In the words of the inestimable Rodney King, I think the quote is really appropriate for what's going on in the dog community right now. I am still in the throes of the flu so my brain may be not working quite right - actually I'm pretty sure I'm not at the top of my game today intellectually wise - but I'm willing to take a kick at the can despite about 1/4 of my brain thinking it wants to exit my head through left nostril.
Who is the bad guy in the story of Brindi and the HRM's Animal Control department? I think we can agree that it's the Animal Control department because they never should have issued a muzzle order in the first place - they should have simply fined Francesca - they acted way too aggressively with her.
But because the bylaw is so horrible and the AC Officers have so much power - they issued the muzzle order - and then at their next opportunity - they seized Brindi. And that's when things start to go to shit regarding who's good and who's bad. Animal Control is still bad because they are heavy handed dog killers - but Francesca's weight in gold goes down because she allowed Brindi to act in a way that gets Animal Control called.
But at the same time - no dog is perfect, Brindi acted in a way that tons of dogs act everyday at Point Pleasant Park - so what's the big deal? Francesca just had extremely bad luck - it's no reason for HRM to kill her dog and for her to become known as Nova Scotia's worst dog owner, is it?
So she stops her life for 6 months - completely focuses on saving Brindi's life, gets the best dog and bylaw lawyer (obviously) in the city - thank-dog she dropped that other one - and now 6 months later, her case is won on a couple points of law. It's not won because Brindi isn't dangerous, it's not won because AC should have fined her instead of seizing Brindi, it's not won because the law was meted out unfairly - it was won because under the Municipal government Act a lowly Animal Control officer shouldn't be able to kill a living thing based on the facct that he as a "reason to believe" that an animal is fierce and dangerous, and the fact that Francesca was not given due process to appeal to get her property back once it was seized.
And now we are 3 days later, and Francesca still does not have her property (Brindi) - back. What is up? Why? What is so important to the City that they don't want to give Brindi back to her? How many times do I have to say that Brindi isn't dangerous? She's reactive, but she's not dangerous. So what's the problem?
Another thing to think about is - what is the best home for Brindi? A lot of people want Brindi to be rehomed. But is that really the best thing for Brindi, and realistically - is there a home out there for her. She was at Celtic Pets for 2 long years waiting for a home before Francesca adopted her, and she is now probably 3 years older than that - 25 pounds heavier, with all this publicity of her bad habits and her need of rehabilitation and her dangerous dog designation - who's going to want to adopt a dog like that? Francesca may be the only person on this earth who actually would want her. And she actually DOES want her. With so many dogs dying in shelters everyday - give that home that would potentially rehome Brindi to another needy dog and let Francesca have Brindi to live out her days where she knows where she is and who her owner is. So this is something else we have to think of when we're thinking about what to do with this case
Think of yourself in Francesca's shoes. What would you do at this point? It is a condundrum. If you were working in HRM Legal right now, what would you be thinking? And then from those two things try and figure out what's the RIGHT thing to do. For the dogs - AND for the city. And then write out a new bylaw and submit it to City Hall - care of Peter Kelly and he will file it in his special "File 13" - toute suite.