Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Province's most notorious puppy broker/stealer/seller is arrested

I forewarn you - this is going to be a long post, because I want to pack in as much information as I can - It seems that our province's most notorious seller of sick, diseased - and quite often stolen - puppies has been arrested in the last few days, for obstruction and mischief - and hopefully will be charged with animal cruelty by the Nova Scotia SPCA - if they ever get their act together.

Gail Benoit has been notorious for years - maybe decades - for selling sick dogs that she gets free from places like ads in the paper, yard sales, from the side of the road - basically anywhere she can find them - and then she resells them. She'll take them sick, dying - it doesn't matter to her - and then she does nothing to make them healthy - and then she'll sell them for whatever she can get - and quite often she'll try and sell them as purebred dogs. She warehouses them on her property in very unsavoury circumstances and further damages them.

As well - scuttlebutt is that if she sees a puppy or dog unattended in a yard - that dog goes missing pretty fast and then shows up in a new family that has paid a pretty penny for it. And I say that because I have read first hand accounts of it.

Last Friday animal cruelty officers, with the RCMP in tow raided Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey's propety. There was an article in Sunday's Chronicle Herald about it:

SPCA seizes puppies Digby County woman arrested; animal cruelty charges pending By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau Sat. Oct 27 - 5:33 AM

DIGBY — Provincial SPCA investigators seized puppies from a property in Roxville, near Digby, on Friday for the second day in a row.

Every RCMP officer available in the town Friday also went to the blue bungalow on Highway 217, where things turned ugly in a hurry.

Gail Benoit was home when the officers arrived and was arrested. She was screaming obscenities and rocking violently in the back seat of a police car when she was taken away.

Cpl. Trish McQuarrie later took photos of a large gob of phlegm on the plastic shield between the front and back seats where Ms. Benoit allegedly spat.

"All we're there for is to keep the peace . . . and to ensure that the SPCA officers are able to do their job," Cpl. McQuarrie said.

Eight puppies were seized from the home and garage on Friday after two were taken away on Thursday.

Ms. Benoit's husband, Dana Bailey, was not home during the raid but he arrived at the Digby RCMP detachment shortly after 5:30 p.m. and began shouting at officers.

"What were you doing at my house again today?" he said, continuing to shout and curse.

"You'd better let her out," he said, referring to his wife. "She's had enough. Do you hear me? She's had enough."

He then jumped into his minivan and drove off.

A sign on the rural home's mailbox says Puppies Us. A middle word or letter appears to be missing.

Judith Gass, past-president of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said investigators at the property on Thursday found more pups thought to be infested with parasites, so they returned on Friday.

Some of the pups had bulging abdomens and likely carried large loads of worms, Ms. Gass said.

She said charges under the provincial Animal Cruelty Prevention Act and the Criminal Code are pending against one or more occupants of the home.

The SPCA was acting on complaints, Ms. Gass said, and the investigation will continue.

Today there was another article talking about it:

Police charge Digby puppy seller SPCA finalizing animal-related charges By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau Tue. Oct 30 - 6:00 AM

DIGBY — A woman whom the RCMP forcibly removed from her home Friday so SPCA officers could look for sick puppies has been charged with obstruction and mischief.

Gail Ruth Benoit, 38, of Roxville, Digby County, will appear in Digby provincial court on Dec. 10.

Provincial SPCA investigators are still finalizing animal-related charges that should be ready this week, said Pam Keddy, president of the Nova Scotia SPCA.

Ten puppies were taken from Ms. Benoit's blue bungalow and garage on Highway 217, two on Wednesday and eight more on Friday. Ms. Keddy confirmed Monday that testing on the seized dogs revealed an intestinal virus linked to unsanitary living conditions.

"What we're hoping to achieve by laying these charges and going to court is to get a prohibition . . . of (dog) ownership," Ms. Keddy said.

The SPCA is also seeking out people who may have bought littermates of the seized puppies.

"One of those dogs is a German shepherd mix," Ms. Keddy said. "That was one of a litter of 10. So there were nine other puppies that would have been purchased from her.

"Also, there was an 11-month-old black cocker spaniel that we had listed on our warrant that had been sold before we exercised it."

People who have bought puppies from the Digby-area woman are asked to contact the SPCA, Ms. Keddy said. The organization's web address is

Ms. Benoit would not talk about her dogs or the charges she faces when contacted by phone Monday.

"I've got nothing to say to you," she said. "Call my lawyer. Have a nice day."

Fran Morrison of Port Caledonia, Cape Breton, bought a puppy from Ms. Benoit last spring. She told The Chronicle Herald that she believes a veterinary medical health record that came with her pup is a forgery.

Ms. Morrison tried to call Ms. Benoit about the dog and the medical record.

"After the puppy arrived, she wouldn't pick up her phone," Ms. Morrison said.

"My daughter contacted her over the Internet. . . . She told my daughter she was getting a purebred Pomeranian.

"And when the puppy arrived, it was definitely no purebred. It's a mixture between a Pom and a chihuahua," she said.

The puppy had worms but otherwise seemed fine.

Ms. Morrison said the medical record that accompanied the puppy contained an inoculation report Scotch-taped inside a blank animal health record folder. The record is dated last March 2 and distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus and leptospirosis are checked off.

"It's not a real vet record," Ms. Morrison said.

Staff at two veterinary clinics in and near Digby said Monday the record would not have come from them.

Ms. Morrison said she paid $520 for a dog she could have bought at the local animal shelter. She still has the black and tan dog, named Cha Cha, which arrived in Cape Breton in a shuttle van.

She said she reported her concerns about Ms. Benoit, including the suspicious medical record, to Digby RCMP last April or May.

"They said they would check into her. They knew of her."

She never heard from them again.

Another Cape Breton woman paid Ms. Benoit $800 for a dog and didn't even receive a medical record.

"She sells them out of The Sunday Herald and she sells them out of our local (bargain flyer)," said Lynn O'Flaherty of New Waterford.

"She doesn't use a name. She uses her phone number.

"My life's work right now is to make sure she doesn't get back into this."

Their puppy, Tigger, appeared to be fine when he arrived last December but he soon began to have seizures.

"We noticed things like him banging into walls," Ms. O'Flaherty said.

"I called the shuttle service who delivered Tigger to me to let him know what was going on and he told me that in the previous six months he had delivered between 40 and 50 pups to my area alone," she said.

Tigger is dead now.

"We could no longer control the grand mal seizures," Ms. O'Flaherty said. "We had him put down at the ripe old age of seven months."

One Cape Breton shuttle service said it will no longer carry animals for Ms. Benoit.

Brennan's Shuttle has had a new owner since August and has carried only one dog for the Digby County woman, spokesman Chad McPhee said. The company learned from the SPCA that the dog was likely sick.

The shuttle van had to be cleaned inside with a bleach solution, vacuumed twice and then steam-cleaned, costing the company a day's work, Mr. McPhee said.

"That was around the first . . . or the second week of September," he said.

"She was told, no more."

The reason why I'm hesitant that the Nova Scotia SPCA is going to actually do anything about her is that nothing has been done in the past - she's gotten away with murder - people have posted to Kijiji about her like crazy - you can go to - and read one woman's account. And if you do a Google search on Gail Benoit you come up with several hits on her.

She's in the "Pet" database - at

There's also other warnings on Kijiji about her - like at

Just about every message board you go to that sells animals that she posts to will also have a warning about her. And yet the NS SPCA hasn't been able to successfully convict her of anything? How can one woman be so smart, I don't know. She must be a rocket scientist. She must also be a complete sadist for all of the sick and dying dogs that she has sold in her career, that's for sure. And also a complete psychopath. How can she look into the eyes of the dogs that she's selling and not have any compassion at all for their condition? How can she sentence these people that she's duping into buying these puppies a lifetime of enormous vet bills and heartache because they've purchased such damaged goods unbenownst to them.

She preys on people who don't know that it's really not a good idea to buy a puppy out of the trunk of a car, or in a parking lot - or what happens a lot of times with her is that she says you can go meet the parents at her house and when you're on route she'll call you and say that something has come up and can she meet you part way - and then what are you going to say? No? The woman is sly. She's done this a million times.

So then you get your puppy home and it won't eat and his eyes are all pussy and his belly is distended. And what are you supposed to do. You have just won yourself a lifetime of pain thanks to Gail Benoit.

Well right now you've got a golden opportunity - if you have a Gail Benoit dog - you MUST contact the NS SPCA - at 902-835-4798 - and tell them that you are willing to prosecute Gail Benoit for animal cruelty for selling you a deficient product. That's the only way we're going to get her to stop stealing our dogs, and selling dying dogs - and passing parvo and distemper all around this province. She is an evil person and needs to be stopped once and for all - we have a small window of opportunity - and that opportunity is right now. I hope the NS SPCA steps up to the plate and does something about her while they're given the chance right now. I pray for it for all the dogs she's maimed and killed and all the families she's devastated who simply wanted a canine life companion and got pain and sorrow.

Here's an article from August 2006 that talks about Gail selling dogs with parvo from the back of her car from the CBC's website:

Other posts on this blog relating to Gail Benoit

Lawyer for Gail Benoit in the news today

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Long Lake Falls

I learned something new today. I had been operating under the assumption that some waterfalls that I'd been walking to with the dogs from Old Sambro Road were the same waterfalls that I had always walked to when I used to walk from St. Margaret's Bay Road back when I used to walk that way into Long Lake.
But today I learned that there are TWO sets of waterfalls at Long Lake. For the first time I walked all the way up to the top of the hill where the falls come from and they are completely different.
From the lake they look almost exactly alike - but at the top the landscape is completely different.
I was completely amazed. And when I got back down to the lake and had a really close look around I discovered that yes - this was different than the other set of waterfalls at Long Lake.
So me and the dogs have our own set of waterfalls at Long Lake. That's awesome!
I say that because the part of Long Lake that these falls are at is quite impenetrable and you've got to get down on your hands and knees to get through some parts of the trail. Not really a good spot for the less hardy.
Not too good for the weekend warrior types who like to go to Long Lake usually - and definitely no good for bicycles.
But it's very good for women who like to walk their dogs in PEACE -
And for dogs who like to run and around and have a good time -
And for dogs who like to have their backs scratched as a part of the walk!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How can we find the truth? Talking about Bylaw A300

What can I say. I am flummoxed. I don't know what's the truth, what's going to happen, what's going to be implemented, and how anything is going to happen - but I haven't got a good feeling about any of it. I just hope that none of my animals die because of the passing of Bylaw A300 on Tuesday night.

What I do know is that Bylaw A300 DID pass with the wording about dangerous dogs and what constitutes an attack that I personally was so worried about - and that I actually went down to City Hall and presented about at the public hearing in early September - see my blog post from September 11th - that talks about that night.

I personally have a lot of concerns and questions.

Above and beyond all the things that have been in the media and the things that I've talked about before about that bother me about the bylaw are some things that nobody seems to be talking about - and there are 2 huge items that are staring at me every time I look at the bylaw.

#1 is the fact that monies collected by fines from Animal Services offences are NOT GOING TO BE FUNNELLED BACK INTO ANIMAL SERVICES COFFERS!!!!!! Why hasn't anybody been talking about this? This question has been raised several times by Councillors at Regional Council meetings and then hastily dropped when asked to the Staff Seargent who wrote the bylaw. The reason for this is that the offences are charged under the "Summary Offence Proceedings Act" - the same act that you pay fines like speeding tickets and and seatbelt infractions - the bulk of those fines go into Provincial coffers - NOT TO THE CITY!!!!!

Why is that?

The reason why Calgary can support their own Animal Services Contract is that ALL their money from fines, licencing, boarding - goes back into their Animal Services budget. This is not rocket science!!!!!

Why isn't anybody talking about this?

How do I know this?

On page 1 of the Supplementary Report given out September 25, 2007 the 3rd recommendation (which was passed this past Tuesday October 23, 2007) it says - "Upon adoption of BYlaw A300, authorize staff to submit a request to the Province to include penalties levied under the BYlaw in the Summary Offence Proceedings Act. Here is the link to the Supplementary Report so you can see for yourself.

My second huge problem that no one is talking about is with the supposed shelter that the City doesn't want to build.

If you look at "Administrative Order Number 11" - which is on page 17 of the document I just gave the link to right above here - it says:

It is enacted by the Council of the Halifax Regional Municipality as follows:
a) The Shelter Keeper for the Municipality is the Nova Scotia Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
b) the Shelter for the Municipality shall be the facility of the Nova Scotia Socielty for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals located at 5 Scarfe Court, Halifax NS

and it goes on from there to say how much the "Shelter Keeper" can charge for animals and blah blah blah.

Well now. I have a HUGE problem with this. It would seem to me that such a huge contract should #1 go out for tender. #2 - how do I know that the current manager of the shelter is qualified to be the shelter manager as required under the now passed bylaw? If she's not, can she be fired and a qualified person hired?

And there's an article in today's Chronicle Herald where the president of the NS SPCA is talking about the bylaw - and she's saying nothing about the fact that they are going to be the new shelter:

SPCA welcomes proposed shelter but has concerns about new bylaw

Thu. Oct 25 - 3:40 PM

The Nova Scotia SPCA’s metro shelter welcomes a plan to have a larger, state-of-the-art facility built in Halifax Regional Municipality to accommodate an expected influx of strays and unclaimed cats because of the city’s new cat bylaw.

But at the same time, the agency is concerned about people being able to trap cats on their property.

"The SPCA’s concern is the education and monitoring of how this trapping will take place, as cats must not be left unattended in cages," the agency said in a news release Wednesday.

Such action, the SPCA said, would constitute animal cruelty under the law. There is also a concern of "pitting neighbour against neighbour."

"At our current shelter facility, we have already experienced this and we have found these situations can be very volatile."

The shelter has been assisting with the city’s stray cat problem since 1991 by offering shelter and adoption for cats brought to its Dartmouth facility. The shelter’s adoption rate is about 80 per cent.

The shelter helps with about 2,500 animals a year, 75 per cent of which are cats.

On Tuesday night, council approved a new bylaw that will put mandatory cat licensing in place by April 1. Bylaw A-300 also bars any dog or cat from running at large, damaging property or attacking another person or animal.

Several councillors have said they do not want to spend millions to build a shelter and hire officers to enforce the bylaw.

And in the article I have several problems in there - with #1 being that they KILL 20% of the animals that come through the door - that's not a very good percentage as far as I'm concerned - 2 out of 10 animals that go through their doors die.

And they also say that they've been the place that people could take their cats to since 1991 - that's an outright lie. For years they refused to take any owner surrenders. They would NOT take any animals that people tried to surrender if they thought they were too busy.

So that's the start of some of my concerns. Why are these things not being talked about - why is the money being raised by fines not going to Animal Control, and why is the Nova Scotia SPCA getting the shelter contract with no tender going out - and why is City Council talking about needing a new shelter when they've already identified Scarfe Court as the shelter?

Those are some questions I'd like answered.

Stay tuned while I try to find out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Peggy's Cove at Sunset

My Dad has his elderly brother and sister in town for a vacation and they've never been to Nova Scotia before - they've never really been out of the section of rural Ontario that they've spent their entire lives before, really - and tonight my Dad took them out for supper at Peggy's Cove which is a place that you have to take everyone when you're ushering visitors around when they're coming to Nova Scotia.

We were there right at dusk and it was amazing the amount of people there with fancy cameras taking tons of photograps - they were like little ants running around trying to get the perfect photograph. There are probably a million photos of the Peggy's Cove light house I'd imagine - and probably 1/2 million of them are almost perfect. It's pretty hard to take a bad shot of the place.

I really was amazed how many people were there on a non-descript Monday evening in October how many people were there - are there that many people there every nice dusk evening? If so, that's amazing. Anyway - these are my contribution to the millions of mediocre photos.

Peggy's Cove at Sunset

My Dad has his elderly brother and sister in town for a vacation and they've never been to Nova Scotia before - they've never really been out of the section of rural Ontario that they've spent their entire lives before, really - and tonight my Dad took them out for supper at Peggy's Cove which is a place that you have to take everyone when you're ushering visitors around when they're coming to Nova Scotia.

We were there right at dusk and it was amazing the amount of people there with fancy cameras taking tons of photograps - they were like little ants running around trying to get the perfect photograph. There are probably a million photos of the Peggy's Cove light house I'd imagine - and probably 1/2 million of them are almost perfect. It's pretty hard to take a bad shot of the place.

I really was amazed how many people were there on a non-descript Monday evening in October how many people were there - are there that many people there every nice dusk evening? If so, that's amazing. Anyway - these are my contribution to the millions of mediocre photos.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some nice shots on a fall day

I got some nice shots today in the woods and the backyard - it was a beautiful sunny day, and some of the leaves are still on the trees even though we had a big wind and rain storm here yesterday. I don't imagine it'll take too long for the rest of the leave to fall off the trees though - so we should take advantage of the foliage while we can.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Did anybody watch the cat bylaw debate at City Council this week

So did anybody watch our most esteemed Halifax City Councillors debate the proposed A300 Animal Bylaw during the Halifax Regional Council meeting this past Tuesday night?

What an action packed 4 hours that was, eh? How can a group of about 30 people talk for about 2 hours about something and never get around to actually debating the topic they're supposed to be debating about? I was ashamed to have been part of any electoral process that put them in those seats. And it wasn't because they were talking about animals that I was ashamed - they could have been talking about any matter of City busiess, because they've done the exact same thing about other agenda items I've noticed - but this City Council for some reason seems completely obvlivious to the fact that they are WAY more interested in talking about the PROCESS of the Council meetings than they are in talking about the ITEMS in the agenda.

The City Council spent 2 hours on Tuesday night talking about how Bylaw A300 itself wasn't mentioned in the original motion put forward by Dawn Sloane when she tried to have the cat bylaw section taken out - so therefore since no bylaw was mentioned her request for an amendment should be thrown out. TWO HOURS was spent on the logistics of that. Two hours COULD HAVE been spent debating the actual bylaw and moving it through City Council so that some movement could have been made on the bylaw itself - but NO - City Council wanted to verbally masturbate and just listen to itself talk about semantics. It was completely ludicrous.

And who is to blame for it? I put it squarely on the head of Peter Kelly - I don't think he knows how to run a meeting, obviously. How can you let a meeting get so far out of the realm of the imaginable that you're not talking about anything that has to do with the topic at hand?

And then when the Councillors are talking about the bylaw, or something that has anything to do with animals - they're just making fools of themselves. One Councillor spoke for a whole five minutes about how important it was to have a section about SPRAY and NEUTER. And I am not misspelling those 2 words. He actually said SPRAY and NEUTER no less than 10 times. David Hendsbee, when referring to feral cats - call them VIRAL cats.

As well - several members of City council oppose the yearly registering of dogs and cats - they call it a "tax grab". Well - how is the City going to run any of the Animal Services without this "tax grab"? One could compare it to yearly registration of your car - why do I have to get those little tags on my licence plates? The government knows I own my car - why do I have to keep getting those little stickers on it? Maybe to pay for the highways I drive my car on? And for the police to make those highways safe? Well I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think that yearly registration of my dog would pay for those kinds of services for my dog in a more perfect world than what the Halifax Regional City Council seems to be envisioning for me, it seems - because they don't seem to be able to see it. And by the way - it was David Hendsbee and Linda Mosher who couldn't see any use in yearly registration of dogs. They thought it would be much more appropriate to have a one time only registration of dogs so that they could just get a head count for Animal Control.

So now that Council meeting is over and still nothing is resolved with Bylaw A300 and the City Council still has to continue debating the Bylaw. And still nothing is resolved. One thing that DID come out at the meeting though is that one of the consultants they used to draft the bylaw was PIJAC. Can you imagine? The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council? The Lobbying group that is owned by the pet store industry? You can imagine how impartial they are to back yard breeders and puppy mills, and how good of advice they'd give about kennels and breeders - it's no wonder the section on kennels and breeders is so abysmal.

Okay, now I'm all worked up. Shit. I'm never going to get to sleep now. Shit.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Getting "Naughty" over at Charlie loves Halifax!

I've been in doing a bunch of updates tonight on my "Charlie loves Halifax" website and I added a rant on my "Pet Stores" page. I think it's because of a conversation I had last week with one of the owners of a local Pet store at the Maritime Fall Fair that was going really well and we were having a good talk until I asked "so is your store dog friendly?" and she said "well, NO!" and then went on to give me 2 or 3 really lame brained excuses like as if I should just take them at face value and still come and spend exhorbitant amounts of money at her store for stuff I can buy pretty much anywhere else AND take my dog in with me that it hit me - we really DON'T need to take the bullshit. So I wrote a nice little rant on my pet store page tonight.

You can go and read it if you like. It's pretty much patented falderal guaranteed to make business owners stutter and sputter, but is nothing other than the good honest to dog truth (in my opinion) - it's at

Friday, October 12, 2007

THE Cutest Dog in the World

Here is Buttercup modelling a coat we got last year from Hounds Around Town - I'd say orange is a good colour for her, don't you think?
She's looking a bit different tonight though, because we've started a new hair cut - much to her horror. She is currently very unhappy.


I was at my friend Maureen's house dropping off some liver because I've donated some to the upcoming "Pug-o-ween" being put on by Nova Scotia Pugs this coming Sunday - along with one week of doggy Day care from Camp Bow Wow that I'm redonating that I got at the recent Nova Scotia SPCA Paws for a Cause Auction

But anyway - I'm sure that Maureen's pugs - Rudy and Ashley - are going to be 2 most beautiful pugs there on Sunday! They will certainly be the 2 most loved pugs anyway! They were both rescued from PEI - aren't they just the cutest things you've ever seen?
This is Ashley - Ashley is mostly blind now because of an immune reaction to vaccinations before Maureen got her - but she gets around pretty good.
These 2 pictures are of Nacho - I think you can tell who rules the house!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Weekend full of taking photos

This Thanksgiving weekend I had a busy time of taking a lot of photos where I went = to the Maritime Fall Fair, a friends house for Thanksgiving supper on Sunday, and then for a walk with the dogs today. I got some great photos Sunday night and today.

This is a photo of a vendors stall at the Maritime Fall Fair - I was having a very positive conversation with the woman - her store is out in Hammonds Plains and she sells horsey type stuff and she said that she also sells a lot of dog stuff which I thought was great and we were talking about that when I asked her my inevitable question which I figured I already knew the answer of - "So - is your store dog friendly?" - to which she replied "No, my dog is in the store and she runs around free, and there's a lot of expensive stock in there" - blah blah - to which I answered - "Okay, thanks". And I put the item I had in my hand and had planned on buying back up on the shelf and walked away. I will NOT be listing her store on my Resources pages or saying here what the name of her store is for obvious reasons - although you can intuit from the picture what it is. But no money from my pocket is going to a dog type store that does not allow dogs through it's doors!! What idiocy!!!!!!
And talking about idiocy - the people behind the counter at this display were a laugh a minute. If you're at the Exhibition next weekend you should go here and have some fun with these people. They're a laugh a minute. I'm not going to tell you how they're "funny" - but it'll take you about a minute-and-a-half of conversation to figure it out. Try talking about the inter-net, or how much money they're making off their pillows, or people trying to steal from them, or "conspiracies". And don't look at them out of the corner of your eye. You'll be done for then.

This is Skye the border Collie from "Moe's Little Kennels and the Paws for Fun" demonstration that they had going on at the Exhibition. I'm not going to say too much about this because I don't have too much good to say about it.How would you like to pay $75 for a pair of rubber boots with dogs on them? Go back out the Exhibition next weekend and find them!
This was the first time since I was a child that I'd gotten close to cows - they are awesome.

They also had a midway which I thought was neat - it was good for about a minute of interest - it was also the first time I'd been to anything like that since I was a kid.
I also went to the bull riding something or other with my Dad which I thought was fascinating. It was exactly like what you see on television - the same quality of bull riding - only in reality. It was pretty neat.

So then last night I went to supper at my friend Janet's house - here are the results of that -

This is CharlieAnd Oreo - 1/2 papillon and 1/2 jack russell
Ursa and Sandy
A group shot of some of the above dogs
These photos are part of a "fashion shoot" that we did for this little dog Toby - he put up with our foolishness like a true pro! haha!

These are photos that I took today of the dogs - arent' they cute? I especially like the one of Daisy where her nose is stuck in the camera lens - that's an especially good one. It also appears as if Charlie was feeling super smiley today as well. They like to go for walks.