Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another defect of Bylaw A300

It's taking me longer to write my 3rd newsletter because it's going to be about a controversial subject - the Canadian Kennel Club - what it is, what they do, who they represent, what does it mean to be a registered breeder, where do we find a CKC breeder, and where SHOULD they be. It's taking me longer to research and think about than I thought it would.

Tonight I was on the HRM's website and came across something that I thought was interesting though.

Lee Steeves - who is "CKC Director for Zone 1" which I assume for the East Coast - made a presentation at the same public hearing last September 11th, 2007 that I did about Bylaw A300 - and she presented as a rep for CKC and the breeders who belong to that club, and what she said was that

"This By-Law will negatively impact the pure bred dog and cat world such that the kennels that exist in HRM will no longer be able to exist inside the city or the owners will have to stop breeding. She noted the By-Law defines owners of pets that show at dog shows as a kennel."

What she also said was that the CKC doesn't register kennels - they register puppies.

The HRM's staffers and bureaucrats listened to her, and what they recommended based on her was -

1. Delete all of Section 7, Kennel Registration; or
2. Delete Section 7.2(c).

Originally the Bylaw A300 said:

Kennel Registration
7 (1) No person shall own or operate a kennel within the Municipality without having registered the kennel and licensed the dogs or cats owned by the kennel with the License Administrator.
(2) At or before the time of registration, the owner or operator of a kennel shall provide to the License Administrator:
(a) the name, address and telephone number of the owner or operator;
(b) the trade or business name of the kennel, where appropriate;
(c) proof that the breeder operating a kennel is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, if applicable;
(d) an occupancy permit for the kennel issued by the Development Officer; and
(e) the applicable registration fee pursuant to Administrative Order 11, the License and Fees Administrative Order.
(3) The acceptance of any kennel registration does not relinquish or release any kennel owner or operator from complying with any other ByLaw of the Municipality or Provincial legislation.

So that whole section - section 7 - was removed from the bylaw.

What was left was the breeders and CKC members are just like every other dog owner in the HRM - every one of their dogs has to have a city licence - and pay $10 or $15 each depending on whether or not they have vaccinated against rabies.

On the agenda for the July 8th, 2008 Regional Council minutes - there is a "Councilor request for information" form from which says:


"I have been contacted by the owners of a dog breeding kennel within my District. They have been operating this kennel for the past 30 years. There has always been a provision for a kennel license that they have complied with year after year. Since the approval of the new animal bylaw they no longer need the permit, however, they are now at a huge disadvantage because the new bylaw states that all dog owners will have to license their dogs at a greater cost, which for breeders could amount to several hundreds of dollars each year. This will cause undue hardship for them. I am requesting that Council consider an amendment in an effort to assist these owners and those in similar circumstances."

There was a request for recommendation report back to Regional Council - but I haven't seen any report that's come back through the agendas or minutes yet. The councilor who requested this for their constituent was Jackie Barkhouse, District 8.

Isn't this interesting? I wonder how this breeder feels about the CKC getting involved with developing HRM dog policy - organizations like the CKC, and dare I say it - the Dog Legislation Council of Canada - are always talking about how they are always "involved behind the scenes" developing policy and good laws with municipalities and governments who ask them - because they are the experts on this sort of thing - and governments and large corporations and businesses realize it. They don't need to blow their own horn or tout their credentials - governments come to them at this point now. I guess perfection doesn't exist yet, however.

I wonder how THIS breeder feels about Lee Steeves and the CKC being
involved with the development of Bylaw A300 and their recommendation
to take the kennel registration process out of Bylaw A300?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Look who's back!

It's DOG! Who's name is now Corky - and she's cuter than ever, I've got to say.
She didn't turn out at the place she was adopted to - who knew that an elderly couple wouldn't be able to handle a 9 month old puppy that loves to run but can't be off leash because when she runs she doesn't come back, and when she's on leash she's the world's worst puller? Maybe other owners would have enlisted the help of a dog walker and a doggy day care - but these people decided that they'd just return her, because they didn't think about the fact that when you take a dog on - it's a life to death committment.... shit - there I go. Oh - and they had her for a month and they didn't honour their adoption contract and spay her either - even though their daughter in law is a VETERINARIAN. How gross is that?
But Corky - at least they gave her a good name - seems unfazed by the whole thing - and is still a complete love bucket - and is hopefully going to a new home where they have another dog who is a perfect match for her. Everybody who has been in Corky's life are keeping all their fingers and toes crossed - because this dog is such a lovely dog.
This is Corky today - she seemed hungry, a bit on edge - and shit, I wanted to take a nap - so I gave her a nice big kong full of good stuff. About 20 seconds in - she's back for some more attention - and about 1/2" at the top of the kong is gone. So I passed the kong over to Charlie - and filled up the almost empty peanut butter jar for her to work at instead. She seemed pretty happy with that. Mother of invention gets the early bird the nap.
And Charlie was pretty happy to get a big kong!!! hahahaha!
This is how Buttercup spent most of the day - looking out from the bedroom saying "how could you do this to me?" She also did it from my Dad's chair in the living room.
Jackie spent most of the day trying to direct traffic - but since he's almost blind - he was failing miserably.
This is how Corky spent some of the day and evening - watching Daisy and Charlie play - she's still too shy to join in - although they were willing to let her - she's still to scared to do it. They're pretty rough players and have many years of experience - so she should probably just keep her body clean for her new brother or sister that she's meeting tomorrow anyway.

Dog Saying I Love you on the Montel Williams Show

I was surfing some cute You Tube videos this morning for a couple minutes of dogs singing - and I saw what I think is perhaps the cutest video I've ever seen - a little pug saying "I love you" on the Montel Williams show - it is just the CUTEST thing I've ever seen - the video is below:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Milk thistle gone bad

When we went for our walk tonight I noticed that the milk thistle that I had fallen so in love with has taken on a very ugly ending - it's like dandelions at the end of their life - all white floaty things just wanting to stick to you and make a mess - except bigger and taller. I'll just have to remember when it was beautiful and purple and a nice looking cactus.
I didn't take any of my nice cameras with me tonight - just my camera phone - which takes interesting, albeit blurry photos because unbenownst to most - I am the world's worst shaker. Even when I'm completely calm I look like I think I'm about to go on stage at Carnegie Hall - so that's always been a huge impediment to taking good photos - probably why I've thought that if I had an expensive camera - I might somehow be able to get clear shots. It still hasn't happened though.
This is Buttercup having a good roll on "something".
Jack is saying "I just peed on that stump and I'm pretty happy about it!"
This is Buttercup in her basket - since her legs still don't let her work really well we usually drive to our walking place - but tonight I decided we'd walk there - and I put her in her carrying basket that I use for her and walked the other 3 dogs there - and I think she was pissed off about it! When I did put her down when we got to the woods, for the first full 5 minutes she did nothing but bark and run around and cry like as if she was trying to prove a point. But at the end of the walk when I said to her "do you want me to pick you up?" She sat right down like she does when she wants me to pick her up - so she wasn't too proud at the end to be carried home! Poor Buttercup - being 91 years old in dog years is hard on a princess.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Snookums - Bud Wheatley Sells A Dead Dog

I had thought that Bud Wheatley had sold Snookums - but I guess not, because he's just sold a dead dog to a family in Newfoundland. Maybe he's opened a new store and Snookums is now owned by someone new - because I thought it was now owned by a lady and she was selling her own lovely puppy mill dogs - and for some reason I thought Bud had opened a new store down the road, but I may be wrong.

Regardless - the CBC News over in PEI have done a story tonight - not mentioning the stores name - but saying that Bud Wheatley has sold a puppy that's died - I have talked about Bud Wheatley and Snookums here ad nauseum - maybe just as much if not more than I've talked about Gail Benoit - he's sold a ton of dead dogs to unsuspecting customers - you can see posts -


He's just gross. He seems to take great pride in his little puppy broker business. In the article from February 2008 that I posted he even says: “But I’m the guy who built this little industry.’’

Below is tonight's video from CBC PEI:

Janet Jumps off a building

Last Friday my friend Janet jumped off a building for the Abilities Foundation and I just got around tonight to making a video of the momentous event - you can watch it below. She was very brave - I sped the video up to double speed because it took 6 minutes for her to go down the building - and that's a long time when you're just watching it - and our voices cheering her on sound pretty funny at double speed. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed watching her do it. I think she didn't enjoy doing it too much - although she said she's glad she did it! And the Abilities Foundation is glad she raised more than $1,200 for the chance to do it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dog Watch Nova Scotia Newsletter No 2 Came out today!

Newsletter number 2 came out today - it`s available for download at http://dogkisser.ca/dwns_past_issues.html

This week`s issue is pretty much dedicated to the HRM election - today I sent out a questionnaire to the 59 candidates who are running for city council - the questionnaire I sent them is available for viewing at the above site. When I get the responses back I`ll post a spreadsheet that has everyone`s answers so that you can decide for yourself what you think about what the people you`re going to be voting for said - and it`ll give you something to think about if they come to your door looking for your kind wishes.

The dog vote is important, don`t waste it.

The Road to Justice Runs Slowly in Cape Breton

Today a representative for Zonda MacIsaac was in the courtroom in Port Hawksbury today, as was a representative for Dan MacRury the crown prosecutor. Their case was before the judge for under 4 minutes.

They were there to go over the details of the 30 day psychiatric assessment that Zonda underwent at East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth in relation to the Celtic Pets charges that she is facing.

I guess they must have determined that she is mentally fit to stand trial - because she - or her representatives - are due back in court again on November 24th - to enter a plea in her case.

Can you believe how slowly the case is progressing - I can`t believe that she hasn`t even entered a plea yet, let alone started the trial. The raid was almost a year ago. Unbelievable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kijiji Selling Animals talked about on the news tonight

So tonight news piece was about the fact that Kijiji allows the sale of live animals on it's website - a fact which when Kijiji was first launched in January 2006 - we in the rescue community tried to have stopped. When it was first launched I posted about it here, and wrote to the Kijiji admin about it - and they wrote back saying that they'd get back to me - but of course they never did.

Kijiji is owned by Ebay - and they forbid the sale of live animals on Ebay - so it didn't make sense that Kijiji would sell live animals.

One thing that I wanted to talk about was the fact it is REALLY frustrating that every time this topic is in the news - Kijiji selling animals, Gail Benoit in the news, puppy mills in the news, any kind of rescue story in the news - we - the people who they contact to get information about the news item - have to start at zero with our story. It's like the media doesn't watch the news themselves.

It's like the story last night about Gail Benoit and them saying that their story was a "new tack on the puppy dying story" - that the fact that the puppy was bought on Kijiji was a new horrible aspect of the story - well - that's how all these puppies have been bought all along - and this reporter last night had no idea about that. You'd think at least Dave Wright would remember from one time to the next at least a little bit about these stories. It's so frustrating.

It's almost like - how CAN we expect the public to learn anything about Gail Benoit and puppy mills if the media doesn't learn anything about them from one time to the next? Each time a puppy dies - it's like they're hearing about Gail Benoit for the first time. And it's like there's nothing we can do about it - and we are at the mercy of how their sound bite "tie it all in a neat bow" reporting - according to the information that they've been able to gather in the last 2 or 3 hours that they've been assigned the topic for that night's news report.

And we also have a new record this time I think. As of 1am on Saturday morning - I notice Gail Benoit has her ads back up on Kijiji - usually she lets herself lay low for at least a week or two when she's been in the news -
but she must have some dogs that are close to dying and she needs to dump them fast - because she has 2 ads that are back on Kijiji - one for a teri-poo and one for a "mini-pom" and a tiny spitz - ranging in price from $500 to $850. It should be a good weekend for her I'm thinking. Doesn't it just make you sick?

So I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do about this - maybe make up a press packet so that we can just give it to the reporter when they first contact us so that right at the beginning we can give them a timeline so that they're not starting right at zero when we first start talking to them - so that they have at least a little bit of wariness when they're listening to what she's saying compared to what we're saying.

Here's tonight's news bit:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What can you do?

Hearing about the fact that Gail Benoit is still selling puppies - and that they're still dying of parvo - it's like - how can this be happening? Why does this woman do this? How can she continue to do this? Why would anyone with any ounce of humanity put an animal where something like the parvo virus lives - and not expect the puppies to catch it - and then not take the blame?

And then we have the NS SPCA - the only organization in the province empowered to enforce the Animal Cruelty and Prevention Act - who knows that this woman is operating - quite openly - her business is registered at the Joint Registry of Stocks - and her customers who have puppies die - go to the SPCA to complain - so they have their stories - and she continues to operate.

And how does this happen? There is no one in this province BUT the SPCA who can shut her down. And yet they haven't. People can say that we are being unfairly critical of that organization - but how can we not be when we see shit like this continue to go on unabated - and Gail Benoit practically thumb her nose at that organization and the public as well?

And then at the end of August the NS SPCA puts out a press release in response to the Benoit situation where they said in part -

"the Nova Scotia SPCA strongly encourages people to adopt from their local SPCA,
veterinary clinic or retail satellite adoption centre, as the responsible alternative to purchasing pets from pet stores that do not partner with the SPCA or roadside brokers and backyard breeders."

Now THAT'S really strongly wording and warning the public, isn't it.... STRONGLY ENCOURAGES... I'm really scared of people like Gail Benoit after reading stuff like that....

I think that the cruelty enforcement aspect of the NS SPCA has become a complete farce - and people like Gail Benoit really do have full ability to do whatever they want to do in this province.

And Kijiji is also allowed to do whatever it wants too - I don't think Kijiji should be able to get away scot free either - that web site should also not be posting live animals - and allowing people to do it anonymously with no repurcussions. That is also completely disgusting and unacceptable.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surprised? Gail Benoit gets caught selling another dead puppy

So an angry and sad Gail Benoit customer was on the news again tonight - this time a family in Halifax who were sold a german shepherd puppy that they bought here in Halifax from the Benoit's for $200 that died a couple days after they got it from parvo.

And where did they get their contact with the Benoit's? Kijiji of course! The reporter with CTV news said that as of this afternoon there were still ads with the Benoit's phone number attached to them. As of news time tonight though - all the ads had mysteriously disappeared once again.

So the Benoit's are still continuing to peddle their unhealthy wares - the NS SPCA for some reason - even though I'm sure that these people must be going to them and telling them their stories - continues to not charge them so that they can't own or harbour animals while they're up on cruelty to animal charges which they're going to court for in October.

What a farce. I mean, that's what it's seeming to become isn't it?

Here's tonight's news coverage:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Newsletter #1 has gone out!

So my Dog Watch Nova Scotia Newsletter #1 has been sent out - I sent it to about 400 people. I was having anxiety attacks all day about it. I started thinking about the fact that I was actually going to do it, and thinking about - who in the hell was I to do something like this? I must have some set of balls to think that I should do something like this - start a dog politics newsletter for all of Nova Scotia. And then I thought, oh well, whatever... and I just kept on going. I'll deal with the fallout later.

You can download a copy at http://dogkisser.ca/dwns_past_issues.html

Send into Jay Leno?

I found this on my computer today while I was looking for photos to put into my newsletter that I'm going to send out tonight - it's from April 25, 2004 - I seem to remember reading it and thinking about sending it into the Jay Leno show but I never did. Can you see what I thought about it?

Friday, September 12, 2008

This is the neatest thing ever

My copy of Redemption signed by Nathan Winograd arrived in the mail today. I didn't think it would actually have my name on it. This really is the neatest thing ever for a person who's hero is Nathan Winograd. I am over the moon. It is SO neat. I have no other word for it, sorry. The only other word I can think of is gobsmacked.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A couple funny photos + upcoming good classes

No photo - but stolen from TRURO BACKYARD LAST SATURDAY!!!!

Stolen from their parents yard in Truro N.S on Saturday September 6th. His name is Dakota. He is a 9 week old black lab with no markings. However he does have two small moles under the skin on his snout. He should be about 12-13 Lbs (That's his brothers weight) He was 10.4 Lbs when he was stolen.He was last seen wearing a black collar with white pawprints on it and a black leash. . The police, animal control, vets and radio have all been contacted and ads have been posted EVERYWHERE.

Silvia Jay - the best dog trainer in Nova Scotia - will be instructing an eight-week, sixteen hour Community Education & Partnership Lecture Series through the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. The Course is called "Understanding your Dog"

The outline is:
The Socially Evolved Canine
The Emotional Dog - Understanding Fear and Stress
The Alpha Myth - What Dominance Really Means
The Art of Mindful Leadership
How Dogs Learn
24/7 Dog - Incorporating Training into Every Day Life

If Time Allows: Nutrition, Hormones and Brain Chemicals and Q&A period.

Location: Truro Junior High School - Tuesdays September 30 - November 25
6.30 - 8.30 PM - you can get more info by emailing silvia4dogs@mac.com

Another great trainer, Jackie McGowan - offeres online courses - and she's got one starting on September 22nd - called "Looking, listening, and learning from dogs" - she lives out in Mount Uniacke and also offers one on one training. She's also an awesome positive trainer - I've signed up for her online course, and I'm looking forward to it!

And one last thing - can you believe this dog? Can this position be comfortable? He's like hanging right off the edge of the couch - just about ready to fall right off? Old men are so funny!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Missing 6 Month Old PUG In HFX Area! ** Found! **

UPDATE AT 6:20PM on MONDAY NIGHT: The owner of Roxy sent out an email informing she has be FOUND!!!! :) They made an announcement at a High School today and someone came forward, she was located in the Northend of Halifax.
Roxy is now back with her family. Thanks to everyone who expressed their concerns!!!


There is a family missing their 6 month old pug. She is a black female pug with a pink collar with her name "Roxy" in diamonds. She was last seen Friday, September 5th at 9:00 P.M. around the Conrose Park area.

Please keep your eyes and ears open for this little girl.

call 478-6375 or 497-5915 if you have any information.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You'll recognize a lot of people on this local website!

I discovered a local website today that has tons of photos of local people on it - it's called "Snap Halifax" - and it says it has a print edition, but for some reason I've never seen it anywhere yet - but maybe it's because I've never looked for it yet. Now I'll keep my eyes open.

The website just has pages and pages of photos of local events that people have gone to and taken pictures at - so it's pretty neat.

Every edition - and there seems to be 3 editions online currently - has a page called "Dogs in the Hood" - and the current edition's "Dogs in the hood" has a photo of our favourite Celtic Pets dog Zeus on it! He's famous everywhere I guess!

The previous edition has photos from the SPCA's Adoptathon, a Greyhound Walk at Point Pleasant Park, and the SPCA's Dog Jog

Another neat thing that was there was this thing called - "Citizens of Halifax AGM" which led me to the website Citizens for Halifax - which is a new group that's been formed - an independent, non-partisan organization created by citizens who live and work in Halifax. The Society has been established to improve civic engagement and civic leadership in our community.

It sounds like a really interesting organization and I'm going to find out more about it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More SPCA Politics

You know, I have to admit that I am actually getting tired of NS SPCA politics. I have to say that I am. I don't know what that means. I know I'm going to get comments to this post telling me "that's good, maybe now you'll shut up about it", and maybe I should - but a couple things today have actually.... you know how when you take a deep breath and there's like a plateau - and you breathe deeper than that - and then you exhale? And it feels a certain way? Well that's how I'm feeling tonight about the NS SPCA. It's like - what's the point. There's nothing there. It's all been exhaled.

I was reading Granny's blog tonight, which is a fabulous local blog and she talks about the NS SPCA even more than me - and she wrote a post about something that I didn't know about - I hope she doesn't mind that I'm going to quote her -

it's from Friday August 29, 2008 - "the more things change, the more they stay the same"

SPCANS now posts the 'publicly available' portion of their BOD minutes on their website. http://www.spcans.ca/

The following are excerpts from the 28 July BOD meeting. ( http://www.spcans.ca/library/BOD_Minutes/PublicMinutes_2008Jul28.pdf, )
Directors Present: Glenda Amirault, Olivier Berreville, Richard Brezet, Carol Doucet, Gordon Finley, Jill Grafton, Kip Grasse, Mary Hill, James Kochanoff, Andrew Morrison, Nancy Northcott, Betty O’Neill, Darrell Smith

5. Review of revoked memberships
Betty O’Neill raised the issue that some individuals whose memberships were revoked did not feel they received a fair hearing. Jim suggested that the process and policy regarding revoking memberships should be reviewed and possibly revised. Andrew Morrison offered to review the current policies and processes and make recommendations to the Board regarding any potential revisions. It was noted that, if asked, Board members can inform individuals that they can appeal membership decisions.

Motion by Jim Kochanoff for Andrew Morrison to review the policy for revoking memberships.
Motion seconded by Olivier Berreville.
Motion carried by majority vote.
No objections, one abstention

So in other words - the five people (of whom I am one) will only get their memberships back if we appeal on an individual basis to the BOD of the NS SPCA.

I DID receive an email August 27th asking me to write a letter to the Board sending them a letter of appeal if I felt that I had been wronged.

I wrote back the following:

I didn't do anything wrong, so why should I have to write a letter of appeal?

I think what should be done is that the Board should go back to the minutes of the meeting where it was decided that all of our memberships were going to be revoked and take a good long look at the real reason why they did it. And the real motivation behind it. It's not the job of the people who were unlawfully booted out to beg for their memberships back.

In another email exchange with a group of people, the discussion came up that one of the first things a revitalized Board should do is to reinstate the revoked memberships - and I said that was something I did disagree with.

What I said to them was:

I don't think having our memberships reinstated is good enough. When you read our letters - at least mine and Janet Chernin's dismissal letters - the reasons
that they gave us for booting us out amounted to libel - and just giving us back our memberships is glossing over how they were trying to attack our reputations in the dog community. And they did that with the UNANIMOUS consent of the Board of Directors - MOST OF WHOM are still sitting on the Board.

For me - they said I had procured a dog illegally from the NS SPCA - I adopted Jack from the Animal Rescue Coalitions. They were threatening to have their Cruelty Inspectors come to my house to seize Jack from me so that they could put him in a cage.

Simply reinstating our memberships is not good enough in my opinion.

The 5 people who had their memberships revoked were some of the hardest working volunteers - and former board members of the NS SPCA - and they were summarily dismissed by the Board of Directors because they were trying to expose what was going on behind the closed doors of the organization - and I don't think the organization is healthy enough yet to give us our memberships back. I certainly would not feel comfortable getting my membership back. And at this stage I wouldn't accept my membership back because it would feel entirely hollow.

I don't know how everyone else feels - but just having it reinstated is meaningless.

And having to APPEAL - having to BEG to get it back? Is ridiculous.

Granny goes on in her post to say many other things I agree with - so with apologies to her - I'm going to quote them here -

So, unless I am misunderstanding things here, there will be no apologies to any of those whose memberships were revoked. Nobody is going to apologize for threatening to send society cruelty investigators to seize Joans dog Jack and put him in a cage so that they could kill him with the rest of the Celtic Pet Six ( Seven? Eight? Nine? ...... ) Seeing as the head of the Kings County Branch was part of that meeting, chances are pretty slim that any apology is forthcoming from her for revoking the membership of a woman whose rescue has been busy doing the work the society should be engaged in.

Like many others, I was caught up in the moment of new hope. I should have remembered that this is not the first time that the society has promised to mend its ways.

I'll believe they are on a new path when:

- appropriate apologies are issued for revoking memberships of long time members for voicing their differences

- use of the gas chamber by the Cape Breton Branch is no longer acceptable

- partnerships with AC do not inhibit the society's ability to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,

- and when monthly branch statistics are readily available to the public.

"To cure injustices, you must expose them before the light of human conscience and the bar of public opinion." Martin Luther King Jr

And then this afternoon I have a comment left on my post about "the state of No Kill" -

(and my apologies to people who have been reading this post the evening of September 2nd - I've been coming back and making revisions to this section of the post because I keep finding great things to add to this because of the beautiful things this person said)

"Nothing has changed??? What planet do you live on?

Back in 2001/2 precious few volunteers had been "allowed" to help at the shelter and the Metro shelter did NOT work with any rescues groups and the euthanasia rate was very high.

Also - there is now no gas machine in HRM. A euthanasia rate has decreased from over 50% to less than half that. Taking out one of the rescues YOU promoted. Taking out Elliott that had gone on for years. Taking out the Hazelwood puppy mill. The amount of publicity the animals have received in this Province, from none to a lot. Worked for years for changes to the Animal cruelty and for more investigation money - gov't has now agreed. Worked to increase the money for that HRM contract for years - to help many more animals within HRM. The # of cats altered and adopted and saved through the shelter.

Look at the stats. If you don't know what you are talking about, you should keep quiet."

I think a few of us will know exactly who left that comment. In my post what I said was - "Five years later – nothing had changed."

That was five years after - 2003. Five years AFTER the new regime had taken over. I wasn't talking about what had happened pre coup - I agree that what had been happening before was even worse. The C02 box was being used at the Metro shelter. Judith Gass herself smashed the box so that it could never be used again is what I was told. Beforee the new regime took over in 2002 more than 50% of the animals at Metro were being killed - which was inexcusable - and that was lowered amazingly. But it was never lowered ENOUGH.

And they never did anything about Cape Breton. I should say to the commenter - YOU never did anything about Cape Breton. And you were really the only one who had the ultimate power to do it.

Yes, great things happened in 2002 - that was why I wanted to become involved with the NS SPCA at that time, and I did become involved. And then the great things that were supposed to happen, didn't. Where is the new shelter with the attached dog park? Where is the humane education plan for the whole province? Where is the really GOOD anti-cruelty legislation for the province? Mired in politics and personalities. And that is wrong.

A couple other things the person says in their comment that are very telling - they say that "A euthanasia rate has decreased from over 50% to less than half that." I talk about this above - that it WAS lowered from more than 50% to much lower, but not low enough - and this person comes out and says exactly that - what is less than 50%? 25%!!!!!! That is still ONE IN FOUR animals dying at the Dartmouth shelter - does that sound like a good ratio to you? It sounds pretty shitty to me. Especially in this wonderful age of no kill that they were purportedly going to be embarking upon after their year end report of 2003.

And that's the really tragic thing - there was such promise - the C02 box was gone, they had a firm committment to being a "no kill" shelter, great things were going to happen. And then what happened? They cut the kill rate by more than 1/2 to 22%. You also stopped owner surrenders at the Dartmouth shelters - I bet that helped with the statistics too, didn't it? At least Cape Breton has stayed honest and takes owner surrenders. Where else are people going to dump their garbage? But now I'm starting to get dirty, so I'll stop with that train.

And then this person goes on to say the different places that they shut down - "Taking out Elliott that had gone on for years. Taking out the Hazelwood puppy mill. Taking out one of the rescues YOU promoted.

Well I am sorry - but I was just ONE of the people who supported and promoted "that" rescue - and the person who left that comment was also one of those supporters - so I will NOT be villified as the "person who promoted that rescue". Hindsight is 20/20 and I unfortunately am just like everyone else and not blessed with the powers of seeing through walls and into the future.

And that is why the NS SPCA as far as I'm concerned at this point is a dead organization. It's been completely ruined. Something needs to rise up to replace it, and I hope it does. And I hope I get to be a part of it. And I really hope it's not just more of the same.

And I hope if they use quotes from Nathan Winograd - they really understand what they're quoting from.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day - September 20, 2008

So I'm already crying because I am thinking about the Swiss Air Tragedy, and then I click on an email and find out that September 20th is Puppy Mill Awareness Day - and I watch the below video that's associated with the website that's been built to draw momentum around the day:

It is of course centred in Pennsylvania, USA - the centre of puppy mills in the US - but it would be nice if we could get some press up here seeing as how we've had some news stories about the ill effects of their product in the news lately. We'll see what we can come up with. Press about it might change one or two more people's minds about where is a good place to find their next companion animal, anyway.

The website for the Puppy Mill Awareness day can be found here - "awarenessday.org" - spread the word - and it's September 20th, 2008

Swiss Air Flight 111 - 10 year anniversary tonight

It was 10 years ago tonight that 229 people died on Swiss Air Flight 111 off of Bayswater Beach and Peggy's Cove outside of Halifax, here in Nova Scotia - a place that I love to take the dogs.
I remember the night it happened. I remember being in bed asleep and my husband at the time came to bed saying that a plane had crashed off the coast outside Halifax and that survivors would be coming by ambulance to the hospital - so I knew it would be a busy day the next day at work - I work at the local hospital. And I remember the next day at work - everyone in the hospital had been called in to work because of the emergency - and staff were milling around the Emergency department entrance and the ambulance bays waiting for the injured to arrive - and nothing arrived. It was horrible. Horrible.
On the news tonight one of the people said something that was very nice - "God didn't plan for Swissair to happen, it wasn't his fault - but he did choose the place" - the memorial area is beautiful, everyone who was involved in any way with the tragedy was forever changed, and the ocean off Bayswater and Peggy's Cove is the most beautiful spot in the world to spend eternity. I hope everyone there is resting in peace

Where the no kill movement is today

I got an email this morning from the "No Kill Advocacy Centre" - they were putting out a call for Essays - and qualified entrants are going to get a signed copy of Nathan Winograd's book - Redemption. I already own a copy of the book (of course, who doesn't?) - but a signed copy would be awesome!

So while I was showering, then driving to work - I thought of what I could write for the topic of - "where is the No Kill Movement today?"

Their organization is of course thinking about where it is down in the United States - and in big American cities - but I thought - where is it in little places like Nova Scotia, Canada? What does the term "no kill" mean to people in the Annapolis Valley? Does it mean anything?

It's like the idea of enlightment - can a person be enlightened - and not know aboutu Buddhism? I think they can.

So that's how I wrote my essay, such as it is - if you want to write one too - go to - http://www.thenokillnation.com/?p=90 - to find out more.

Here is my submission:

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. When 80 dogs were legally shot at a kennel in Pennsylvania in August 2008 I went and had a look at the laws here in Nova Scotia and found out that it’s still legal for our animal control officers here to shoot dogs as a way to euthanize them if they think they can get a clear shot and kill them with one bullet.. In December 2004 I wrote a post on a blog that I maintain about the practice – still being regularly used by the animal control officer in a little town here in Nova Scotia that had just been voted as “the world’s most livable small community”. Obviously they hadn’t taken into account the homeless and abandoned companion animals in the town.

The “No-Kill Movement” isn’t really talked about here in Nova Scotia - athough the idea of it is very much alive. There are an abundance of small rescues who save one animal at a time – who rescue them from a very bad life – chained to a dog house for their entire life, their neck bald from a choke chain – fur orange from the sun – and spay or neuter the animal, keep them safe until a home if found; there are tnr groups sprouting up in pockets all over Nova Scotia where colonies of cats have been living for decades – brave men and women finally saying that these cats deserve to have their babies live inside and the mom’s deserve to not have to be submitted to endless litters of kittens. I also have to say – a lot of animals are rescued from and pulled from SPCA’s – which is a very sad commentary – the very places that should be sheltering the animals, in Nova Scotia – are killing them.

But they’re doing it not because they embrace the “no-kill philosophy” – they’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do.

In 2003 the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was in turmoil – and there was a coup of sorts – a new leadership took over – and on their year end report they used a quote from Nathan Winograd that was truly inspiring. Things were going on with the Society that seemed to be great – and I wanted to be involved with the great changes. The quote was –

“A decade ago, the idea of finding a home for every healthy shelter dog and cat would have sounded like science fiction. Now we are poised to make it a reality. But whether you call it No More Homeless Pets, No Kill, or other things, in a nutshell, the challenge is to build a humane "society." To meet that challenge, we need to get the community excited, to energize people for the task at hand. Everybody needs to be a part of the mission. And the measure of how much we succeed-or fail-is a function of what happens to the cat living in an alley in our community, whether the business downtown adopts a ’pets at work’ policy, whether landlords will help our lifesaving goals by saying yes to renters with dogs, whether our neighbors adopt imperfect pets because they believe in our lifesaving mission. It is about the cafes, the storefronts, the squares, the neighborhoods. That is how we will be measured. And that is what it takes to save all the lives at risk-regardless of how big or how small your shelter is.

What confuses a lot of people in this movement, what stops them before they start is the completely false idea that to end the killing of healthy and sick homeless pets, you need to start with big bucks and big shelters. That helps, it helps a lot, but it is putting the cart before the horse. And that’s not so great an idea when our cart and our horse have a long way to go. To reach our goals, we must first focus our energies, not on building a shelter, but on rebuilding our relationship with the community. “
Nathan Winograd , Executive Director, Tompkins County

At that time there were still branches of the Nova Scotia SPCA using carbon dioxide the euthanize animals. There were still branches euthanizing 75% of the animals that they took in. It was horrible – but this new Board of Directors were going to change all of that.

Five years later – nothing had changed. Five years of fighting to change things for the positive. And still 75% of animals at a shelter in Cape Breton are dying when they walk through the door “for space” – and they die in a box with carbon dioxide – because they “can’t afford to do it any other way”. At their flagship shelter in the Halifax Regional Municipality – euthanizations never have gotten below 20%.

The newest incarnation of the Nova Scotia SPCA’s Board of Director’s Executive says that Nathan Winograd is their hero – so hopefully this time they mean it. We can only hope.

But at least here in Nova Scotia – a lot of animals (thankfully) – don’t make it into the bureaucratic system of Animal Control, and SPCA’s – which in a lot of cases is certain death, and sometimes a shot to the head or a gas machine.

Up here the people who have truly embraced the “no-kill philosophy” are the ones who realize that the pace of bureaucracy rarely changes – so you’ve got to create your own perfect world.

I consider Nova Scotia to be Shangri-la – and because of private rescues and a lot of hard working individuals – the no-kill philosophy IS growing here – because we know it’s the right thing to do.

Joan Sinden

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Monday, September 1, 2008

A comment left on my blog about Animal Control

A comment was left on my blog about my post about Animal Control tonight:

Congratulations HRM Animal Control, you have successfully made yourself the next target of the now battle-hardened veterans of the war against the SPCA president and past president. They won that war you know.

Consider yourself under close scrutiny.

In 2005 - when the SPCA still had their contract for Animal Control - I put a little blurb on my website where I said "have you been treated unfairly by Animal Control? If you have had a bad experience with the Animal Control Department in the Halifax Regional Municipality - email me at dogkisser@gmail.com" - and I did get a few emails with some good stories.

And as it turned out - the SPCA lost their contract because of the level of service they were providing to the City.

And now 3 years later - on the surface it seems the Animal Control is having problems once again with the way they are dealing with their case load - how they are deal with some of their protocols.

Is there an expiration date on common sense and good practice? I hope not. But really, it's not looking good.