Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Why I'm Glad Bill 138 Didn't Pass in Nova Scotia

I'm sure everyone who reads this blog knows that Warden Lloyd Hines is the warden of the district of the Municipality of Guysborough. He was also the president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities when the "Responsible dog Ownership" bill was drafted - what we are now calling "Bill 138" - and therefore - I'm sure, had a heavy hand in the writing and crafting of the legislation. He's always let it be clearly known that it's his dream to have the same breed specific legislation province wide that he has in his own little fiefdom of the district of the Municipality of Guysborough.

For a time I was quite heavily involved with his area of the province - I had built a website called "Skip Guysborough" - while the court case for the pit bull Zeus was in the judicial system - I advised internet users looking for places to travel in Nova Scotia to "skip Guysborough" - to just keep driving right through that municipality and not spend any money there while they still had their draconian and dog hating legislation in effect. So I know a little bit about that area of the province and how they feel about dogs. I also know that the district of the municipality of St. Mary's - the area right next to Lloyd Hines riding - LOVES dogs of all breeds - and LOVES tourists who bring their dogs with them - Sherbrooke Village is in fact dog friendly. So feel free to spend as much money as you like in THAT municipality.

But I've had this quote swirling around in my head for the last week or so that's been bugging me - I could remember that Lloyd Hines had said the most inane thing about his reason for wanting to add rottweillers to the ban in 1994 - something about how he didn't want any children being EATEN by a dog while he was in charge of his Municipality - and that really struck me. That a person could use that kind of disaster language and still be considered to be a viable and useful, bi-partisan participant in any kind of meaningful discussion.

So tonight I went on a search for the proper quote - and I found it - in a CTV News article from 2004:

"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."

I'll paste the whole article at the bottom of this post. Can you believe that kind of garbage? And the person who says that is then in charge of writing dog legislation for a province - and we're expecting him to write good un-biased laws?

What did anyone think was going to come from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities based on what their President was saying in 2004? There are some idiots here - but I don't think it's Lloyd Hines - I think it's anybody who expected anything BUT BSL and breed restrictions, and anybody who let a person like him NEAR a committee that had anything to do with companion animals.

I certainly hope that we as a public are learning from these things that have been going on lately - dog hating, breed ban loving bureaucrats being the head of dog legislation committees - that is really NOT a good idea. Power hungry, no people skills, status quo seeking, so-called animal lovers who don't mind keeping animals in cages for REALLY long periods of time - are probably not the best people to vote in as the head of the most powerful rescue organization in the province.

I think if anything - in the last year, we've been given excellent examples of what are the dichotomous opposites of what this province needs. I just wish that someone and a whole bunch of someone's - would have the guts to actually do something and effect some change. One dog owner writing in cyberspace doesn't really coupe le fromage.

Here is the article:

N.S. municipality votes to ban Rottweiler dogs
Updated Thu. Feb. 12 2004 8:20 PM ET

Canadian Press

GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. -- The Municipality of Guysborough has passed a bylaw banning residents from owning Rottweilers.

People who already own the controversial breed will be exempt from the ban as long as they register their dogs with the municipality by May 1.

Rottweiler owner Karen Wood was one of three people who appeared at a council meeting Wednesday night to try to convince councillors to reconsider the ban.

It didn't work. The councillors voted unanimously for the ban.

"We believe it's a knee-jerk reaction to some of the things that are occurring," Wood said later.

"There have been some horrendous things that have happened, but we also believe the individual deed needs to be addressed, not the breed as a whole."

There have been a number of attacks involving Rottweilers recently, including a high-profile case outside Saint John, N.B., in which a three-year-old boy was mauled to death.

Warden Lloyd Hines said he witnessed an incident in Glace Bay, N.S., last weekend that convinced him of the need for a ban.

He said a Rottweiler wandered into the backyard of Rick and Yvonne MacKenzie and killed the family's poodle.

"That could have been Mr. MacKenzie's child," Hines said. "I spoke to him and he said he took his kids in five minutes before that happened.

"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."

Wood believes the ban will keep dog owners from moving to Guysborough.

"I've been looking all over the province for possible different places to live," she said. "This is a beautiful spot, but not for me anymore.

"That dog is part of my family. I have children as well and I'm not going to choose one over the other."

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