Fort McMurray pit bull avoids Ontario ban with layover at Toronto airport

Tera Joseph's pet pit bull Lucy is seen in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)

Lucy the pit bull has made it across Ontario.

The dog and her family, among more than 80,000 residents evacuated after a wildfire spread into Fort McMurray, Alta., were stuck in Manitoba last week while trying to drive across the country to their home province of Prince Edward Island.

A law banning pit bulls in Ontario prevents the breed from even travelling through the province, and the family spent several days at a hotel in Brandon, Man., trying to figure out what to do.

Their predicament made headlines and resulted in an outpouring of support from other dog owners.

READ MORE: Ontario ban on pit bulls strands Fort McMurray family in Manitoba

The Ontario government also reached out, said Lucy’s owner, Tera Joseph.

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The province clarified that Lucy could land at the Toronto airport since it’s under federal jurisdiction, she said.

“They said that they don’t see a problem … with us flying to the Toronto airport, as long as we don’t take her from the airport.”

The dog, along with Joseph and her three-year-old son, flew Saturday from Winnipeg to Toronto before arriving in Charlottetown.

“Hi Mama, we made it,” Joseph said she told the dog after picking up her kennel in the luggage area.

READ MORE: Toronto’s pit bulls are almost gone. So why are there more dog bites than ever?

Joseph’s fiancee is driving the family’s truck the rest of the way to P.E.I., she said, and they’ll stay with relatives there until they decide to return to Fort McMurray.

A huge wildfire spread into the oilsands capital on May 3, destroying about 2,400 homes and buildings. A phased re-entry for residents is to begin Wednesday, although a boil water advisory is in effect and the city will have limited services.

READ MORE: Toronto’s pit bulls are almost gone. So why are there more dog bites than ever?

Joseph doesn’t want to rush back to Fort McMurray with a young child, she said, so they’ll wait it out in Charlottetown, where Lucy has become a bit of a celebrity.

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“I’ve taken her for walks down the street and people have stopped me.”

“Excuse me, is that Lucy?” Joseph said they ask.

“I die inside cause I think it’s just so funny how famous my dog is now.”


Watch below: Ongoing video coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfire

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