull mix—lives in St. Charles, where Buehrle and his wife grew up. 

From a New York Daily News article:

“It’s something we’re going to deal with,” Buehrle said. “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 concluded responsible pet owners should not delegate to others the task of caring for a dog. And he said he wouldn’t break a law by taking a dog where it is prohibited.

“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.”

Buehrle said his family will travel to Toronto for occasional visits.

Buehrle, a Francis Howell North High School graduate, and his wife are big-time dog advocates. 

From an ESPN article:

During Mark's tenure with the Chicago White Sox, the Buehrles did public service announcements for animal rescue facilities, appeared on pet adoption billboards and spearheaded a Sox for Strays promotion at U.S. Cellular Field. During the Gulf oil spill in 2010, Jamie traveled to New Orleans with a group of Major League Baseball wives to help out after some local families lost their jobs and were forced to surrender their pets as a result.

In the spring of 2011, Jamie met a certain American Staffordshire terrier at Hope Animal Rescues in Alton, Ill., and was smitten. Slater was among 18 dogs scheduled to be euthanized when Jamie's group arrived with 24 hours to spare and had them transferred to a facility where they would have a reprieve to find homes. She is convinced that a little divine intervention was at work.

More on Mark Buehrle:

  • Mark Buehrle Reflects on Path to Major Leagues
  • Mark Buehrle Selected for First Francis Howell North Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Second Chance: Five Acres Animal Shelter Rescues Dog 'No. 2'

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