Sunday, August 25, 2019

The History of breed specific legislation in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotian's pride themselves for being free thinkers - we like to think that we are generally kind, accepting of everyone and welcoming of anyone who wants to come and join into our loving society that we have here in our little province.

So you'd think that we wouldn't give in to the lesser impulses of thinking that some animals don't deserve to live on this earth while giving elevated status to other animals - but unfortunately there are a couple tiny pockets of Nova Scotia who have given in to those impulses - namely the district of the municipality of Antigonish, the town of Digby, the town of Clark's Harbour (Clark's Harbour bylaw is not online), and the municipality of district of Guysborough (although they did say last year that they plan to change their bylaw to remove specific dog breeds thank to the advocacy around a dog named Chico)

It's currently come to the forefront because of a dog named Gizmo owned by Mason Landry in the town of Clark's Harbour.  Their dog bylaw with breed specific legislation written into it has been in force since 2011 - it's never been enforced until they demanded Gizmo leave the town last month because their may Leigh Stoddart said that "most people know you're not supposed to have certain breeds in town.  We're just reinforcing that".

He also said the most unbelievable statement

"I think most reasonable people would conclude that a pit bull isn't a therapy dog"

I think that the literally THOUSANDS of pit bull therapy dogs and their owners would  take exception to that statement.  That hearkens back to when then Warden of the Municipality of the district of Guysborough Lloyd Hines made the equally unbelievable statement "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."

Luckily - Mr Hines is no longer the Warden there and last year Guysborough pledged to remove their bsl - unlike Clark's Harbour who is digging in their heels and is going to court to try and force Gizmo's owner to either give up their dog or move.

I'm glad that Clark's Harbour is going to court - because we've seen that when municipal bylaws are put to the test in Nova Scotia - they are found to not be able to stand up to the test of jurisprudence - Mr Hines - took his bylaw to the test - and lost.


In 2006 Mr. Hines was trying to kill 2 dogs - Zeus and Sandy - for the offence of having the physical characteristics of a breed of dog that doesn't actually exist - the breed of pit bull - and their owner - Marilyn Cameron loved her dogs enough that she and her husband decided to go to court to fight the heinous order - and they won.

Justice Robert Stroud declared that the bylaw was too broad and over reaching and was laden with difficulties from an enforcement point of view.  Because of his findings Justice Stroud expected that the bylaw would be rewritten - but it never was - and the bylaw as written still exists today - even though last year the elected officials said that they bylaw would be rewritten to take the breed portions of it's dangerous dog section out.

In Nova Scotia - we do not have a problem any worse or any better with dogs and dog attacks - although we've never had anyone die from a dog attack.

What we do have however is a province in love with dog advocacy - I'd say we have a higher than average number of people who love all animals.  And it's because of that when we hear of an injustice we tend to organize.  So when we hear of areas that have something as unnecessary of breed specific legislation in our province - we realize that its not an effective type of legislation and we try to have it removed.

We have had more bsl around the province - previously we had it in the town of Shelburne, and it was discussed in many places - the town of Yarmouth stands out as somewhere that it was almost implemented - as well, Stellarton also talked about bsl, there was a huge uproar by dog owners and the people in charge said it was just an "administrative mixup" and they never meant to say that they were talking about it" there was such a dustup from dog owners about it.

It was also discussed in the Halifax Regional Municipality at many points - even up to a couple years ago.  I remember sending an email to all the HRM's councillors about why bsl is ineffective and getting a reply back from then Councillor Gloria McClusky and getting a response back from her saying "yes, but how do we figure out which breeds to ban then?"  HILARIOUS!

A big problem with breed specific legislation when it comes to Nova Scotia municipal bylaws is where all muncipal bylaws draws their legislation from - and that is the Municipal Government Act.  That is provincial legislation and that includes bsl in it - what it exactly says 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;
(f) regulating the keeping of fierce or dangerous dogs;

So today - ANY town or city in Nova Scotia could add that into their dog bylaw - and tomorrow if you own a dog that physically looks like any dog that your dog catcher thinks might have any physical characteristic of any breed that they think might be similar to anything that might include a dog that they've defined as dangerous - ie a pit bull terrier, a staffordshire bull terrier, a rottweiller, a cane corso, a boston terrier or any cross of any of those breeds - and that doesn't mean that they actually have to BE that breed - they just have to physically LOOK like that animal - so they could be a labrador retriever, a short haired collie, a beagle - they really could be any dog with short hair, small ears, a mastiff mix, having a wide smile - you could be the target of your dog catcher and overnight your life will become hell - even if you've lived with no problems whatever for your whole life.

So we here in Nova Scotia - we who are peace loving, quiet people -are not immune to this heinous type of legislation - we have it here and we've had it for a long time and most people don't even know we've had it.

We even almost had it province wide - in 2006 the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities started up a working group to work on dog legislation across the province - and guess what - Lloyd Hines was the president of the UNSCM at the time - what a coincidence - in an article Hines said he'd like to see bsl go province wide and in fact country wide.

In Nova Scotia it was called Bill 138 and they tried to pass it along with other "housekeeping bills" - but luckily regular dog owners caught it in time and it never passed.

I hope people - people who own dogs and people who don't own dogs, know that breed specific legislation does not work at protecting anyone from dogs who attack.  All it does is rip good dogs from owners who love them.  99% of the time the dogs have never done anything but love their owners and be friendly to everyone they encounter.

What DOES work is dangerous dog legislation - what we have in almost every place right now in Nova Scotia except for the places I've noted above.

What dangerous dog legislation does is make dogs and their owners accountable for their behaviours - if a dog acts aggressively then there are things that are going to have to happen - either they might have to be muzzled in public, or they might be seized, they might have to wear only a short leash in public, there are a number of things that might happen - but it is all based on the dog - and the dog might be a 10 pound poodle - or it may be a 100 pound black russian terrier - it doesn't matter.

Do you know what breed specific legislation does not do though?  It does not give any satisfaction or justice to anyone that is attacked or harmed by anyone who had that happen by a dog that ISN'T a pit bull type dog.  So if you are attacked and harmed by say a german shepherd - that dog generally isn't affected by bsl - so what is an attack victim by a dog like that to do? Generally in a jurisdiction that has bsl has no recourse - that dog gets to live and go about their business.

Does that sound fair to you?  No it doesn't - so that is why dangerous dog legislation - where EVERY dog is treated the same is better.

And also guess what - EVERY type of dog can be a therapy dog - EVERY type of dog can be a service animal - EVERY type of dog can be a police dog - and dogs are proving this every day.

I feel bad for Mayor Leigh Stoddart that he doesn't realize this.

So my advice for the people of Nova Scotia who are living in an area that currently has breed specific legislation - write to your councillors - you are the only ones who can change your bylaws - people from outside can't do it - no one is going to listen to me writing to Mayor Stoddart.  But someone living inside Clark's Harbour writing to him - he will have to listen to them.

Here in Nova Scotia - we love our dogs - there is no denying that - you can't leave your house without seeing someone with their dogs - it's hard to believe - but some places are actually not like that - we take it so for granted here - we live in a very special place here and we should not take that for granted.

I have been saying for many many years that I really wish that we could have the bsl taken out of our municipal government act - if that was taken out then places like Clark's Harbour would not be able to have bsl put in - it's as simple as that.  Unfortunately so far I've been unsuccessful.  Maybe before I die it will happen, but so far I have had no luck.

Maybe someone else will have more luck on that front.

I wish Mason Landry and his dog Gizmo and his lawyer Regan Murphy luck - if past legal cases in this subject are indicative in this trial - they should have good luck :)

Here is a couple articles from the newspaper:


So this editorial was in the Chronicle Herald August 25th, 2019 - I wrote a letter to the Editor the same day about it:

"I agree with your editorial from August 24, 2019 when you stated that pit bull bans are ineffective. 

The bans target dogs based exclusively on how a dog appears and nothing else - they are not based on a dogs behaviour, whether they are actually aggressive or anything else that makes a community safer - but what they do in fact do is tear apart families and kill dogs that have done nothing in their life but have short hair and a wide smile. 
Nova Scotians have lived through what Mason Landry is currently going through in Clark's Harbour. 

In 2008 current MLA Lloyd Hines tried to kill 2 dogs in the municipality of the district of Guysborough - Zeus and Sandy - and their owner Marilyn Cameron fought in court for their lives and won. Justice Robert Stroud said that the municipal bylaw was "broad and overreaching" and was "laden with . . . difficulties from an enforcement point of view." Justice Stroud expected the bylaw to be rewritten but funnily enough in the last 11 years it has never been and the bsl in the municipality of the district of Guysborough still stands as originally written. It also exists in the municipality of the district of Antigonish, the county of Richmond, the town of Digby, and of course - the town of Clark's Harbour. I'm glad to see that Mayor Leigh Stoddart is going to pursue this case in court - because his bylaw iswritten very similarly to Guysborough's bylaw - so I expect they will lose in court the same way that Lloyd Hines lost in 2008 and Mr Landry will be able to keep his dog like Ms Cameron was able to keep her dogs. 
One thing I have to quibble with you about your editorial is when you say that an easy answer may be just to ask Mr Landry to muzzle his dog when out in public. Why should he have to do that? His dog is no different than any other dog and has in fact been certified as a therapy dog - there is absolutely no reason why he should be forced to wear a muzzle when outside."



Monday, May 13, 2019

Sad things happening - and reasons to hope - about animal advocacy in Nova Scotia

I can't believe I haven't written a post here since last November.  It's not that things haven't been happening with dog politics here in Nova Scotia - it's just that - I have had this blog since 2003 - that's 16 years - and I guess after 2,278 posts a person tires out.  I also have some major health issues, my dogs have major health issues - and people who have been around as long as me - not too many people are still around! LOL.

Anyhoo - I still have a few things to say - and I've got a few things that have stacked up so I'm going to try and get them all out in one post, so here goes.

I'm going to talk about the the David Oakley case in Pictou County, the justice system here in Nova Scotia - the state of animal rescue regulations here in Nova Scotia - and generally across the county, our new Animal Protection Act - and the state of importing animals.  That's not too much to cover, is it?  And a surprise for the end.

I don't know where to start, so maybe I'll start with the shitty stuff - and that's the new Animal Protection Act - you remember that thing from last year that you heard all the crying about from the breeders, and us people in the animal advocate community because there was a part in it that allowed breeders to cut their puppies tails and dew claws off without a veterinarian - and also allowed members of the general public to legally kill their own animals?  And how happy we were when the Act passed exactly as we hoped it would - making it illegal for breeders to practice acts of "animal husbandry" and removed the section that allowed people to kill their animals - and also made it illegal to declaw cats - as well as changes we desperately needed to the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board.  It also added a line allowing for the regulation of animal rescues.

That Act passed last year - it was called "Bill 27" - and you can check it out on the government's website here - "Animal Protection Act - Bill 27" - it had Royal Assent October 11, 2018 and that is when a bill is turned into an Act but if you see it still hasn't had "Proclamation" yet - today as I write this it is May 12, 2019.  An Act doesn't come into force until it passes Proclamation - so everything that I sad above that is awful - is still LEGAL in Nova Scotia.

How did I come to learn all this?  A couple months ago there was a press release from the NS SPCA saying that an Animal Cruelty Appeal Board hearing was coming up - and knowing that the Act had passed - which makes it now legal for the public to attend these hearings - I contacted a person I knew at the SPCA asking for it's location so I could go.

She emailed me back saying she couldn't tell me where it was because the new Act wasn't "ready" yet.  When I queried them on this they didn't provide me on any further details - so I emailed a Director that I've had contact with at the Department of Agriculture who emailed me back and said that it's work with the "Regulations" that is holding back the Act.

One would have thought that the Regulations would have been worked on as the same time as the Act - unless the Government is completely run backwards, but that's not a comment for here :)

So they've had seven months to work on the regulations - and we still have no new Act - and people are still allowed to torture their puppies and kill their pets without repudiation according to our Provincial Legislation.

Which brings us to our next topic - David Oakley in Pictou County - one of the worst cases of animal cruelty our province has ever seen.

On February 14, 2019 David Oakley killed a dog named Moka, seven puppies and severely injured a dog named Meeka.  And admitted to it on Facebook.  He said he'd tried to find a home for the puppies and been unsuccessful.

With the failure of the passage of Bill 27 - what David Oakley did - under our Animal Protection Act - was legal here in Nova Scotia.

So the RCMP were forced to charge Mr. Oakley with federal Animal Cruelty Charges - he was charged with 11 charged under the Federal Criminal Code -

This is what he's been charged with:

Nine charges under 445.1
Causing unnecessary suffering
445.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) wilfully causes or, being the owner, wilfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird;
(b) in any manner encourages, aids or assists at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds;
(c) wilfully, without reasonable excuse, administers a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to a domestic animal or bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is kept in captivity or, being the owner of such an animal or a bird, wilfully permits a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to be administered to it;
(d) promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive birds are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot when they are liberated; or
(e) being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part thereof to be used for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (d).
Punishment
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than eighteen months or to both.
Two charges under section 446 of the CCC as follows:
Causing damage or injury
446 (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) by wilful neglect causes damage or injury to animals or birds while they are being driven or conveyed; or
(b) being the owner or the person having the custody or control of a domestic animal or a bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is in captivity, abandons it in distress or wilfully neglects or fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care for it.
Punishment
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months or to both.

This should not have had to happen - David Oakley should probably have been tried under the Federal Criminal Code AND the Animal Protection Act - but what he did provincially - was not illegal because of the lead feet of the people in power here in Nova Scotia.

I want to talk about the justice system here generally in Nova Scotia as well.

I hope everybody noticed the dog Diesel and the man who murdered him - Kyle Springer - in New Brunswick.

Kyle Springer received - ONE YEAR IN PRISON for abandoning Diesel in a house to starve to death.

Bethany MacLean received 4 months house arrest here in Nova Scotia in 2017 for starving her dog to death (the second time she'd abandoned dogs in a car for a long period of time).

In Calgary in 2017 - an owner was charged with causing his dog to be in distress when he put him on the flatbed of his truck in traffic - we can't even get the RCMP here to charge a person with a SOT in Nova Scotia.

In 2009 here in Nova Scotia a woman by the name of Susan Keizer received a $5 fine for drowning a litter of kittens - the crown prosecutor felt sorry for her because like Ms. Keizer he also had a problem w ith nuisance cats on his property

In 2004 when the NS SPCA were asking a judge for costs to recoup money spent on a case the judge said "The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders."

Animals have never had a fair shake in our justice system - we only have to point to Gail Benoit to prove that point. I have written post after post about that. And I don't think anyone would disagree with me on that.

She has a prohibition on owning animals until 2022 - she broke that prohibition and was given a $250 fine - both the Crown and Defence agreed on a $250 fine but the Judge dismissed that and instead fined Ms. Benoit a paltry $25 and gave her a year - $2 a month to pay it back.

Does that sound like a fair thing to do to a repetitive breaker of the law - to someone who regularly thumbs her finger at the Justice system? Who doesn't care one bit about abusing animals? It sure doesn't to me.

One really sad case - and one that the NS SPCA was unhappy with the judge with was the case of a shih-tzu that had to be killed due to the neglect of the owner - after it was seized the SPCA had it groomed and one of the poor dog's legs actually FELL OFF! The owner said she had no idea the dog was that sick - and the judge believed her - Charlene Lucas was fined $150 and given a 5 year prohibition - she said she didn't know there was anything wrong with the leg. The problem is that she says she's on a list to get a therapy dog though - so what's going to happen when she comes to the top of the list?

In 2017 a woman was fined $500 for failing to provide her dog with medical attention when he was ill and he had to be killed by the NS SPCA because he was beyond medical intervention by the time he was seized by them. The woman's name was Sunday Wallace and this is a picture of her dog when he was seized - you can pretty much tell that this dog was in dire need of medical intervention.



The first person to ever get a jail sentence for animal abuse happened in 2016 - a man had been hoarding cats in Lower Sackville and was convicted of animal cruelty because of them. Michael Cairns was sentenced to 30 days intermittently in jail (whatever that means?) for hoarding 19 cats in "quite horrific conditions" and it was his second conviction - he had been previously convicted in 2013 and at that time he had received an 18 month prohibition. Along with the 30 days in jail he was handed a lifetime prohibiton this time - so hopefully he will not be hoarding any more animals

So do all of these sound like animals are currently getting justice in Nova Scotia?  When we see a man getting one year in prison in New Brunswick?  I think we need to start looking to other provinces as a benchmark and start asking for more justice for our animals.

As I noted above - for the exact same crime - Kyle Springer got one year in prison - a few months earlier - Bethany MacLean got 4 months house arrest.

Was Bethany MacLean somehow different from Kyle Springer?

Or was it the judge.  Justice Gregory Lenehan oversaw Bethany MacLean's trial - the same judge who said the "drunk girl's can obviously consent" - in a case of sexual assault.

Justice Julian Dickson in New Brunswick gave Kyle Springer twice what the Crown Attorney's suggested - one year in prison, noting that Springer's case was troubling and disturbing.

This is what Linehan said about MacLean's judgement - "I don't think it's necessary that I actually cage her for a period of time as she had her dog caged," he said.

So this is the case of "duelling judges" you could say - two dog deaths by the same means - starvation, torture, abandonment, ultimate negligence - unbelievable mistreatment that you can't believe anyone would do to animals who do nothing but love us.

One judge says it's troubling and disturbing - the other judge doesn't seem to understand that in four months Bethany MacLean's dog ate the interior of the cage he was in, had the liquid in his body vaporize, his muscles slowly atrophied, he cried for help day and night but no one came to help him.  There was a blanket over his cage so no one could see him.  There was a bag of food in the car but it wasn't accessible to him.  The car was unlocked - anyone could have gotten him out of there if they could have seen him or heard him - but Bethany MacLean made sure that didn't happen.

And Justice Linehan - I'm sure he said all of this - didn't think it was necessary to "cage" her for the same length of time as she had "caged" her dog.

So this is the real bottleneck of the justice system for animal companions - it's with the crown attorneys and with the judges.

These are the people we need to work on - to get adequate sentences for the people who abuse their animals - for the people who torture the things we love most in this world.

I don't know how we can do it - but it's got to be done somehow - our laws are obviously not going to do it because the people writing them don't seem to really care - and if they were administered as they were written - they wouldn't need to be stronger anyway.

People like David Oakley need to go to prison.  The people of Nova Scotia are watching this one.  It's a damn shame that the Federal Criminal Code had to be used to arrest him - that is not right .  This should have been done by now - how many other abusers have also slipped through.

I told you this was going to be a long one - the second last thing I wanted to talk about is the state of importing dogs into Nova Scotia.

This topic is why I got out of rescuing animals - really, almost every rescue in Nova Scotia is importing dogs from the States and from around the world.  I guess it's just become the norm now - it's happening everywhere, not just here - the southern States, and California along with all the puppymills everywhere are now the dog generating stations for everywhere that wants to have dogs and they are bringing along their little "friends" - heartworm, brucellis, ehrlichiosis, canine influenza, etc., etc.

The problem is that the rescue locally that you are getting the dog from may seem gung ho and honest - but where is that dog originating from and how up and up are they? And what is the back story on the dog? Is it a stray? So what was their life like? What is their behaviour like? Really? And what bugs do they have inside them? In order to get over the Canadian border all they need is  a rabies certificate.  Really - this is the truth - they don't need a health certificate - all they need is a visual look over and they're good.

So 30 dogs are put in little cages in a little van and drove non-stop here - and how is that a good thing - it's not.  And they're let out and put on leashes and sent to foster homes - and adopted to local people. And what if that adoption doesn't work out - does the rescue have a lifetime guarantee? And what are the health issues? If the dog came from the south  they have different weather down there, if it was a stray - that's a different stress on the body - and what if it starts showing aggression.

I'm getting tired of saying all this stuff, I can't keep saying it.  If you want to read a really good thread about importing dogs - "Air Angels Animal Advocacy Network" wrote one in 2015 and it's really good.

People in rescue have been saying this for years - "what are we going to do about rescues that do nothing but import dogs.  What are we going to do about rescues that start fundraising for animals they haven't actually taken into their rescues yet, what are we going to do about rescues who steal animals and then hide them and refuse to give them back".  These are questions people who run rescues ask - because it's completely unregulated - just like the dog training business.

I belong to a group of people in the animal advocacy community who are invited to meet once a year with the present Minister of Agriculture - Minister Keith Colwell - and at the end of the meetings he always asks "is there anything you'd like to see added to the Act or the regulations" and in 2015 I said that I'd like to see regulations around the regulation of animal rescues.

He thought it was a good idea and suggested I write some regulations and bring them back to the meeting the following year.

So I did that - and attempted to get other people involved, and that's where it died.  These are the regulations I suggested, I thought they sounded okay.

And what we have now is a website of "suggestions" for people when they are looking for their next pet.

I know that someone at the SPCA has poured their heart and soul into the seven pages on this website and I truly appreciate that - it's well written, the pictures are cute - but there are no consequences there.

Even if there would have been a thing where people could have voluntarily bought into regulation system.

It is too bad - we came close to something and missed -we could have been leading the country on this and we failed, I failed. Oh well - I see that British Columbia is working on animal rescuer regulations -good for them.

In my title I said that there's reason for hope - I have been personally blown away by the advocacy around the Pictou County cruelty case.  The people involved with organizing the facebook pages, getting the word out, making sure that everyone knows when the court dates are, being interviewed for the news programs - it's all quite amazing and I'm so impressed with them.  They are not letting this thing go and I'm so happy.

There has been a new advocacy group formed in New Brunswick that worked hard for justice for Diesel - and they have been in contact with the group in Pictou County - and I think good things are going to be happening for animals in the two provinces.  People like me can just stand back and watch them explode at this point I think - they are all just so awesome and I'm happy a new brigade has arrived. My generation did a few things to make things better - now these new people have arrived - and they all seem to be around Pictou and New Glasgow and that area - and they are noisy as hell and that's awesome- if they could get rid of Lloyd Hines - I'd take them all out to supper on me - haha!!!!

And one last thing - and it's a personal thing - some people know that I have another website - Charlie Loves Halifax, and he wants it to be dog friendly!  - I've had it since 2002 and it's been a labour of love.  I originally built it as a way to spend time with my dog Charlie after I split with my husband, we had 2 dogs togther - a brother and sister named Charlie and Leonard.

I had my first website that I started in 2000 with Charlie and Leonard and it was based on a dog named Helga in Boston and her owner took her to different parts of Boston and put her in front of city attractions and took her picture - I did the same thing with Charlie and Leonard ad created a website called "Charlie and Leonard like to play".

Anway - so Charlie loves Halifax is all about having with your dog around the city - it has places you can take your dog shopping, resources for you and your dogs - all the local park - there isn't a website like it anywhere else in North America.

And I decided that I'm going to turn it into a paper book - a guide for the dog lovers of the HRM.  It's pretty exciting - I'm going to have a portion of the proceeds go to the NS SPCA and I'm self publishing it.

I approached Nimbus a few years ago and the guy I talked to basically slapped me in the face - so book publishers obviously do not like good ideas - lol!! Haha!

I don't know when it would be done - I wanted to start writing it in January but I've been too sick - everyday I say tomorrow I'll start! But then here we are the middle of May and nothing's been done.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

So that's my long blog post.  We'll see how many people are swearing under their tongues at me for this one.

Monday, November 26, 2018

It is NEVER okay to steal someone's pets, okay?


I have been ruminating about this post for a week, feeling very helpless - just like the owner of three missing cats does.

Denise Bull - the owner of cats Keely, Willow and Esther had moved to Toronto to start a new life and was forced to leave her cats behind temporarily because her housing in Toronto was fragile and the place she was staying at was incompatible with the needs of her elderly cats so her roommate here in Nova Scotia had agreed to look after them while she found permanent housing.

(This is a picture from HART of a mat on the back of one of Denise's cats)  Denise was taking care of them from afar - the cats are elderly and require special care - 2 of them are even blind - but still Denise takes care of them - one of them has a long coat and doesn't take very good care of it anymore as do a lot of elderly long coated cats and she develops mats frequently.  We have all been there - and Denise had scheduled her to go get it taken care of.

She had also scheduled someone - who she thought was a friend of hers - to come in and clip their nails - we all know that some indoor cats can have the daggers of death - and Denise was having that taken care of.

She had arranged to have a key to her apartment given to a friend of hers - and it's turned out that this was the worst decision she could have ever made.

Her cats have disappeared.  Stolen by a serial "disappearer" of cats - a person who has been reputed to have refused to return up to 16 owned cats from across the Annapolis Valley here in Nova Scotia.

The RCMP and NS SPCA have been contacted - all to no avail because a key was given to the people who stole the cats.

How has this happened?  None of what I've said above is being denied by the people who did it except they don't say they "stole" the cats - they say  they "rescued" the cats.

But it brings up the idea - aren't pets property? Didn't Denise own her cats?  Shouldn't she be able to get her "property" back from the people who took it from her?

Is it because they are cats and cats are the ultimate disposable item and even the RCMP and NS SPCA don't see any value in these cats?  Are they somehow afraid of this woman and her rescue?  I'm just putting these questions out there.

I know if a person in Nova Scotia had been reported to have screwed with or stolen 6 dogs - she'd have had her ass tied to a tree and been walked away from - and it would have been video taped and people would have  laughed.

But these are cats - is this why it's allowed to keep on happening?

If that's the case then I think that's wrong.

Is it because she's able to hide behind the fact that she runs an animal rescue? If so I think this is also wrong and maybe why we should have regulations for animal rescues here in Nova Scotia.

I have written a post here on this blog about what to do when you find a stray dog here in Nova Scotia - because after all, this is a dog politics blog - but when egregious things like this happen - I'm about all animals - but when you come upon any animal you think needs help - the answer is NEVER TO STEAL IT - because you know what you do when you steal an animal - YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW.

At least, that's what I thought was happening.  Maybe, Ms. Laurie Crow Wheeler can tell us why HART Animal Rescue is harbouring three stolen cats right now.

Denise Bull needs to have her three cats returned to her - immediately - I don't know why they haven't been returned yet - and not in the woods behind her property - or the street in front of her property - they need to be returned to her safely.  This is such utter bullshit.  Really.

Cat people are a rare breed - I have a lot of respect for cat people - I cannot believe that cat people are putting up with this - this 100% bullying behaviour from this person and the people behind her.  Cat people - dog people have your back on this one.

There is a petition you can sign -

It is called "Return Denise's Girls" if you need to search for it

Here are some screen shots of the madness being put out by the cat stealers:

The FIRST official statement from HART - their facebook group disappeared shortly afterwards:


Hopefully these come out in the correct order - these are screenshots of the explanation of of the sordid story from one of Laurie Crow Wheeler's minions:




Friday, November 2, 2018

Evil walks amongst us - why? - because they were only given house arrest and probation for torturing a dog to death

Bethany MacLean - 22 years old - hid her husky puppy inside a kennel inside her car in Park Lane mall in Halifax - put a blanket over the kennel so no one could see that he was in there - and left him to starve to death inside that kennel.  With the car doors unlocked.  With an unopened bag of dog food inside the car.  Where the dog could not access the dog food - because he was locked inside the kennel.

The dog had no access to food, water, sun, fresh air, humans, or anything that gives life sustenance and slowly - moment by moment died a slow, tortuous death.

A sentient being - as alive as you and me - died slowly - the liquid in his body slowly leaving him, the muscles being eaten away because his body needed some kind of food so it ate those - his muscles in order to prolong the torture a few moments more.

NS SPCA Chief Constable Jo-Anne Landsberg said that in her five years with the organization it's one of the worst cases that she has ever encountered in terms of cruelty to an animal, and I would say that's saying quite a bit.

And the human being who did this to him was a woman by the name of Bethany MacLean.  A person who was born in Cape Breton and living in Halifax.  She claimed after leaving the husky named Keisha to his certain death that he had become sick and died.

This wasn't the first time that she had done this - she had done it 2 months earlier when she left Keisha and her boyfriend's german shepherd in the same car when it became buried in snow and was fined $500 for it.  After she left Keisha in the car this second time she told her boyfriend that Keisha had been struck by a car and died.

This week Bethany MacLean was sentenced for killing Keisha in the diabolical manner that she did - and Nova Scotians are crying.  For the way that Keisha suffered at the hands of Ms. MacLean - and for the sentence she received.

I have written quite a bit here about how the Justice system in this province does not mete out correct sentences for animal abusers - and this is another glaring example of this.

When people abuse animals and are charged - they ARE charged appropriately - we DO have adequate laws.  We do have adequate people in place enforcing the laws - the NS SPCA.  When cruelty happens, and it seems to happen as much here as it happens elsewhere - but when sentencing happens - we are in the 1800's here.

For the torture that Bethany MacLean gave to Keisha this is what she has received - this is from a CBC article:

"I think the public would be completely outraged if Ms. MacLean were to be given a discharge in these circumstances," Lenehan said in rejecting that sentencing option.

But the judge also didn't subscribe to the Crown's view that MacLean deserved a 90-day jail sentence.

"I don't think it's necessary that I actually cage her for a period of time as she had her dog caged," he said.
MacLean must do four months of house arrests where she will only be allowed out of her parents' home for four hours a week, other than for previously scheduled medical and legal appointments and employment. Twenty months of probation will follow.
She must also complete 75 hours of community service and she's banned from owning any pets for a period of 10 years.
Sparks had argued that MacLean has already experienced enough deterrence because she had been vilified on social media, including death threats.
Lenehan said that was unavoidable. "Be ready for the onslaught; whether you deserve it or not is neither here nor there."

Okay, there's a lot packed into that quote so let's break this down a little bit.

"I don't think it's necessary that I actually cage her for a period of time as she had her dog caged".  That is a quote from Judge Gregory Lenehan.

He has another famous quote from another famous case here in Nova Scotia - namely the one where he said that "drunk women can obviously consent" - meaning that if you are a drunk woman beyond comprehension and some taxi driver forces themselves on you - you can obviously consent to that and rape never happened.  He's also the judge who had 121 complaints against him dismissed (and as an offside - who in any profession anywhere has 121 complaints put on them anywhere?)

I have been around for a long time, and I've got a long memory thanks to this blog - this line from Lenehan reminds me of what a Judge James Burrill said in 2004 about a cruelty case when the SPCA asked for costs to recoup what they had spent on the dogs that they had seized -

"The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders."

Even back in 2004 that was as unbelievable statement to me as it is now.

Our justice system hasn't moved any farther forward since 2004.  This case in 2004 was also about huskies - it was against a man named Fred Wayne Wambolt - he had 3 dogs seized - 2 of which made it into homes but one was in such bad shape he had to be euthanized.

We only have to think to the 2009 case in the Valley when Susan Keizer was fined $5 for drowning a litter of kittens because the crown attorney William Ferguson (notice how I like to use actual people's names?) - because he also had a problem with cats on his property - so he could see where Ms. Keizer was coming from

Animals have never had a fair shake in our justice system - we only have to point to Gail Benoit to prove that point.  I have written post after post about that.  And I don't think anyone would disagree with me on that.

She has a prohibition on owning animals until 2022 - she broke that prohibition and was given a $250 fine - both the Crown and Defence agreed on a $250 fine but the Judge dismissed that and instead fined Ms. Benoit a paltry $25 and gave her a year - $2 a month to pay it back.

Does that sound like a fair thing to do to a repetitive breaker of the law - to someone who regularly thumbs her finger at the Justice system?  Who doesn't care one bit about abusing animals?  It sure doesn't to me.

So here we have this week - Bethany MacLean - who stuffed this sentient being - this beautiful little dog - into a crate - inside her car - and left him there - because she had broken up with her boyfriend and the friend's apartment that she was going to couch surf on - didn't allow pets.

What kind of insight did she have that she didn't take him to the SPCA - or contact a rescue - or even just let him loose in the parkade - or basically anywhere?

And this is how the Justice system deals with here - four months of living life large at her parents house.

If you don't think this is fair - contact your MLA - if you don't know who that is - here is a list of all the MLA's in Nova Scotia

https://nslegislature.ca/members/profiles

Here is the Justice Minister in Nova Scotia currently -

https://nslegislature.ca/members/profiles/mark-furey

It is really important to contact him - Mark Furey - it is really important that he knows that animals are important to Nova Scotians and the treatment of them in our Justice system is important - that their protection of them in our court system is as important as it is for human cases.  Humans should be going to jail for cases that are as violent as this case was.  No exceptions.

Please - we love our animals - we love all animals - we are a peace loving people here in Nova Scotia - and this sentence was inexcusable. 

Don't let Keisha's death to have been in vain.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The New Animal Protection Act has passed! And steps forward

So last week Bill 27 -the new Animal Protection Act made it's way through the legislative process and was at the Law Amendments Committee after having passed first and second reading at the provincial legislature.  At the Law Amendments Committee's first meeting though it hit a hiccup when nine breeders showed up to the committee to voice their concern about the proposed Act and they were successful in their cause and were able to get a pause but on the Act.

A week later however the Law Amendments committee met again - September 25th - and the Act went through with no amendments - it didn't go through with no nays - so the NDP and PC's are definitely supporting the breeders - they listened to the cacophany of misinformation that was going on.

Luckily I believe that there was an absolute deluge of emails to various MLA's in favour of the Act - because it's the right thing to do - it will give us one of the best pieces of animal legislation in the country.

For the last almost 2 weeks now I've been reading and interacting with people who are against this Act and I have to say - what they are saying is almost 100% inaccurate and wrong and the only reason I can think of why they are saying what they are saying is because they are being misled by some group or they are trying to mislead some group of pet owners.

The vitriol is amazing - and I'm going to share some screenshots from Facebook of what people are saying.  (you'll find them at the end of this post)

I'm also going to attach some of the comments that I sent to the Law Amendments Committee at the end of this post - at the point that I'm writing this post - THANK DOG - the Act has passed third reading at the Provincial Legislature and is only now waiting Royal Assent, so hopefully the Act will pass as originally written - there are so many good things in it that I'm going to talk about here - so many things that I railed about last year that are in this new Act - that the animals of Nova Scotia need and that obviously the Minister of Agriculture Minister Colwell agreed with - and I'm so happy that he did because they were rather egregious things that were allowed to be going on in our province.

With this new Act I am pretty much convinced that we are going to have the best animal legislation in Canada now, so I'm pretty happy.

So what are the new things that this Act is going to provide the animals of Nova Scotia?

I'm going to talk about the advocacy that I was personally involved with - with the first one being the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board.

Last year the NS SPCA actually contacted me because I have a personal relationship with a few members and they were really concerned about the that Board - they were really concerned that they were seizing animals, animals that were in distress when they seized them, doing loads of work to document that distress, and then the owner (or breeder) of that animal would apply to the Board to get the animal back - which they are legally entitled to do - and then they would go before the Board, promise never to abuse the animal again like they did in the past - and they'd get the animal back.

And what would happen then is that the Crown Prosecutor on the case would refuse to proceed with the case on the cruelty charges because the Board had returned the animal and the Crown didn't want to use resources (probably rightly so) because the animal had been returned to the owner so how could they possibly get a conviction?

So they asked me to attend a Board hearing for a breeder who had 6 dogs seized - one dog seized had a leg hanging on simply from hair matted on the leg - and on a previous visit to his home years earlier he had been told to euthanize a dog because of health issues but he hadn't - that dog was still being used to produce puppies.

So I went to the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board to bear witness to what was about to happen.

When I showed up everything was fine, but when it became apparent to the members that I was there and who I was - the room emptied and all the members of the committee had a meeting outside the room and when they came back inside the head of the committee - Trevor Lawson - came to me and said I could not stay - that it was a semi judicial committee and as such it was closed to the public.

So I went home and did my googling as I liked to do and found out that no other court in Nova Scotia was like this - all courts in Nova Scotia - and everywhere else in the world basically are open to the public - so what this person told me was just not right.

When the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board was first started after the Celtic Pets Scandal in 2008 - it was such a good idea - animal advocates were really happy about it - it gave a level of comfort with everything the NS SPCA had gone through - an extra layer of protection for animal owners - if they felt wronged by the process after having had their animals seized they could apply to get their animals back - but it had morphed into this whole judge and jury thing by people with no legal qualifications to do that job - with no transparency and no one that they answered to.  I wrote four posts about it and also wrote to Minister Colwell about it.  He wrote me back saying that it would be dealt with by changes to the Animal Protection Act in the fall of 2018 - and he did, and I thank him for that.

Another thing that happened was the SPCA charges against 2 boxer breeders who had been charged with docking their puppies tails.  The charges were thrown out because of a section of the Animal Protection Act that allowed people to perform acts of animal  husbandry - section 21 that allowed people to cause distress (pain) if it was done because of acts of "animal husbandry" - it was a legal loophole that allowed people to abuse animals.  It also allowed people to kill their animals with as much pain as they wanted.

That was another letter by me - and hopefully many other people - to the Minister.

When the breeders - and there were 9 of them - who went and appeared before the Law Amendments Committee (there were 2 from the animal advocacy community who presented) - what they said they wanted - was to have section 21 of the old Act - continued on into the new Act.  Why did they want that so much?

Its so the breeders of Nova Scotia - and they say they have 774 members in NS - could continue to legally perform acts of animal husbandry - also known as the ability to be able to dock their puppies tails, remove their dew claws, and cull unsuitable puppies.  That is what they want to be able to do - everything is just fluff and puffery.  Everything else they were saying is actually untrue just to make people fearful of the SPCA - and that's the truth and Minister Colwell said so on the Legislature floor on October 2nd.

So now the Act has passed - what are the next steps?  Some CKC members have said that they will be forced to stop breeding or they will move away from Nova Scotia because of this legislation.  That is so sad.  Because they are not allowed to cut the tails, ears or thumbs off of the dogs they say they love - they say they are going to move.  Where? Almost all across Canada this isn't allowed anymore - they will have to move to the USA where it's still allowed - so I guess we will just have to have a party and wish them bon voyage!

It's weird - because the CKC admits that all of the breed standards they have in place allows natural ears and tails - they can show their dogs without the mutilations - so it's simply because of looks and the ability to sell their puppies that they are making all of this noise - MONEY - and whenever money is involved, things become very convoluted.  That is for sure.

So that's the end of it - we now have just about the best protection for animals in Canada.  Thank you to Minister Colwell for his attention to this - and I hope other people will thank him -  his email address is - MIN_DAG@novascotia.ca (and you might want to also cc it to his admin Charlene at Charlene.Baker@novascotia.ca (I was a secretary in my real life so I always think it's necessary to include them in any correspondence lol)

One thing you can do is to sign a petition going around - it is asking the CKC to update their policies around docking and cropping - breeders are saying that they are going to have to stop breeding or move away (and they are going to have to move to the USA in order to dock and crop) - they say no one is going to want their dogs if they have natural ears and tails - why is that when 30 countries around the world don't allow it, none of the breed standards here in Canada disallow it, you aren't negatively impacted if you show a dog with natural ears and tails, and most buyers don't mind natural ears and tails - there has to be something else going on - so if you agree with having natural dogs - and you are also a lover of purebred dogs (which I am a member of that group) - consider signing the petition :) - https://www.change.org/p/canadian-kennel-club-change-breed-standards-not-the-dog-end-the-mutilation

Here is Minister Colwell talking in the legislature about the inaccuracies that have been put out the last 2 weeks:








This is a distillation of what I submitted to the Law Amendments Committee - what I submitted was 10 pages long - this is much shorter - I had been hoping to speak before the committee at their second meeting - but it didn't happen - so this is in the form of a speech - hopefully a couple members of the committee read it, but they probably didn't - but it made me feel better writing it, and that's all I cared about:

My submission to the Law Amendments Committee:

I would like to thank the members of the Law Amendments Committee for having this opportunity to provide my thoughts about the new proposed Animal Protection Act – I would like to mostly respond to last week’s Law Amendments Committee meeting and to the people who presented before you – and reply to the ideas that were presented to you and give you a counterpoint to some of the things that were said.

I don’t want to imply that there were some inaccuracies presented to you – but you were given some very wide inaccuracies. And I feel behooved to reply to them as an animal advocate who has been around a long time.

I have been in the rescue community since I rescued and fostered my first dog in 2002. Since that time I have fostered for many dog rescues, I have had my own dog rescue where I rescued dogs who had been chained out/tethered their whole lives – during a time when no one would rescue, would touch, or rescue that type of dog – now chained dogs are just like any other rescue dog and all rescues will take them in which is fabulous.

I was around when a crisis happened in the dog world in Nova Scotia – if any of you have been around that long you might remember the scandal called “Celtic Pets”? When a dog rescue down in Cape Breton colluded with the Nova Scotia SPCA administration that was corrupt at the top – and animals were killed for spite, animals were hoarded by an SPCA Special Constable, a dog that was supposed to be adopted out was instead left to rot in a cage for 3 years. Many horrible things happened and it all came to a head in February of 2008 – myself and others told what was going on – we were exposed to public ridicule and even had our SPCA memberships revoked.

The breeders who presented at last week’s Law Amendment Committee lamented the fact that they were terrified the SPCA are going to come take their dogs – that was a reality for me in February 2008 when the then President of the SPCA was threatening to come and take one of my dogs simply because of the scandal that was surrounding us – I was having to warn my elderly father who was living with me that if an SPCA Constable came to our door when I was at work to call the police and not let them in.

So I can understand their fears because I actually lived it.

Out of that scandal came the Animal Protection Act of 2008 – brought in by Rodney MacDonald’s Conservatives at the time. And we animal advocates were very happy. I don’t remember hearing anything from the CKC at the time.

Starting in 2010 – issues around chained dogs started coming to the surface after a boxer who was supposed to be a guard dog was found frozen to the ground in Cape Breton and there was a very sad picture of him on the front page of the Chronicle Herald. How could a person’s heart not be broken b y the photo that was published and the issue rose to the surface.

The worst part about the death of this chained boxer was that no one was ever charged with his brutal death – the NS SPCA deemed that no laws were broken – and it was because the laws that we had in place at the time weren’t adequate to deal with this kind of cruelty.  This was the date when advocacy around chained dogs started.

It was 2013 when the Minister’s Forum began meeting. I was invited as were the other members as far as I know (invited). As far as I know membership to the forum was as easy as mailing Minister Colwell and asking to be on the Forum – at least that’s what I told people who wanted to be on it. Different people have come and gone over the years. 2 CKC members have been on the Forum . And as I say it met for the first time in December 2013 – so I really can’t understand how in all that time it’s never come to the attention of any other of the some 774 purported CKC members/breeders in the province of Nova Scotia? Why are they just sounding the alarm now?

Why didn’t they have any problems in 2008 when the Animal Protection Act was announced with almost all the language that the proposed Act has? Or in 2012 when it was opened up? Or in 2014 when it was majorly upgraded and regulations added?

Or now when it has so many upgrades to the cruelty sections that people in the animal advocacy were just over the moon?




Shall I tell you the truth? Both Director of the CKC for Nova Scotia and the HKC Director told you the truth last week – I don’t think they realized what they were saying though – or shall I tell you all the prevarication that they said – along with all the other breeders – in order to frighten – other breeders, and the public – so that they can keep the Act that’s in force now – or have the section moved forward into the new Act – as the Directors’ – inadvertently – told you they want.

So I will begin with some of the prevarication.

SPCA officers don’t have any qualifications.
- Untrue. In the same meeting Chief Landsberg says that to be appointed a peace officer they must have law enforcement training that is required by the Department of justice. I have included the job description for an SPCA Constable here in Nova Scotia so you can have a look at what they have to do and what are the prerequisites for their job. It’s pretty intensive.

There was one person who was talking about the NS SPCA with actual fear in her voice and the fact that they are now wearing flak jackets and “what message does that send?” She thinks we are entering a police state.
- I hate to tell her – but the SPCA Constables are not wearing the flak jackets to protect her – they are wearing those PPA’s – to protect themselves. We are not living in a police state – but we are living in a place now where things like that are absolutely essential even for people who are going out and being asked to protect things that are still considered property. So please, don’t be afraid of someone wearing a flak jacket – be afraid of someone with a tool that is trying to attack the flak jacket.

One person presented who is a vet tech and owns a grooming salon and she is very concerned about the section about the term “custodian” and the fact that every animal that she brings into her salon becomes her responsibility when they come in every day – and what if one of those dogs come in - in “distress”. As a business owner she could be held liable for an animal she receives for grooming in distress.
- I would like to say here that this is a problem when people only read parts of legislation. As a business owner – and a veterinary technician – she is not LIABLE for that animal that is presenting to her in distress, as per section 47 1(c) of the new Act – she would have a duty to report that distress – in the old Act it says nothing about duty to report unfortunately.

As well – several people mentioned there is no oversight with the NS SPCA – there is no board they report to - there is nothing like what the RCMP Have with SIRT – when something goes wrong – what can a person do?
- Well we certainly found out what can happen when the NS SPCA goes bad back with our experiences in 2008 and the actions of the government to change the laws and the NS SPCA has become the organization it is today because of it.
- So what can you do if you have a problem? Maybe even some of you on this committee don’t know the answer?
- Your number one resource – the Minister of Agriculture the right Honourable Minister Keith Colwell. He can step in and do whatever he wants. He could shut the organization down tomorrow if he wanted. He could appoint a new organization today to enforce the Animal Protection Act. He can do whatever he wants.
- If you’ve had an animal seized by the NS SPCA that you think was unjust – you can apply to the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board to get it back – months before your hearing on the cruelty charges that have been filed against you.
- Those are the two avenues you have – along with contacting your MLA.

I’m going to just touch on the hugest deception that the breeders have been talking about in the news and everywhere that at least my eyes have landed on Facebook and the internet – and that has to do with warrantless search and seizure and how the NS SPCA seems to have become some kind of big brother when it comes to our companion animals.

- Every one of the breeders who presented to you last week talked about this – the fact that the SPCA can come onto your property with this new Act – basically peep through your windows, do whatever they want – and at the end of it – take your animals and there’s nothing you can do. That this is a charter issue – our rights as Canadians have been taken away with this Act – you just can’t come on to people’s properties like this – especially women who live alone – it’s just too scary a thought.
- The thing is – all these things have been in previous Animal Protection Acts – going right back to the original Act in 2008 – so where were all these breeders and pet owners back then out protesting that their rights were being violated? The Honourable Ben Jessome even pointed that out at one point in the meeting last week – one of the presenters was talking about all the horrible things that were going on with her friends and the SPCA and Mr. Jessome said – “those things are going on under the current act aren’t they?” and she answered in the affirmative.
- So if all of these search and seizure provisions are in the current Act – just like they are in the new Act – and the breeders didn’t have a problem with them before – why are they protesting now?
- It’s a dog whistle – they are trying to scare pet owners and other breeders to divert our attention away from what they really want – but really they aren’t hiding it – because if you watch the video of the proceedings last week – the 2 CKC Directors came right out and said it.


Both Directors said that what they want is to keep what is called Section 21 in the current Act – and what that currently says is:


So the important part here is section 21 (4) and the part where it says Subsections (1) (No person shall cause an animal to be in distress) and (2) (No owner of an animal or person in charge of an animal shall permit the animal to be in distress – or in other words – you ARE allowed to have an animal to be in distress IF the pain, suffering or injury results from an activity carried on in the practice of veterinary medicine, or in accordance with reasonable and generally accepted practices of animal management, HUSBANDRY, or slaughter or an activity exempted in the regulations.

BOTH CKC Directors said in their presentations last week that they want this section to remain in the new Act. Why do they want this to remain?

It’s so that they – the breeders of Nova Scotia – can continue to dock their puppies tails, remove their dew claws, and cull the puppies that they don’t think will be suitable examples of their breeds. And any other veterinary tasks they feel that they – as breeders – are suited to do on their dogs.

That is why 774 breeders have been freaking out this last week – because since the province is trying to ban cosmetic surgeries – they HAD to remove this section – and because I knew that section was in there – and when I went to search for it and saw it was gone – I was super happy – but breeders certainly weren’t.

There is no way you can allow that section back into the new Act to placate (and protect) the breeders – you can let the custodian go back to owner, you can let the part where it says that when an animal must be produced and then be given over for tests – let that go back to just being produced so that it can be available for “examination” – I don’t know why it was changed to “tests” – that word is so much creepier than “examination”, I can understand why people are freaking out about that.

Those things are super easy, you can liaise with the CKC for months and months and months – while the needed changes in the new Act languish and animals suffer – but you cannot let section 21 of the old Act go into the new Act – it will allow anyone who ISN’T a veterinarian – do medical acts on an animal!

60 years ago 90% of American men were circumcised – today only 33% of babies are circumcised – cultural norms change over time – due to advances in medicine – we know there’s no medical reason for dogs to have their ears sliced in half or their dew claws removed – dogs actually use their dew claws as thumbs. Sometimes rear dew claws can be troublesome but you treat that on a dog by dog basis.

And it’s also a cultural thing – seeing a dog who’s had their tail docked and you see that little nub going a mile a minute – I know I think to myself anyway that – what would that tail look like if the whole tail was there – it would look so much better.

And it’s just like that with circumcision – today unnecessary medical intervention – whether it’s human or animal – is just not worth it. Dogs can have messy anal glands but do we talk about removing those? Dogs can have problems with bloat but do we pre-emptively remove large dogs stomach’s? Breed standards around the world are changing, we’ll see what happens here and when.

I just want to say a couple more bullet pointed items:
- Licensing kennel owners – I think this is a bad idea and I’ll just point to New Brunswick as an example – I don’t know if you are aware but New Brunswick is full of puppy mills – so the NB SPCA is licensing puppy mills – everywhere – it’s horrible – so people don’t know where to go to get a healthy pet because all the puppy mill have NB SPCA licences – all you have to do is apply for a licence, the NB SPCA tells the people on what day and what time they’re showing up – then they issue the licence and then after that they show up once a year and always say when they’re arriving – horrible – the worst system you can imagine for anyone trying to figure out how to get a healthy animal;
- If you do implement this in Nova Scotia – you will have to give the NS SPCA more money because this will require a lot of man hours – and man hours do not come out of banana trees, as the saying goes.

- Many people have said this Act was crafted without consultation, and I was looking back through my emails and came up with an email from 2014 from Minister Colwell and he was talking about when the Act was opened up in that year and about the consultation around drafting the new regulations that we had worked on with the Act and the changes to the legislation – and he said that two rounds of consultation had occurred that year – and that with face to face and written submissions that there had been over 300 written and numerous face to face meetings with the Minister and staff.
- I can’t imagine that whenever the Animal Protection Act is opened up with no less consultation – a lot of work must be completed – and consultation would always be job number one.

- The last point I would like to make is this – and you members of this committee would know this better than anyone – I worked at the NSHA – QEII Health Sciences Centre for 25 years – this piece of legislation was not written by the Nova Scotia SPCA, it was not written by PETA – it was not written by evil little troglodytes wanting to come in the middle of the night and steal your dog or your cat or your skinny pig.
- It was written by members of the Provincial government – from the Department of Agriculture – specifically members of a policy and procedure committee – and they did a really good job – it is a fabulous piece of legislation. It deserves to be passed by the Nova Scotia legislature as written, but I am willing to accept a few things can be changed. I know that when I was on my policy and procedure committee we’d work on policies for a year sometimes – but I really hope that this Act does not stall like that – the animals of this province need this legislation now.
- We may go back and forth on the things that the breeders are arguing about – all their prevarications – but all the good things about the new Act – the transparency with the animal cruelty appeal board, the ban on cosmetic surgery, the ban on the ability of regular dog owners to legally kill their dogs, the ban on declawing of cats, and the path to rescue regulations – will disappear.

ADDENDUM 1:

NS SPCA Enforcement Officer’s Job Description – as retrieved from http://www.novascotiaspca.ca/careers/

Nova Scotia SPCA
Truro | Enforcement Officer | Full Time
Enforcement Officer | Full Time
September 2018

Reporting to the Chief Provincial Inspector, you’ll play an integral role in supporting the Nova Scotia SPCA in maintaining a high level animal welfare and compliance under the Act. You’ll ensure consistent monitoring and enforcement compliance with all animal control aspects.

In addition to enforcement duties, you’ll also focus on education and awareness through public interaction and work with community members towards voluntary compliance on cases that involve complex dynamics.

This is a great opportunity for someone who is compassionate and has a positive attitude. Most importantly, you’ll possess strong interpersonal skills and be savvy in dealing with conflict resolution.

FORMAL EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE

• Completion of Grade Twelve (12) or equivalent.
• Completion of Enforcement training from a recognized institution required
• Courses in safe handling of dogs/handling of dangerous dogs.
• Valid NS Class 5 Driver’s license.
• Minimum of three (3) years’ related experience working in enforcement combined with a demonstrated ability to interpret legislation, and an understanding of the legal system and procedures involved with enforcement of legislation and its regulations
• Including a minimum of two (2) years dog handling experience.

Knowledge and Qualifications/Skills required

• The ability to respond to client/public inquiries and complaints and handle sensitive and confidential information in a trusted and responsible manner
• The ability to travel and work flexible shifts, including evenings and weekends and be on call
• Prepare and maintain investigation and legal records in an accurate, complete and timely manner. Maintain information integrity, security and confidentiality to an exceptional degree.
• Provide related education to the public, clients, staff, volunteers, other animal welfare organizations and law enforcement agencies and entities.
• Perform data entry and maintain performance statistics using provided electronic tools and applications using Microsoft office and CEIS database management
• Work daily with animals of varying size and temperament, including deceased, ill or injured animals, carrying, handling and capturing individual animals in a safe, caring and respectful manner.
• Medically and physically fit to work in all weather conditions (cold, hot, rain, etc) as this position may require bending, lifting and transporting animals in need.
• Must be able to work with other staff, volunteers, and the public in a positive, practical manner and be able to work with minimum supervision
• Excellent computer skills , statement writing and preparing court documents
• Maintain and operate all job related equipment, tools and vehicles in a safe and reliable manner, and within the guidelines prescribed by OHS policy,
• Strong interviewing, analytical skills and experience in research and interpreting data, ability to write cogent and concise reports; excellent presentation and communication skills (oral and written).
• Exceptional tact, diplomacy, discretion, professionalism, and judgment in the exercise of decision making
• Ability to remain neutral, independent and objective in all investigations.
• Ability to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive work related information.
• Ability to handle multiple assignments by effectively planning, organizing and prioritizing assignments (multi-tasking of work).
• Exceptional tact, diplomacy, discretion, professionalism, and judgment in the exercise of decision making
• Will require criminal records check and will require appointment from Department of Justice.

ADDENDUM 2

Article from 2010 regarding dog found frozen to ground in Cape Breton








































Here are some screen shots from the last 2 weeks - they aren't pretty



This was a CKC breeder who presented at the first Law Amendments Committee - notice here that they are LYING - as per Minister Colwell at the Legislature on October 2nd where he said that no Inspector ever gets to enter a private dwelling with a warrant EVER - this is a lie she is telling people.















There are no PETA members who have infiltrated the NS SPCA - and they don't have too much power - they do have police powers - the same as the RCMP and the police - if you have a problem with that - maybe you should move to the USA or Russia and see how you like it there! LOL




The reason why we believe that CKC members are speaking out against Bill 27 is about the cosmetic portions of the bill is because that is what you have told us!  All the other things that you have said that you have concerns about the bill are things that have been in the Act since 2008 - so why would we be concerned with those portions?




The NS SPCA is paying the government to pass these laws?  How much money does this person think this charity has?  Such conspiracies I thought were only held by crazy Americans - but here it has come to our own beautiful Nova Scotian shores.  PLEASE! Give us a break.





More conspiracy theories that just are not true - put out by the 774 breeders of Nova Scotia











And here we have some truth bombs from the shock collar (balanced trainers) of Nova Scotia

So animals of Nova Scotia - enjoy your new protections! And that includes all the little animals currently tucked away in all the basements hidden away from view in all those backyard breeders houses too that we know are out there currently suffering - hopefully someday we will find you :)

"In the darkness of secrecy, sinister interest and evil in every shape have full swing. Only in proportion as publicity has place can any of the checks applicable to judicial injustice operate. where there is no publicity there is no justice.