Monday, June 12, 2017

A life of service

I was at a dinner for the alumni association for my alma mater and a speaker was talking about something - I can't remember what - it was very compelling while I was listening to it, the man was very entertaining and I enjoyed the speech but I don't remember what he talked about - but there was one line that he said that stuck to me and I've been thinking about since and the line he said was "a life of service".

What does that mean? What does it mean to you? What it means to me is the act of volunteerism and how important it is to a healthy society - I don't think we could exist without it.

How much of your life is dedicated to something that is done without pay? That you do simply because you feel called to it, because no one else is willing to do it, because you want to make yourself look good, because you are bored in your life - really there are a million reasons why someone volunteers their time.

There are some of us who's lives are completely dedicated to a cause - a lot of animal people who live and breathe animal rescue, who do it 24 hours a day 7 days a week - that is the world I know and have lived for the past 15 years.

Some people dedicate their lives to a religious calling - that's the fabulous thing about this world - there are billions of people on it and we all have our different interests - I am obsessed with animals and there are other people out there obsessed with helping suffering children - we don't all have to save everything - I'm sure animals are happy I'm interested in them.

Living a life of service is a noble cause - and I don't think that people who live their lives that way are given the credit they deserve - there are a lot of people here in Nova Scotia who live this life that I know - they don't get days off - emails have to be answered 365 days a year, the problems of the animals under their care never go away, facebook posts have to be written, events have to be organized and attended, funds have to raised, causes have to be promoted, animals have to be taken care of - the things to do are endless.

I'm sure a lot of people who are doing this don't even realize they are living a life of service - they think they are just living their life - but really - what they are doing and how they are living their lives is very noble - they are changing the world.

Volunteerism as an altruistic activity is one of the most satisfying things in life and is an awesome way to live - it's difficult at times, exhausting - but at the end of the day there's no better way to live than to know you are making a difference - no matter how small that difference has been.

To live a life of service to others - no matter what species that "others" is - means that your time on this earth has made an imprint on something other than your couch - go out and volunteer for something that is meaningful to you - whether it's little kids at your child's school or animals at the SPCA or a private rescue and you won't be disappointed - I can guarantee it :) - and if you see someone volunteering - thank them for their service.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sandra Tomalin - animal abuser in at least 3 provinces

I wanted to write a post about Sandra Tomalin - who has been convicted of animal abuse in New Brunswick and Ontario and has just finished up a court case in PEI for animal cruelty - she may move to Nova Scotia next - and without a national registry for animal abusers - if she moves to Nova Scotia next I want her name out there so no one gives her any animals - in Ontario she was given a lifetime prohibition for abusing 100 dogs - in New Brunswick she was given a 10 year prohibition for abusing 38 horses and in PEI she was on trial for abusing a cat so she has abused just about every type of animal - as well - in 2005 they had 16 dogs removed from their property because of neglect, but no charges were ever filed.  I'm including an article below that details conditions found when they removed the 100 dogs because it really shows the level that these ladies will allow animals to suffer.

In 2010 Ms Tomalin was handed a lifetime ban on the owning or caring for dogs after 100 dogs were seized from her property in 2009.

In 2011 she was handed a 10 year prohibition with her sister Beverley after moving to New Brunswick after abusing 38 horses - according to the judgment rendered by the judge the Tomalin's failed the horses in every way imaginable - the horses were full of parasites, they were starved, they didn't have proper shelter - the horses were absolutely dying.  I can only imagine in what shape those poor 100 dogs were going through in Ontario in order to get a lifetime prohibition.

Currently in PEI the cat that they are currently in court for had to be euthanized he was suffering so much - so for these ladies to get their hands on any more animals will be a huge crime if they just up and move to another province.

If they do come to Nova Scotia it behooves us to not let them to have any more cats dogs horses or even mice or rats or fish.

Deal bans sisters from owning dogs
Sun Times, Owen Sound
April 12, 2010

Two elderly sisters who had 100 dogs removed from their rural Meaford home in late 2008 have been banned from owning dogs for the rest of their lives.

Beverley Tomalin, 71, and Sandra Tomalin, 68, pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count each of failing to provide care for their dogs, under the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Crown and defence agreed to the resolution and all criminal charges against the sisters were dropped. The Tomalins had both been charged with one count of wilful neglect of dogs and 11 counts of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate medical attention for the animals in their care. They were scheduled to go to trial on the charges later this month.

The sisters have both been banned for life from owning, having custody or care of, or living with any dog. Both women agreed to allow OSPCA inspectors to enter buildings on the property to ensure compliance with the order.

In an interview outside court, defence lawyer Clayton Conlan said the Tomalins are disappointed about not being able to own dogs for the rest of their lives, but are committed to complying with the order. Conlan said the Tomalins no longer have any dogs in their possession.

"They have accepted the fact that the order is a reasonable one," said Conlan, adding that the Tomalins are looking at the resolution as a chance to get on with their lives.

Conlan said a trial would have been difficult for the defence, particularly given the health of Beverley Tomalin, who suffered a stroke in 2008. She suffers from vascular dementia, hypertension and other symptoms from a left cerebral stroke that has significantly affected her mobility on her right side. Dr. Cam Tweedie of the Owen Sound Family Health Team provided an opinion last month that Beverley Tomalin would have been medically unable to take part in a trial.

Both sisters have limited education, leaving high school before completing Grade 10. They are both retired farmers and live on the farm. Neither is married or have children.

Conlan said the resolution will hopefully put the Tomalins in a position on their farm where they will have far fewer animals to care for, enabling them to focus their attention on the animals they still have.

"Any time there is a resolution it is a bit of a compromise on both sides," said Conlan. "This is not ideally what the Tomalins wanted, but they accept that it is a reasonable resolution.

"In the end this is a good result for Beverley and Sandra, given that all of the criminal charges against each have been withdrawn."

OSPCA Bruce-Grey branch investigator Jennifer Bluhm called the resolution a good one.

"It should hopefully ensure we are not back dealing with a similar issue on the same property," said Bluhm. "I am quite happy a resolution was able to be reached."

Bluhm said there will be unannounced visits to ensure compliance with the orders.

The investigation at the Tomalin farm began on Nov. 20, 2008 after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bruce-Grey branch received a complaint, according to the agreed facts read by assistant Crown attorney Andrew Shatto.

On Nov. 30, 2008 a warrant was obtained and on the morning of Dec. 1 OSPCA investigators, along with a veterinarian and OPP officers, attended the Tomalin property on Irish Block Rd. in Meaford.

In 2005, animal cruelty charges against the sisters were withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond and promises of future veterinary inspections at their farm. Those charges stemmed from a separate OSPCA raid on Jan. 16, 2004, when 16 dogs were seized.

On Dec. 1,2008, according to Shatto, the smell of ammonia in the house was overwhelming and the barking dogs were very loud making it difficult to communicate.

About 100 small breed dogs, including llasa apso, papillons and pekingese were found in every room in the house, including the upstairs bedroom and the basement.

"The dogs were living in very unsanitary and overcrowded conditions with most of the dogs extremely matted and many appeared to be urine-soaked and had feces matted into their fur," said Shatto.

Shatto described a home that was cluttered and in disrepair with holes in the floor, non-functioning plumbing and buckets of waste in the bedrooms, bathroom and on the front porch.

"The smell of ammonia was overwhelming and the investigators had to leave, despite wearing masks, to get their breath," Shatto said.

Little or no bedding was available to the dogs, most did not have water and many were found to be dehydrated and thin. Puppies were found in makeshift boxes with a buildup of feces and soiled paper. There was a dead puppy in a box in the dining room. Some of the dogs in the home had untreated medical conditions including ulcers of the eyes, dental disease, ear infections and tumours, Shatto said.

The veterinarian concluded the dogs were in distress in intolerable conditions and were not receiving adequate care and were removed from the property, Shatto said.

The dogs and one cat were taken to the provincial animal shelter in Newmarket where they were cleaned up and treated for their medical conditions. It took 20 staff and volunteers three days to bathe and groom the animals. The Animal Care Review Board found that the OSPCA was justified in removing the animals from the Tomalins and the animals were ultimately forfeited to the OSPCA in February 2009 as the costs for caring for the animals of $158,454 had not been paid.

Conlan said in court that while the Tomalins disputed some of the allegations, they admit the circumstances inside the house were crowded and that some of the dogs had untreated medical conditions.

"The Tomalins admit that some of the dogs had grooming deficiencies and in all of the circumstances, Beverley and Sandra Tomalin admit unequivocally that they failed to provide generally the standards of care generally for the dogs," Conlan said.

Shatto said in court that the Crown thinks the penalty agreed to under the resolution is a significant one.

Justice Julia Morneau said there seems to be overwhelming evidence care for the dogs was not being provided and found the sisters guilty of the charge.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

One last post about Gail Benoit

Gail Benoit was sentenced January 27, 2017 for failing to supply a health certificate when she sold 2 kittens in 2016 to someone who had never heard about her - she was sentenced to one year of probation and she's prohibited from possessing or having the care of any animals for the next 5 years except for the 3 personal dogs that she currently owns.

For her 3 personal dogs she must have them microchipped and take them into a vet within the next 30 days to make sure their health is documented - and the NS SPCA can come to her house unannounced anytime in the next five years to do a welfare check on them and make sure that no more than those 3 dogs are on her premises and her personal dogs have to go see a veterinarian on an annual basis.

So hopefully - if Benoit follows her prohibition - she won't be able to pursue her business of puppy flipping until January of 2022 - in her own name anyway - she does have 2 children that have helped her in her business in the past - hopefully that won't continue.

I wanted to write one last post about her so that people don't forget about her interactions with the law and start to feel sorry for her - and also to point out that there are people who are more than willing to pick up where she's left off - and I want to show them that it's really not a good idea to take up this business as a career because it's really hard to keep puppies alive when they've been taken away from their mother too soon - especially when you've taken puppies into your home with parvo - anymore puppies you take in will probably also come down with that disease because the parvo virus is very hard to get out of your home once you've brought it in - Ms. Benoit could probably talk to you quite a bit about this.

The earliest interaction that I could find when I started tracking Gail was from 2001- a Chronicle Herald article about Gail and Dana Bailey being charged with animal cruelty after  an adult female dog and at least one of two pups were found hypothermic and emaciated.  The vet at trial said the adult dog was so hypothermic that she would only have last another day or two and would have died - the puppies were full of hundred and hudreds of intestinal worms.

It is unfrortunate that even though they were convicted of cruelty for this case - it was overturned in 2002 because the SPCA Cruelty officers didn't follow procedural rules and seized the dogs while the Benoit's were not home - the first of many mistakes that the NS SPCA made over the years with the Benoit's.

The Benoit's next negative interaction came with the Chronicle Herald in 2003 - with a news story about selling sick cocker spaniel puppies:

"I got taken big-time," Ms. Eye said Monday at her home in Steam Mill Village, Kings County. "I wanted for years to get a dog, and now I have all these problems."  
It all started when she saw an ad for cocker spaniel pups posted on a bulletin board in Coldbrook. Ms. Eye called the number and offered to visit the breeder at her home to see the pups.  
But the seller refused, offering to bring the animals to her.  
They met in a parking lot in Berwick. The woman had three pups she said were purebreds, and Ms. Eye bought one for $500.  
She received no registration papers, health guarantee, record of vaccinations or even confirmation of a visit to a veterinarian.  
"I thought it was strange," Ms. Eye said. "It didn't seem the kind of thing a reputable breeder would do." Within hours, she realized she had made a big mistake.  
"I learned a valuable lesson," she said. The pup was loaded with fleas, undernourished, hadn't been weaned properly and didn't know how to eat solid food. "He came with the worst smell, and I don't mean just a dog smell or a dirty smell. It was unreal."  
The dog had diarrhea and its feces were filled with worms. Ms. Eye took the pup to a vet, who treated him for worms.  
She phoned the dog seller, who hung up on her. Ms. Eye is now spending lots of money on vet bills. She doesn't know if the dog is a purebred. She doesn't even know its age. 
"I have no idea what I'm in for in the future," she said.  
Michelle Robichaud of Lower Sackville bought a cocker spaniel puppy from the same seller two weeks ago. She regrets not going to a reputable breeder, who would have given her registration papers, a health guarantee and a record of vaccination and deworming.  
"I kick myself, because I really screwed up," she said Monday. She had just returned from the vet, who told her the pup was severely malnourished. 
She's not sure if it will survive. 
Benoit didn't come under the news media's radar again until 2007 - The SPCA put put out a notice asking anyone in Nova Scotia who bought a puppy from a parking lot to contact their local shelter, following a seizure of 10 animals the group says were dirty and sick.

Gail Benoit was again charged with animal cruelty for these 10 puppies who were seized very sick - but luckily made a good comeback and were able to be adopted out.

She also received an additional charge during the seizure of the puppies from her home when she assaulted an SPCA cruelty officer - which funnily enough - when she was convicted of this charge - she received the only jail time she's ever had to suffer through.

The trial for those poor puppies was very interesting - on the stand Gail admitted that since she'd started her puppy flipping business she'd probably sold more than 30,000 dogs!  In a blog post I had figured out that:

In their testimony on November 3rd they both testified that they are on disability and living off the proceeds of CPP - yet they also testified that they have sold more than THIRTY THOUSAND PUPPIES in the 16 years they've been in the business of selling puppies. 
If you do the math of that 30,000 x a very modest $350 per puppy = $10,500,000.00(that is ten million, five hundred thousand dollars, people...) divided by 16 years = $656,250.00 per year for the last 16 years. (They are telling us that they have sold 1,875 puppies per year for the last 16 years - that's 156 puppies per months or 39 puppies a week).

That was in 2008 - I'm writing this post in 2017 - so she's had another 9 years to sell more puppies and cats - so you figure out the math of how much more money she's had to make in that time.

She was found guilty on all charges for these offences - sentenced to 21 days in jail for the assault on the cruelty officers and prohibited from owning or possessing animals for a term of 8 months - by the point she was sentenced on these charges she was facing new charges for selling more sick and dying puppies so the judge figured that the prohibition order didn't need to be too long - she'd have another one coming up for those puppies. Boy was he wrong.

It was in 2008 that all hell went loose in regards to Gail Benoit selling sick and dying puppies - she had done a deal with a kennel up in New Brunswick and bought a very large amount of puppies that were taken from their mother way too early - Gail thought she had hit the motherlode when it came to making sales - but it was the exact opposite - they were dying just way too fast on her - she was lucky to sell them before they died - and if they died rifht after people bought them - well then, that was just too bad.

You have to read the whole article from July 28 to make any semblance of what was going on at the time.

In August 2008 the city was warning about a parvo outbreak - and it was all because of the puppies that Benoit had been selling - it had become just that bad.

It only got worse in August for the Benoits when ever more dogs and their owners came forward saying that they'd been sold sick dogs by them - there were almost too many to mention - it was a huge amount of puppies who were sold sick and most of them died unfortunatetly

There was a time during the summer of 2008 when the Benoit's were on the news almost every night - and because of all the sick and dying puppies that they sold that summer - they were once again charged with cruelty to animals.

As a very sad and awful side note to the summer of 2008 when the Benoit's were in the news for selling the sad puppies who were dying of parvo and being taken from their mother way too young - (The Chapmans sold 27 3 weeks old puppies to the Benoits) it brought a puppymill from New Brunswick into the news called "Chapman Kennels" - they were a kennel that had about 300 kennels so they were a very large scale breeder - registered, inspected and approved by the New Brunswick SPCA.

They sold their puppies to pet stores around New Brunswick but because of all the negative publicity around the Benoit scandal they lost a lot of business and decided to close their kennel.  They felt that no one would want any of their breeding dogs so they did what they thought was the proper thing - and SHOT 175 of them in the head to get rid of them.  What kind of a disconnect does a person have in their brain that they can go from kennel to kennel and shoot one dog after the other in the head.

And that story was only carried by a small newspaper in New Brunswick - that a kennel operator had shot 175 dogs in the head in order to close his puppy mill - all because Gail Benoit had bought 27 puppies from them at too young an age so most of them died shortly after she was able to unload them on unsuspecting customers. Unbelievable - but it's true.

It only came to light because Benoit sued the Chapmans - but Benoit lost the court case.

Benoit was charged with 4 counts of animal cruelty for 4 puppies that had died and the SPCA had necropies done.

The animal advocacy community was overjoyed that it would seem that the NS SPCA and the crown procecutors would have such a solid case of cruelty - Benoit was finally going to get what advocates were always hoping for - a prohibition on owning animals so that she couldn't continue on with her career of hurting animals.

And then in December of 2010 - what happened?  All charges were dropped and Benoit went free.

Why?  We in the public will never know.  The Crown and the NS SPCA never released any information except for the Crown Attorney presiding over the case saying it was a "point of sale issue" as opposed to a cruelty issue.

In 2009 there was a paradigm shift in the online presence of Gail Benoit when the website made its way onto the internet - it is an aggregator site for all things Gail Benoit and is a compilation of news stores about Gail, as well as blog posts that I've written about her over the years - there is nothing there that isn't factual and doesn't have a link to an external source - which is biggest reason I think she's never sued me :)

It also meant I bought the domain name - I wanted this blog to be at the top of anything or anytime people searched her name - and previous to the implemnation of this blog - her name did not come up in any meaningful way - and I wanted to change that - I wanted to have as much information available in one spot as I could - and that's what it's about - it's not confronting, or mean - it is simply de factor the truth and speaks to her history.

We didn't hear anything more about her until 2013 when she was outed for trying to take a litter of women's puppies that she had advertised as "free to a good home" - and then got them delivered to her for free as well.

EDIT - I wrote this post and published it - but then I remembered - the reason we didn't hear anything about her is because this is the time that there was an interaction between Gail and an elderly woman that she supposedly defrauded, took over her life and stole money from her.

There is a CBC news article about it at "Vulnerable aunt loses money in cautionary tale"

As well - in 2013 - Gail was accused of, and convicted of - stealing 2 dogs that she was told she would dog sit for a woman in New Bunswick - she brought them to Nova Scotia and immediately sold them.  They were found and returned to the owner.

Finally 2016 was her final fall-down - and it's because of enhanced regulations to legislation that was passed in 2014 that the SPCA and crown prosecutors were finally able to put her out of business - and kudo's to them for finally being able effect some resolution so that no animals will be harmed for the next five years.

From 2001 when the Benoit's were convicted of animal cruelty - but because of the way that the SPCA did their investigation - helping the dogs who were in obvious distress was the thing that got the cruelty case thrown out - to 2016 with the SPCA using our newly enhanced regulations to finally convicting Gail Benoit for not having required veterinary certificates when she sold a kitten - we've come a long way in Nova Scotia in regards to animal cruelty legislation - and it finally stopped Gail Benoit - and that's a good thing.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Breed Specific Legislation passed in Montreal - but it exists in Nova Scotia too

This week we saw Montreal fall to the evil debacle of breed specific legislation - laws that are built around killing dogs that look a certain way and not laying blame where it needs to be - dog owners who don't control their dogs properly.

But I don't think that many people know that here in Nova Scotia there are areas that also have this kind of legislation and in 2008 the province almost fell to province wide BSL - it was only through quick work by dedicated advocates that it didn't happen.

There are pockets of breed specific legislation in the town of Digby, the district of the Municipality of Antigonish, the town of Clark's Harbour, and the County of Richmond.  It is technically impossible to drive to Cape Breton without driving through BSL.  (note: the town of Clark's Harbour bylaw is not online, if you want me to send it to you email me at and I will)

So if you live in any of these areas and you care about this issue - you should contact your area's Councillors and see if you can effect change to get your dog bylaw's changed so that your area's law can reflect science and not fear mongering.

As for our provincial legislation - we still have a way to go - our Municipal Government Act still does have a portion of breed specific legislation in it - when it was proposed in 2008 I wrote out was proposed - you can find that - here - what is still left is:

Dog by-law 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;

So what that means is that any town or city in the province can define dangerous dogs any breed that want - like what Clark's Harbour does:

f) “fierce or dangerous” means:
1) any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, without provocation, persons or other domestic animals; or
2) any dog which has bitten a person or another domestic animal without provocation; or
3) a Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler or any dog of mixed breed which includes any of the aforementioned breeds;

And that is exactly what breed specific legislation is - defining a dangerous dog by it's breed - pre-judging a dog simply by it's so-called breed, or by the way it looks - because we all know that pit bull isn't a breed - it's a "type" - it can be any type of dog with short hair, a thin tail and a wide forehead.

I have been trying for a long time to have these lines removed from the Municipal government Act because it is very dangerous for it to be in there - the Municipal Government Act is basically the framework that all towns and cities in Nova Scotia base their bylaws on - if it's not written in the Municipal Government Act towns can't write it in their bylaws - but if it's in there, they can.

If this is something that's important to you, and you don't want to see breed specific legislation potentially being written into your own town's bylaw - you can write to your MLA and ask that these lines be removed from the Municipal Government Act - if enough people write in about it - maybe we can get it removed.

You can find a list of Nova Scotia MLA's here -

I have to point out that Shelburne USED to have BSL and they removed it a few years ago thanks to hard work on the behalf of local advocates in the area - and a couple years ago Yarmouth was contemplating adding BSL to their bylaw when they were rewriting the bylaw - they had had a really traumatic mauling in Yarmouth caused by a targetted breed and they were under a lot of pressure - but I am really happy to say that they didn't do it - their new bylaw doesn't have anything in it that relates to breed - so when different areas of Nova Scotia re-writes their bylaws - good laws CAN be written.

And there are awesome bylaws throughout Nova Scotia -  Parrsboro Nova Scotia has a world class dog bylaw - one of the best ones I've ever seen - and they've had it since 2003.

And if you want to know who was behind the provincial push to have BSL - I'll tell you - it was Lloyd Hines - and he's still in provincial politics today - he's currently the minister of Natural Resources, still drinking from the tit of the government's largesse (and from the mouth of the district of the Municipality's of Guysboroughs coffers too) - I've been writing about him since 2004 when he said the most idiotic thing:

"I don't want to be the warden of the Municipality of Guysborough and have to go to the funeral of some kid who was eaten."

He hates dogs and I think he's afraid of them.  He's a very little, little man who deserves to be voted out - I hope he is in the next election.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

There's a lot more to the Montreal dog bylaw than banning dogs

On September 27, 2016 Montreal Quebec passed one of the most draconian dog bylaws that Canada has ever seen - or hopefully will ever see.

It was precipitated by a really tragic death this summer of a woman in Montreal by a dog - who's breed is still unknown and we may never know the breed of the dog but it was initially said to be a pit bull type dog - it was licenced with the city as a boxer.

If Animal Control were doing their job however the tragedy never would have occurred - the dog had 2 prior bite incidents - so it was a dangerous dogs - if that dog were living in a city such as Calgary - or Halifax - it probably would have been seized - and this 3rd and final incident would never had happened.  But unfortunately it did - and now every dog and dog owner in Montreal - and probably ultimately Quebec now has to deal with the fallout.

The new bylaw comes into effect on October 3rd, 2016 and the most publicized part of it is the breed specific ban that has pit bulls becoming outlawed in the city - no new pit bulls can be owned in the city after that date and owning that breed is going to become very difficult for those dogs and their owners. They have to:
- pay a $150 registration fee
- this special permit must be done by December 31, 2016
- submit to a criminal background check
- muzzle their dogs at all times - even in their own backyards - the muzzles have to be worn effective October 3, 2016
- not allow anyone under 18 to walk their dogs - even members of their own family
- must be kept on a 1.25 metre leash
- owners can only have one pit bull type dog

If your pit bull type dog has been deemed a "potentially dangerous dog" you must also:
- have a poster visible from the front of your house that there is a potentially dangerous dog in your house
- the dog can never be closer than 2 meters from a child - except for any children that reside in the home

And a "potentially dangerous dog" doesn't have to be a pit bull type dog - it can be any dog that - tries to bite or attack, that bites or attacks, that commits an act likely to prejudice the safety of a person or an animal of a species permitted in accordance with Section 3; (ie dog, cat, rabbit, toad, frog, fish etc.,)

And for the record - what is "likely to prejudice the safety of a person or animal"? That isn't even attack or bite - that is something completely other and different - and is something that is I've talked about previously when talking about ridiculous dog bylaws.

So that's what is specific to pit bull type dogs - but there are a lot of things that all dogs - including pit bull type dogs and their owners also have to contend with under this newly revised dog bylaw in Montreal that are quite scary for people who are worried about intrusive laws.

ALL dogs and cats in the city of Montreal MUST be sterilized - unless they can prove that it is a purebreed dog from a recognized purebred registry ie a CKC registered dog. So they now have mandatory sterilization for every pet dog and cat in Montreal - which has to be done by December 31, 2019 - they also must be microchipped and show proof of proper vaccination.

All dogs and cats must be licenced - $25 for a sterilized non-pit-bull-type dog, $10 for a cat or face fines starting at $300.

If your dog is more than 20 kg you have to walk your dog with a harness.

There is also a strict limit on the amount of pets you can have in your home of 4 pets - 2 dogs - and a mix of any other pets - cats, rabbits, toads, fish or whatever else - and only one of those dogs can be a pit bull type dog. You can apply for a special permit to allow for a 3rd dog if you have more than 2 dogs. So like with Sophie's Choice if you currently have more than 3 dogs - you are going to have to decide which dogs you are going to give up.

You are not allowed to walk more than 2 dogs at a time under any circumstances - and nobody under 18 is allowed to walk dogs.

When you go to dog parks you are not allowed to bring any toys in with you - no balls, no chuck-its, no frisbee's - no nothings. Pit bull type dogs are allowed to go to dog parks but they of course must be muzzled.

Your dog is also not allowed to bark - at all, any time - ever. And your cat is also not allowed to meow.

And don't let your cat outside - any cats that are found will be euthanized - so if your cat escapes - by the sound of the bylaw - unless it's licenced (and hopefully because of that it will get a free ride home) - it will be euthanized.

As well - they have it written into their bylaw that if they believe you are harbouring a prohibited pit bull in your home - they can - without a search warrant - enter your home and search it from top to bottom - in order to seize that dog and euthanize it.

Euthanize is actually written in Montreal's dog bylaw 13 times. Montreal really seems to want to kill the city's dogs.

So what exactly does the city of Montreal consider a "pit bull type dog?"

1) a purebred American Pit bull terrier American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier;
2) a dog from a cross between one of the breeds listed in paragraph 1 and another dog;
3) a dog that has several morphological characteristics of the breeds and the crosses listed in paragraphs 1 and 2;

So basically it's anything that has short hair and a wide forehead. People have been trying to figure out who is going to decide what the city considers to be a pit bull and nobody has figured that out yet. All anyone can figure out so far is that there is no appeal process with the new bylaw - so that if your dog is seized - it is going to be euthanized and there is nothing you can do about it.

So what does all of this mean? To me it means that basically there's a war on dogs in the city of Montreal - a city where it's tough to be a dog anyway - every year 100's if not 1000's of dogs are dumped every July when people move - dog ownership in Quebec seems to be different than it is in other places in the country it seems - so making dog ownership even more difficult in Quebec seems quite ridiculous.

And making dog ownership so expensive by having to have all these special permits and a background checks for pit bull type dogs is going to make it almost impossible for people who are struggling to put food on the table for the humans in the family - it just won't be viable for the dogs in the family.

Maybe that's the mayor of Montreal wants - he wants everyone to have to surrender their dogs or dump their dogs at the shelters, it's really quite awful.

And it's written into the bylaw that any unowned pit bull type dogs cannot be rehomed - they have to be killed - so there are going to be a lot of pit bull type dogs murdered in Montreal after October 3rd because of this bylaw.

And it's all for nothing - the overwhelming science says that pit bull type dogs are no different than any other type of dogs - dogs are invdividuals - just like humans are.

But the councillors and mayor of Montreal said they decided to go with "common sense" and not "science" - that's what they actually said. Unbelievable.

Right now there are rescues everywhere saying they are wanting to get pit bulls out of Montreal - but I don't think that's the answer - I always think that the better answer is to keep dogs with their original owners if that's at all possible.

There is a rescue - "Prairie Pit Bull Rescue" who have pledged $20,000 of their own money to help pay current pit bull owners who can't afford the $150 to pay for special permit to help them pay for the onerous fees - you can read about in a fabulous post that they wrote - here  - I think that this is the best idea that I've come across - rather than trying to move mythical pit bulls that might or might not exist and giving to gofundme campaigns for non-existent dogs.

The Montreal SPCA has said they don't even have any pit bulls in their shelters because they placed all the dogs they had prior to the bylaw being passed - so if you see any gofundme campaigns asking for money to bring pit bulls to your area - please hold off giving any of your hard earned money.

The Montreal SPCA has also launched a lawsuit in response to new bylaw asking for a judicial review and to suspend the application of the sections of the by-law targeting “Pit bull type dogs” in order to then have these sections declared illegal, null, and without effect by Quebec’s Superior Court. So the fight for this horrible bylaw isn't over yet. You can read more about this at 

If you want to help with the SPCA's legal challenge - you can donate to the cause at

If you want to read the bylaw - you can go to

Perhaps the worst part of this is that in the near future the whole province of Quebec is going to enact breed specific legislation - if that happens they will follow the province of Ontario and with  this very horrible misguided law - and because they are 2 most heavily populated provinces in Canada - 60% of the population of Canada will be under breed specific legislation.  That is a very sad number.

We are all outraged out Montreal - but there are areas in Nova Scotia that also have BSL - so dogs are in danger here as well - if you want to read about that - click here -

Saturday, September 10, 2016

More conversations need to be happening about outdoor cats in Nova Scotia

This week Inge Sadler - who is the saviour for preemie kittens in Nova Scotia - she runs Pick of the Litter Rescue - posted a video of a kitten that was so heartbreaking it was almost too much to take.

videoA newborn kitten with maggots literally eating the anal region of the poor little soul - he didn't make it - just like his littermates - but hopefully his mother will with a lot of veterinary intervention now that she's under the care of a loving rescue - but for outdoor cats in Nova Scotia, this is not rare.

This suffering goes on everyday and Inge deals with this regularly although she almost never talks about it - she just goes about the business of saving the kittens and doing what she can.

We generally only hear about dog rescue stories and most of them are feel good stories and the puppies and dogs are very cute but the thing about cats and kittens is that there are so many more of them out there than there are dogs and puppies and people view them as much more disposable and throw them away - and there is still the mentality that cats should be able to go outside whenever they want.

There needs to be a paradigm shift to make cat ownership as important and dear as dog ownership - cats when treated right live longer than dogs generally and they definitely have as much personality as dogs as evidenced by the millions of cat videos on the internet - there must be some way that the suffering of these animals can be lessened.

There are some projects in Nova Scotia that is trying to work towards this - currently there is a huge TNR project underway - the HRM has given $50,000 to HRM Spay Day to spay and neuter cats which is awesome and they are doing their best to alter as many cats as they can - you can find out more about it on their website at

The Nova Scotia SPCA also has a couple of initiatives that they hope will try to lessen the suffering.  They have 2 low cost spay/neuter clinics - one in Dartmouth and one in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality that you can apply to have your animal altered for a much reduced price - you can learn more about that service at - they have also bought a mobile spay/neuter van which initially will focus on TNR projects across the province - you can read more about it in a Metro news article - here

Hopefully things like this will put a dent in the cat problem in Nova Scotia and cats and kittens won't suffer like they are now and have in the past - we also have to make the government continue to step up like the Halifax Regional Municipality has with their $50,000 for the feral cats - we have been saying forever that dog owners are tax payers - well cat owners are also tax payers - let's have them represent that demographic as well.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Brunswick continues on as a major puppy mill contributor to Canada

New Brunswick and Quebec have been historically the puppy mill capitals of Canada because of their lax animal cruelty laws and New Brunswick continues to prove it with the recent news of the rescue of 26 small breed dogs at the beginning of September.

They were between the ages of 2 and 13 years old and were given up because of health issues with their owner - most of them were immediately put into new homes - but 7 of them have come to Nova Scotia and require extensive vetereinary care and are needing to fundraise about $10,000 because all the dogs have major dental issues - some have decay up into their nasal passages it's so bad.

This is nothing new for puppy mills in New Brunswick though - a few years ago a veterinarian in New Brunswick - a Dr. Ted Morris - said about a dog that after his seizure from Chapman Kennels and had to have all but 3 of his pulled "the Maltese was a working dog and would survive well with his K-9 teeth" - he said that because he didn't feel that breeding dogs in a kennel needed teeth in order to do their job - produce puppies for the owners of the puppy mill.

That was in relation to Chapman Kennels - a kennel in New Brunswick that in one day - KILLED - 175 of their dogs because they were shutting down their operation and didn't feel like they could sell breeding their dogs anywhere.

You could ask yourself - how could this happen? Well New Brunswick is different from other provinces in that the New Brunswick SPCA actually licences breeders. They give them a seal of approval. Which to some seems it can be a bit dangerous. It could seem to be giving people looking for a healthy puppy a false sense of security.  Chapman Kennels was a licenced breeder.

We don't know if the kennel that these 26 dogs came from at the beginning of September was licenced or not - or whether or not this case was even just a hoarder who let things get out of control, but we one thing we do know is that this person was a CKC registered breeder, and we do know that there has been no complaint lodged against this person before the dogs were dispersed - so probably this person is not going to face any charges from the New Brunswick SPCA. So all the suffering done by those 26 dogs is going to done in vain. Which is a shame.

If you want to find out more about the 7 dogs that are in Nova Scotia and donate to their veterinary care you can go to the facebook page of Canadian Dachshund Rescue Atlantic Region

Here is a CBC News Article about the story

Nova Scotia group needs money for rescued dachshunds

7 dogs were rescued from a home in New Brunswick and brought to Nova Scotia

by Steve Berry

The Atlantic Canadian Dachshund Rescue, a group that connects unwanted or seized wiener dogs with homes and medical treatment, is appealing for $10,000 in support after seven dogs it recently saved in New Brunswick were found to have severe health problems.

Heather Curran, a volunteer with the not-for-profit group, began fostering one of the dogs a week ago. She said the eight-year-old male dog, named Madison, needed to have all his teeth removed.

"His mouth was completely rotten. All of his teeth were completely rotten ... His mouth was a mess," said Curran.

'Special little dogs'

Madison is on a diet of mashed dog food. When he came to Curran last Sunday, he stayed in his crate with his tail between his legs. After a few days, Madison is constantly by Curran's side. The dog doesn't bark or lick and he doesn't know how to do any tricks.

"They're special little dogs. They're very loving and sweet," Curran said.

Madison was one of 26 dogs — 19 of which were dachshunds — recently seized from one New Brunswick home. The owner injured herself and was hospitalized, and a local kennel club stepped in to help the dogs. Seven dachshunds came to Nova Scotia while 12 went to foster homes in New Brunswick.

More money needed for treatment

The Atlantic Canadian Dachshund Rescue usually treats an average of seven dogs a year that come into their care with minor health issues. This year, it's going to be more costly. The group spent $1,500 to pay for Madison's dental work and it still has six more dogs in need of treatment.

"To help these other dogs, it basically means an extreme amount of money coming to us from kind people or organizations so we can get them in surgery ... It is that bad," said rescue president, Diane Redden.

Redden said the group's yearly fundraisers like Weinerpalooza at Shubie Park in Dartmouth, provide the funds they need for basic care. She estimates it will take more than $10,000 to finance the surgeries needed for the other six dogs.

Better future for dogs

Redden said all of the dogs have dental issues, with several needing complete tooth extractions.

"The important thing is that they get the care they need, making sure their futures are better than what they came from," said Redden.

Redden said the group doesn't blame the previous owner for the conditions the dogs were living in, but is grateful the owner came forward when the dogs' care became too much.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

2016 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings from the ALDF

The Aninal League Defence Fund does an annual report of Animal Protection laws listed by province in Canada every year. They are an American organization, but for some reason they do this report - and we are lucky to have it done for us.

For 2016 Manitoba has ranked number one and Nova Scotia has ranked number two - we have come up through the rankings in the last few years - mostly through the hard work of animal advocates who have lobbied government to have our animal protection laws changed.

It's interesting the reasons why Manitoba is number one and we are number two - I listened to a radio interview today with a representative from the ALDF and she talked about the reasons why Manitoba is number one and she said a big reason why is because they have provincial laws on their books that ban dog fighting - this is interesting because dog fighting is covered in the Federal criminal code - but those laws have remain largely unchanged since 1892 and are largely un-enforceable so very few convictions are ever made through those laws - so to enact provnicial laws for dog fighting would bring that industry some justice if it ever came to having to lay charges for that crime.

I have personally always found it ridiculous when I see it written in municipal bylaws around our province like the Town of Antigonish who have a section in their bylaw which reads:

Section 1(m) "Fierce or dangerous" includes without being limited to:
Any dog which is owned, trained or harboured primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting,

That is only one of four different designations of what the Town of Antigonish defines as being a fierce and dangerous dog - so does that mean by extension that it is legal to own a dog that is owned, trained or harboured primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting in the town of Antigonish if you obey by their rules for owning fierce and dangerous dogs in their town?

And also - because dogs owned for dog fighting are obviously legal in the town of Antigonish - does this mean that dog fighting is also legal?  It's an obvious question that has to be asked.

So back to the reasons why we made it to number two in the ALDF listing = our principal protection apply to most species - not just cats and dogs

  • We have defnitions and also standards of care for animals - which we long fought for
  • We have a recognition that there is psychological harm that is done to animals
  • We have no provincial breed specific legisliation - they may not know that we do have pockets of bsl within the province (Clarks Harbour, town of Digby, Richmond County, the district of the municipality of Antigonish, the district of the municipality of Guysborough)
  • Penalties may include large fines and incarcerations
  • Animal Protection Officers may requrest person in dwelling to produce animal for inspection
  • Possible seizure of mistreated animals
  • Pre-judgment forfeiture of animal when abandoned in critical distress (for euthanasia purposes) or if owner is unfit/animal may be harmed if returned
  • Court may order forfeiture of animals and restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals upon conviction
  • Mandatory reporting of suspected animal cruelty by veterinarians

Things that the ALDF thought would be good to our animal protection act which would take it to the next level are things like:

  1. Prohibitions related to animal fighting
  2. Mandatory terms of incarceration for certain offenders
  3. Mandatory fines
  4. Mental health evaluations /counselling
  5. Mandatory seizure of mistreated animals 
  6. Duty of Peace Officers to assist in the enforcement of animal protection legislation.
Those would all be nice things for sure - as would the regulations for rescues, and tougher sentences for people who abuse their animals  - but we all know that none of these things are ever going to happen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Regulations regarding Animal Rescues in Nova Scotia

in 2014 the Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell committed to meeting with the animal advocate community in Nova Scotia once a year regarding the animal protection laws and in December 2014 new regulations were passed in the province making the tethering of dogs 24/7 illegal, along with other things to protect animals in Nova Scotia like the banning of dogs being allowed in the back of trucks and requiring that any animal that is bought or sold must be accompanied by a certificate of health from a veterinarian.

We met again with Minister Colwell in January 2016 to see how the new regulations were going and he asked our group if there was anything we thought could be added to the regulations to make it a better document - and I suggested that perhaps we could add regulations around animal rescues.

Minister Colwell gave us until December 2016 when we meet with him again to write these regulations.

Currently Nova Scotia is just like everywhere else and anyone can say they are starting a rescue, start fundraising and never take in a rescue - or - people can be running a rescue - and start fundraising for an animal that they haven't actually had surrendered to them - or adopt out animals that haven't received any veterinarian care at all - or adopt out animals that are sick.  These are all things that happened with rescues here in Nova Scotia and are highly un-ethical - and when it happens paint all rescues with the same brush.

There are also businesses out there who try to masquerade as rescues - puppy fllippers - who SAY they are a rescue - when in fact they are businesses - and there are businesses out there - who are registered as businesses at the Registry of Joint Stocks - who have "RESCUE" at the end of their business name - who solicit for fundraising - which is just so wrong on many levels.

When an animal needs help in Nova Scotia - they should all land into the same soft arms no matter which rescue they happen to be taken into - and that's currently not happening.  And having a standard code of ethics, and regulations that the NS SPCA will enforce will help that.

There are a lot of great rescues in Nova Scotia - run by single individuals, and by groups of people - we all do it because we want to help animals.  Any rescue that is doing it for the right reasons will welcome these regulations.

Recently a small group of rescues met with the Nova Scotia SPCA to go over what the regulations should look like - and as well - the NS SPCA is looking at adding another layer - they are looking at adding a certification process which will be completely voluntary that a rescue can apply for where they can get a "seal of approval" from the NS SPCA.

At this point -- the NS SPCA has taken over the writing of the regulations - and they are going to submit what they believe can get passed to Minister Colwell by the fall.  Their concern is that there might be an election soon - and if there is - we might lose this  window to have these regulations added on a timely basis.

I wrote what I would like to see in the regulations but I know probably very little of it will make it into the final document - I put everything in there that I wanted - the "Five freedoms"; a section on positive dog training so that rescue dogs never have a shock collar put on them; a line making Nova Scotia dogs a priority; and that dogs receive required veterinary care.

If you would like input on the proposed regulations - you can contact me at and I will forward your concerns to the NS SPCA.

Here is what I wrote that I hope the NS SPCA will take into consideration:

Regulations respecting Animal Rescues in Nova Scotia

These regulations will not be a certification process for animal rescues in Nova Scotia

Registration will be through the Nova Scotia Joint Stock Registry that is already in place through their Society registration process

Animal Rescue for the purpose of these regulations is a person, organization or other legal entity operating in Nova Scotia that engages in the activities of transferring ownership of a domestic animal and does so on a not-for-profit basis.

Animal is a cat or a dog 

Rescues will adhere to the “Five Freedoms”

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
    • By ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour;
  2. Freedom from discomfort
    • By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area;
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
    • By prevention or by rapid diagnosis and treatment;
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
    • By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals; own kind;
  5. By ensuring conditions and treatment to avoid mental suffering.

Assessment quarantine and veterinary care:
When an animal is surrendered to a private rescue, as soon as time permits they will:
  • Be examined by a vet/vet technician to examine the dog’s health
  • Evaluate each animal exercising good judgment in the placement of that individual animal to the best matching home/environment. Rescue groups will not knowingly place a vicious or dangerously unstable animal in an adoptive home.  Full disclosure of any known issues is provided to the adopter in writing at the time of adoption.
  • To always make the ultimate goal of our decisions the quality of life for the dog. At the point where quality of life cannot be obtained in the opinion of the rescue, the animal will be evaluated and euthanized by a veterinarian.
  • To provide appropriate routine veterinary care of all rescue animals including age appropriate vaccinations, spay or neuter, internal and external parasite treatments, flea preventatives, and any other veterinary care that is required to make the animal healthy and ready for their adoptive home
  • All animals adopted out must be supplied with a veterinary health certificate

Fostering and care of animals:
  • Rescue must carefully screen its own foster homes including home inspection, personal and vet references
  • Rescue shall ensure that all animals in their care are provided with proper nutrition, water, personal attention and exercise while in foster care
  • Foster families must sign a declaration that they have never been convicted of an offence involving animal cruelty or have an animal in their possession that’s been convicted of having a dog that’s attacked another dog

  • All rescues have a standard procedure that is followed for every adoption that includes a thorough application, a home visit and meet and greet with the animal and all members of the adoptive family before the rescue approves the home
  • Rescues have return policies in their contract that the animal must be returned to them should the adopter find themselves unwilling or unable to keep the animal. They are prepared to accept every returned animal no matter the circumstance.
  • Include the cost of spay/neuter in the adoption fee and complete the adoption.
  • Charge standard adoption fees – not based on popularity on breed of animal

  • Rescues will only take in the amount of animals and animals with health issues that they can financially handle
  • Rescues will only fundraise for animals once the animal has been officially surrendered to the organization

  • Rescues have a mission with a specific goal
  • Rescues have standard written policies by which they abide
  • Rescues will operate on a voluntary basis with no paid staff or formal employees
  • Rescues will ensure through notarization in their adoption contract that adoptive homes will only utilize positive methods in regards to training – and not aversive methods such as shock collars, prong collars or similar articles.
  • Written records will be maintained for each dog that comes into care that states:
    • Where the animal came from, with the name, address and phone number of surrendering party with their signed owner release document, or the shelter the animal came from with any original shelter documentation
    • The surrender contract will specifically state that the legal ownership of the animal is being transferred to the rescue. Upon signing the contract the person or facility surrendering the dog has no further legal or other claim to the animal.
    •  Information which identifies the adopter, date of adoption and name of rescue representative completing the adoption contract and the name of the foster home
    •  Documentation for any other type of discharge from the rescue program, such as transfer to another organization, euthanasia, etc. And identifying the receiving party, the date and circumstances
    • Contains a summary of all medical procedures performed on the animal, by whom and the dates
    • To keep all records, including the contracts, for a minimum of 10 years
  • To make animals needing rescue in Nova Scotia a priority
  • To act appropriately when accepting an animal that was found as a stray – to contact the local Animal Control Department, the Nova Scotia SPCA, and the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network, and to have the animal scanned for a microchip to make sure the animal is not an owned animal
  • Rescues are absolutely not engaged in the breeding of animals

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This week is National Emergency Preparedness Week

After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 I became slightly obsessed with survivalism and how to "bug out" with me and the dogs if I ever needed to - especially after having gone through Hurricane Juan in 2004 - so I wrote a really long post about how to survive an emergency and what things to compile if we ever had an emergency here - it's got a lot of good stuff in it - so in honour of National Emergency Preparedness Week I thought I'd share it again so you and your pets could be safe and you don't have to leave them behind unnecessarily should a disaster happen - the link to the post is - 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gail Benoit is back in business - but it's not Kijiji's fault

Gail Benoit - who has been in the business of selling unhealthy companion animals in Nova Scotia as far back as 2001 - has surfaced again on Kijiji selling maine coon kittens - for some reason she seems to be selling kittens now instead of puppies at the moment - and social media is on fire.

This was an ad posted on kijiji a couple weeks ago where Ms. Benoit is alleged to have been selling these kittens - and unfortunately someone took her up on the offer and paid $300 for one and $180 for the other.

Unfortunately the kittens the purchaser received didn't look like these kittens - but luckily for the person the kittens are healthy and hopefully will live a long and happy life - unlike a lot of other animals that Benoit has sold over the years.

There has been a lot of talk over the years about Kijiji selling live animals and that they shouldn't be doing it because of people like Gail Benoit - but the thing is - with everything purchased on online buying sites - it really is buyer beware - you have to do your research.

If Kijiji stopped selling animals - there are literally tons of other places to buy live animals in Nova Scotia where Benoit could - and I'm sure - does - sell her product - so it really doesn't matter whether Kijiji stops selling animals - the grift will continue to go on.

What we really need to do is just use these opportunities to educate the public about acquiring animals.

I personally recently acquired a much beloved puppy - from Kijiji - from a breeder within Nova Scotia who -

- let me visit the puppy anytime I wanted
- both parents were on site
- I received a health certificate (which is required by law in Nova Scotia)
- all the dogs in the care of the breeder were in the home and treated like pets
- the puppy was well socialized by the time I received him
- I am still in contact with the breeder for any ongoing questions I may have

All these things are really important - and you should be able to ask a ton of questions for any animal you are purchasing - it doesn't matter where the place is that you hear about the animal you want to get the animal from - whether it's kijiji or Petfinder or wherever - it's the research and the amount of work you put into it.

People spend weeks killing themselves trying to figure out which kind of phone to buy - but then they impulse buy a dog that's going to share their bed for the next 15 years - it doesn't make sense.

So don't blame kijiji for allowing Gail Benoit to continue her shafting people - blame ourselves for continuing to meet people in parking lots to buy animals that may be just hours from dying through no fault of their own.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Nova Scotia's rescue community is not short on small breed dogs

Nova Scotia is not immune to the current fad of groups forming to import dogs from the United States and other parts of Canada.

Usually they say it's because there is a shortage of small breed dogs that come into rescue in our province - they also say that it's because we are a no-kill province, so dogs aren't in danger here like they are in other places on the continent, so there's no urgency for rescue dogs here - and a "life is a life, no matter where the dog is".

While I agree with the statement that a life is a life no matter where that life is - there are dogs who are in danger here in Nova Scotia.

Because we are a no-kill province - there is a limit on the amount of dogs that can come into rescue at any given moment, because we don't kill for space, or for the health condition of the animal that's in rescue, so sometimes a dog can be in foster care or a shelter for months at a time - taking up space until he finds his perfect forever home - meaning that dogs who do need to be rescued - and are sometimes in very precarious spots - being chained outside in very unsafe conditions, or in a home that is in very bad conditions - cannot come into rescue because there's just no place for him to go - so because of that - there are dogs suffering right here in Nova Scotia for lack of good homes..

By bringing in these imported dogs - we are taking away forever homes for dogs that are already looking for homes from native Nova Scotia dogs - which to me is not a good thing.

Until there are no Nova Scotian dogs who need homes - we should not be importing dogs from California, Texas, Cancun, or wherever.

I don't think we shouldn't be helping them - but we can help them by supporting them where they are - sponsoring them, donating to the shelters where they are, and doing things like that - but we don't need to bring them here.  It is hurting the dogs who are already here.

And as to the myth being perpetuated that there are no small dogs coming into rescue in Nova Scotia - that is a big fat myth that needs to be dispelled - small dogs - and puppies - come into rescue just as much as big dogs - sometimes you just need to wait a little while and have a bit of patience.

The key is to contact responsible rescues - tell them that a small dog is the type of dog that suits your lifestyle the best - and get pre-approved for that type of dog - and then when one comes in - it can go directly to you - any responsible rescue will work with you - and there are lots of rescues who will do that.  I have a list of responsible rescues on my Charlie Loves Halifax page at - Charlie's links -

And if you need some more confirmation - here are some pictures of rescue dogs that have passed through my doors in the last few years - and notice their size - and I am just one rescuer out of literally hundreds in the province of Nova Scotia - and yes, these dogs all found wonderful forever homes within the province of Nova Scotia.

And maybe the most famous of all small rescue dogs - Buttercup - who was adopted from the Nova Scotia SPCA in August 2003