Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yarmouth Mayor Wants Province Wide BSL

So the worst case scenario has presented itself - the mayor of Yarmouth has proposed province wide BSL. What a crock of shit.

We just went through this a couple years ago when the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities tried to push through province wide BSL inside some housekeeping revisions. It started back in 2006 when the UNSM started working on it - and came to fruition in 2008 when bill 138 was proposed in the Nova Scotia Legislature - with almost no time for the public to have any input whatsoever.

But luckily - the people we voted in, listened to the public - and BSL did not get into the final tally - all the dog portions of the amendments were taken out in fact.

So to have to go through this bullshit again barely 3 years later is utter nonsense.

That's why bsl language MUST be taken out of the Municipal Government Act altogether so that people like the Mayor of Yarmouth can't just willy-nilly propose things like province wide BSL.

I don't know if very many people know that any town in Nova Scotia can right now, at this very moment - enact BSL in their town because of the way that the Municipal Government Act is written - but they can, and that is very wrong.

In the MGA it says under the "Dog Bylaw" section - section 175 it says -
175 (1) Without limiting the generality of Section 172, a council may make by-laws
(e) defining fierce or dangerous dogs, including defining them by breed, cross-breed, partial breed or type;
(f) regulating the keeping of fierce or dangerous dogs;

When I first read that a couple years ago, I almost shit my pants. The fact that bsl is already written into the MGA is so bad it's unbelievable. We could conceivably have province wide bsl overnight - except for the fact that government is supposed to be run by the will of the people they govern - and if that were to happen - then every dog owner in Nova Scotia would be riled up to action by people like me, there'd be such a fuss.

People like me would make it their mission in life to stop bsl in Nova Scotia - so there'd be no way it would last in this place that we call paradise.

Anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor today because of what the Mayor of Yarmouth is proposing - and if it's something that moves you - I suggest you can either write your own MLA or write a letter to the Editor too - here's what I wrote -

"Yarmouth's dog bite mauling has called for it's town mayor to "encourage the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to prespare a resolution calling on the provincial government to consider creating a province wide regulation for "certain types of dogs". " This is what is better known as "breed specific legislation" and has been shown around the world to be the worst kind dog legislation you can enact if you want a safe community for people and dogs. It gives a false sense of security because people think they've gotten rid of the "bad dogs" when in reality they've only gotten rid of all dogs who have short hair, short muzzles and deep chests. Any dangerous dog is still allowed to roam the streets because they come in ALL breeds, ALL sizes, and ALL types of dog - why? Because they are CREATED, not born into a certain type of breed.

Please don't bring this kind of legislation to Nova Scotia - you will
be killing thousands of wonderful dogs who have done nothing wrong but
been born looking a certain way. There are a lot of dog owners in Nova Scotia who are willing to fight very hard not to have BSL in this province - so if it's a fight that the province is after - they're going to get it - from their tax paying dog owners."

Joan Sinden




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some more stuff going on

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about stuff to do that was coming up - well there's even more stuff to do coming up, so it's time to write another post already.

It's not something to do - but there's a superstar new pet photographer in town.  His name is Nick Rudnicki - and he was referred to me through the folks at Bark & Fitz.  I think that he isn't necessarily a "pet photographer" - he is just interested in photographing the quirkiness that a dog can offer his art form if you know what I mean.

So if that's the kind of photographer that you want to give your money to - to take your pet's photos - and I am pretty sure that there are probably quite a few of you out there - you can contact Nick through his website at http://www.nickrudnicki.com/contact%20info.html - you can also see more of his pet portraits on his website by clicking - here.

This weekend - there's going to be a benefit for the Dog Legislation Council of Canada - and it's actually for a dog named Ginger and her owner Philip Huggins - who has accrued $50,000 in legal bills fighting the Ontario government to keep Ginger alive.  THANK YOU Clayton Ruby.  That sentence may get ME banned from the benefit, but oh well... you can go sign up on their facebook event to find out more about the story as well, or you can read my biased version - here, and here....



If you're up in the Valley - CAPS is having an adoption event called "CAPS day at the mall with some fosters" - they've got a Facebook event page set up that you can go and join up at to learn more and get hooked up with.

It's happening April 9th from 11am to 3pm at the Greenwood Mall.

The Companion Animal Protection Society of Annapolis Valley is a tireless rescue group that saves a ton of animals up in the Valley - and going out into the community to advertise adoptable animals is a key ingredient in the no-kill solution - I am so happy that their organization is getting out there and doing events like this and showing Nova Scotia the beautiful adoptable animals that are available.


Animal Rescue Coalitions is another tireless rescue - and they're having a dance April 10th - hosted by Dora and Tysons Parents - it's going to be at the Chester Legion featuring Judy Eldridge, Ken Best & Silverado, Riverside Ramblers, Judy Eldridge, The Bollivars and Mountain Fever.  It sounds like a good time to me - and all for only $7.00 - it starts at 1pm and for more information you can call 275-3645

Also on April 10th is the next dog walk for East Coast German Shepherd Rescue - which are supposed to be a ton of fun - you can go to their Facebook event page to sign up and see who else is going.  It's also a fund raiser for them - you donate $5 for each dog that you bring to walk - this is one of the busiest rescues in HRM - so the money they raise is put to really, really good use.  They're an awesome rescue.



The recently opened Pet Valu store in Clayton Park is participating in their chain wide venture to raise $250,000 for local rescues/shelters on the weekend of April 9th and 10th - and they'll be selling "paws" for a minimum donation of $1 as well as collecting food, treats, toys, etc that can be donated in store.  Their store will be donating to the metro SPCA.  The "paws" are for sale in store now and until the end  of April.

This is absolutely fantabulous that someone has started this initiative!! It's called "Spay Day in HRM - Spread the Word" - and I'd imagine (and hope) it's part of the Year of the Cat Festivities - I don't know who's behind the group - but I'd like to see it succeed beyond their wildest expectations.

Their first fundraiser is a Spay-ghetti dinner April 12th from 4-8pm at Michael's Bar and Grill, 6100 Young Street - you can purchase your tickets at World Wide Furniture - and for more information you can go to their website at http://spaydaynovascotia.wordpress.com/  or go to their facebook page by clicking  - here

I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more from the group as the year wears on!

Ann MacLean, who owns Flying Tails Dog Training - has a couple workshops going on in April - she has them listed on her website at http://www.flyingtailsdogtraining.ca/ - Two sessions of Spring Ground School (skills focus):  Threadles and Push-Thrus, and Serpentines

In May she has Grids and Games on 28 May. It is a first in a sequence of essential skills and foundation work, and will be followed by One Jump and More on Jun 25 and Stunning Jumping (double box and sequences) on Jul 16.

Ann also has - "1 to 4 Flying Lessons":  Individual, Semi, Tri, and Quad sessions are available, mainly on evening and weekends, and are tailored to meet your specific needs, whether it be life skills or agility.   Individual, Semi, Tri, and Quad sessions are $40, $35, $30, $25 per person for 1h 15min. Team up to save on costs!

As someone who has always only walked her dogs on beaches and in the woods - all of this agility terminology sounds way too much like math!




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I hope Yarmouth does the right thing after dog bite incident

It's been in the news that a woman was critically injured by a "pit bull" type dog down in Yarmouth yesterday - she was injured badly enough that she had to be air-lifted to Halifax where her condition has improved from critical to serious.

Tonight on the news the Mayor of Yarmouth said that he is looking at changing their bylaw to tighten leash and muzzle laws in their town. I liked that nowhere in the news piece did anyone say that "pit bulls" needed to be banned - but in several places the victim's relatives and friends said "it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have, no dog is allowed to be vicious", and the victim's boyfriend said "I've had all kinds of dogs in my life and none of them ever bit anyone -it's all the way they're raised" - so they all understood that it wasn't the breed of dog that caused their loved one to be so seriously injured - it was the dog's owner who caused the situation.

In fact - people are calling for the other 2 dogs owned by the attacking dogs owner to be seized. The dog who attacked the woman attacked someone else in the last 2 years - and for some reason was returned to his current owner - and now this horrific attack happened.

Reading the current dog bylaw for Yarmouth - I can understand why - it is a horrible bylaw.

You can read it here - http://townofyarmouth.ca/town-council/by-laws

It says that a dog that is a dog control officer, peace officeror bylaw enforcement officer can shoot on sight any dog which is "fierce and dangerous" - but they can also do that to any dog that is barking too much, or any dog that is running at large - and they also no definition whatsoever of what a fierce and dangerous dog is - which is absolutely ludicrous.

Basically they're allowed to shoot on sight any dog that they feel like shooting for whatever reason they feel like shooting them for - but that is just about the most reactive kind of legislation you can have - the dog is already in the process of killing your dog, your animal, your kid or an adult - it's not being proactive at all - which is the worst kind of legislation you can possibly have (in my opinion).


There is nothing in the bylaw that actually protects humans from dogs - and also protects dogs from humans, which good bylaws today do.

I also hope that Yarmouth doesn't act really reactively like it has in the past.

In 2006 they almost passed a public space ban by banning all dogs from their downtown area because there were some people who were afraid of the young people who were walking their "big macho dogs" in the downtown area. Luckily at the last minute they listened to the public outrage and didn't go forward with it. I wrote a post about it at the time if you want to read the background to that story.

This horrible incident could have a good outcome if Yarmouth chooses to take the opportunity to update their dog bylaw and do what Windsor did and include the NS SPCA and the public and stakeholders in the process. I hope they do that. They don't have to re-create the wheel - they don't even have to look very far.



video

NS SPCA Tea & Super Initiative to Save Animals Throughout Atlantic Canada

Saturday I went to the 2nd Annual SPCA tea at the Ramada Inn in Dartmouth to listen to Kristin Williams - the Executive Director of the NS SPCA talk about last years wins and losses for the organization and what their plans are for the coming year.

They also had one dog and their owner - Remington and his owner Karen DeWolfe - talk about their experiences as a foster mom and adopter with the SPCA

I think Remington would like to think he did most of the talking, because he did quite a bit of barking - but it was his Mom who the people there were listening to! He's an excellent example of the SPCA not giving up on a dog - he came in with demodectic mange - so he went to a foster home - where he could get well -


and when he was healthy enough to be adopted - he foster family couldn't bear to part with him, so that is where he stayed - and he's now a therapy dog who goes to a nursing home once a week - and he's an ambassador of his breed and has a fabulous life - but in another world - he never would have gotten a chance.

Kristin also talked about fund-raising and how the organization needs to raise one million dollars a year in order to keep doing what they're doing - and I think if anyone can do it, I think that the SPCA as it is right now, is in a position to raise that kind of money.

One of the exciting plans that Kristin talked about was the announcement that was published yesterday - that "The Nova Scotia SPCA, the SPCA Newfoundland & Labrador, the PEI Humane Society, the New Brunswick SPCA and the Fredericton SPCA have announced a collaborative initiative in support of animal welfare in the Atlantic region. The Atlantic Network is the first such provincial and regional collaboration of this scale in the country."

Now that is big, and fabulous news. Last year when the NS SPCA started moving animals around Nova Scotia - a ton of lives were saved - so imagine being able to move animal around all of Atlantic Canada - imagine how many MORE lives will be able to be saved. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.

We really are moving in such an amazing diretion with our humane community - it is unbelievable - I am so happy. I can only hope it continues. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Here is the press release from yesterday -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA RELEASE
Atlantic Canada comes together to save more animals

Nova Scotia (Monday, March 28, 2011) – The Nova Scotia SPCA, the SPCA Newfoundland & Labrador, the PEI Humane Society, the New Brunswick SPCA and the Fredericton SPCA have announced a collaborative initiative in support of animal welfare in the Atlantic region. The Atlantic Network is the first such provincial and regional collaboration of this scale in the country.

The network will be focusing on sharing ideas, growing membership and exploring efficiencies and cost sharing. Two specific commitments for 2011 include an Atlantic transfer system, enabling the participating animal welfare groups to assist one another in alleviating intake pressures and addressing capacity concerns. The second commitment is to work towards a reciprocal adoption program, whereby individuals approved for adoption at one of the participating Societies is automatically approved at another. While a formal program is in development, requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The network meets and corresponds regularly and have already facilitated successful transfers of animals in need of adoption or assistance. Those interested in speaking with the network about opportunities within animal welfare are welcome to contact one of the participating Societies.
###

QUOTES
“The Nova Scotia SPCA is very excited to be partnering with other animal welfare organizations across the Atlantic region. Each of us has an important role to play in the protection of animals and animal welfare. By working together, we can create a more compassionate society. Collaboration is essential and this network has incredible potential.”
~ Executive Director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, Kristin Williams

“The SPCA Newfoundland & Labrador is very pleased that Atlantic Canada SPCA’s and humane societies have come together to form valuable working relationships. Information sharing and collaboration will strengthen the animal welfare sector in our region. This is definitely a step forward.”
~ Financial Director of the SPCA of Newfoundland &; Labrador, Lynn Cadigan

“As the only animal shelter operating on Prince Edward Island it sometimes feels like we’re working in isolation. Our involvement with the Atlantic network provides opportunities for us to share experiences and to gather ideas and inspiration from our counterparts in the region.”
~ Executive Director of the PEI Humane Society, Kelly Mullaly

“The New Brunswick SPCA is pleased to play a part in this very important Atlantic initiative. This group represents the beginning of a collaborative effort for the welfare of animals in our region. To be a part of this will no doubt make the mandate of the NB SPCA easier to fulfill and save many more animals across Atlantic Canada.”
~ Executive Director of the New Brunswick SPCA, Mike Murphy

“When we work together, we know how much more we can achieve and this is just the beginning. Our collaboration will make this region a national leader in dealing with animal welfare issues. The Fredericton SPCA is committed to working with our Atlantic partners to strengthen our message, to curb pet overpopulation and to positively change the lives of neglected, abused and homeless animals.”
~ President of the Board of Directors for the Fredericton SPCA, Susan Morell

MEDIA CONTACTS
Nova Scotia SPCA - Kristin Williams: (902) 835-4798 x228 or KWilliams@spcans.ca
The SPCA of Newfoundland and Labrador – Libby Carew: libby.carew@gmail.com  
PEI Humane Society – Lisa Hashie: (902) 892-1190 x24 or lhashie@peihumanesociety.com
New Brunswick SPCA – Mike Murphy: (506) 458-8208 or mmurphy.nbspca@bellaliant.com
Fredericton SPCA – Mike Murphy: (506) 458-8208 or mmurphy.nbspca@bellaliant.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday Shenanigans

Something happened yesterday that I didn't think would happen ever again
Charlie and Daisy wrestled - and in fact there was full all 3 inclusion dog wrestling and Buttercup was included which was fantastic
When Daisy was sick a couple weeks ago she was so sick that I thought she wasn't going to live - but somehow she's been able to pull herself through it, and she seems to be feeling better
I have to stop thinking that when the dogs get really sick that it means they're going to die - just because they are really old and have awful diseases and act really sick - doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to die - I'm sure it doesn't occur to them that they're going to die - so I think I should take on their attitude a bit more
Buttercup doesn't know that her back legs aren't quite strong enough to get her up onto the couch when she's got one of my sneakers in her mouth - but she still keeps trying to drag herself up there - but she does know that I am always there to give her a little push right at the moment she's trying to get up - so somehow she is always able to get up onto the couch when she's got one of my sneakers in her mouth. It always works out.

Here's a little slideshow of their wrestling match from Sunday morning. Please enjoy these 41 pictures -

Friday, March 25, 2011

I have been to Mecca for little dogs - Brendas Dog Dudz

Buttercup and I were out in the neighbourhood, so we dropped into Brenda's Dog Dudz - and I was absolutely blown away by the little store that the owner Brenda has built up - and I think this little maltese dog was too! And I'd say that this little dog's owner is the better for it!
They're located at 281 Sackville Drive out in Sackville - and when I went inside the front door I immediately realized that there's nowhere else in the HRM that is like the store that I had just entered - and I was SO pissed off at myself because I had left my good camera at home!
When I walked in the walls were covered with clothes just like in a human clothing store - but they were all little-dog clothes - and there were 3 people in the store shopping - and they each had 2 dogs in their arms that were no more than 4 or 5 pounds each. I just melted. And they were all trying different clothes on the dogs. I knew I had entered a world that you don't see everyday!


If you have got a small dog - and you like to buy clothes for your dog - or you have been looking for a cute t-shirt for them, or a nice collar - you MUST go to Brenda's Dog Dudz. I cannot believe that I have never been there before today. What a hidden jewel. She also has collars and leashes for all sizes of dogs - not just small dogs - so if you've got a large dog you should go check her out.

She also caters to the greyhound community and has a lot of clothing, leashes and collars for them as well - because I think that greyhound people dress their dogs almost as much, if not more than small dog people do. She's got snoods, pyjama's, knitted, crocheted, arctic fleece - every kind of coat for greyhounds - and those type of shaped dogs.

She also sells dog furniture as well - which is awesome - she has wooden dog beds - raised feeding stations, and steps - which she has made by someone locally - which is great because all the money stays local as well - and everything is really well made.


To say that I was impressed with Brenda's Dog Dudz is an understatement - the quality of her clothes was awesome, she uses local people to crochet and knit and make her furniture and leashes - it's all good - and the fanciness of the little dresses there was impressive.

You could really get carried away with spending a lot of money outfitting your very beautiful little dog - she also has purses to carry your dog around in too - so she pretty much has everything that the modern dog owner needs!


This is how Buttercup looked when she left the store - all geared up in a pretty pink t-shirt from the sale bin - Brenda has a big bin of clothing that's all $5 for anything in the bin - which is my style of shopping! haha! You can tell Buttercup is really impressed - she had her eye on a $50 very cute dress - so she left very disappointed - and she was letting me know loud and clear! Maybe next time Buttercup!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NS SPCA issues release: applauding the Town of Windsor for the creation of new progressive animal control bylaws

Today the NS SPCA issued a press release "applauding the Town of Windsor for the creation of new progressive animal control bylaws" (see bottom of post for media release) - so when I received the email I was very eager to go read this fabulous new dog bylaw that the town of Windsor was going to be lucky to be living under.

When I went to read it, I was pretty disappointed. I could see the clauses that the SPCA would have worked really hard to get into the bylaw - which is fabulous (you'll see below where I talk about the really good things in the bylaw, so it's not all bad) - but then there's all the same, old, tired language that really needs to be taken out of our legislation - so I'm going to talk about legislation, and see what you think, because to me - it's a super important topic - it's life or death to a lot of our dogs.

Whenever I go to any talk about animal control or the SPCA - usually the first thing that's said is that "Animal control exists to protect humans from pets - and it's usually just dogs" - if a dog has attacked a human, or is annoying a human by barking or running at large - you contact Animal Control.

The SPCA exists to protect pets - and in the SPCA's case - it's usually all animals, dogs/cats/rabbits/horses - whatever - from humans - so if a human is being to, or abusing a pet - you contact the SPCA.

The SPCA is governed and enforces provincial laws - namely the "Act to Protect Animals and to Aid Animals that are in Distress" that was revised since 2008 in the wake of the Celtic Pets scandal and the horribleness that was the Executive of the SPCA.  The NS SPCA is the only group - that has the power to enforce that particular piece of legislatio - other than the Department of Agriculture who enforces animal cruelty laws in regards to farm animals.

Animal Control follows laws that are written under the Municipal Government Act.

We learned in the Brindi trial of January 2009 - you can check it out in section 88 of the court transcript - that Municipalities have to follow the MGA when writing their laws, and keep within the boundaries of it in order to stay legal - and when they don't - the town's dog bylaw - is not in fact legal.

There are several portions of the Town of Windsor's dog bylaw that are not covered by the Municipal Government Act - that are therefore - archaic, and really should have just been taken out when they updated their bylaw. There is no good reason why they're still there.

I am a dog owner #1 - and that's how I look at things when I read legislation and bylaws, and then #2 I'm a person who is interested in protecting animals who are potentially being abused. Number one in my mind is protecting my own animals from abusive and intrusive government officials. And to me - that should be everyone's first priority - because if they're willing to do that to your dogs - what's next? Are they going to start telling you what books you can read and what tv shows you can watch, and which blogs you can read? It's a slippery slope. And also - what if your neighbour gets pissed off because they don't think you're mowing your lawn enough - and they decide to get even by calling a complaint in about your dog barking - and then boom goes the dynamite, it's all over.

So let's get to the specifics -

38.06 (B) Name and breed of the dog

When you register your dog you have to give the breed of your dog. Nowhere in the MGA does it suggest that you have to name the breed of your dog - but it DOES say that municipalities can "define dogs as fierce or dangerous, including defining them by breed, cross-breed, partial breed or type;"

So why WOULD a town want to know the breed of your dog? It is completely unnecessary information - especially since probably 70% of dogs are cross-breeds - so what's even the point? There is absolutely no point in a town needing to know the breed of your dog - that clause needs to be REMOVED. It is the first and a huge step to breed specific legislation - and it is evil.

38.01 f "Fierce of dangerous" includes a dog:
iv) Owned in whole or in part for the purpose of dog fighting;

This is a HUGE bugaboo of mine. Dog fighting, owning dogs for dog fighting, owning materials for the use of dog fighting is all criminalized through the Criminal code of Canada - it's a federal offence. Having it be in every municipal dog bylaw in Nova Scotia under the Fierce or Dangerous section is absolutely meaningless.

That's why dog fighting is also not dealt with in the provincial legislation at all - because it's covered in the federal criminal code - where (supposedly) - more serious consequences coud be meted out because it is such a serious crime.

I also have a problem with it being in municipal dog bylaws - because in most bylaws - you're allowed to keep fierce and dangerous dogs with certain restrictions - so by keeping "dogs kept for the purposes of dog fighting" under the fierce and dangerous designation - it also means you're allowed to keep your dog fighting dogs - which also means you're allowed to keep fighting your dogs - if you follow the logic - which is wrong and evil - and must be REMOVED.

Here is perhaps the most heinous part - and this is unfortunately in a lot of dog bylaws across the province -

38.14 (2) Any Constable, Bylaw Enforcement Officer, or Peace Officer without notice to or complaint against the owner of any dog, may kill on sight without impounding any dog and impound and kill any dog:
i) which is fierce or dangerous or;
ii) which is rabid or appears to be rabid or exhibiting symptoms of canine madness.

Now what do you think about that? That solves a lot of problems don't you think? Shoot now, ask questions later? That one clause gives bylaw enforcement officers pretty much carte blanche to do whatever they want don't you think?

You may ask yourself - why is a clause like that even in a dog bylaw?

It is for sure NOT in the Municipal Government Act - so there is no legal or SANE reason why it is in ANY dog bylaw in Nova Scotia.

As you can see, the answer can be found in the very confusing dog bylaw for Westville, that's where the letter to the left comes from - the reason why this silly "shoot on sight" article was put into dog bylaws was only supposed to be in more rural areas of Nova Scotia so that dog catchers could shoot dogs who were chasing farm animals.

I think that in 2011 - we can let that article go. And as well - there is NO rabies in Nova Scotia. So the excuse of being able to shoot a dog on sight because you believe he "may" have rabies is absolute bullshit.

This section in every dog bylaw in Nova Scotia needs to be removed because it's EVIL.

So that's my view of the awful parts of the Windsor bylaw - and I hope you will agree with me. Nobody should EVER be able to shoot ANY animal on sight EVER EVER EVER.

It is unnecessary to ever need to know the breed of my dog by the town that I live in - and any dog fighting language needs to be taken out of every municipal bylaw because it belittles it and turns it into some minor infraction that it most definitely is NOT.

Now for the great, enlightened things that are in the Windsor dog bylaw - the parts that the NS SPCA - and specifically, the parts that Kristin Williams - Executive Director, worked really hard to liaise with Windsor to get into their bylaw. Hopefully it's the first - and not the last dog bylaw that will have Animal Cruelty standards of care written into them.

One of the problems with Animal Control historically has been - that they exist solely to protect humans - and there's been very little protection for the animals - they are merely collatoral damage - as you can see by the above problems that I've pointed out in the parts of the bylaw that the SPCA (and obviously the public) wasn't allowed input on.

Allowing the SPCA input at all is a huge shift - and shows that the town of Windsor does care about their companion animals - the SPCA, through their no-kill committment - has assured that no animals in the town of Windsor will be euthanized for lack of space with the insertion of clause

38.21 - Any dog which has not been reclaimed after a period of 72 hours... may ... be offered to the SPCA for adoption.

That is a huge move forward - imagine if that was put into A300 here in Halifax - there would be no need for Homeward Bound to shelter the animals and adopt them out - they'd be automatically just transferred to the SPCA after 72 hours.

As well - under 38.18 - when the bylaw enforcement officer suspects that abuse or neglect of an animal is taking place - they have to take an animal cruelty officer along with them to the call - so that not just the human aspect of the call is covered - but the animal welfare aspect is covered as well, which is unprecedented - and I'm sure will be a relief to bylaw enforcement officers across the province. They too would love to see something like in their own bylaws I'm sure.

So the things that Kristin was able to get were fabulous - along with the mention of the Standards of Care that the NS SPCA works under - which is a baseline for any animal owner.

I would however - like to put forward a dog bylaw here in Nova Scotia - that I think is the "bee's knees". One that I am VERY impressed with - and one that I think is almost better than even Calgary's bylaw - and one that has been on the book's since 2003.

It is the dog bylaw for Parrsboro. I think you will find it very surprising. I would like to meet the person who wrote this bylaw. They are very smart.

Here are some of the things that are in it - although really - I could just cut and paste the whole document here, I think it's all killer, no filler.

1b) "Dangerous dog" means any individual dog:
i) that has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owners property;
ii) that has bitten or injured a human being or domestic animal without provocatio, on public or private property;
iii) that is attack trained;
iv) that is kept for the purpose of security or protection, whether residential, commercial or industrial, of persons or property; and
v) that has shown the disposition or tendency to be threatening or aggressive

Do you see any differences there between Windsor's definition of dangerous dog and Parrsboro's? I think there is a world of difference.

There is a whole section on "Provision of Needs" - and that includes "clean, fresh drinking water and suitable food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal, healthy growth and the maintenance of normal, health body weight" - and a whole section on standards for dogs that normally reside outside unsupervised for their shelter requirements.

But the best part of that is that it says -

 "No person may cause an animal to be hitched, tied or fastened to a fixed object where a choke collar or choke chain forms part of the securing apparatus, or where a rope or cord is tied directly around the animal's neck".

Can you believe that that is written into a dog bylaw in Nova Scotia? Well it is - and it is written into Parrsboro's dog bylaw.

There are also several things that you will NOT see in the Parrsboro bylaw -

- there is no dog fighting language
- there is no ability to "shoot on sight"
- owners have five days - not 48 hours or 72 hours - to find their dogs at animal control
- there is no limit on the amount of animals you can own
- there is no bsl
- there is no requirement to tell them the breed of your dog
- there is no cost to register/licence your dog
- if you don't comply with the bylaw - your name is given to the SPCA and you're not allowed to adopt an animal from them
- poundkeeper doesn't have any power - it's a provincial court judge who rules if you've been bad under the penalties section.

So all those things added up - makes me believe that Parrsboro - has the best bylaw in Nova Scotia - and one that we should be modelling other bylaws by. And that's because I have actually read every dog bylaw in Nova Scotia.

And if you've read this far down - you deserve to go get an ice cream. I wish I had some in the house, because I definitely deserve some for writing this all out in one evening.

Here is the media relese from the NS SPCA:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


MEDIA RELEASE

Nova Scotia SPCA applauds the Town of Windsor for the creation of new progressive animal control bylaws

Nova Scotia (Wednesday, March 23, 2011) –– The Nova Scotia SPCA applauds the Town of Windsor for taking a proactive approach to their new dog bylaw. The Town of Windsor invited the Society to provide critical input. As a result of this joint effort, Windsor now has some of the most progressive bylaws in the province!

“This project represents the first collaboration of its kind and it is our hope that we can work with other municipalities in Nova Scotia to ensure that we address the gaps that currently exist between animal welfare and animal control. By working together, we can better address the needs of the communities that we all serve,” said Executive Director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, Kristin Williams.

The new dog bylaw includes an adoption pact, whereby animals that are retrieved by municipal officers and whose owner cannot be found will be turned over to the SPCA to be adopted. The SPCA, with a strategic commitment to no kill, will ensure that no animal will be euthanatized because of lack of space. Additionally, the bylaw also references adherence to the Society’s Standards of Care and terms of engagement with SPCA special constables on matters related to cruelty investigations.

###
MEDIA CONTACT
media@spcans.ca
902-835-4798

RESOURCES
38 Dog Bylaw 2011: http://www.town.windsor.ns.ca/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=42&Itemid=190
Standards of Care: http://www.spcans.ca/about/documents/WP_standards-care_20100929.pdf

ABOUT THE NOVA SCOTIA SPCA
The Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (Nova Scotia SPCA): Protecting animals from cruelty since 1877, the Nova Scotia SPCA is a registered charity, comprised of a network of Branches, which rely primarily on volunteers and donations to fund animal protection; care and rehabilitation; advocacy; and humane education. The Act to Protect Animals and Aid Animals in Distress mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws, making the Nova Scotia SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. To learn more, visit www.spcans.ca.

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Nova Scotia SPCA is to prevent abuse, neglect and cruelty to animals, and provide for province-wide leadership on matters that promote and improve the welfare of all animals through animal protection; care and rehabilitation; humane education; advocacy and engagement and collaboration with stakeholders.

VISION STATEMENT
The vision of the Nova Scotia SPCA is that Nova Scotia be a No Kill province and a safe place for all animals with zero tolerance for animal cruelty.

Kristin Williams
Executive Director
Nova Scotia SPCA
Provincial Office
1-888-703-7722 x 228
KWilliams@spcans.ca
http://www.spcans.ca/

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stuff to do coming up

I might be otherwise busy in the next little while - so I thought I'd get one of my stuff to do posts out before I get distracted, so here goes -

Boston Terrier owners in the HRM are having a meet up next Sunday - March 27th at the Shubie Park ballfield - they've got a Facebook Event page set up for you to check out - it's happening from 1-2 pm - it's open to all small dogs - so if you've got one, you should go, and have a ton of fun!

Saturday April 2nd is the NS SPCA's annual Alley Cat Bowl - lots of fun for everybody - over $2,000 in prizes to be won, doors open at 6pm at Fairlanes Bowling Lanes - you can find out more info on the SPCA's website. It sounds like it's going to be a very fun time!

Hope for Wildlife is having their annual coffee house Sunday, April 3, 2011 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm in the Westphal Room, at Cole Harbour Place -
51 Forest Hills Parkway, Dartmouth, NS - Free Admission, Coffee/Tea, children’s crafts, and face painting! Meet the director of the Hope for Wildlife TV series! Buy your DVD copy of Season One on SALE for $50 (regular price $60) Enjoy a hands-on Reptile Safari with the Ssafe Haven Society for Reptiles and Amphibians. There will be musical guests and Denyse Sibley of FX 101.9 Today’s Country - For more information, please visit www.hopeforwildlife.net Tel: 407-WILD

Not really an upcoming event, but more of an announcement - Tristan Flynn of Golden Rule Dog Training has opened up an online store on his website where he's selling super tough dog toys that aren't available elsewhere locally, so he wanted to get the word out - he's also a fabulous positive only dog trainer - so if you're looking for that kind of guidance - and who in their right mind wouldn't be? You should check out his website at http://www.goldenruletraining.ca/

There's a new website in town for those who love the dog friendly life style - it's called "Petzooma.com" - and you should check it out - it's user based and will grow as you add stuff to it - so you should go and add stuff. Win/win!

This is a very worthwhile event - Basinview Animal Hospital is hosting an auction in support of Lori's Cat Rescue. This rescue is run by a great gal named Lori Martin. Over the past few years she has helped over 150 stray cats in the HRM. She has trapped these feral cats and has them spayed or neutered and vaccinated before releasing them back into their colony. Many of these cats are quite friendly and so, Lori finds homes for these cuties.

Frequently these cats require significant veterinary care including dentistry,abcess repair and parasite control. All of this work is done at her own expense! Unfortunately, the number of cats and kittens in need is growing.

If you have any items to donate to the auction you can contact Lynn Carroll or Stephanie Wood at Basinview for further information at 902-835-8383 - the Auction is Saturday, April 16th at BREWSTER's from 2-4pm.
Please come out and support a great lady and a great Rescue!

Also on April 16th is the NS SPCA AGM - this year is an election year, so it should be interesting - do you have your membership bought yet? If not - you should get one! I don't know where the meeting is yet - so stay tuned!

Mardi gras parade for animals in Shreveport Louisiana

I had an email from a lady in Antigonish - Brenda, who has friends down in Shreveport Louisiana who have a super neat group called "The Animal Krewe" who every year put on a pet parade during their Mardi Gras festivities - it's a huge event, and throughout the year they help abused, abandoned and neglected animals.
These photos came from one of this year's participants (2011) - it looks like it's a ton of fun
And you can tell from the pictures that all species of companion animal are included in the festivities, which is fabulous - wouldn't it be great if something like that could happen here?
We don't really celebrate Mardi gras - so it doesn't even necessarily have to be focused around that - but it'd be awesome if there could be some public appreciation day for companion animals - in the order and scope of what they're doing in places like Shreveport - I think our animals deserve it, that's for sure - and it looks like they're having a ton of fun down there - animals and humans included!
Thanks Brenda for sending me these great photos from your friend and letting me know that fabulous things like this exist somewhere in the world. The "Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Inc" have a very detailed website at http://www.animalkrewe.org/about.htm and they have a facebook page as well that you can follow their progress through the year.


This is how Buttercup would go to the Pet Parade - she has a tiara that I have been waiting for something regal enough to debut it at -
We really do not have any event here in Nova Scotia for all breeds to dogs to get dresssed up -
And especially we don't have any event where chickens can mingle with dogs and rabbits with any other type of companion animal! Wow!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mayor Peter Kelly Goodness

On February 21st, 2009 I wrote the following post that went with this photo - I titled the post "I Think Mr Kelly Has Just Lost the Next Mayoral Election":

"While Terry Marriott Junior was being murdered in Harrietsfield yesterday, Mayor Kelly was at Kool FM getting his face painted to look like a member of the rock band Kiss - and we now have this fabulous photo of him for all time to look back upon and dredge up whenever we need a picture of him to give us a money shot of his moniker -



Rock on, Mr. Mayor
Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly gets into his role as Gene Simmons from Kiss after he was painted up at the KOOL radio studio on Friday as part of a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The legendary rock band Kiss will play in Halifax on July 18. "

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When is it "puppy crazies", when is it "attack without provocation"?


This is very interesting to me - because I am really interested in intellectual questions that are nothing but mind masturbation - they have no good answers.

I am interested in well written dog bylaws - so much so that it's something I actually spend time researching, reading, and thinking about.

Here in Halifax - we have bylaw A300 - and you pretty much have to keep your dog under control at all times or else you are in some pretty deep shit. All your dog has to do is to "appear threatening" - your dog doesn't even have to actually DO anything to get in trouble. And a lot of bylaws are written that way.

And I think those types of bylaws are really shitty bylaws.

And then last week rumours start swirling about how City Councillor Sue Uteck's dog Homer knocked a person down at Point Pleasant Park and actually broke both her arms. Well. We all figured that Sue and her dog were going to be in for pretty deep shit.

And then on Monday - there's this article that comes out in the Chronicle Herald Community Paper - you can read it below. And it's also the photo in this post.

"Uteck sprints to help woman injured in park". Nowhere in the article does it actually say that the dog who broke both the woman's arms is actually Sue Uteck's dog. And then the article ends with the line "Homer's very sorry".

And the reason why he knocked the woman down was because he got a case of the "puppy crazies".

I think that's fabulous - the woman realized that the dog didn't mean to do it. That is the case in probably the majority of situations when dogs run up to people and they feel threatened.

I'd say that Sue Uteck is the LUCKIEST dog owner in the whole of North America this week. And that is no lie. Her dog broke some ladies arms - and she gets to keep her dog - AND she's being lauded for being such a great lady.

In 99% of other cases like this - Homer would have been taken away and killed - and the dog's owner would have been reviled as a horrible, negilent dog owner.

Especially in a city where they a dog bylaw where all a dog has to do is to "appear threatening".

So Ms. Uteck - you should county your lucky stars.

And you should get Homer's "puppy crazies" under control - because I don't think you'll be this lucky again. As a responsible dog owner - I can pretty much guarantee it.

Uteck sprints to help woman injured in park
By ANGELA MOMBOURQUETTE | DON’T GET ME STARTED
Mon, Mar 14 - 4:54 AM

Coun. Sue Uteck 'went above and beyond' after woman injured in Point Pleasant Park.









IT ALL STARTED with an innocent walk in the park.

My sister, Jocelyn, was out for her daily constitutional in Point Pleasant Park. It was a chilly, sunny day, and she was well-prepared for her walk: thermal underwear, a warm coat and hat, ice-grippers on her shoes.

Because she’s a park "regular," she recognized the big, goofy, 135-pound bullmastiff that was bounding happily around near her. Suddenly, he got a case of the puppy-crazies. He was right behind her when he spun around unexpectedly, and in the process, knocked her legs completely out from under her.

She went down hard. Very hard, it turns out. Two broken arms hard.

That’s right, TWO broken arms.

"It was a textbook middle linebacker hit," the dog’s owner told me later. It turns out the dog wasn’t the only one my sister recognized; big ol’ Homer happened to belong to none other than Halifax Regional Coun. Sue Uteck.

I’d never met Sue before; I don’t even think I’ve ever interviewed her. Apart from the fact that her being a councillor makes for a pretty good story here, none of this really has to do with Sue as a public figure. It does have a lot to do with her as a person, though. I was pretty impressed with the way she went above and beyond for my sister on that day. She, along with a gentleman—whose name I don’t know, but who was walking his dogs nearby and saw the whole thing—rushed to her aid.

The first thing she tried to do was phone the park superintendent, who, it turned out, didn’t answer; his phone line didn’t even have voicemail.

"Somebody has to be available in the event of an emergency," Sue said later, "but in defence of the park, I didn’t use the emergency line. There is a phone" — in fact, there are a couple of emergency call buttons and one or two phones in the park — "but between where we were in the park, and where I’d have to run to use the phone, it was faster for me to go directly to the park office."

So off she sprinted, leaving Jocelyn in the care of the gentleman and his three Bernese mountain dogs. Fortunately, my sister had been helped to her feet by some other folks, and was able to walk, with the gentleman’s help, to the park office. Had she been unable to walk, I’m not sure how she would have gotten out of the park that day, short of having paramedics drive an ambulance right up the main road and haul a stretcher out onto the paths.

Over the course of the next hour or so, Sue sprinted to the far end of the park to get to her own car, then drove to the other end of the park to get my sister’s car, and did a whole lot of running and juggling in between to get both cars and her own dogs home and to get my sister to the hospital.


My sincere thanks to Sue and to all of the folks who helped my sister out on that day. Imagine how much easier that all would have been, had there just been some accessible emergency services in the park.

As for the dog? Says Sue: "Homer’s very sorry."

Happy St Patrick' Day

P163

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Poor Daisy


I had Daisy to the vet yesterday - she looks like she hasn't been feeling well lately - she's just not herself - jumping around and playing, and being a typical goofy rottweiller. She's been having a lot of problems breathing - you can hear her from the other side of the house when she's laying down, and a lot of times she'll be breathing really heavily and then she'll sit up - like as if she just can't catch her breath. She also has a big tumour above her right eye that I just wish there was something I could something about.

We had bloodwork to test for cushings, we tested her sugars to see where her diabetes is, we have xrays taken of her lungs, her back legs, her spine, and 2 vets had a look at her eye.

It turns out that both of her back ACL's have partially blown - I don't know how long her knees have been like that - she hasn't exhibited any symptoms of that - she has spondylosis in 2 or 3 of her vertebrae - which are under a big sebaceous lump on her back that's probably a little bit bigger than a golf ball.

That scares me because my first dog George died from degenerative disc disease when a disc popped out and then popped back in her spine and it wasn't caught in time by the vet - even though we had her to the vet within a couple hours of it happening - he thought it was her colitis acting up - she becamse paralyzed, and within 3 days she was dead.

She doesn't have cushings disease - so that's not what's causing her constant panting - but she does have a ton of little white spots all through her lungs. The vet doesn't know what they're from - so he's sent her xrays off to a radiologist up in Ontario to see if they can figure out what it is. But you can see them really plainly - her lungs are filled with little white spots.

Poor Daisy. Her body is just completely falling apart. And there's nothing they can do about the tumour over her eye - if they try to remove it there wouldn't be anything to stitch together to replace to have an eyelid there - so the vet just recommends leaving the tumour there. The hardest part is that the tumour is also growing invward just as much as outward - so it's pressing on her eyeball - which must be uncomfortable.

I remember back in 2006 - Daisy was in her prime - and I made the below video - it is a classic. Enjoy -

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am Somebody!

I love the website Wimp.com - you can find some really neat stuff there.

I don't know the background of the site, or where the videos come from - but every day new videos get posted there - and on Facebook, if you belong to their facebook page - you get notified whenever a new video is posted, so yesterday I got notified that the 1st "I am Somebody" video that's below was posted - the one with the little girl - and I thought it was so neat.

Such a little girl, so smart, with such strong convictions - what a remarkable life she is going to have! I hope that no one breaks her down - she is so beautiful. But it got me to thinking - where did what she was saying come from - so I did my Google magic - and found where it originated - and it came from Jessie Jackson - when he taught it to some kids on the tv show Sesame Street back in 1971 - and that's the 2nd video I've posted below - which is also an amazing video.

It's got nothing to do with dogs - but everything to do with positivity - which has everything to do with dogs.

Enjoy -






I Am
Somebody
I May Be Poor
But I Am
Somebody
I May Be Young
But I Am
Somebody
I May Be On Welfare
But I Am
Somebody
I May Be Small
But I Am
Somebody
I May Make A Mistake
But I Am
Somebody
My Clothes Are Different
My Face Is Different
My Hair Is Different
But I Am
Somebody
I Am Black
Brown
White
I Speak A Different Language
But I Must Be Respected
Protected
Never Rejected
I Am
God's Child
I Am
Somebody

Monday, March 14, 2011

Charlie, Daisy and Buttercup have joined the R.O.A.R. Squad!


A couple weeks ago I got an email from a really neat lady, Shauna Stewart - who's been on a mission since April 2010.

She got the idea that she wanted to profile bloggers from all across North America - at least one from every Province, State, and Territory, promoting the "shop, not adopt" philosophy by profiling owners and their pets.

She's almost come to the end of her project - March, 2011 is the end of her journey with this - and I am lucky enough to have been able to squeak in somehow and to have been contacted by her.

She published my post last night on her blog - so you can go see it now - it's at http://fidoandwino.com/2011/03/13/r-o-a-r-squad-joan-and-her-dogs-buttercup-charlie-and-daisy/

Shauna has previously posted one other profile from Nova Scotia - Kristine and her dog Shiva - who I've had a link to on the sidebar of this blog for awhile - and here is the link to her profile on Shauna's blog.

I think it's a fabulous project that Shauna has been taking on for the last year - showing that rescued animals make great companions, and that there should be no reservations whatsoever in our willingness to take them on as pets is a wonderful thing to do - because it's absolutely true.

Every animal is just like every human - an individual - we're all good, and we all have our own personalities, and there's no such thing as a damaged dog - we're all works in progress.

Thank you Shauna for giving rescued animals the voice to show the world how fabulous they are - I know that Daisy, Charlie and Buttercup are pretty much convinced that they are absolutely perfect!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Website names representative about having fun with dogs in the HRM


I'm thinking about changing the name of "Charlie loves Halifax" to something else - Charlie is really old - and he doesn't get out much anymore, and I'm having a hard time updating the website because I don't have any current photos of him having a good time out having fun in the city because he's pretty much housebound because his arthritis has gotten so bad that he has problems just getting up and down the stairs to the back yard - I hate to say that as each day goes by I watch him fading a bit more - and I don't know even how much longer he's going to be with me and it's killing me a little bit.

But back to the practical matter of the website - I have always known that at some point I would have to transition it over to some other name, because there would come a time when Charlie wouldn't be around any more to "love Halifax" - but now that that time has come - I can't figure out what else to call the site.

I own several domain names - I own halifaxdogs.ca, I own offleashhalifax.ca, and novascotiadogs.ca and .com - so I could use anyone of those domain names - but they just seem so impersonal.

I don't know - if you have any suggestions - please let me know - because I do have to change it - I'm having a writers block at working on the site because of it, so it's got to be changed

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Global Pets Raises $100,000 for Rescue & New Pet Stores Open up in HRM - Pet Valu

Philanthropic Pet stores that sell good product are so important to our community - and Global Pets have been very good to the pet community since they opened up in the HRM.

Every fund raising dog event I've ever gone to has always had some product that's been donated by Global Pets - so whenever I get the chance to talk positive about Global, I do - and I also do it because they don't sell live animals, and they sell high quality food, and sell a lot of Canadian products as well.


In the last couple of weeks they've had a campaign called "Show Us Your Heart" - and they raised an amazing $100,000 for homeless animals across Canada. I think that's awesome.

"From February 12-19 Global Pet Foods and Hill’s® Science Diet® asked
Canadian pet parents to Show their Hearts to homeless pets by making a
donation at their local Global Pet Foods store- or through PayPal. Global Pet Foods and Hill’s® Science Diet matched each $1 donation. All proceeds went to a local animal shelter, which were personally selected by each Global Pet Foods’ store owner."

Here in the HRM - the monies raised went to greyhound rescue.

I think it's particularly important to make sure that Global's good works get mentioned - because there's a new franchise of pet stores set to open - with the first one already opened up on Spring Garden Road - and I went to check it out today - they're called "Pet Valu" pet stores.


They're aimed straight at Global Pets clientele. I personally think - as a dog owner - that there is enough space for all of the pet stores who sell high quality dog food and high quality dog items - the only stores that will suffer will be stores like Pet's Unlimited - because people are looking for a reason to NOT shop there - and not they have a reason not to shop there.

When I was there today - they have brands of super premium kibble that Global doesn't have - so I think it's a good sign - it's a win-win - dog owners have just been given MORE to choose from. YAY!

So I think it's great that they've opened - just as long as people don't forget about the wonderful small boutique stores in town that we have - like Bark & Fitz, Brenda's Dog Dudz out in Lower Sackville, 3 Dog Bakery over in Dartmouth Crossing, the 2 Best Friends stores, the Doggy Bakery Treatery out in Enfield, Tailwagrrs, B&R's, Petstuff on the Go on Pleasant Street in Dartmouth - along with the local online retailers as well.

There are a lot of dogs and cats in the HRM, and a lot of owners who want to spend money on them - they just need to to be provided with the products that they want to buy - and success is pretty much guaranteed - if our doggy day cares are taking in 100 dogs a day like they are, and are sprouting up everywhere and pet stores are opening up like they are - the need is there - I only wish HRM bureaucrats would understand that and respond accordingly with city services!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

From the mouths of Babes, Or Zeuses


I just got an email from the owner of Zeus - you know - the dog that Zonda MacIsaac kept in a cage for almost 4 years in her "rescue" - he had just read my post and watched her performance on W5 - this is his response.

I think it's entirely appropriate.

Zeus is looking beautiful by the way! Yay! If only W5 had learned the whole story about Celtic Pets when they did their piece.

End of Life Issues with Pets

I went to an interesting talk this morning at the Atlantic School of Theology given by a Masters of Divinity Student - Ruth McArthur - she was presenting her grad project, and it was about end of life issues around pets - what happens to our pets when they die, what is our responsibility to our pets, What are our pastoral needs when they become palliative, and is it okay to treat pets as family.

She of course talked about it all from the Christian, and Anglican perspective - because that's where she was coming from, so it was interesting to hear her speak.

She had researched and polled many people and gotten their feedback on what they thought about the subject and come to conclusions based on that.

From her research Ms. McArthur realized that people really think of pets as part of their family - and they need to be considered for pastoral care needs - especially at the end of their lives when they need palliative care and their owners are in pain and the services of their pastor or chaiplain can really be used - and that Church can be a place that includes pets as part of their services from time to time - because they are a part of people's families.

A lot of people think that pets have souls - so why shouldn't they be included in people's religious lives?

I have a couple books that talk about this a lot - One is called "on God and Dogs - A Christian Theology of Compassion for Animals" by Stephen H Webb - which is an awesome book - and the other book is "The Moral Lives of Animals" by Dale Peterson which I got a preview copy of - it's actually just being released on March 16th, so I haven't read it yet - but I'm looking forward to it - but it's on the same theme.

Ruth Mcarthur is giving a further discussion/workshop on the same topic April 16th at 9am - 11:30am at For Massey Church - 5303 Tobin Street in Halifax if this is a topic that interests you - she gave out a pamphlet at the end of her talk which says "It's a changing world and the minister needs to understand all the pressures on a family, both cultural and religious. Having workshops around grief issues and gathering resources can help the family know that feelings of devastation, shock, yearning, and confusion are normal." She also notes to "bring your photos and your stories"

For more information you can contact 423-4294

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I agree with YOU, Zonda


Tonight on W5 they did a story about animal hoarders and included the case of Celtic Pets - a "rescue" here in Nova Scotia that was headed by a woman named Zonda MacIsaac who actually was keeping many, many cats in an unheated sewer-backed up basement, and dogs in feces and urine filled cages for years at a time because she believed that if she didn't keep them there the Cape Breton SPCA would kill them - but really, she just wanted to keep them - for what reason we'll never know.



She kept at least one dog, Zeus - in a cage for several years in a cage at her "rescue" - after having lied to several people that he'd been adopted out. Many people had volunteered to help her many times - and she always refused help.

Her mother Alice - was just as bad as her - even worse, because she was an SPCA Special Constable - and she wasn't even mentioned in the W5 news piece.

In the W5 piece tonight Zonda said she was NOT a hoarder - and I agree with her - she wasn't a hoarder - she was just a dirty, low-life animal abuser.

An animal hoarder is someone who feels choiceless in what they're doing - they have a biological disease with an OCD component that they need to get help for - Zonda MacIsaac knew exactly what she was doing - she chose to leave those dogs and cats in the building that she had bought on West Bay Road for days at a time without food and water so that her neighbours were left to be tortured by the barking and barking and barking day and night - knowing that no one was there to take care of them - knowing that the animals didn't have food or water or care.

The W5 piece was way TOO KIND to include Zonda MacIsaac in their story - she should never have even been included in a story on animal hoarders. And to have her be in the last part of the story - with the animals that she was given back after she was found guilty of animal cruelty - given back dogs by the justice system in Nova Scotia today - to be found guilty of animal cruelty on the scale that she was seen to have committed - and then given dogs back to actually live with her - really shows where we are in Canada today in regards to rights for companion animals.

If I can say anything - it is to say a prayer tonight for those dogs you saw at the end of the W5 story who live today with Zonda MacIsaac - one of the worst animal abusers Canada has today - would you want to be a dog living in her house?

And the justics system in Nova Scotia gladly gave them back to her - AFTER having found her guilty of animal cruelty.

You can watch the episode at http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/MSNHome/20110304/w5-animal-hoarders-110305/

Now THAT'S a story I would like to see W5 actually cover.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nova Scotia's dog training world lost a lively soul today

Silvia Jay's dog Davie died today - she had been suffering from lymphoma for awhile - and today she lost her fight
She had a pretty long life though - but it's always hard to say good-bye to any dog - so I'm sure that Silvia's house if very sad right now - Davie was a once in a lifetime dog who had helped a ton of dogs get on the right path - Silvia likes to use her dogs in her work as a dog trainer - and Davie was an awesome dog to help out
Silvia talks about Will and Davie a lot on her blog and I'd imagine that Silvia's like any proud dog owner and looks for excuses to talk about her amazing dogs like in a post where she says that "her dogs are gifted" - and having met Will and Davie several times - I would have to agree with her.
I have been deeply in love with everything Silvia Jay for several years now - and that includes her dogs - so I am very sad to hear that Davie is gone - she was a beautiful example of her breed that was lovingly guided by her owner. They had a wonderful life together. I feel bad for the dog left behind - Will - but I'm sure that Silvia and her husband Mike will make sure that Will is taken care of.

When I went into my bedroom to turn my computer on to write this post - I noticed a post-it note on my wall that I written a little poem on - which is very pithy for this post - if you don't mind that it has the word "human" in it - consider that the poem is just about all "sentient" creation - and it can then become applicable, which I think it is.

Have a good journey, Davie - you made a big difference while you were here - and you'll continue to make a difference - even though you're gone.





"
"Four Reminders"

Joyful to have
Such a human birth
Difficult to find
Free and well-favoured.
But death is real,
Comes without warning,
THis body
Will be a corpse.
Unalterable
Are the laws of karma;
Cause and effect
Cannot be escaped.
Samsara
Is an ocean of suffering,
Unendurable,
Unbearable intense.