Monday, January 31, 2011

100 dogs are killed in BC and lots of people have noticed

It's wonderful* - 100 sleds dogs were "slaughtered" - as the CTV National News have tagged it - and it's all over the national and regional news, Facebook, and Twitter.

It seems that 100 healthy sled dogs were killed because a tourist business had slowed down after the Olympics - so they were considered an extraneous business expense and needed to be disposed of.

The problem was it caused the employee who had to fulfill the job function an occupational illness - and a radio station in British Columbia found the "Workplace BC" documents that the employee had filed detailing the employees account of his post traumatic stress disorder - and now the British Columbia SPCA has become involved and said that what took place could fall under criminal code violations because of what the employee has described -

"In WorkSafe BC documents, the worker describes chasing after a dog that survived a shot to the face: "Although she had the left side of her cheek blown off and her eye hanging out, he was unable to catch her."

Another apparently dead dog was dumped into the grave. "‘Nora,' who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery."

According to the claim, the dogs panicked as they watched their compatriots being killed, and attacked the worker as he finished his job

At one point during the slaughter, he ran out of ammunition and had to kill an aggressive dog with a knife.

"By that point he wanted nothing more than to stop the ‘nightmare' but he continued because he had been given a job to finish," according to the documents."

I think it's absolutely fabulous* that this story is getting so much press - that the killing of healthy, animals by inhumane means is being seen for what it is - unnecessary, archaic - and criminal - and that the people who did it need to be called out and punished.

The sad thing is that this is not an isolated situation - only the fact that this is getting national press makes it peculiar.

In 2008 - right here at home - 175 dogs were all shot in the head - in exactly the same manner - for basically the same reason - because they were no longer necessary, had become disposable - Chapman Kennels in New Brunswick -

And NOBODY cared - it didn't make any press except for one line in a local newspaper there that went out of business the next week - it was a throwaway line in an article that said -

“The company that my wife sold the dogs to weren’t going to buy puppies. She had around 425 dogs here and no market for them.”

Chapman said they’ve had to sell the remaining dogs at reduced prices, or give them away, and euthanized about 175 of them.

And by euthanized - that meant SHOOTING them.

And nobody cared.

175 dogs were all shot in the head in New Brunswick in 2008 - and it didn't make the news - so I am SO GLAD that these 100 sled dogs are making national news today - maybe it means that the companion animal agenda has moved ahead in the last two years and the national media is now more willing to cover these types of stories.

Maybe it's because the news media on the West Coast is more savvy to these kinds of stories - I don't know - but for whatever reason - I am very glad that these 100 dogs have not died in vain - that their deaths have not gone by unnoticed.

I'm sure that there won't be any successful criminal charges laid or convicted - we haven't come that far yet - this IS Canada after all - but at least we are able to start conversations with each other and talk about the fact that MORALLY - we all know how wrong this was. Because it WAS...... and so is keeping 300 dogs in a yard just to drag people around on a sled.... but that's another post, isn't it.

* By using the terms wonderful and fabulous - I'm not saying that these dogs' deaths are wonderful and fabulous - I am saying that the press coverage that they are getting is wonderful and fabulous. I wanted to make that clear - if that bit of clearance needed to be made.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coyotes inside the HRM - UPDATED....

Tonight on the news there was a report about coyotes attacking a man inside the HRM (and actually only a a couple streets over from where I live) - and the news has stated that they're sending trappers in to "search for the coyotes" - which means that they're going to be setting traps - and killing them - but it also means they're going to be having traps there that will kill anything else that comes along.

I have to admit that I haven't really paid a whole lot of attention to the coyote cull in the last year that's been going on in Nova Scotia, except to think that it's a huge shame. It seems to me that they could be setting live traps and relocating the coyotes rather than killing them - but I think they are saying that they're killing the coyotes because they've gotten too "aggressive", so they've got to be killed, and that coyotes aren't a native species anyways, so they don't really matter.

The postings that come through my Facebook are all about how the cull shouldn't be happening - but today's story has caught my attention - because now that a coyote interaction has happened within the HRM - that means that trappers are going to be setting their traps in areas where potentially off-leash dogs are going to be walking - and that has me very worried.

As a person who is blessed with a dog who makes very poor introductions with other dogs - I walk my dogs in places that other people will generally not tend to go - and I have spent a lot of time walking my dogs at night.

And these are tips that I give to other people on my page called "what to do when your dog isn't dog friendly" - because it's my belief that just because your dog doesn't get along with other dogs - that doesn't mean he can't have a high quality full flavoured, multi-faceted life - which includes lots of off-leash activity - you just do it at other times and in other places than you'd encounter other dogs.

But if there's going to be traps set, and coyotes everywhere - what's a dog owner to do?

Tonight I am not feeling very well.

If the traps don't get us, the trappers will - I feel like it's not a good idea to be walking my small dog in the woods after dark right off leash right now - the danger is just too great - a coyote might get her - and walking my large dogs after dark is too much of a danger because they might get caught in a trap.

Back in 2006 I wrote a post because the Department of Natural Resources came out with a document about keeping your dog safe while you were in the woods - and it includes a section on how to cut your dog out of a trap - I would suggest that if you're going to walk your dogs in any wooded area - start carrying wire cutters - and read this post.



There really is overkill though when it comes to coyotes - with the fear mongering that's going on in the media, and the amount of traps being set by the trappers who have been sent in everywhere by the department of Natural Resources everytime there's a coyote sighting - it seems that when given a chance - instead of treating a coyote run over by a car as "inured wildlife" - it was just summarily shot by the police called to deal with the animal. If this animal would have been one of the beloved foxes or deer rehabilitated every year by "Hope for Wildlife" - I wonder if this animal would have had a different outcome. I don't imagine "Hope for Wildlife" are allowed to rehabiliate coyotes.

A news story came through the internet from Boston that had a VERY DIFFERENT ending - a coyote was stranded out on some ice - animal control were called - and they actually SAVED THE ANIMAL - can you believe that? What kind of a world do they live in down there in Massachusetts that they'd save the life of a worthless being like a COYOTE.....

Coyote Rescued From Icy Charles - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Coyote Rescued From Icy Charles - Animal Taken To Tufts For Treatment

BOSTON -- Cold water rescue crews saved a coyote that was stranded on the Charles River on Tuesday.

The incident happened near the Charlesgate Yacht Club in Cambridge.

When animal control officers entered the water, the coyote jumped from its frozen perch into unfrozen water, according to state police. The animal swam a short distance before climbing back onto a frozen area and running to land toward the Museum of Science.

The coyote was captured by members of the Animal Rescue League early Tuesday afternoon.

It was taken to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton for treatment.

The animal was examined before being placed in the clinic's carnivore ward for fluids, food and overnight observation, according to Tufts spokesman Tom Keppeler.


Here's an article that was in the paper on January 14th about Antigonish County - I found it pretty distasteful - I got an email at the time from a friend who lives up there who said that she's had friends who've lost about 3 dogs that she knows of - including a lab - not all from the same person.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

7:36 minutes of canine bliss

I'm going through my You Tube channel - I've got 114 videos there and I want to separate out the wheat from the chaff - and I just found this video there from February of 2010 - it is 7 1/2 minutes of all killer no filler as far as I'm concerned. But of course - they are my own dogs, I could watch them snore for 12 hours at a time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buttercup takes a stuffed toy on a journey

So Buttercup got a new toy from Shopper's Drug Mart - and she loves it -
Last night we had some fun playing with it, this is a little photo representation of our adventure...

It has a squeak to it - but it doesn't have the normal squeak - it's got a "honk" - so it makes it an even funner toy than usual
It revs up the play a bit because it makes the toy a bit scary as well as being fun for Buttercup for some reason.
And for being sixteen years old - she still likes to play tug - which is amazing, because I'd figure that most of her teeth are ready to fall out - but it would seem that she's not ready to give up quite yet
So please enjoy these few pictures of her playing last night, they were fun to take - and she enjoyed herself, that's for sure
She has definitely still got a lot of get up and go

Truly, why BSL is bullshit

I was in the lunch room at my work and we were talking about my rottweiller Daisy and my coworker said she'd had a rottweiller too and it was the best dog ever, and it had been very protective of her - and I talked about Daisy's past history and how it didn't affect her too negatively now and somehow the subject got on to pit bulls - and my coworker said that she was really leery of them - she didn't think it mattered how they were brought up - they could still turn on a dime. Her cousin had 2 pit bulls that they got as puppies, and they treated them like gold - they took them for walks, gave them the best food, kept them indoors - put clothes on them - and then all of a sudden one night out of the blue one of them attacked the other really bad and when her cousin tried to break it up the dog attacked her - they had to put both dogs down.

I responded to her that we don't know how her cousin treated the dogs really - how many boundaries did she give them? Did she let the dogs play until they were totally over-aroused and completely out of control? Dogs of any size can hurt each other - not just pit bulls, and if you let them play day after day after day with each other with no supervision - wrestling and you never intervene - and they never learn any self-control - and they're always over-aroused - eventually they're going to reach a point where it goes from being play to a fight. And if they're a dog of any size - it's going to turn into a fight. And in this case the fight was lethal - and then transferred on to a human.

My co-worker said that there was no warning - but I told her there are always warnings - her cousin just didn't notice them. When I explained it all to her - she said - yes, that all makes sense.

The worst part of this whole story is that her cousin got a new puppy this past Christmas - another pit bull - but it was only one puppy, not 2. I told my co-worker that I hope her cousin doesn't get a smaller 2nd dog - because the larger dog will probably kill it if she treats these dogs the same way she treated the first crop.

But this post is about breed specific legislation - and what does all that have to do with BSL? That story could have been about any breeds over say - 60 pounds. It doesn't have to be about pit bull type dogs.

Look at this photo - how would you like a drug dealer, or a person who doesn't have control of this dog - walking down Spring Garden Road. Do you think this dog is banned anywhere in North America? I don't think so. Isn't it a magnificent, amazing dog?

It's a breed called a "Mioritic" - it a large breed of livestock guardian dog that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.

They can make some pretty funky dog breeds over there in Eastern Europe, I must say.

Another breed that I was really smitten with for quite awhile and had been planning on getting one at one point was the "black russian terrier" - it looks just like a bouvier - only BIGGER - it can get up to 154 pounds! Can you imagine! That's a like a tank on paws. I could ride that thing to work in the morning.

But imagine the damage that a 154 pound dog can do. A 70 pound pit bull is nothing compared to that. I remember last year we had a story here locally where a police officer shot a dog to death - and the dog was originally mis-identified as a "pit bull" - because all scary dogs are labelled as such - and when it was properly identified as a boxer/mastiff cross - they had to keep the story scary sounding by then retagging the story line - literally - as "brown mixed dog was 80 pounds of muscle"

I think 154 pounds would trump 80 pounds of anything. Even when it's fluffy, any colour - and cute looking.

I think it really shows you that all breeds of dog need to be treated exactly the same. They should be treated based on their behaviour, and their owner's actions - not on their breed. It's so simple - maybe my brain is just too small and there's something I'm missing.

Down in Michigan - this week they're trying to decide whether to ban TEN breeds of dog. Talk about going from the ridiculous to the sublime.

To end this story - my coworker also said that when she was growing up her next door neighbour also had a pit bull - and it was one of the nicest dogs she'd ever known in her whole life - and her neighbour really treated the dog like shit, so much so that the dog used to run away - but still the dog stayed really nice and friendly and was a super dog - even though it was a pit bull. And I said to her - pit bull type dogs generally are a lovely dog - but they are like any other large breed dog - they need to be managed so that they don't get out of control and allowed to express any type of aggression - because that's when they get into trouble. No dog should be allowed to be aggressive in any way - whether they're a pit bull or a poodle.

It's too bad my coworker bought into the storyline of her cousin's "un-explainable" aggression as typical of all pit bulls rather than remembering the friendliness of her childhood pit bull memories. But that's the way our brain's work unfortunately.

Saginaw may restrict ten breeds of dogs

Saginaw’s City Council is considering an ordinance restricting “dangerous” dogs.

It would restrict the ten most statistically dangerous dogs according
to the CDC, including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds,
Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Great
Danes, St. Bernard’s, and Presa Canarios.

“Every year there are about a dozen people killed across the country,
often by these breeds,” said City councilman Dan Fitzpatrick.

He says his dog Otis is part German shepherd and would be restricted
under the ordinance. He says he realizes not all dogs of these breeds
are dangerous, but says statistically certain breeds are more
dangerous. He also says the point of the ordinance is to influence
dog owners to be more responsible.

Under the proposal owners of dangerous dogs would have to pay a $50
registration fee. The city would then provide them with a sign
warning they have such a dog. That sign would have to be placed on
their property. It would be a violation of the ordinance to walk a
“dangerous” dog without a muzzle.

“Owners need to be responsible, and we’re going to help them to be,”
says Fitzpatrick.

He says he has received numerous calls from unhappy dog owners. Many
fear the city will ban their dog. He says that is not part of the
plan. Violating the ordinance would mean a $100 fine for the first

The city council is also looking at an ordinance limiting the number
of dogs a resident can have to three. Violating this ordinance would
result in a $50 fine for the first offense.

“This isn’t just about protecting people, it is about protecting
dogs,” says Fitzpatrick.

He says the city has had an issue with dog fighting and these
ordinances could prevent that from happening.

City council is expected to look at the ordinance as soon as next
month. If approved, it could go into effect as soon as this April.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Horseshoe Island on my drive to work

Today is the last day I'm going to leave my good camera at home. It's just pure laziness and this morning at Horse shoe Island when I drove by was just so beautiful I had to stop and take a couple pictures.

They day that the best camera you have is the one you have with you - but today I think I missed out on an opportunity

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stuff to do coming up

There's some fun stuff to do coming up, so I thought I'd do up one of my semi-regular posts to let you all know about some of the things that have passed through my inbox.

If you're up for it this weekend - the group "Great Danes of Nova Scotia" is having one of their patented group walks down at Point Pleasant Park - they're meeting up January 16th (Sunday) morning at 11am at the Tower Road entrance. So if you've got a great dane - or if you just love the breed - you can have any kind of dog to go - go have a walk!

Also happening on Sunday morning is a volunteer meeting for Pierre's Alley Cat Society - the workers behind the workhorse that is the "Dockyard Cats" - if you've ever thought that you'd like to help out "Pierre the Catman" - this is your perfect opportunity! They are meeting up Sunday at 12 noon at the Sobeys Community Room, Lacewood Drive, in Clayton Park

Coming up on February 12th East Coast German Shepherd Rescue is doing their part for helping the lovelorn by hosting a dance at the Cole Harbour Fire Station - you can see the details on the picture at left - or you can also go to their Facebook page by following this link I've provided heerreeee

February 20th is the 6th annual Doggie Expo from the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada folks - it's the highlight of the season - and NOT to be missed. It is so much fun. It's going to be at the Halifax Forum again - Young Street entrance from 10am to 3pm - I've detailed all the past years of the Expo in minutaie in past blog posts if you want to check it out.

I have made some updates to my Charlie Loves Halifax website and added some new websites, which is fabulous - it means that new dog businesses have opened, which means that our local dog culture continues to be vibrant and growing and people see that there's money to be made.

There's a new local online pet store called "My Petfood" - they had an article published in the Chronicle Herald this week about them, which was super for them

There's also a new dog walking company called "Walkees" - who is a former vet tech from Carnegy Animal Hospital

As well - the NS SPCA is starting to gear up for an Animal Wellness Conference that they're hosting June 3rd and 4th 2011 - so keep your calendar clear for those 2 days so that you can make sure you go to that! It's going to be a ton of fun - of that I am sure - and FOR SURE - keep October 8th and 9th free for the Nova Scotia Integrative Pet Health Expo - that is going to be the funnest thing you're going to go to all year - guaranteed!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Power outage lifesaver

We lost power for over 3 hours tonight - but my Buttercup paraffin candle blazed a bright light through the night and saved the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Leonard was Charlie's biological sister - who we got from a backyard breeder when she was 7 week's old on December 21st, 1989 - I got an email from my exhusband that she died yesterday. This is Leonard when we first got her - when she was just a little little baby, she was just the cutest little thing.
Leonard and Charlie were the perfect 2 dogs - brother and sister, perfectly matched, beautiful dogs. When my husband and I split up - I kept Charlie - and he took Leonard, eventually
I took Leonard up to him in April 2005 - so Leonard and Charlie were together for the first 6 years of their lives, and it was a great love affair.
They were completely different dogs in every way - Leonard was afraid of everything, and Charlie could barrel through anything - but Leonard was physically totally beautiful and a perfect petite sheltie shape.
I've talked about Charlie and all his 11 siblings alot on this blog - this is Charlie with Leonard and Solie - but over the years we've come into contact with almost all the littermates which has been pretty neat - but Leonard was Charlie's first and closest friend.
And for me personally, she is the last connection to my past life, the last connection to my ex-husband - the life I had back then is truly all gone now that she's gone, now there really is no link to that lifetime anymore.
I wonder if Charlie can tell that Leonard isn't around anymore. When I got home from work tonight I told him about her, I really wish there was a heaven so that they could meet up again - I'm sure he would have liked to have seen her again - I know that they'd have recognized each other - they spent the best 6 years of their life together. When we split them up they were both really depressed, but it had to be done.
Leonard was a total stick dog - the bigger the stick the better - and Charlie never gave a shit about sticks or balls - and that's something I've really missed ever since - I've never had to throw a dog a ball since 2005 - Leonard was a great dog - and she lived a good long life - 12 years is pretty good - I hope she was happy. I'm sure she was.

Her owner had his once in a lifetime dog - it doesn't get any better than that.