Sunday, December 22, 2013

Buddy the Dog short life

I want to tell the story of Buddy the dog because his whole story hasn't been told anywhere. From the beginning to the dirty end.

The first seven years were entirely unremarkable except for the fact that he was tied to a dog house the entire time and only one person cared about him that time - and that person was not his owner. It was a man who came to feed and water him because he knew that his owner didn't feed him regularly - for whatever reason, his owner did not - so he took it on himself.

For seven years it didn't matter the weather he got up every morning and went and fed a dog that wasn't his own. He's a quiet, gentle man and he didn't make a fuss about it. He just knew it was the right thing to do and he did it. And Buddy stayed alive all this time.

This summer a relative of this man had had enough and she contacted the SPCA and I don't know if they sent someone there themselves - or more probably - they sent an RCMP officer out - but because he had food, water and shelter - they said there was nothing they could do - and she started googling tethered dogs and she found me. That was August.

I told her that in order for anything to happen her relative had to remove the food for a couple days - and the the SPCA would do something - because if the owners were not feeding the dog, that is cruelty - and the dog would be seized - but she said there was no way the cousin would do that - he couldn't in good conscience dog that - and I said there wasn't much we could do - I could send the owner a letter asking if they'd surrender the dog to me -

Meanwhile Buddy continued his vigil tied to his dog house.

In November the man's relative contacted me again to give me the address of the dog so that I could send out the letter - and she said that she had contacted the SPCA again. The SPCA was upset to hear that the dog had not been moved to the daughter's house - at this point in November Buddy was living at an address no one was living at - he was living at an abandoned house - his ownwer had moved in with his daughter - so not only was he not being fed by his owner - his owner was not even living there anymore!

I guess the SPCA had made contact with the owner when my contact had originally contacted them - but had never followed up on it - but they assured us they were re-opening the file. This is now December 11th.

On December 12th I made contact with the owner's daughter on Facebook - asking her if she'd be willing to sell Buddy to me for $200 - this is a common tactic in rescue when all other avenues have been exhausted in surrendering a dog - offering money for the dog - it's a last ditch effort - and through an intermediary on the evening of December 12th she refused the money - I never did talk to the owner's daughter directly.

December 13th was the day that Buddy died and the day that everything came together - and the day where everyone became involved, and I'll try - from my viewpoint - to explain how everyone got involved.

In the morning I was told that the SPCA and Mounties were involved and that Buddy was going to be free by the end of the day if there was no food or water at his dog house - they WERE going to seize him - IF THERE WAS NO FOOD OR WATER THERE.

So I emailed my contact and said to make sure there was no food or water there - it was such a panic because her relative was so keen to make sure there was always food or water there - but she assured me he would remove it for this day - because this meant the life or death of Buddy.

So we waited with baited breath to see what was going to happen.

And the next email I get is that there was food and water at the dog house - so there was nothing that could be done - the RCMP officer had walked away - and that Buddy had bit the officer. Case closed. Buddy was staying where he was.


But then I had other news - the daughter had accepted the $200 and we could have Buddy. Nancy Noel at the SPCA had negotiated with the owner's daughter to give us the dog - and she was turning Buddy over to our rescue - which was the best news of all.

So Natalie Morison and her husband Robert went to Buddy and spent 2 hours getting him unattached from his dog house - he gave them kisses, he was a good dog - he was a fearful dog - he was a dog who'd never been exposed to humans - he was a dog (unknown to us) who was in pain - he was a dog who'd never been inside - and they took him back to the Lillion Albion Shelter in Amherst to give him vaccinations and prepare him for me to go pick him up.

They had to sedate him to have a vet look at him because he was attempting to bite them so much -he'd never been handled in life before - and when they did, they found a large cancerous tumour down by his penis - it had ruptured and it was very obvious that he'd been a lot of pain for a long time.

Any dog who was a normal dog owner would have noticed it a long time ago - who hasn't scratched their dogs belly? Even dogs that are put outside sometimes? But this dog had never received any love so it was never noticed. So the kindest thing to do was to just let him go. And that's what they did.

So that's the sad 7 year life of Buddy.

Is that cruelty, is that negligence, was that a good life - a life that never once received a kind human hand from his owners - even in death? That someone had to pay the owners $200 in order to give their dog a humane death?

How many times that someone could have helped Buddy - walked away from him? Even on the day of his death - the RCMP officer walked away from him - because he had dirty water, and food that was not eatable - available to him.

Conditions for dogs need to change in this province.

Just because dogs have food, water, and shelter - it's not enough - people who have the power to seize dogs need to have more power to seize - and USE THOSE POWERS - even to seize temporarily to have the dog examined - and then return the dog if he's not actually in distress. Let an external vet make the decision - not the RCMP officer or the SPCA officer - obviously they are doing a really shitty job at the moment.

Don't let Buddy die in vain, because there are SO many more Buddy's out there.


  1. This story breaks my heart.I pray that Buddy's terrible life will be the catalyst for change.I think we all know or have known of a dog in the same predicament.RIP Buddy <3 I wish I could have helped you.God Bless you,Joan.

  2. Roxanne12:52 PM

    Heartbreaking . I agree, the definition of food and water should not be taken literally. A frozen bowl of water, dirty, or old food? What about Buddys overall condition, a true assessment was NOT done by the RCMP officer, had he comleted a true assessment the raw, open , rotting cancer tumor by Buddys penis would have been visible. Is that not evidence enough to seize to at least have a vet assess? At least in his last few hours he knew loving hands and at least his death was a peaceful one instead of having the cancer rot his body...RIP Buddy, run free in Rainbow Bridge!

  3. Anonymous6:41 PM

    How could the RCMP officer "access" Buddy and see the tumors? Didn't it take sedating him for the vet to discover this? Do you know how many dogs there are in NS who are chained the same as Buddy was. Where do they go if they are seized? Surely the SPCA cannot house all of them. Was the officer not bitten several times? Why don't all you experts out there give a solution to the problem instead of criticizing the work that a very few are trying to do?? We are so truly blessed to have sooo many experts in the field of saving dogs... Please, do give us the answers!

  4. Anonymous from 6:41pm - maybe you don't know this - but I am trying to find answers to these questions - I started a rescue dedicated to saving chained dogs this year and so far we've saved 18 dogs from lives chained to dog houses - you can find out more about us at - so before you get all high and mighty on me, you might want to read more of my blog posts!!!!

  5. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I've read them.. I'm not saying what you are doing is wrong. In fact, all the best to you, but just don't condemn those who are also trying. How can you expect an RCMP officer to access a dog? The SPCA have how many officers doing the whole province? How can they be expected to to be on top of every situation with so many abuse cases and so limited resources. If that man was there every day giving fresh food and water, why was it frozen , how was the food rotten. I guess he really wasn't there everyday. Your story is all over the place. Was he there everyday giving fresh food and water or was it dirty and frozen. How could the RCMP officer have seen the tumor when it wasn't noticed until the vet sedated him. Why couldn't you have done surgery on him. You keep saying that he died, but in fact he was EUTHANIZED by your group. Dogs have tumor surgery all the time. Why don't you get get off your high horse and stop criticizing and just help and encourage others to help and stop throwing RCMP and SPCA under the bus.. shame on you!

    1. Anonymous, the R.C.M.P. access all kinds of things, why not a simple dog? Or are they only good at shooting them? The level of care defined by the laws is the problem, but it sure is frustrating when an officer, whether S.P.C.A. or R.C.M.P. is right there and either cannot or will not see how deplorable conditions are. As far as the officer being bitten, why would the officer approach a dog he didn't know, in the conditions that must have been laid out before he/she was sent on that call? Really? Where is the intelligence in that? You wouldn't go into a house of someone you didn't know without being careful, why approach a dog that has so obviously been neglected. You just don't get what the point is here, the point of all the 'Buddies', so, go do some research on just how many there are, then come back if you can still stomach being critical.

    2. The food was rotten because it was food that was inside the dog house - not food that was actually eatable - it was just food that had been left over from spilled dishes previously and frozen to the ground - but the RCMP officer considered that eatable food - I was writing a blog post, not a book. The vet had to sedate him because Buddy was biting them - but the tumour was visible to anyone who wanted to see it - it was hanging down - anyone who wanted to scratch his belly could have seen it - very obviously - any normal dog owner would have seen it - I didn't show the gross pictures in my blog post - but I could have, sorry for sparing you. And he was not euthanized by us - he was killed by us. Something that the owner should have done themselves when they noticed he was dying.

    3. Anonymous11:08 AM

      The tumour was inoperable, or would of been in vain. The tumour was visible without sedation, but the extent of it couldn't be access without Buddy being sedated as he already had bitten. I wouldn't even consider putting a muzzle on him. The reason why the RCMP did not notice it, is most likely that he looked at Buddy from a 'standing position' which I can understand under the circumstances. Point well made about the amount of SPCA available in this Province, far too few! RCMP are not Canine Control Officer and have far enough on their hands and should not have this responsibility, nor are they trained in doing such assessment. One needs to also consider cost factors. No Chains paid $200 to get the dog, I used my time, my vehicle, my gas to go and get him, I called a vet at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night to come in to the clinic to have a look at him, sedation was a cost and euthanizing and burial was also another cost that we had to absorb. "IF" operation was an option, then again, at what cost and who was to pay for it? The original owner? I think not! Our laws do not hold them responsible! The food and water... well what do you expect with an outside temp of -15 C. it was froze, how can it not be? I know.. I was there! It's not a blame RCMP or SPCA, but rather, make changes so that there are Canine Control officers who have a 'law' to follow and that can fine owners and hold them responsible, that can seize an animal for assessment. The wrong of the RCMP is not to recognized that this animal was neglected. Chain too tight around the neck, frozen food, frozen water, long nails. If he would of got on his knees and looked under his belly, he would of seen the raw flesh. I saw it myself under the indoor light at the shelter. My first indication of that tumour was the smell of it when we drove back from picking him up. I encountered that smell before and recognized it in an instant. I knew we were going to see something we did not care to see when I got him under the light. Laws need to be changed, simple as that. Proper SPCA or Canine Control Officer need to be employed by municipalities to address complaints and investigate them and hold owners accountable.

  6. Anonymous: Nobody said the RCMP should have been able to see the tumours. The RCMP should have seen that the dog was in distress without real shelter, good food, and companionship. The law is too vague.

    I don't see where it says the officer was "bitten several times." I do say where it says that Buddy had "bit the officer."

    If you had a single clue about any of this, you would know that there are many rescues who can get foster care for dogs until they are adopted. They don`t all stay in shelters. Even the SPCA puts a call out from time to time asking for foster families when the kennels are full. People step up and foster. THAT is where they would go.

    Here`s a suggestion: Instead of trolling around here, why don`t you contact the SPCA or a rescue group and volunteer some time, maybe even foster a dog or cat for them. Then, not only will you get a clue, you`ll be a bit more supportive of all the hard work rescues to in picking up the slack. Hey, you could even make a few suggestions yourself rather than criticise others when you`re not involved.

  7. Anonymous8:32 AM

    So under the current legislation, the dog had all that was required. Food ( the neighbor was there everyday), Water ( the neighbor was there everyday), shelter, there was a dog house. He didn't see tumors, so how could he legally seize the dog. The law doesn't state that a person has to take the dog in and love them. I also did say that I believed what the group does is good, I just asked them not to throw the RCMP and SPCA under the bus and be supportive of their efforts Considering what they have to work with. How many officers for the whole province does the SPCA have?? Do you know what that must encompass? Cats, dogs... other companion animals. Give them a break. And what is it exactly that you do Alisande? Are you out there assessing animals? Considering you have no idea in this world what I do .

  8. Anonymous - why don't you tell us what you do - stop being anonymous! You are supporting the SPCA - but they weren't even there - they send the RCMP to take most of these calls - they just sit behind their desks and don't go on these calls anymore!

  9. Julie Gomes8:58 AM

    Such a sad story. Keep up the good work Joan. Hopeful that your continued perseverance will pay off sooner rather than later. Kudos to you!

  10. Anonymous1:18 PM

    For the love of God people, figure it out, there are exactly 4 full time SPCA investigators and 3 part time to cover 55,284 sq.kms of Nova Scotia. They do not just sit behind their desks, they are never even there because they are out investigating. The laws are what need to change - if the laws were changed then Buddy could have been seized. The province of Nova Scotia is so frigging behind the times its ridiculous. And really why the hell didn't a private citizen go in and take the dog. No one was living there - so Joan Sinden, instead of bitching so much on a blog - why didn't you get off your ass and just walk into the backyard and take the dog. The SPCA cannot be everywhere and they cannot just walk into a yard and take an animal - they have to follow the laws - they need the help of bylaw officers and RCMP to do what is required when SPCA cannot be there. Kudos to David Ross, Nancy Noel, Joanne Spicer and Steve Hector for all their hard work as investigators - the horrors that you have to deal with everyday and you continue to do your best helping animals in need. We need more people like you and less like Joan Sinden.

    1. I'm glad you're not responsible for rescuing animals because there would be none saved. I give the rescuers all the credit in the world for what they did for Buddy and as for the RCMP officer --he was useless.

  11. You are an idiot Anonymous for suggesting that I should just STEAL a dog to end a situation. An IDIOT.

  12. And guess what anonymous - private citizens have to follow the laws too! And who are you, anonymous - why didn't you get off your ass and do something!

  13. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Ok, so you say that you couldn't go steal a dog, but ypu bash the spca and rcmp for not just taking him. What's the difference? You people are just extremestists! You yack and yack a whole lot of fluff and down anyone else that doesnt wor directly with you just to make yourself look better . Let the expert investigators do their jobs and shut up!

  14. Joan - don't feed the trolls. Anonymous is getting great kicks from insulting and challenging from behind a wall of anonymity. If (s)he's not satisfied with your original answer to their post... then you're not obliged to engage with someone who just wants to hurl accusations from the shadows. Ignore them.

  15. Patti9:31 PM

    We will always encounter haters and people who, instead of applauding the efforts put forth by this group and others who tried to save Buddy and other's like him, will somehow support the actions of those that did nothing - kind of like giving the perpetrator the rights and the victim none - being the person that originally made the calls about Buddy, I would be more than happy to chime in - and as far as Buddy having all the 'things he needed', - water,food and shelter, may we remind you that the ONLY reason he had those things in the first place is because somebody who didn't own him took the time to do it - other wise his suffering would have been worse - does that excuse the 'owner' for not providing those things? I don't think so - when it stormed or he couldn't get there for some reason - there were NEVER foot prints in the snow to indicate that anybody else made an attempt to feed him - the only physical contact he got was from that kind person - he would wag his tail and jump around with happiness when he arrived - Our quest to save Buddy began months before he actually was freed - I became sick and tired of hearing about what 'great' shape he was in - it wouldn't take too much of a trained eye to see that dog was in distress. I cannot stand the ignorance of idiots that sit idly by on their ass's and have the audacity to criticize No Chains and Joan Sinden for their what I claim to be 'heroic' efforts each and every day for the humane treatment of animals. I will reiterate her sentiments - shame on the RCMP and shame on the SPCA for their lack of action in this case and so many others - it's easier to walk away and a hell of a lot less paperwork.