But before I step back I want to write out why it is that I have a problem with the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, and with the Executive of that organization. It's not something that I've just pulled out of my hat and decided to feel. It's something that happened over a very long time from experiences that have happened to me over and over, and I now feel compelled to write about it in a public forum because I think it needs to be told, and because I can't be the only person on this earth who's had bad relations with the DLCC.
It didn't start out that way. I was one of the first members of the organization. I was one of the founding members of the Nova Scotia chapter of the DLCC - and actually wrote the minutes for the inaugural meeting for the chapter that was held at Janet Chernin's house here in Halifax. I have been an active and fervent fighter for breed discrimination since I first heard that the practice and idea existed. I still am. I still believe in the initial tenets that the DLCC stood for - the breed specific legislation is wrong, and that the way to go is by enacting dangerous dog legislation - put the onus on the dog's owner - not on the dog.
But right from the beginning of the organization - the unelected, and still serving - Executive of the DLCC - had very strict, and very narrow ideas of how the DLCC should appear to the public and what the DLCC should be doing.
My first run-in with the Executive was with a doggy-day that was being held at a local off-leash park that was popular with many pit bull type dog owners - and a couple of members of the NS branch wanted to host a booth at this doggy-day. The DLCC Executive would NOT let us host a booth because they were too afraid that pit bull dogs would have fights at this event because it was an off-leash park and pit bulls should not be off leash.
As anyone who reads my blog knows - I am an off-leash advocate - and I am also an advocate of having pit bulls offleash - because I have the belief that pit bulls properly socialized are like any other dogs - so I fought long and hard to have a booth at this event because I believed there weren't going to be any problems - but the DLCC Executive said NO - they didn't want to be associated with anything that had the potential for problems. I couldn't believe the hypocricy that they were exhibiting by assuming that pit bulls were going to fight simply because they were around other dogs, and it made me sick to my stomach.
So that was the FIRST time I left the DLCC in a huff.
But my best friend Janet Chernin - stayed with the DLCC - she is the vice president of the Atlantic provinces and she believes really strongly in the DLCC - so because we are such good friends - when Bill 132 was enacted - and vigils were being planned all across Canada and the US the day before the bill was enacted - somehow my stance against the DLCC had softened and I had become a member again, I can't now remember how I got back in - but she and I organized the vigil here in Halifax - and it was a big success. And it was dog friendly, and there were tons of pit bulls there - and it was fabulous. And the DLCC took all the credit for it, which was okay for me - I am an organizer and I never want credit for anything - I am happy with that.
At the same time - there was a pit bull type dog up in Guysborough who's case I had become involved in - his name was Zeus, and I had made a website about Guysborough and their reprehensible breed ban - and when they targeted Zeus in particular I dedicated the site to Zeus. Originally the site hadn't been about Zeus - it had just been about the breed ban - it was called "Skip Guysborough" - don't spend any of your tourist dollars in Guysborough when the rest of Nova Scotia doesn't have any breed bans - that's what I was telling the dog lovers of the world - and it was a super idea - and everybody loved it. It was a great little site. And then when I dedicated to Zeus and included him as well - it got even better.
But then at some point the DLCC found out that somehow the prosecution were going to try and use the site to prove that Zeus was a pit bull because I had called him a "pit bull" on the site - and the abusive emails flew! As far as the Executive were concerned I had already killed Zeus with my own 2 hands! But I countered back - on their Zeus page on the DLCC site - they called him a pit bull themselves! So how could I be doing something wrong if they were doing it themselves! That shut them up for a moment as they went and changed the text on their site....
And their site then called Zeus a "pit bull type" dog - which is what I had also called Zeus - but still that wasn't good enough for them. The prosecution was still going to be using my website to prove Zeus was a pit bull. Right up until the day of the trial the Cameron's lawyer was wanting to "throttle" me because of the prosecution's use of me as a "breed expert" - when no one - not the prosecution or the defence ever even called me at all. It was only the DLCC trying to intimidate and manipulate me as near as I can tell. In the end when I read the court transcripts the "experts" testimony they said almost exactly word for word what I had said on my website about Zeus and Sandy - that there was no way you could say for sure they were pit bulls - that Zeus's head was way too big and his chest was too big and his back end was too small and Sandy was for sure more of a rhodesian ridge back than a pit bull - and that there wasn't even such a thing as a pit bull anyway - that pit bulls are a compendium of 3 breeds - and that pit bull is just a type of dog - so to call a dog a pit bull is a misnomer. And in the end Zeus and Sandy won - and all the grief they gave me was for nothing.
The website I made has since been taken down because it's not needed anymore - there's no more BSL in the district of the municipality of Guysborough - so you no longer need to skip Guysborough - it's safe to go back there again. Zeus and Sandy are safe to live out their lives there. But if they would've lost - the DLCC would've blamed it all on me.
So at this point I'm in the good graces of the DLCC - I even get to go to their AGM, and eat lobster, take notes, meet all the nice people of the Executive, go to people's houses - isn't that fabulous? Life is grand. For all of you naysayers out there who say I don't believe in the DLCC and the legal challenge - I do - and I did support the DLCC financially - with membership dues, and when the legal challenge was in jeapardy because of lack of funds and Cathy Prothro put emergency calls for money - I did donate $100 so that thousands of dollars could be paid to Clayton Ruby when he needed it. I am not a slacker - I was with the cause 100%. I was indeed a proud member of the DLCC - if you look back on this blog there's tons of places where I say "I'm a proud member of the DLCC". But it's just when the Executive keeps slapping you in the face with their awful right wing rhetoric - after awhile you've got to start believing what they're telling you.
So now it's on to the next thing - the DLCC's fight with Dogs's Deserve Better and the Humane Society of the United States - and general any organization that they term to be "AR" - which I assume to be "Animal Rights" - and for myself I don't consider Dogs Deserve Better and the HSUS to be "AR" - I consider Dogs Deserve Better to be a grassroots organization out to help dogs one dog at a time - that's because I'm so heavily involved in the organization though. But I digress.
And here is where things are going to start to get interesting....
For some reason - the Executive of the DLCC seems to think there is some conspiracy out there amongst different Animal organizations whereby those organizations are working behind the scenes to in fact HARM dogs and take away the rights of dog owners instead of HELP dogs, and empower dog owners. And they believe that Dogs Deserve Better and the HSUS are 2 of those organizations.
The DLCC has moved away from simply fighting to strike down bill 132 in Ontario and moved on to quash and destroy any organization that it deems to be an Animal Rights organization and an enemy of the DLCC.
Here is a quote from LeeAnn O'Reilly:
"...our council has a vested interest in keeping abreast of the invasive movement of animals rights organizations."
— LeeAnn O'Reilly, President, Dog Legislation Council of Canada
That includes sending out information to it's members about websites such as Ms Jade - who talks about the Best Friends Animal Society being a cult, and involved with all kinds of bad stuff - and how anti-tethering legislation is just another form of breed specific legislation. Huh? You ask?
You can ask kennel owners and breeders and the CKC about that one - those are the people who oppose anti-tethering legislation - that's because they are the ones who oppose anti-chaining legislation - and the DLCC is in the back pocket of those organizations. Breeders want to be able to chain and tether and kennel their "products" and produce - because when you've got 40 of something you can't keep them in the house with you, and you can't let them run loose. So anti-tethering legislation would make you lose your liveliehood. So that's wh the DLCC has branched out and is attacking Dogs Deserve Better in it's attempt to pass anti-tethering legislation.
Strong words. But I believe them to be true. For some reason the DLCC Executive believes that they have the only, and most correct way of the viewing the world - and everyone else's way is inherently evil and must be exterminated and demolished.
The DLCC Executive's attempts to discredit Dogs Deserve Better was the last nail in the coffin for any respect I had for the organization. They are not trying to save any dogs' lives as far as I can tell - they are only trying to get glory for themselves in some kind of mind games of international recognition. If anyone deserves the title of an "AR" designation - I think it's the DLCC - not Dogs Deserve Better or the Best Friends Animal Society - because at least those 2 organizations actually help dogs on a day to day basis in the real world. What does LeeAnn O'Reilly do but send out and receive 100's of emails daily? I put her in the same camp as Walt Hutchins anyday. Maybe she puts herself there too, though! haha!
And don't even mention the term "sled dogs" to her - I think she'd run the Iditarod and chain all the sled dogs out herself if she could she loves sled dogs so much.
It seems like the level of paranoia within the Executive of the DLCC is on the level of the old file ranks of the KGB. Everyone is the enemy, and everyone but them is wrong and misinformed and must be defeated when it comes to answers on how to better the world of dogs. I've never seen anything like it and I don't imagine I ever will again. They are absolutely unbelieveable, and it's not until you've actually met them and dealt with them individually do you actually start to understand.
So this is why I don't like the DLCC. After reading all of this, maybe you can understand why too.
So that's it, I'm done now. I'm not going to talk anymore about the DLCC.
Addendum added May 3, 2007 - I read a post on the right wing Dog Politic blog today and was blown away by a comment left by the unelected president of the DLCC, LeeAnn O'Reailly - who has come out on several Yahoo groups that I belong to saying that she is against anti-tethering legislation - saying that it's just another form of BSL - she's against all legislation that is not enacted by the DLCC personally - and anti-tethering legislation is being pushed by Dogs Deserve Better - so of course she'd be fighting any anti-tethering legislation that comes up. So I of course was shocked to read the following comment:
PETA is killing our rights by killing our dogs.Over the past two decades they have milked millions from the ignorant and fed the ignorant with their warm and fuzzy portrayals of their interests.It is only now that they come forward because now,they have the political clout only money can buy.They have also bought and sold their prepackaged agendas in anti tethering,anti breeding anti animal ownership to other equally ignorant groups like .........JUST FILL IN THE BLANKS HERE FOLKS.
Posted by: LeeAnn O'Reilly May 01, 2007 at 01:50 PM
Further proof that Ms. O'Reilly likes to have her cake and eat it too, depending on who she's talking to and what politics she's trying to lambast. I don't know why I can't wipe the sneer off my face, but for some reason, I can't. Yuck.