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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The New Animal Protection Act has been halted - and animals are going to suffer

This is not the blog post that I wanted to write.  When I started the post everything was sunshine and lollipop's - the minister of Agriculture was releasing a new and improved Animal Protection Act that would better serve the animals of Nova Scotia - who could have a problem with that?  Well we woke up yesterday and realized that a certain demographic had a big problem with it - can you guess who?

I am going to try and write this post without showing the anger that I feel in my heart towards the people who have put a halt to the ANIMAL PROTECTION ACT - and I have put that in capitals - the Animal PROTECTION Act of Nova Scotia - can you guess who have problems with this Act?

You are right - people who make money off the companion animals of Nova Scotia - BREEDERS.

Now I have always been PRO-breeder.  I have.  I have always been a person who sticks up for responsible breeders.  But NO MORE.  After reading the things that they have written last night and today - the paranoid, untrue, absolutely reprehensible things that they have said to try and push their agendas - it is really unbelievable the things they are saying because they still want to be able to cut the tails, ears and dewclaws off their puppies - and to hell with all the other animals in this province.

So I am going to compare the Animal Protection Act as it's been up until now and the proposed new Animal Protection Act and show how they are LYING TO YOU to try and push their own agenda.

So here we go.

First up is the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) representative on CBC News last night lying on TV:



So here are some of the lies that this lady says in the CBC piece:

The CKC lady said she had two problems with the proposed new Animal Protection Act:

The first problem was that "they were not consulted" - she said the Minister's Forum has members that include the NSVMA, the department of Agriculture, the SPCA, but there was no representation of the CKC, or groomers, or trainers, or exhibitors, or pet owners, and the cat fancy was not invited either.

So let's break this down and clear up her confusion.

Beginning in 2013 Minister of Agriculture for Nova Scotia Keith Colwell began meeting with advocates from around Nova Scotia - owners of animal rescues, dog trainers, veterinarians and various employees of the government to talk about issues relating to animal advocacy in the province and how we could make things better for the dogs and cats and companion animals in the province.

Ms. Gratton is completely wrong when she talks about the makeup of the Minister's Forum - I am not going to mention names because I'm going to respect their privacy - but there are indeed a groomer, more than one dog trainer, the head of the NSVMA, representation from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, someone from cat fancy, members from cat rescues, members from dog rescues, Hope Swinamer - who represents everything, members from the SPCA, representation from the Department of Agriculture, and of course - me.  Oh - and a member of the CKC.

Since 2013 we have talked about how can we make Minister Colwell's life easier and to help the animals of Nova Scotia - we have mostly helped with the regulations - but also what would help with the Animal Protection Act - so I was blissfully happy when I read the Act that was put out a few days ago.

Why was I happy?

There are a few things that I've been very unhappy about in the last year that I've blogged about here - the first one was the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board.

They were operating with absolutely no transparency and were giving dogs back to people for seemingly no good reason - and it was actually the SPCA who contacted me about it - they were putting so much work into rescuing dogs in obvious distress - and then having to give them back to the owners.  And then the crown attorneys were unwilling to progress with cruelty charges because this board - people with no qualifications whatsoever - judge and jury - had given dogs back to allegedly abusive owners - I talked about it in - these posts:

There are 4 posts and this is the first one and there are links to the other three from here
"What does the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board have to hide?"

The second problem Ms. Gratton has is:  the over reaching powers that this will give Inspectors if the law goes through - it will give them the right, without notice come to a persons kennel and demand to be let in and they (the SPCA I'm assuming) would have the right to search and seize any animals.  They could take away any materials they might want to take - and this is where it applies to pet owners as well - the only thing about here is that you would have a it of notice and you would have to bring your animal out to the Inspector - and we're not for a minute saying that the SPCA Inspectors have agendas, but the way the law is written if someone were to have an agenda they could exercise a lot of hardships for our members.

The interview ends with the interviewer asking Ms. Gratton about tail docking saying that the NSVMA has deemed it to be cruel and asked Ms. Gratton whether she and other breeders thought it was cruel and she replied that - No she did not think it was cruel.

So on to her second problem - and here we are at the crux of the problem - this is a huge dog whistle - a complete lie that the CKC is trying to send all over the internet to confuse people and make them angry so that they will contact their MLA to stop the passage of this Act.

I mean who wants someone they have been told has too much power to come to their front door, break in - take their animals and then have a look around and ruffle through their drawers for nothing?  No one would want that.  And 20 years ago someone told them a really awful story about an SPCA somewhere - so the SPCA really is a piece of shit - and you know the SPCA was all over that problem in Truro a couple weeks ago.

And you know of course the SPCA is really PETA who are trying to end companion animals - really all they want to do is come and steal all your animals.

I have read ALL of these things - FROM CKC members - in the last 24 hours about this proposed act.

If you don't think the CKC are fear mongering and full of paranoia - please, let me sell your a piece of property that I don't actually own.

So if the CKC are lying to you - what is it that they actually want?

Well let me tell you.

I will start this off by saying that I have always been pro responsible breeder - I have fought for responsible breeders with people who are anti-breeder.  But no more - after the things I've read in the last 24 hours from breeders - I am now anti-breeder.

Bodhi was intentionally bred - I love Bodhi - he is the centre of my life - but I will never talk positively about breeders again.

So what do they want?  They want to be able to continue to mutilate their puppies.

In 2009 the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association disallowed their veterinarians from performing unnecessary cosmetic surgeries which included docking tails and cropping ears.  The breeders went crazy but they stuck to their guns - and breeders took their puppies out of province for ears and started docking the tails themselves - and also removed the dew claws themselves.

The NS SPCA tried to charge a few breeders for docking tails - and failed - and it's because of a section of the Animal Protection Act that allows people to perform acts of husbandry - it's section 21(4) of the old Act - and it is completely gone in the new Act.

I wrote a blog post about this called "Legal Loophole for abusing dogs in Nova Scotia"

How do I know that Elaine Gratton is lying about being so concerned about the search and seizure powers of the NS SPCA?  And that what they want is to continue to mutilate their puppies?

All of the search and seizure parts of the proposed act - ARE ALL IN THE OLD ACT.

In fact the new Act is improved in regards to search and seizure for private properties that are not a private dwelling - in the new Act the sections that had talked about if the Inspector does make it inside the house if they see anything they deem to be evidence - they can seize it.  In the new Act there is nowhere that the Inspector or Peace Officer ever gets inside a private dwelling.

So what I am telling you is - you are being lied to by the CKC - the new Animal Protection Act is very good and you should write to your MLA to have it passed - it is a good piece of legislation for animals.

The problem is that animals don't have money - but breeders do - please help our MLA's listen to animals and not breeders!  Take a look at your animal and think to yourself - if they were in distress - who would you want to find them?  An SPCA constable, or a breeder?

So please contact your MLA -  here is a list of all the MLA's in Nova Scotia - and tell them to go through with this Act as written - the parts that everyone is freaking out about are already in the current Act - and the things that have changed are good changes - read the act if you have the time - really read it.  It's good.  Trust me.

And I'd also like to say - the SPCA did not write the legislation - the government did - I worked for the government for 25 years and sat on a lot of policy and procedure committee's - the people who wrote this legislation have nothing to do with the SPCA or PETA or animal welfare - they write policies and procedures - so don't blame the SPCA for this legislation - but I'd like to thank them - it's good legislation - and they listened to the public.  And I hope it passes - despite all the subterfuge that's going on.

When this calms down I'll write the post I wanted to write - about the dog fighting section being added - why? Who knows - and the huge thing about the Animal Welfare Appeal Board meetings being made public - that is an absolutely huge thing that I fought about last year - but I'm not going to talk about it now - what the breeders are trying to do is just too horrible.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Legislated rescue regulations are not going to be happening in Nova Scotia

This is not going to be a happy post.  This post is going to have quite a bit of information so I hope the people interested in this kind of stuff reads reads this carefully.

This post is meant to shame an organization and I'm doing it on purpose because I believe that it's necessary because sometimes it needs to be done and when you are unhappy sometimes that is the way that things start happening.

Back in 2015 people who run some rescues in Nova Scotia started talking amongst ourselves that there were some animal rescues that were not being run ethically and that was a problem.

The department of Agriculture's Minister - the Honourable Keith Colwell, had decided after the regulations around Standards of Care for dogs in Nova Scotia had become law in December 2014 - that he was going to meet with different animal advocates from around Nova Scotia on a yearly basis and in January 2016 he asked the people around the table if there was anything that could be added to those regulations that could help the animals of Nova Scotia and I suggested that regulations around animal rescues would be hepful.

Minister Colwell thought that was a good idea and he said that if I wrote some up and then submitted them at our next meeting scheduled for December 2016 that he would have a look at them.

Throughout the course of 2016 things progressed and got screwed up and messed about and the NS SPCA took over the writing of them - I had written up what me and other rescues wanted to see in the regulations - you can read them in a blog post I wrote in 2016.

I don't know what was finally submitted to Minister Colwell, or even if any regulations were ever submitted to him at all by the NS SPCA - but at our meeting this past January 2018 I asked what the status of the regulations were with the Department of Agriculture and was told that the department would not be moving ahead with them - that regulations around rescue organizations were not feasible under the regulations we have here in Nova Scotia.

Well that has really thrown me for a loop.

What do we do now?  And why are regulations around rescues not feasible?

The province of British Columbia and Saskatchewan are moving ahead regarding regulations - the city of Winnipeg already has regulations written into their city's bylaw.  Tons of States down in the US have regulations - why can't we have some semblance of legislation around rescues here?

Why can't dogs and cats have a safe place to fall no matter what rescue they land in here in Nova Scotia?

We all know that currently there is absolutely no legislation around rescues - anyone can say they are starting a rescue, start fundraising and never actually take in any animals - or they can start importing animals from the States - that are diseased, aggressive, and adopt them out here - never assess the animals in any way and adopt them out to unsuspecting people.

This past weekend a rescue here in Nova Scotia rescued a dog that they said had been abused for the past three years - they outlined all the abuse the poor dog had gone through - and when people suggested that they should contact the NS SPCA so that the original owner would see justice for the abuse they had heaped upon this poor dog - they simply deleted the posts on Facebook because they felt they were being attacked - and they said the SPCA was useless.

At the very least - when a dog is taken in by a rescue that they believe has been abused - they should have a duty to report that abuse to the NS SPCA so that the owner can be charged with that abuse.

Veterinarians in Nova Scotia have a duty to report - it is right in the Animal Protection Act - if the Department of Agriculture can regulate veterinarians in this way - why can't they regulate rescues?

It just does not make sense.  And the ones suffering?  The animals being taken in by these un-ethical rescues.  Also suffering are the ethical rescues who do things right.

So I am saying - Minister Keith Colwell - it's time that you think about the animals of Nova Scotia - and regulate animal rescues - at the very least - amend the Animal Cruelty Act so that rescues have a duty to report animal abuse when an animal is taken into a rescue.

It was just a story like this that started the whole regulation of rescues - if you can regulate veterinarians - surely you can regulate rescues.

Before an animal dies because of an unethical rescue - do something.

Until then - I think the ethical rescues of Nova Scotia need to get together and talk about regulating themselves.

Before now I would have been all over this - but I don't have my own rescue anymore - I'm not doing rescue now - so I'm not in a place to do anything a bout this anymore - so I hope that sharing this will sad news will spur some rescue owners into action to start talking amongst themselves.  Good luck to you.

So what can you do - if you are like me and don't run a rescue, but just are a regular dog owner?

Write to Minister Colwell and tell him that rescues need to be regulated - we were going to be a leader in the country when these regulations were being talked about - there is no reason why the regulations the rescues put forward can't be put into the legislation.

You can contact him here -

Department of Agriculture
6th floor (Suite 605), WTCC
1800 Argyle Street
P.O. Box 2223
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3C4

Phone: (902) 424-4388
Fax: (902) 424-0699
MIN_DAG@novascotia.ca


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Stellarton has shone a light on how vulnerable our dogs are here in Nova Scotia

This is a dog named Zeus - a dog who totally owned the balls of Lloyd Hines :)

If you were on Facebook in the last 24 hours you might have been angry at the town on Stellarton for a little while.

Last night they had on their website a new dog bylaw that was going to a 3rd reading and if it was passed they were going to have breed specific legislation in their town - specifically - if you owned a dog that was "a American pit bull terrier, a Staffordshire bull terrier, an American Staffordshire terrier, or any dog of mixed breeding which includes any of the aforementioned breeds" shall, for the purpose of the by-law, be what they were calling a "restricted dog".

I have talked a lot on this blog about breed specific legislation and Nova Scotia - keeping it from coming here province wide, and the fact that it exists here in pockets in various places and has for a long time.

Currently bsl exists in the district of the municipality of Guysborough, Clark's Harbour, the town of Digby, the county of Richmond, and the district of the Municipality of Antigonish - so to add another area in Stellarton would have been just awful since we are such a peace loving province and we all love our dogs so much.

It turns out that luckily it was just a big administrative mix up with whoever posted the pdf of the dog bylaw on the town's website yesterday - the dog bylaw that they are working on and that will hopefully pass on April 23, 2018 is not going to have any breed specific legislation in it at all - whereas before a fierce or dangerous animal was partially described by breed - now it is only described by it's actions - "if it has attacked or bitten a person or animal".  And that is the kind of bylaw that works and protects everyone - what is called a "breed neutral bylaw".

Now that we have that emergency over - I hope you will indulge me - because we still have a very large problem here in Nova Scotia - not just the pockets of bsl that exist in the five areas that I mentioned above - but with something that you've maybe never heard of before - a piece of legislation called "The Municipal Government Act".

It lays out all the pieces of legislation that towns and municipalities can write around the province - and it has a section on dog bylaws.  If something isn't written in the Municipal Government Act or "MGA" - you can't write it into any of your bylaws.

And there are some things in the dog section of the Municipal Government Act that are truly awful - with the first one being of course - breed specific legislation - what it says there about that is:

1(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;
(h) authorizing the dog control officer to impound, sell, kill or otherwise dispose of dogs
(iii) that are fierce or dangerous,

So at a council meeting tonight in your town or city - your council members could without any public input - impose breed specific legislation in your town - and authorize your animal control officers to impound any they believe are fierce and dangerous - based entirely on the basis of how they look and they can kill sell or otherwise dispose of your dog - with no so say by you - simply by the way they look.

This is directly from the Municipal Government Act here in Nova Scotia

And it gets better

Dangerous dogs
176 (1) Where a peace officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that a person is harbouring, keeping or has under care, control or direction a dog that is fierce or dangerous, rabid or appears to be rabid, that exhibits symptoms of canine madness or that persistently disturbs the quiet of a neighbourhood by barking, howling or otherwise contrary to a by-law, a justice of the peace may, by warrant, authorize and empower the person named in the warrant to
(a) enter and search the place where the dog is, at any time;
(b) open or remove any obstacle preventing access to the dog; and
(c) seize and deliver the dog to the pound and for such purpose, break, remove or undo any fastening of the dog to the premises.
(2) Where the person named in the warrant is unable to seize the dog in safety, the person may destroy the dog

So the peace officer gets a warrant because they think you have a fierce or dangerous dog - your beloved wide mouthed, small eyed labrador retriever - and with that they can come into your house - look all through your house while looking for that DOG - and they see a marijuana pipe - what do you think is going to be most important to them then? Your dog or your drug paraphenalia?

I have been saying for probably a decade that breed specific legislation needs to be taken out of the Municipal Government Act - if we could get that done then no area of Nova Scotia would be able to enact bsl without us knowing about it number one - and wouldn't be able to do it at all.

If you want to effect change for all the dogs of Nova Scotia - you should contact your MLA with your concerns about the MGA - and that you think that breed specific legislation should be taken out of it because Nova Scotian's love all their dogs

You'll find the list of MLA's in Nova Scotia on the Nova Scotia government website  and then send them an email telling them how you feel about this subject.

Probably one you'll want to stay away from is Lloyd Hines - if he's your MLA - shame on you - you shouldn't have voted him in in the first place - he's the person who said this about dogs:


"I don't want to be the warden of the Municipality of Guysborough and have to go to the funeral of some kid who was eaten."
He's probably the worst person in Nova Scotia.  I can't stand him.  Blech.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Legal loophole for abusing dogs in Nova Scotia - let's close it!

We found out through a court case in Nova Scotia this week that it's actually legal to cause distress to a domestic animal because of a couple lines currently in the Animal Protection Act under the "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" Section.

In there under Section 21(1) it says "No person shall cause an animal to be in distress - which is fabulous, but if you go to Section 21(4) it says "Subsections (1) and (2) do NOT apply if the distress, 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 by the regulations.

This came to light this week because the NS SPCA had charged a dog breeder - Debbie Baggs - with cruelty to animals for docking the tails of her puppies - boxer puppies when they were a few days old - she had done it herself because in 2010 the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association had banned their members from performing the procedures of docking and cropping dogs for aesthetic purposes because it is an unnecessary medical procedure and  therefore against the oath of a medical professional.

For some reason though breeders who have these aesthetic's in their breed standards don't care - they think their dogs should look a certain way and they are willing to go to certain extents to have them look like their breed standards and they believe that they know what is best for the breed that they've chosen to nurture - and that includes veterinary professionals and the humane professionals tasked with determining what is distress and what isn't.

So Tuesday February 13th this court case was thrown out by the presiding judge because of Section 21(4) in the Animal Protection Act - the Judge believed this superseded the Federal Charge of "445 1(a) willfully causes or, being the owner, willfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird"

Unfortunately the Judge didn't care whether or not the puppies were suffering or in distress - it says right in the Animal Protection Act under 21(4) that they ARE allowed to suffer and be in distress - just as long as they are suffering because of generally accepted practices of animal husbandry, animal management, or slaughter.

I think everyone who is not a breeder would understand that today this is not acceptable.  The Animal Protection Act is supposed to PROTECT domestic animals - not allow them to be in distress or pain.

And who decides what these practices of animal husbandry are?  And who decides who is proficient to perform these practices?  Am I as a dog owner qualified to do them?  What qualifies a breeder?

And regarding the slaughter part - does that mean it's okay to shoot your dog - and if you don't kill him on the first shot - does this section now make it legal to keep shooting until he's dead - he's definitely suffering because he's not dead - but section 21(4) makes it okay for him to suffer because you are allowed to let your animal suffer in cases of slaughter.

So this one paragraph of the Animal Protection Act I'm hoping a lot of people will agree is not good - and now that we've seen it can get people off who are causing animals distress - needs to be removed as soon as possible.

What I'm hoping that people will agree to - is to start a petition.

What we need to do is find an MLA - and I propose we approach Minister Keith Colwell since he's the MLA in charge of the Animal Protection Act - and ask if he'll submit a petition in support of having this paragraph in the Animal Protection Act removed.  If veterinarians in Nova Scotia are not allowed to perform these procedures - nobody else should be allowed to do them either.

In Nova Scotia the only accepted petitions in the Legislature are paper petitions.

Once Minister Colwell agrees to submit the petition - I will make another post asking people to disburse them and pass them out.

I am hoping to have the petition submitted to the Legislature this Fall.

The best case scenario is that when I contact Minister's Colwell's office is that he says we don't need a petition - he sees how egregious this is and it is going to be removed without any problems whatsoever - but if he says we need a petition - let's get this thing done!

Animals in Nova Scotia should not be legally allowed to suffer and be in distress!  This is just wrong - simply because breeders say they know more than veterinarian's and the general public.

Let's get this done!

This is the letter I'm sending to Minister Colwell: