Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Amazing story about a dog from Mongolia

Sometimes we hear about people adopting dogs from other countries and we don't like it, because there's so many dogs here who need our help - but then sometimes we hear stories like this one - I think that fate really does come into play for some animals and humans - Brownie was meant to be found by some American and saved so that compassion could be taught to a lot of people.

So, I am sending you this E-mail because I feel it is:
1. really uplifting and happy and wonderful (yay) and
2. really important.
Please take - I don't know- 20 seconds to read this.
I found a paralyzed dog in Mongolia. Local street children beat her with a bat until they broke her back. She had no hope of regaining movement below the waist, and she was going to be euthanized; many people tried to discourage me from attempting to save her.
Long story short, I raised the money to save her and fly her home (the US has no animal quarantine laws), and she is now in a temporary foster home here in America.

Here she is six weeks ago in Mongolia, the day I found her:

And, here she is nowThough the vets said she would never be able to feel or move her legs again, she is now not only walking, but running!

I can't tell you how many people told me there was no hope, to just "give up".

I hope that someone, somewhere, might remember this and one day help another "hopeless" case, be it animal or person.

Regarding animals abroad, lots of people see animals in need when traveling and think there is nothing they can do. There are always vet offices that can help. And, though not always the answer (dogs are not pets in Mongolia, and a paralyzed street dog would have perished in days), it is remarkably easy to bring a dog to the US.

Thank you.


PS: If you are interested in more about Brownie, below is a letter about her first day in America. The message below is from Brownie's foster Mom...

Hi Danielle--

Thanks for your note! Brownie is way better today than she was yesterday. But then I don't think I would've been too chipper yesterday, either, if I'd flown from Mongolia to Seoul, then Seoul to JFK, all while traveling in the cargo hold. Actually, she had a great day today. I took her to PetSmart this morning to get some food and stuff, and although at first she was hesitant to go in, she ended up LOVING it there. She was very well behaved, but I sensed a kid-in-a-candy-store phenomenon going on in her little puppy mind. And everyone who crossed her path fell in love with her adorable face and her very waggy tail and, most of all, her sweetness and her affectionate nature. She really is a doll.

I met a woman in PetSmart who's a manager at one of their stores in CT, and she couldn't tear herself away from petting Brownie (who was very accommodating, and rolled over to allow full access to her belly--right after she peed on the floor a little further up the aisle). I apologized about the pee, and the woman said, "Please--I've never seen a dog that DIDN'T pee in here!"

Anyway, yada yada yada, I was standing outside the store talking to Ms. Brown (the person), who suggested that I attach the leash to a harness rather than to the dog's collar to offer a little more support while she walks, and four employees ended up choosing a harness for her, bringing it out to us and fitting it to her, and then not charging me for it because they loved Brownie so much.

I also took Brownie for her vet appointment this afternoon, and everyone in the waiting room was asking me all about her. She's a total people magnet! I haven't seen any evidence that she's afraid of men (though she ought to be), or kids (ditto), or dogs twice her size--she loves everyone, though I noticed she did lure in a few big dogs with her charm, then nipped at them when they were right in her face. The vet looked at the X-rays from Mongolia after examining Brownie (rather than beforehand), and said that given the severity of the spinal injury, the prognosis for Brownie could not have been good AT ALL, and that the fact that she's walking now is an absolute miracle.

In between PetSmart and the vet, I brought Brownie to my house in Hastings, and she kept me company while I was doing a little project. I'm not sure she'd ever seen grass before, as you mentioned the other day. Since she can't climb steps, I walked her the long way (via the lawn) to my front door, and I'd describe the way she got from the driveway to the house as nothing short of a joyous scamper. I couldn't believe that she was not only walking beside me on a leash, but almost running due to sheer excitement--and she didn't fall over at all. For a moment I forgot that this was a puppy that was once expected never to walk again.

Ever since we got home this afternoon, she's been snoozing off and on--but mostly on--in a little puppy heap. Today may have been one of the busiest, happiest days of her life, and she deserves many more.

Also, remember that striped knit scarf that was in her carrier? I washed it with some other stuff, because I thought maybe the vet staff had Brownie travel with it because it was special to her. I put it down next to her while she was napping earlier, and the next thing I knew, she was sleeping under it and on top of it and next to it. She seems to really enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Concerns over animal cruelty case prompts N.S. to revamp animal cruelty act

HALIFAX — Concerns over infighting at the Nova Scotia SPCA and its handling of a recent animal cruelty case in Cape Breton has prompted the province to revamp its animal protection laws.

Under a proposed new act the agriculture minister would have the power to revoke the SPCA's ability to enforce the law and appoint another party to handle the role.

Agriculture Minister Brooke Taylor called that a "just in case" clause and said Tuesday that the majority of the proposed changes are aimed at helping the non-profit organization carry out its duties.

The SPCA has weathered months of criticism from former and current members over the lack of accountability within the society and for not acting sooner to rescue more than 100 animals from a Port Hawkesbury shelter in February.

A 63-year-old mother and her 33-year-old daughter will return to court in July to enter pleas on animal cruelty charges related to that case.

Concerns were also heightened following what was described as a "tense and acrimonious" closed door meeting last month in which the society's board survived a confidence motion.

"I think that those incidents were brought to our attention in spades," said Taylor. "There's no big secret that yes, in fact ... those two certainly highlighted the need to revamp the Animal Cruelty Act."

Under the changes the Department of Agriculture would handle all agricultural-related cruelty complaints while the SPCA would deal with complaints regarding domestic animals.

Both the province and the society would also have to hire more investigators.

The government expects it will cost as much as $280,000 to help the SPCA hire up to seven additional inspectors. It currently has two full-time inspectors and 20 volunteer special constables.

Taylor said another change would enable the inspectors to demand that animals be brought out for their inspection if they arrive at a private residence without a warrant.

"We've incorporated it into the law ... and we believe in most cases Nova Scotians will respect the law and present those animals to the inspectors," said Taylor.

The SPCA would also be required to open its annual meetings to the public, set up an independent appeal board to review cases involving animal seizures and cruelty investigations, and require veterinarians to report animal neglect or abuse to the SPCA.

Nova Scotia SPCA president Pamela Keddy said she welcomed the legislation because it would help the society deal with its thin resources.

She said ceding agricultural cruelty cases to the province would be a definite help. Last year the SPCA dealt with 13 agricultural cases and another 942 cases involving domestic animals.

"Although they might be small in nature for us, they take over so much of what we do and the resources that we have," said Keddy. "By them taking just that one component that's going to free up a lot of our time and resources to concentrate on domestic animals."

Keddy said the controversy surrounding this year's annual meeting has led to change.

"From negative we're getting positive. It's an awful thing to say that was the impetus to get this moving forward, but it did and so be it," said Keddy.

Government officials said the legislation likely won't be dealt with until the fall sitting of the house.


As well - from the Chronicle Herald:

N.S. moves to make sure SPCA annual meetings public

Tue. May 27 - 4:18 PM

Annual meetings of Nova Scotia's SPCA would have to be open to the public under legislation introduced today.

The provincial government promised the change after squabbling within the non-profit agency.
The SPCA board has been criticized recently by members and former members on a variety of issues, including its handling of an alleged animal cruelty case in Cape Breton.

Agriculture Minister Brooke Taylor says the Animal Cruelty Protection Act places responsibility for agriculture-related cruelty complaints with his department, while the SPCA will handle complaints involving domestic animals.

The new law would also allow the agriculture minister to designate another entity to fulfill its animal protection role if the SPCA fails to perform the duties set out in the legislation.

An independent appeal board would be created as well to review cases involving animal seizures and cruelty investigations.

The law would require veterinarians to report animal neglect or abuse to the SPCA.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today's Lab Rescue Lab Fest was Fun!

So me and Charlie went to the Lab Fest being put on by Trish Pittman and Lab Rescue of Nova Scotia, and let me tell you - we were NOT disappointed by the amount of Labrador Retrievers at Seaview Park this afternoon!
This matching pair of german shepherd mixes however still managed to have fun even though they didn't match all the lab mixes - their owner said he had to keep them away from the melee because there was a weiner dunk going on and these dogs would have tried to get every weiner going - they certainly look like the type who like to have their fair share of hot dogs!
Charlie was too interested in smelling and rolling in dandielions to care about hot dogs - although he DID go over to the group to get his share of cake that came from the Doggy Treat Bakery - which is owned by Trish Pittman up in Enfield. Charlie LOVED the sweets!!

Here's a long shot of the group - isn't it nice when you see a big group of humans and dogs just hanging out together and having fun? I think it's a beautiful site!
These next photos are of the cutest english bull dog and basset hound in the world! They decided to play with each other right in front of me - what else could I do but take photos of them? I was choiceless!

These last 2 photos are of the famous "poop" flags - put there by the bureaucrats at City Hall so that they can close down Seaview Park to dog owners and their dogs. I looked at a lot of the flags, and for the life of me - I could NOT find any poop at the bottom of the flags. Maybe I'm not good at seeing month(s) old poop - but I really do not understand how these flags can close down a many year park access area to dog owners. I think it's actually - actually I don't have a word for it - it makes me so sick.
Here's a photo of Charlie taking a dump amidst the dump flags. I picked up his poop after he was finished (like any responsible dog owner would).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Something I forgot from previous post - Furry's Halifax

I forgot to mention in my previous post about the latest edition of "Furry's Halifax" - I picked up the latest edition yesterday at Atlantic News (a dog friendly Magazine store on Queen Street here in Halifax) when I was picking up the latest issue of Bark Magazine, and I noticed that peppered throughout are little ads that say "Support Furry's - Get a subscription today".

I think that having a local full colour magazine is a great idea - and I think that Furry's Halifax is actually worth a $16 subscription - it's actually pretty cheap - so I'm going to buy a subscription - even though it's free on the newstand. I am very into supporting the local dog community with my hard earned money - and I think this is a worthwhile use of my money. So I'm going to buy a subscription - and I wanted to post here that this is something that is available for us to spend our money on. You can emaill Lynne MacKay at to buy your subscription too!

Do you recognize anyone on this page? haha! On the left hand side of the page were photos taken at the GPAC dog expo - where Buttercup and I were selling our liver. Buttercup is a pretty sooky dog, eh? And I am definitely a dogkisser.

Lots of stuff - Yard sale, BSL, Lab Fest, photos from the air

So this Sunday is "Lab Fest" - an event put on by Lab Rescue of Nova Scotia is going to be happening Sunday from 12 to 4 at Seaview Park - I think me and Charlie are going to be going seeing as how he's 1/2 lab - so I'm sure it's going to be tons of fun. I have spent 100's of hours at Seaview Park - it used to be one of only 2 off-leash parks here in Halifax - and it maybe closing to dogs completely because it seems that the bureaucrats of Halifax really really hate dogs - so you should go there with your dogs while you can.

On that note - I was talking with my Dad about the fact that if Bill 138 passes and they enact the legislation here in Halifax - people with restricted breeds may have to post signs on the front of their houses that they have a restricted breed living inside their domicile. And it occurred to me that on any official document - I've always called Daisy a doberman! I have never called her a rottweiller! That really shows you the STUPIDITY of BSL. Since she's a mixed breed - I've always chosen to call her the lesser evil of her mix - hell I should have really called her a lab mix - because she's got some of that in there too. I even wrote a post about it once when I saw a photo of a purebred doberman with his ears not cropped that REALLY looked like a photo I had taken of Daisy - you can check the post out here - "Daisy's a doberman!"

I got an email with a link to an amazing photographer who has taken photographs of Halifax from the air - along with photos of other places in Nova Scotia, and I thought I'd put the link here, because I'm sure that everyone will enjoy it - even though I didn't find ONE photo of a dog. You can't have everything I guess. haha! The link is and the guys name is Craig Mosher.

And the last thing is that there's going to be a huge yard sale over in the parking lot at the Dartmouth shelter of the NS SPCA. The email I got said the following -

Giant Yard Sale, this Saturday May 24, 2008 at SPCA Metro Shelter, 5 Scarfe Court, Burnside Industrial Park. 9 am - 1:30 pm. Literally thousands of items including books, clothing, crafts, antiques, dishes,

Thanks to all of you who donated items throughout the months for us to sell at this event to raise money for the SPCA.

Spread the word. Come visit the animals and shop.

Want to help out?? We will be there at 6 am to unload hundreds of boxes from the storage unit to display on tables etc.

So I think I'd like to head over there and do both - shop, and visit the animals. I would really like to do that. What about you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Further Info on Bill 138

I had an email from Alice B today who wrote to her MLA - Joan Massey - the Honourable Massey wrote Alice back with some good info which I thought would be good here - it said:

Thank you for your email.

I will tell you that the NDP MLAs know there are concerns, and we do want to hear what the public has to say.

In the 2006 election, Darrell stated that we do not support and would not introduce "breed specific" legislation - laws that set rules for dogs on the basis of "breed" rather than the behaviour of the individual dog.

If you like you can send your views to the Law Amendments Committee of the Legislature.

You can e-mail any presentations/comments on Bill No. 138 directly to Gordon Hebb, Chief Legislative Counsel, at or and he will gladly forward these e-mails directly to the members of the Law Amendments Committee.

You may wish to comment directly to the Minister responsible for the legislation, it is Jamie Muir,

Sincerely, Joan Massey, MLA Dartmouth East

So at this point - I'd say that's what we'll have to do - send emails to members of the law amendments Committee. I also love that Ms. Massey noted that during the 2006 elections that BSL was talked about - do you remember when Darrell Dexter was drawn over the coals because he was sent a questionnaire and one of the questions was whether he was for or against BSL and he said "personally I support Breed Specific Legislation" - and the uproar was SO BIG that he had to recant that and blame it on a staffer - that THEY had answered the questionnare on his behalf - does everyone remember that? What a HOOT that was. Fun times. That was funny. You can read my posts on that -

But I digress -

As well - I was sent several sets of minutes from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities minutes from the last year, and there was one meeting that talked about the proposed dog bylaw -

Dangerous Dog Legislation – Proposed Changes to the Municipal Government Act
Mr. Dan McDougall, Chair of the Joint Province/Municipal Animal Control Committee,
joined the meeting to update the Board on the work of the Committee. Mr. McDougall
outlined the recommendations of the Committee as follows:

Given the precedent set in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, the Committee proposes to amend the current MGA to enable more stringent bylaws governing the ownership of
dangerous and restricted dogs. These recommended amendments include:

1. The power for a Council to define “restricted dogs” Municipalities would be permitted to define restricted dogs by breed or other characteristic under a Municipal bylaw. This would provide a way for Councils to promote responsible dog
ownership as an alternative to a breed ban. Municipalities would be permitted to identify restricted breeds in the event of uncertainty through the expertise of a certified Nova Scotia veterinarian.

Under amended legislation, owners of a restricted dogs could be required at the discretion of Council to:
• purchase liability insurance
• post warning signs
• muzzle and leash the dog when taking it off the owner’s property
• construct a kennel to certain specifications set out in the bylaw
• undertake obedience training for the dog.

In addition, the MGA should clearly define who is qualified to identify a restricted or banned breed such as a veterinarian certified or licensed to practice in Nova Scotia.

Board of Directors Meeting March 22nd, 2007 6 These proposed amendments are already in legislation in other provinces so there is set precedent to make these changes.

2. Dangerous Dogs As indicated, the current MGA enables municipalities to define dangerous dogs as a result of the dog’s actions (ie attacking or biting). The Committee recommends that all potential limitations proposed for restricted dogs could apply to dangerous dogs at the discretion of Council.

3. Penalties Under the current MGA, individuals in contravention of a municipal bylaw can be issued a summary offence ticket up to $10,000. The Committee feels that this maximum is adequate.

The current Act also enables municipalities to set different rates for different offences. For example, municipalities in Alberta have issued substantially higher fines for restricted and dangerous dogs.

The role of the Province in addressing Dog Control and Next Steps were also outlined and discussed.

MOTION: Moved by Councillor Clarence Prince; Seconded by Warden Lloyd Hines: That the UNSM send out the draft Animal Control Committee Report to the municipalities for
their comment and feedback. Carried.

So this is very interesting, eh? How do you feel about having to post a sign outside your house that you have a certain type of dog simply because of the way he looks? What's next? Having to post a sign outside your house saying that you're a smoker? Or that you've got someone living with you with a history of violence? What's next for us here in Nova Scotia?

How do you feel about your personal freedom? Not just as a dog owner? But as a tax paying individual. I feel pretty sick.

Life goes on

Even with all the exciting things going on in the world of dog politics - life still goes on in our day to day world, and yesterday was a big day for me and my dogs - it was the first day we got to go for a walk in the woods since Buttercup had her luxating patells surgery at the beginning of April.Since Buttercup's surgery we've only been able to go on street on-leash walks, which isn't very fun for dogs who are used to going on big dog off leash walks every day - so yesterday was a momentous occasion for me and the dogs.Although it was only the woods of Spryfield - which means it was just trees, garbage, broken glass, car wrecks and us - but even still - it was pretty good. The REAL fun will be when we go to the beach.Although I don't know if we'll ever get to go climbing over the rocks at Crystal Crescent or Prospect Bay again - with Jack being mostly blind he doesn't seem to be too much into anything that's not a very clear path - which kind of sucks, and he won't let me carry him - but we'll find new places that are equally exciting - buoy booty must exist even in places that are easy to walk on I'd imagine.But yesterday all the dogs - Charlie, Daisy, Jack, and Buttercup - were all having a hell of time running around in the woods - it'll be great to get back in the routine of daily walks there rather than short walks on leash in the neighbourhood.
I expect that Buttercup will get back to herself much faster now that we're doing these kinds of walks - her muscles will build up much faster now. It is SO hard having dogs who are all getting old - I'm sure a lot of people can commiserate - Daisy is 8, Charlie is going to be 10 and both Buttercup and Jack are 12.
Even if the world of dog politics explodes - our everyday dog life goes on - and we have little victories that - hopefully - will continue to happen.

Today is May 21st, 2008 - Court Day

Today is court day for the MacIsaac's - Zonda and Alice - I wonder how it's going to go down in Port Hawksbury - I hope something is going to be on the news tonight about it. We'll have to wait and see

Update - 4:30pm - from the Hawk 101.5 in Port Hawksbury:

Local women in court July 28
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 , 11:29
A court date scheduled for two women accused of animal cruelty went ahead without them.

Zonda MacIsaac of Port Hastings and her mother, Alice MacIsaac of Port Hawkesbury were scheduled in Port Hawkesbury provincial court Wednesday to enter pleas.

The charges stem from a seizure at the Celtic Pets rescue facility in West Bay Road run by Zonda MacIsaac and another seizure at the home of former SPCA special constable Alice MacIssac .

Instead a lawyer appeared on their behalf, with the case adjourned in a matter of minutes.

Crown Prosecutor Dan MacRury explained that all charges are summary convictions,which carry a maximum of six months in prison and fines.

MacRury suggests despite public scrutiny, the accused deserve a fair trial.

"This matter has been certainly wide in the press and I think in fairness to the accused,I think at this point in time it's fair that we try the case in court as opposed to the media."

Both Zonda and Alice MacIsaac will return to court on July 28th to enter pleas on four charges each under the Criminal Code and the Animal Cruelty Act.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fredericton continues to do things right - for feral cats

The Daily Gleaner up in New Brunswick has a super article about a fund raiser being put on by a group of people who have started a society to help with their trap neuter release program - one of the ladies in the photos is on the BOD of the Fredericton SPCA so the article caught my attention. It looks like a really good program, and they say they have opened up programs down here in Nova Scotia - I wonder where it is down here - here's the article:

The catastrophic event

is a fundraiser for Cat Rescue Maritimes (CA-R-MA) to support spay and neuter clinics for abandoned, stray and feral cats
All the cool cats and kittens will be heading to the Charlotte Street Arts Centre on Saturday, May 24, for an event that is promising to be the cat's pyjamas.

The CATastrophic Event is a fundraiser for CA-R-MA, featuring live entertainment, a pawsitively splendid silent auction, purrfect artwork and much more.

CA-R-MA stands for Cat Rescue Maritimes, an organization that began in the Sackville area in 2005 and has since grown to have registered charitable groups in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

"The concept that we operate under is trap-neuter-return," says Sharon MacFarlane, treasurer of CA-R-MA and chief trapper.

"It is a widely used methodology to control the population of stray, abandoned and feral cats."

Stray, abandoned and feral cats exist, largely because of people dropping them off, she says, but if they have food and shelter, the cats can live outdoors.

These cats can be found in the city, but they are mostly in rural areas, often making their homes at commercial site or in barns.

CA-R-MA, firstly, makes sure that the cats have adequate food and shelter. The volunteers also trap them and make sure the cats are spayed and neutered, then release them back to the site.

Usually some kindhearted people are feeding the cats, but they aren't in a financial position to have the animals spayed or neutered, so the cats keep producing kittens.

"At the SPCA, we have about 1,200 cats turned in every year," says Glenda Turner, who does media relations for CA-R-MA and is a board member with the Fredericton SPCA. "Our policy is not to take owned animals, so theoretically all of these animals are homeless."

While the shelter usually finds homes for 800 of these animals, approximately 400 cats end up being euthanized each year.

"Those are the lucky ones that get brought to the shelter," notes MacFarlane.

Many end up dropped off somewhere, usually in rural area, where they tend to live in colonies, often in family groups.

"There is usually a predominate male or two and the rest are female," she says.

In our climate, females are generally in heat three or four times during the season and have litters of three to five kittens. Then those kittens have kittens and so on.

"One breeding pair, over four years, with all their progeny, ... could have 20,000 other cats," explain MacFarlane.

To solve the problem, you need to start at the front end, which means not only educating people about this issue, but actively working to spay or neuter these homeless animals.

That's what the Fredericton chapter of CA-R-MA has been doing since it began in 2007.

"Between August and December, we TNRed (trapped, neutered and released) about 100 cats, of which almost half were kittens," says MacFarlane.

When the group first started, it wasn't working closely with the Fredericton SPCA, so CA-R-MA volunteers found homes on their own for the kittens.

The only reason a partnership with the SPCA wasn't already established is because the organization was so new.

"We were struggling to learn how to do this and we're gradually involving the SPCA more and more through advice and communication," says Ellen Levine, director of the Fredericton chapter of CA-R-MA.

It's a relationship that continues to grown.

"There is such an obvious link to the shelter," says MacFarlane. "We support each other very well."

Sometimes people don't understand why an organization like CA-R-MA is necessary, thinking the cats are doing fine on their own, but Levine notes that in rural areas, these aren't just a few pets here and there.

There can be 30 to 40 cats in a colony.

Volunteers will go into those areas and help the people who are taking care of these colonies. CA-R-MA works with dedicated local vets to get the cats spayed or neutered.

"But they have to be committed to continuing care, meaning stable environment, so there is proper shelter, and daily feedings and health checks, if they can handle them," says Levine.

She admits she doesn't like the word feral, as it is a scary word for a lot of people. She prefers to call the cat abandoned and stray, which many of them are. After all, while these cats are homeless, they aren't hopeless.

Sadly, many of these cats don't survive after they are dropped off in rural area. Some starve, some die because of the extreme temperatures, some are shot, poisoned or trapped, some are killed by predators and some are hit by cars.

"Their mortality rate is extremely high," says Levine.

It's very sad, but all the more reason to remind people of the importance of spaying or neutering the cats that do survive.

Last year, the spaying and neutering was done one or two cats at a time, which is time consuming, labour intensive and expensive. This year, the local CA-R-MA chapter plans to hold spaying and neutering clinics.

They got the idea, says MacFarlane, at a national feral cat conference she and Levine attended in Florida. While there, they got to take part in the clinic held at the veterinary school at the university.

"Now the numbers are huge," she says, as the problem with stray, abandoned and feral cats is much worse there. "In six hours, 15 (volunteer) vets and about 85 volunteers did over 250 cats."

It was an assembly line-type of operation, she says.

"If we can bring this concept to New Brunswick, we can increase our numbers and have a greater impact in a shorter period of time, with less money and less strain on the vets," says MacFarlane.

The veterinary clinics currently assisting the local chapter of CA-R-MA include Valley Veterinary Hospital, Islandview Veterinary Hospital and South Paw Animal Hospital.

"We won't be doing 250 cats, but we hope to do 40 cats," she says. "We'd do one clinic a month between May and October."

To be able to do this, CA-R-MA needs to raise money. That's where The CATastrophic Event on Saturday, May 24 comes in.

The fundraiser, being held at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre from 1-5 p.m., will be a great day for people of all ages who love animals.

"It will be a fair atmosphere with several things going on," says Levine. "There will be lots to do for adults and children."

There will be lots of entertainment, cat-related art on display, a silent auction, readings by different authors, goods to purchase for your furry friends, displays set up by groups such as the NBSPCA and Fredericton SPCA, cats courtesy of the Chickadee Cat Club and more.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, with all money raised going to support spay and neuter clinics for abandoned, stray and feral cats.

For tickets, call 457-0073 or 687-4227. To learn more about CA-R-MA, to volunteer or to donate, visit

Banning Breeds of Dogs in Nova Scotia

On August 30th, 2006 there was a small side bar article in the Chronicle Herald about the possibility of sweeping breed bans happening in Nova Scotia. I wrote a blog post about it then. And no one seemed to take note of it. Maybe because it just seemed so far fetched - breed banning - BSL all throughout Nova Scotia? Never! That could never happen here!

Well guess what! It's going to happen here! NOW! Henny Penny is not running around saying the sky is falling anymore! Guess what! The sky is actually falling!

Working it's way through the legislature is Bill 138 that has buried in it a couple lines -

(iii) regulate the ownership of fierce or dangerous dogs within the municipality (including allowing municipalities to prescribe a definition of fierce or dangerous dogs).”

Lloyd Hines - the head of the district of the Municipality of Guysborough - who is also the head of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, has always let it be known that it is his dream to have the same breed restrictions that he has in his Municipality - be passed province wide.

And back in 2006 a sub-commitee was struck to start working on it. In late 2007 the following paragraph showed up on the UNSM website:

"UNSM/AMA sub-committee prepared changes to MGA to make dog owners more responsible for actions of their dogs. These changes will give municipalities more tools to work with to address dangerous dogs and their owners. Legislation anticipated to be introduced in Spring 2008."

Well - it is now Spring 2008 - and the legislation is now before the Nova Scotia legislature - and is going to be passed into law very shortly - giving us almost NO TIME to have this bill shut down.

Can you imagine the GALL of our politicians saying this legislation is going to make dog owners more responsible for the actions of our dogs? I can't believe that. That just makes my blood boil. Breed specific legislation does NOT make dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs! What it does is exterminate breeds of dogs. Ludicrous!

The bill has already passed second reading without any of the public's (read that as you and me) input - this absolutely MUST HAVE a public hearing like the New Brunswick government was courteous enough to give to it's tax paying constituents (and note that the public was AGAINST instituting breed specific legislation in that fair province) - so that the government can gauge whether or not the public even wants this kind of archaic and unnecessary and - unenforceable legislation.

You MUST contact your MLA IMMEDIATELY.

For a list of all the MLA's in the province - you can download this file - here - which has all of them - thanks to Janet Chernin for compiling the list for us.

I went through the actual legislation and typed out the changes the Union of Nova Municipalities want to make, you can view the atrocities here - - and see what you think.

Janet Chernin has also started a Facebook group to mobilize the troops - it's called "Banned in Nova Scotia? Bill 138" - if you're on Facebook, you should join it.

These indeed are very dark days - as Andrew Younger (Municipal Councillor here in the HRM) said in an email he sent out to concerned dog owners this week notifying us of this impending legislation - this is INDEED a slippery slope the Provicinial government as guided us on to.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Story of Po

The story of Po is going to be a long one - and right now it's just at it's beginning. Po lived in Cape Breton until yesterday. He'd lived most of his life chained to an empty oil barrel which was next to his dog house.
He was hardly fed or given water - and as you can tell by these photos - he was never groomed in his life. When his owners fenced in his yard - they put him on the OTHER SIDE of the fence so they wouldn't have to look at him. Can you imagine that? What kind of people were they.
A couple weeks ago a lady by the name of Corinne found out the way that Po had been living his life - she'd been hearing him barking for a long time, but she'd never gone to find him - and when she saw how he'd been living - she couldn't stand it, so she called Animal Control. Animal Control ordered the family to get the dog groomed by a certain date - and instead of doing that - they drove the dog to a road outside of town and dumped him. So Animal Control picked him up and took him to the Cape Breton SPCA where he had a one in ten chance of coming out alive. Luckily - he had gotten some media attention because of this lady - she'd posted the photos she'd taken, and some video of him - which is below - to a local forum down there - at

and the new PO

She'd also started a Facebook group at - so he was getting quite a bit of notice down there, which is a good thing.

So He was groomed at the SPCA , and some attention paid to him and arrangements were made to get him out of the SPCA and into a foster home.

And so he was released yesterday by the Cape Breton SPCA and was driven up to Halifax - and that's where I came in.

I met Rob who drove Po all the way from Cape Breton up to the airport where I met him and Po and I was supposed to be taking Po to his fabulous foster home which was like 30 acres and shangri-la. It would be so wonderful if rescue always worked out that way, wouldn't it? Rob was a great guy though - he said Po was good in the car but had a lot of energy.
Po certainly did look happy - and so skinny! Poor Po! He looks like a mix between an irish hound, a wheaten and a great dane to me - that's my call on him anyway!
This is about the only photo I got where Po was standing still for more than 2 seconds at a time - so I think Po is a fan of the boys. At least he liked this Rob fellow anyway!

And then on to the "foster" home - within 5 minutes they said it wasn't going to work - you would expect that a dog who's been living for the past 8 years outside, still has his balls, has been in a car the whole day meeting new people, completely out of his element, is starving to death, has just met 2 dogs and is in an environment he's never been in - and also INSIDE A HOUSE, might be a bit stressed - so as soon as we got inside - PO started marking - he peed twice inside the first 5 minutes we were there - and that's about how long we were there. The husband said "this isn't going to work". I was disgusted. I said "I had no idea that you were not committeed to this dog or to fostering. I was of the understanding that you knew where this dog came from and that you would be understanding of his special needs". And all he'd say was "this isn't gooing to work - he's got to go". So I said "fine" - and me and Po left.

To me - people like that don't deserve to be part of the wonderful experience of fostering - because that's what it is - it's a privilege to be part of the awakening of an animals soul as they start to feel safe again - and if they aren't willing to modify their living space even a little bit so that they can accomodate Po's short term training needs - then they don't deserve him. So we left. I told them - anything at floor level is fair game - so if you don't want those photo albums on the floor ruined - you should pick them up. And the woman said "oh no". Like as if - that's where they go - "we can't move them!" As if! Can you imagine! So anyway - I'm sure it was a good thing Po didn't stay there anyway.

But at 9pm on a Friday night? Where do we go? I couldn't take him home with me - my own dogs would've eaten him alive - he was doing nothing but trying to hump me constantly because at this point in the day he was just so horribly overstimulated. That's the problem with formerly chained dogs. They live their whole lives with nothing happening - and then when things start happening around them - they can't handle it - I had the same problem with Daisy - and most people who bring home chained dogs also have the same problems.
There's a really good article about it on the "Dogs Deserve Better" website at - it was one of the articles I took with me to the foster home last night. Too bad they won't get to use the tips.
So I had a brainwave - I called my friend Janet who has an in-home doggy day care in her basement - I'd stay there the night with Po while Netta from Animal Rescue Coalitions - who's taken over the care of Po - found other accomodations for Po. So that's what we did. It was either that or sleep in my car. So everything worked out. Another reason why in-home doggy day cares can come in handy.
So today I took Po out to the place where he's going to be staying until Tuesday - a place called "Boxwood Kennels" - it kind of sucks because it's a place with indoor outdoor kennels - so he's back in a cage until Tuesday.
On Tuesday he's going to get neutered and go to his next foster home for 2 weeks - but then AFTER THAT - he's still going to either need a new foster or an adoptive home.
So Po's journey is just beginning - he still needs a lot of help - and a lot of understanding - but he is going to be a great dog - just in the 12 hours I had him he calmed down SO much. I could tell that he has a LOT of love to give - he's just waiting for the person who's willing to let him give it to him.
He realizes that he's spent his life with one disappointment after another -

That's why I'm posting these photos - these photos I took at Boxwood Kennels - they are pictures of him that I took in his outdoor kennel - when he went in there he completely deflated.
I can tell you that it was so hard to leave him when I saw him in there - he had spent the last 24 hours outside a cage and it was like he was starting to get some hope that things were going to start to get better - he was getting to jump up and around inside a house and on furniture and people were petting him and telling him he was a good dog - and then all of the sudden -
Here he was - out in the rain - and back in a cage. Man, that was hard to do. I really hope that this is just for a couple of days and is only a short blip in Po's hard won new life. He definitely deserves all the sunshine and lolli-pops we can get for him.

Here are the video's that the Corinne lady took of Po before he was rescued:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Fun Stuff (for once!)

Last week me, Buttercup and Charlie were interviewed by Eastlink Television for our Charlie loves Halifax website - and we walked around Point Pleasant Park and went to Atlantic News and Canadian Tire and talked about dog friendly Halifax
Charlie and Buttercup had a good time because they got out for the day and got a few extra liver treats - although the weather was pretty pissy - but I think the little piece turend out pretty good
And look for the cameo by HRM City Councillor and Deputy Mayor Steve Adams who we found in the parking lot of Canadian Tire - what a find! haha!

Oh yeah - and if you hear someone talking in the background - that's my Dad talking to Buttercup saying "that's you on the television!", and if you hear a dog barking in the background - that's Jack barking at Buttercup - who's barking on the television - the peanut gallery was being very active while I was taping this piece tonight!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chinchilla Charlie on CTV News

Tonight Netta Armitage and Mimi were on CTV news tonight to talk about 2 of the Celtic Pets dogs who were killed by the NS SPCA - Scupper and Dottie - they both had foster homes to go to - and both were killed for some reason. And we have no good explanation why. Here is the video:

‘A betrayal to rescue’

from today's Chronicle Herald:

A staff member at the Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital in Upper Tantallon works on Scupper, one of the dogs seized from Celtic Pets, in February. The work, done free of charge, including removing one kilogram of matted fur. Scupper was among at least six dogs euthanized this week.
Animal lovers are searching for answers after the SPCA confirmed it has euthanized six of the 51 dogs seized in an animal-neglect case.

"It’s a betrayal to rescue," said Annette Armitage of Animal Rescue Coalition, a group that provides foster homes for rescued pets.

Pamela Keddy, president of the Nova Scotia SPCA, could not be reached Saturday, but she told CTV News on Friday that the six dogs, which were seized from Celtic Pets in February, were not adoptable.

"They had been presenting the whole time as being very aggressive toward staff," Ms. Keddy said. "We’ve had incidents with at least four of the dogs biting and attacking staff, and the other two had been presenting . . . the entire time as well, lunging and presenting as very difficult dogs to deal with."

Janet Chernin, a former member of the group’s board, wasn’t buying that explanation.

"These dogs did not have to die," she said.

Scupper is anethesized so Westwood workers can remove his matted fur. A rescue group says they found a person interested in adopting the dog, but the SPCA turned her down.

Ms. Chernin said Ms. Keddy called her to help assess the seized dogs as they came to the Metro SPCA from Port Hastings. The owner and operator of a dog daycare said the dogs were "very stressed-out animals that were again placed in concrete cages." Some of them, she said, were aggressive and bit people.

She, like most of those working at the Burnside shelter, is not certified to properly assess the animals.

But from her experience, she said it would have taken "a lot of time and patience" and experienced handling by foster families to turn these animals into adoptable dogs, "but that’s what these animals deserved."

And there were families prepared to take at least two of the dogs as long ago as February. Ms. Armitage said her group found one interested person who was turned down. She said it was because the woman wouldn’t bring her two dogs into the shelter to see if they and the rescued dog, Dottie, were compatible.

A shelter volunteer and dog trainer had offered to take Dottie to the woman’s farm to assess the situation, Ms. Armitage said, but the SPCA turned down the request.

The dog bit a shelter worker on the night he was brought in, she said.

Ms. Armitage, a member of the Nova Scotia SPCA who was called in with Ms. Chernin in February, said once the dog’s matted fur was shaved off, he reacted differently.

"He couldn’t be crated or kennelled, but he was salvageable," she said.

A second dog, Scrumper, was slated to go to another foster home found by the rescue coalition. Ms. Armitage said she had been corresponding with Ms. Keddy to confirm the arrangements had been approved.

"I still haven’t had the guts to call the original owner," Ms. Armitage said. "I haven’t got the guts because she knew we were working to get him (to the foster home)."

Two women — Zonda MacIsaac and her mother, Alice — face animal cruelty charges stemming from seizure of more than 100 animals, some sick and some dead, from Zonda’s shelter during two raids in February.

Both women are to appear in court in Port Hawkesbury on May 21.

In past criminal animal cases, Ms. Chernin and Ms. Armitage said, the SPCA has been required to keep even vicious dogs alive until all court proceedings have been completed. Neither knows why the SPCA wasn’t required to do so in this case.

Both animal-lovers said they have plenty of questions for the SPCA. They want to know what assessments were carried out on the dogs and whether they were conducted by properly certified people. As for one of the dogs, which was believed to have health problems, they want to know why he was allowed to languish in a cage for three months before he was destroyed. And they want to know why the dogs weren’t allowed to go to qualified foster homes.

Ms. Armitage, a longtime SPCA supporter, said she’s tried to keep out of the political side of the organization, which has been the subject of much controversy, including an annual general meeting that was closed to the public and was rife with in-fighting.

But she’s speaking out now, in hopes that those in need are not forgotten. "We’ve got to get back to the animals here," she said.


This photos shows a snapshot from the NS SPCA's website on March 10th, 2008 - it's a section of the NS SPCA's website called their "Happy Tails" - it's called "Scupper's Transformation" - and it shows Scupper getting all his matted fur cut off. I'm assuming it was put on their "Happy Tails" section to show the transformations that the Celtic Pets dogs were going through - the rebirth that they were all able to go through now that they were in the caring, loving hands of the NS SPCA.

And now 2 months late - almost to the day - this same dog is dead. Also at the hands of the NS SPCA. I don't know if I would call that a "Happy Tail". For some reason, that link has disappeared fromt he main page of the NS SPCA website. Funny, eh? I wonder how many people gave money when they saw this heartbroken little dog being given a new chance at life.