Monday, September 14, 2020

Snoopy the dog, unscrupulous realtors who think they know better & hopelessness

 It is difficult when you're in a power struggle and you're the one who has no power - that can be a very unhappy place to be.

And that is where a man named Michael Smaggus is. Through no fault of his own he has had his life ripped apart and no one seems to want to help him.  I am going to tell his story from my view - maybe it's not the correct view - maybe I'm being lied to - but I feel like I have a pretty good bullshit meter and I feel like I'm being told the truth - so I have decided to support Mr Smaggus and his brother Robert in their efforts to become reunited with their little dog Snoopy and I'm going to lay it all out here and you can judge for yourself what you think one way or  the other - I will attempt to be as objective as possible when I'm laying out the information :)


I feel comfortable in talking about it because another dog agitator came out publicly awhile ago naming the realtors - I'm not going to type out the people's names - but you can see who they are :)

Mike Smaggus rented a house for 13 years from a person who lived outside the province - that person decided to sell the house - so Mr Smaggus had to find a new place to live - in addition to this - Mr Smaggus had to put up with people constantly going through what was still his house that he was living in with constant showings before the house sold.

Mr Smaggus - like a lot of people who live by themselves - is probably not the tidiest of individuals and people coming through his house would have been witness to that - Mr Smaggus always tried to be away when showings were happening - the offending person never met Snoopy - they got all their information from the original realtor who was selling the house - the person never saw Snoopy and offered Mr Smaggus $500 for the dog saying that she knew someone who would pay that for him.  Michael demured saying that Snoopy was not for sale.  While the house was for sale she made several attempts to buy the dog - sight unseen.

After the house was sold, Mr Smaggus did find rental accomodations -- it wasn't dog friendly so he found a spot for Snoopy to stay until he found an apartment that allowed dogs.  On the day he was moving the same lady showed up again and this time she offered Mr Smaggus $200 for Snoopy - as a deposit - but this time she coded her words very carefully - when I see how Mr Smaggus wrote about the day I can understand what she was doing -  but I can understand how Mr Smaggus was fooled into giving his dog over to the lady.

Mr Smaggus thought the $200 was a "deposit" to make sure that she brought Snoopy back at the end of the day - what the lady - who turned out to be a realtor who had gone through the house as a listing agent at one point - actually said to him - that she was taking Snoopy for one or two days to see if he got along with her dogs - and then she'd bring him back to Mr Smaggus.


Mr Smaggus didn't realize that she was taking Snoopy to get him away from Mr Smaggus - Mr Smaggus thought he was getting Snoopy back.  And that didn't happen - that was in May - and we are now in September - we have no idea where Snoopy is - several things have been said and happened that are really bad and mean - the SPCA has been sent to a lady's  home - a lady who has done nothing but try to stick up for Mr Smaggus - who knows what's going to happen to me after I publish this blog post - the police have been sent to Mr Smaggus's home because he was accused of harassing the woman who took Snoopy - it is such a cluster fuck - and no one knows where Snoopy is.

I do not claim to have all the answers - actually I don't know any of the answers - what I do know is - that Mr Smaggus should get his dog back - it was taken away from with trickery and subterfuge and that's not right.

And since then he has been lied to and treated very badly - I'm going to paste Mr Smaggus's own words - an email he sent to CBC news to try and get a story published about what's happened to him where he describes that after the realtor took his dog - she claimed that Snoopy ran away as a reason she could not give him back to Mr Smaggus.  And then she claimed that she had given him to a dog rescue and he had disappeared into that system.  Well I have always been of the philosopy that things don't disappear into thin air - if you have a husband or children and you are a woman you know this to be a fact - when they are asking you "where is such and such" - you know for a fact that thing has not disappeared into thin air.

Snoopy exists out there somewhere - and he needs to get back into Mr Smaggus's arms.

The police, the SPCA, the body that regulates the Realtors, the company that both the realtors involved with this situation - all say this is a private matter between this one realtor - and Mr. Smaggus - and are unwilling to intervene and get Snoopy back to Mr Smaggus.

It was this realtor who on her working hours as part of her profession toured Mr Smaggus's house and observed Snoopy and her owner and decided that she knew better than Mr Smaggus how to take care of Snoopy - she arbitrarily decided that she needed to get Snoopy away from Mr Smaggus.

Which brings me to the next section of the blog post.

Realtors.  We let them into the most personal and private part of our lives - our homes.  They see everything.  And if it's our homes that we're selling - we let them touch everything because our homes need to be staged - so it was that this particular realtor had occasion to tour Mr Smaggus's home and meet him and see his little dog Snoopy - who is a bichon frise.  Perhaps Snoopy was a little overdue for the groomer or his nails were a bit long - that happens to every owner.

If this realtor thought it was a problem - she should have contacted the Nova Scotia SPCA - that is the reason they exist.  Just for situations such as this.  But this person decided to take this on herself - which makes me wonder - I don't know if it might make you wonder too - how many times is this person doing this?  How many houses is she going into and seeing a thing she thinks is unsatisfactory - is she taking it upon herself to fix it?  Does she has a messiah syndrome?

How many animals is she snatching from people's arms and they are just not speaking up?  They are offered a couple hundred bucks so they should just shut up and be happy about it?

I was talking to a friend of mine about this and she said she wasn't worried about it because they followed proper animal rescue protocols and I just about exploded my whole intestines onto my computer screen!

NO RESCUE PROTOCOLS WERE FOLLOWED! And in fact the realtor put Mr Smaggus in legal jeopardy - if proper rescue protocols had been followed the realtor would have had Mr Smaggus sign a surrender form - legally signing the ownership from Ms Smaggus over to her - but that was not done - legally - LEGALLY - Snoopy is still owned by Mr Smaggus - nothing has been done about ownership of Snoopy - and that's a fact.

And in Nova Scotia - when money is exchanged in the sale of a companion animal - a veterinary certificate for cats and dogs is required as per the Animal Protection Act and to not have one carries a quite severe consequence - it is the thing that ultimately did in Gail Benoit - she received a five prohibition on owning or selling animals for not supplying one when she sold a kitten in 2017.  So the fact that Mr Smaggus received $200 for Snoopy and no surrender form was signed and no health certificate was given - both those things signal to me that something was not right on the day that Mr Smaggus was moving out of the house that he had lived in for 13 years previous.

So realtors - what's up with them?  Do they develop some kind of God complex?  It's really sad because one of the realtors involved I considered a friend of mine - so when I finally found out the names of the 2 realtors involved - I emailed her and asked her what was going on - what was the real story - and could she please arrange to have Snoopy sent back to his owner - and she didn't respond - she didn't even open the message so I could tell she'd read it.

If the conditions were so bad at Mr Smaggus's house that the dog really did need to be extracted from there - I want to know that - if there's photos of house in that condition - I want to know that - right now I only know one side - the other side absolutely will not say anyting - other than sending the police to one house and the SPCA to another - so they are absolutely being the most aggressive that they can - oh and one other person also very subtly suggested legal action - so there's that too.



(I"m just having a thought bubble for you to ponder while I gather my thoughts about something else - the person originally offered Mr Smaggus $500 - why would he ultimately accept $200 - that just doesn't make sense - if he was actually selling Snoopy - which he wasn't - why would he go down $300 - he should have just accepted the original offer of $500 - that right there shows he had no intention of selling Snoopy - okay - continue on with blog post now).

Back to the realtor theme and our misplaced trust in them - there are news stories about realtors - like the Vancouver realtor who stole every pear in the backyard of a person trying to sell their home

Or the Las Vegas realtors who would steal hundreds of thousands of jewelry at open houses of people trying to sell their houses

Jewelry is a theme - a man in Oakville, Ont also attended open houses to steal jewelry - which is what Snoopy's snatcher was at - a walk through to see the listing - which was Mr Smaggus's house.

So at the very least - Mr Smaggus's story is a tale of buyer beware - I'm not sure we should be letting realtors into our lives so intimately - we just naively let them in and let them do whatever they want and whatever they think is best because we want to get our house sold and they are the professionals - it's a matter of hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes - the biggest investment of our lives is at stake - and I think a lot of times that can be taken advantage of - and I think Mr Smaggus was taken advantage of in this case.  Definitely.

It is too bad.  I think at this point, with everything I've read - Mr Smaggus is not going to get his dog back - no matter all the advocacy we do - whether I'm able to get an interview on every news channel or not.  These realtors have kicked in their heels so tightly.  I say that because it was just yesterday that I received the email that Mr Smaggus wrote to CBC yesterday - where I read that Mr Smaggus even sent his pastor to the boss of the realtor in question - and that didn't create any movement in the situation - and if God's very own messenger can't open up the log jam - I don't think anything can.

But I think this blog post still needs to be written - the public needs to know that stuff like this is going on - realtors think they know better than the public they are serving - when you decide to sell your home - be aware of the realtor you choose and how they are going to judge the contents of your home - are they going to decide for themselves that your house is up to snuff and sell it fairly? Or are they going to say that it's a piece of garbage and not do you a good swing and just blow you off - and also attempt to steal your companion animals because you aren't taking proper care of them.

This is a dilemma - and I think Mr Smaggus has shown some light on this.

I want to paste an email here that Mr Smaggus sent to the CBC - he outlined his story from start to finish.  I think it illuminates a few things.  Number one it shows he has no guile.  It shows he's a man trying to tell his truth.  He is trying to get the truth out there any way he can - and no one will listen to him - no one will help him - can you imagine how that must feel? And still - day after day - no one will help him get his dog back - the dog that started out as his mothers dog - and when she died - he took him - and this dog is the last piece he has of his mother - he is a single man of 58 - and he has this 9 year old little bichon frise - this dog gave him a lot of comfort - and he's been ripped from his arms.

I want to help him because I can imagine how that feels - I hope after reading this blog post - you can feel a little bit how that might feel - and imagine how after you've given your dog for what you think is just the day of your move you're told - "oh my family's fallen in love with the dog and we want to keep him" to "he ran away and we don't know where is" to "we gave him away to an animal rescue and we really don't know where he is" - and that's the last thing you've heard - other than having the police come to your house accusing you of harassing the woman who took your dog.  Imagine if this was your life.

So here is the email Mr Smaggus sent to the CBC telling his story:

*****

Just wanted to thank you for bringing the real estate story and pears to light. I think this profession has to be brought to task and accountability.  
I live in Nova Scotia and have a story that will even top the one you brought to light. I currently have a formal complaint filed against an agent for stealing my dog and rehoming it without my consent or permission. 

It is so far fetched and bizarre and everyone who hears it are dumbfounded.

I was renting a house for the last 14 yrs and the owner decided to list it for sale earlier this year. 

The listing agent arranged to have an open house for three days March-06 to March-08. He gave me the hours to show the house so I could vacate the premises and I also had a 10 year old bischon and took him with me during the showings. 

During the open houses the agent got 23 offers and listed the house sold. About a week after the sold sign went up I got a knock on my door from a woman I did not know. She asked me if the house sold and I told her it did. She then stated that a friend of hers had put in a bid and asked if I knew who the the buyer was. I told her I was only a renter and didn’t know that information

She then asked me if I owned a little white dog and then asked me if I wanted to sell him as she knew someone who would pay me 500 dollars for him. I told her I was trying to find a place that would allow dogs but wasn’t having much luck due to the pandemic. She said she would leave the persons name and # in my mailbox incase I changed my mind. I went back in the house and she left the info. About two weeks later she came back again I was heading out but I saw her on my doorstep and a friend I was With said someone’s at your door as I was driving by and said I should go talk to her. 

I slowed down and said that’s the woman who wants to buy my dog. I just kept on driving and don’t bother talking with her. I came home about an hour later and there was a note on my van saying- Hi Mike hope your move is going well was wondering what you are doing with Snoop (my dog) We would love to have him and left her name and number. Anyways the closing date on the house was end of May. 

I was moving stuff out and this woman stopped by for the third time. I was in the driveway and she wanted to know if I had gotten her note and what I was doing with my dog. I told her I hadn’t found a place that allowed dogs but a friend of mines sister was going to take him til I found a place that allowed dogs. 

My friends sister has a dog and she wanted me to take my dog to the vet to get him checked out before she took him. I mentioned this to the woman and told her I had a vet appointment the next week as this was the first available date that the vets were allowed to see pets as everything was shut down to the pandemic. I told her I had her number and would call her incase my friends sister and her dog didn’t get along then she left. My main concern all this time was my dog. 

The vacancy rate in HRM is only 1% so finding a suitable place is hard at best of times let alone during the pandemic. The list agent came by a few hours later and then told me he had gotten a call from a woman wanting to buy my dog for 200 dollars. I asked him if it was a woman named Sarah and he told me it was. 

I then asked him if he knew her and then he told me she was a fellow real estate agent and knew her socially and vouched for her. I told the listing agent my dog wasn’t for sale and that this Sarah woman had been by a few hours previous. I went back to moving and about an hour later Sarah showed back up at my residence and had 200 dollars in her hand. 

She said she didn’t want to insult me but would like to give me the 200 dollars to help me with the vet bills. I thanked her and declined the offer and that it shouldn’t be that expensive but appreciated it. She then said why don’t you let me take your dog for a day or two and I’ll see if it gets along with her dogs( she told me she had two dogs) and her kids. I will give you the two hundred dollars as a deposit til I bring your dog back and you can continue on with moving. 

I thought that being a real estate agent and being professional with standards and also where the listing agent vouched for her there wouldn’t be an issue. I went in the house put my dog on a leash and gave her my dog and took the 200 deposit. This was the first and only time she had seen my dog as I had him with me during the open houses. I texted her the next day to see how she was making out Mar 31 and she said she loved having him. Monday we didn’t have any contact. 

Tuesday morning I sent her a text saying I was going to pick up my dog that evening. I didn’t get a response so I called her about 630 that evening she answered and told me she was busy and would call me back. 

After not hearing back I texted her around 10 pm and told her I’d get the dog back Weds. Weds morning she texted me saying that it was nice of me to give her my dog and so unselfish of me and her kids loved him and that she wanted remain friends with me and would send pics of my dog etc. 

I called her and texted her rest of the day saying I wanted my dog back it wasn’t for sale and she was avoiding all contact. I finally called the police on Thursday June 04 and told them my dog was stolen. They went to see the real estate agent involved to hear her side of the story. 

She told them she had my dog and on Tuesday evening she told the police the dog was whining and she let him out to pee and he ran away. She told the cops she was afraid to tell me. They called me and told me they could search her residence but I told them that the dog was probably hid. 

Anyway I was pissed. I texted her and said so you claim my dog ran away what do you plan to do to replace my dog she texted back I feel so bad I didn’t want to have this conversation with you I was hoping he’d come back and told me to keep the 200 deposit. I told her I wasn’t settling for that. So I decided to take this to social media. 

I posted her ad from Century 21 her broker and it’s says she sells home and I added she steals dogs....it went viral. I got a call from her on Friday morning with her threatening me with legal action for slander and also people on my Facebook page who shared my post. 

Then she said I feel bad I lied to you. I didn’t know it but she told me she was an agent who had taken clients through the home during the open houses. 

I was a hoarder and she apparently didn’t like the living conditions and told me she manipulated me and tricked me to get possession of my dog and illegally re-homed him. I went back to the police but they refuse to do anything as they say there was money exchanged so are seeming this a civil matter. It’s now almost end of Aug so it’s been almost three months ago and I’ve yet to see my dog or know his whereabouts. 

She says she can’t get my dog back as she doesn’t know his location as she gave him to a dog rescue. 

My brother sent a letter of formal complaint to her broker Marg Bowlen owner of Trident Century 21 and she didn’t even bother to respond. 

She’s claiming her agent acted as a concerned citizen but it is through her access to the home I was renting she gained her information. 

Even my pastor got involved and went to see Marg and she said she would try to get the dog back. 

My minister, his wife myself and the agent involved all had a private meeting and she offered to get me another dog whatever breed I wanted to replace my pet and also said she would arrange for me to have a visit with my dog July 17. 

None of this took place as both the broker and agent involved lawyered up and said they were told my their lawyers that they should cease all contact with me and my brother as we have filed a formal complaint with the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission about the conduct of the agent. 

I am going to have to take the agent to small claims court to get any inkling of justice in this whole matter. 

The police didn’t even bother to look at the texts that were exchanged stating my dog was never sold. 

Her broker has done absolutely nothing on this matter as well. 

I think she should have been fired by her broker and am hoping to have her real estate license revoked. To be honest I don’t think much will be done sadly. 

Funny how in BC someone takes some pears and its frowned upon but here in N.S. not much is done. I think more follow up on the conduct of real estate agents should be written about and I’m sure it would blow the lid off the industry. 

I know people I tell my story to it has opened their eyes and most wont trust real estate agents into their homes or around their pets. 

Apparently here in N.S. there are agents who are actively involved with animal rescue agencies and use their profession to actively get animals they think are in distress. 

Only ones able to do this are spca but they take it upon themselves to use their profession for these goals. 

I sent a complaint to Century 21 head office in Vancouver as well about this situation and they thanked me for not going public on this story.

I was told the real estate board can’t force the agent to return my dog. 

I think it’s time I brought my story to light as I think people should be warned of the dangers of using realtors and be careful who they use. 

Thanks again for shining some light on this profession we all think we could and should trust. Keep writing stories that inform. Feel free to have someone from CBC in NS to contact me if you think it’s newsworthy. Thanks again Mike Smaggus



Friday, September 11, 2020

Robert Hunt: President of the Board of the Directors of New Brunswick SPCA, Candidate for Provincial Liberals, secret pit bull hater


So this is not a pleasant post to write.  Why would anyone get involved with animal advocacy at such a high position as President of the Board of Directors of the New Brunsick SPCA and secretly want to see pit bull type dogs exterminated from the face of the earth?

I suppose it makes sense in some ways - it would allow you to move forward if you had any untoward agendas, that's for sure.

I came into contact with Mr Robert Hunt in June, 2020 after the tragic and untimely death of Megan Milner when she was killed by one of her American bully dogs - dogs who aren't actually pit bulls - American bullies are bred to be companion animals - although it is quite unfortunate that the breeder that Ms Milner got her dogs from appears to have been breeding entirely for looks and not for personality or for gentleness.

That has nothing to do with Mr Hunt's opinions on the pit bull type dog though - and he has quite strong opinions on them.

When you are the President of the Board of Directors of an organization for the prevention of cruelty to animals - you'd assume they'd want to protect all animals - and not just some of them.  I guess he is taking a page from the rule book of Ingrid Newkirk - who would also like to see pit bull type dogs exterminated from the earth.

And why do they want to see this happen?

They have this belief that pit bull dogs are responsible for all the killing that dogs do to humans.

It's like when you look at them - they look entirely normal - but when you talk to them - you suddenly realize - this person is really fucking crazy and has no idea what they're actually talking about.  That's the kind of person they are - how this person actually became President of the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick SPCA with ideas like this fuck wad has - I have no fucking idea.

So on to Mr. Hunt's actual belief's about pit bulls - on to the receipts - because I have them - he tried to delete all his comments - but no - in my world - you don't get to do that.  You don't get to do that in my world.  Sorry - I have been at this too long.

I'm just going to let you all read these screen grabs and let you judge for yourself - they were from a conversation that happened on June 9, 2020 on a facebook page called "Animal Crusaders of People for Stronger Animal Protection" - they are an animal advocacy group based out of New Brunswick - they were talking about the Megan Milner story.

Mr. Hunt chose to come and make these comments - he felt strongly enough about this comment and obviously did not feel that having these opinions would impact any of his life negatively.

There are a couple problems with his philosophy about "pit bulls" though - he seems to believe that pit bulls are somehow "mastiffs" - except that mastiffs are actually their own breed of dog - I own one - well I own half of one - Murphy is 1/2 mastiff and 1/2 poodle - and he throws the whole pit bulls have to look a certain way right out of window (I'll put a picture of Murphy at the end of this post so you can laugh your way all the way to wherever it is you are travelling to right now).

Another thing about pit bulls is - there are a TON of purebred dogs and their mixes that look like what people generally think pit bull type dogs are supposed to look like - between 40-60 pounds, short hair, skinny tail, wide smile, deep chest, wide forehead - so all kinds of dogs look like that - labrador retriever, beagles, weimeraners, chihuahuas, boston terriers, swiss mountain dogs - there are like 245 breeds and probably 150 of them look like pit bull type dogs - so how are people supposed to visually identify pit bull type dogs from other breeds of dogs when they all look exactly like?  You can't - and that's the point - "pit bull type dogs" isn't a breed - it's a catch all to give a visual identification

I also take issue with Mr Hunt's statistics - where did he get them from? Oh wait - I know - he got them from where all the pit bull haters get their statistics from - dogsbite.org - I wonder if Mr Hunt is in a long distance relationship with Ms Lynn herself he seems to be speaking the coded language of the haters speech so well - the problem is - the statistics he's stating are not Canadian statistics - and I have no interest in numbers if they aren't Canadian.

Until Ms Milner's death only 2 people have ever died because of a pit bull type dog - now 3 people have died.

Almost all people in Canada die from husky's or northern breeds - because most people die up north - where dogs run in packs and are territorial - which brings to mind - did you know that 2 days before Madame Vadnais died of the horrible and tragic pit bull mauling in Montreal - a 4 year old child died of a mauling in Nunavut.  Did you hear about that killing?  No?  Do you want to know why?  Because it wasn't a fucking pit bull numb nuts!  A four year old child died because of a northern breed of dog on June 6, 2016 and then a 58 year old woman died on June 8, 2016 because of a boxer pit bull mix and the whole world exploded and lost their fucking minds.  Can you understand if people who actually care about dogs and actually care about humans can get a bit angry.

So that's my spiel.  And this is why people like Robert Hunt are trash.  He should not be around any animals - he believes that some animals are worthy and some animals should be exterminated from the face of the earth.  And he is the President of the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick SPCA.  He is in charge of the life and death of animals.  That is actually quite despicable.  Has he killed any pitbulls?  Is there any way to find that out?  Sure he loves his dog named Rocky - because he is small and cute - but what about dogs over 30 pounds who's ears aren't cute and floppy - what does he think about dogs that look like that?

And now he's running for a seat in the provincial legislature with the Liberal Party.  What kind of power will that bring - he hates pit bulls and wants to see them extermated - how do all you New Brunswickers feel about breed specific legislation - if he wins - do you think he might table some legislation around bsl?  Are you willing to take that chance?  Fuck around and find out, why don't you?

Happy election this week, folks.



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As promised - here is a picture of my Murphy - he's a 3 year old, 120 pound 1/2 poodle 1/2 mastiff - he is a very nice dog but he's very fearful - his first owner tried to train him to be a service dog and they used a shock and a prong collar on him which absolutely ruined him - he is much too timid for that - but it worked out for me because I got a fabulous huge mushy dog - he was trained too well though - I've only been able to get him up on the couch and the bed a couple times though - we've got his whole life to work things like that out so I'm not too worried :)


















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.