Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The NS SPCA Had the greatest press release today!

I have been sent this press release sent out by the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty by several people today - I am sure they all knew how excited I would be when I read it, because I have written so much about the topic of what they were writing about - and I admit it, I was shaking when the first time I read the document. And then I read it again - I couldn't believe that such an organization could be so completely agreeing with what I've been saying for so long. And stating it so clearly - they have really gone out on a ledge - I think first off I'm going to hit you with the press release, and then second I'm going to go all gaa gaa over it. So here it is -

January 13, 2009 Halifax, NS


SPCA Clarifies Position on “By-Law A-300 – Respecting Animals”

In response to a multitude of recent inquiries by its membership and the general public, the Nova Scotia SPCA wishes to clarify its position on “By-Law A-300 – Respecting Animals.” Section 9(2) of By-Law A-300 states:

9(2) Where an Animal Control Officer has reason to believe that a dog has attacked a person or another animal, and the owner of the dog has been identified, the Animal Control Officer may do any one or combination of the following enforcement actions:
(a) issue the owner a notice to muzzle the dog,
(b) issue the owner a notice to microchip the dog,
(c) classify the dog as a ‘dangerous dog’ in the municipal registry, or
(d) destroy the dog without permitting the owner to claim it and issue the owner a notice informing that the dog has been destroyed.

“The Nova Scotia SPCA does not believe this to be a fair process because By-Law A-300 does not provide sufficient options for determining the outcomes of cases,” states Mary Hill, Secretary on the Board of Directors. “An employee acting on behalf of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) should not have full authority to destroy a dog in such instances. While the SPCA is trying to work under the current HRM by-law and guidelines, we look forward to working with HRM to make positive changes in the future.”

The Nova Scotia SPCA believes that Halifax needs to be in line with other major cities in Canada; Halifax is currently one of the only cities that gives the sole authority to euthanize an animal to a city employee rather than a judge, and the current by-law does not provide an option for defense by a dog’s owner outside of costly legal action against the municipality.

“In addition,” Ms. Hill states, “the Nova Scotia SPCA wishes to clarify that in order to fulfill the contractual obligations of the current contract between the Metro Shelter and Animal Control Services, under specific verbal direction of the HRM, sections 15 and 16 of the contract prevent us from speaking publicly about, or allowing access to, HRM animals held in our care without permission from HRM.” The contract states:

15.0 PUBLIC INFORMATION/PROPRIETARY INFORMATION – The HRM is subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy provisions in Part XX of the Municipal Government Act, S.N.S. 1998, c. 18. To review the provisions of this act you may view it at http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/legc/bills/57th_1st/3rd_read/b047(1).htm and go to Part XX FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY.

16.0 CONFIDENTIALITY – The SPCA agrees not to release or in any way cause to release any confidential information of the HRM unless they have been specifically approved to do so in writing by the HRM Project Manager or their designate.

The Nova Scotia SPCA continues to welcome and appreciate questions and concerns from their membership and the public and wishes to express their continued appreciation to their donors and supporters.

So - WOW - I am so happy to be a member of the NS SPCA right now - isn't everybody else who's a member of the NS SPCA happy to be a member, too? I think this is just amazing - that they've come out and actually said this. The fact that they agree that a "city employee" should NOT be jury, judge and executioner of our dogs - is so huge - that it's mind boggling - because it's TRUE - and that an organization has come out and said that they read A300 in that way should really tell HRM that the bylaw NEEDS to be rewritten and it's got to be done sooner rather than later.

It's bad legislation - and it's dangerous to every dog - and it's killing dogs that shouldn't be killed - because they're NOT dangerous. The city bureaucrats have way too much power - and I think a forensice audit should ALSO be done.

How many dogs HAVE they killed with this bylaw? I think we should also know that.

It is so wonderful that the NS SPCA has started the movement to the right things starting to happen - we can do so much now with this document in the way of lobbying the HRM administration - there's no way they can deny that they've got bad legislation when they have the province's only administrator of cruelty legislation telling them that A300 is full of shit. Beautiful.


  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    The SPCA might be jumping on the band wagon but to get any where you need all the help you can get. Just like the HSUS is starting to jump on the "No Kill" band wagon you have to start somewhere and the more people on board the better. Better late than never!RG

  2. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Why did it take them so long to speak out? Was it released as a press release or just posted on their web site?
    Another question I have is how is it they can go in and shut down one place before a court case(ie. Celtic Pets), but Gail & Dana can still keep, own, and sell dogs?

  3. I can't say why they released their policy statement when they did, but I would imagine they released the press release to all the news agencies because I actually received the press release forwarded to me from a member of the press - so I'd imagine that they had received it because they were because they were a member of the press.

    As for the Celtic Pets case and the Benoit's - the MacIsaac's maybe agreed to a prohibition on running their rescue until the court case was over whereas the Benoit's run a business - so they wouldn't agree to anything. And even if they did have a prohibition I don't imagine they'd follow it, they already get other people to sell animals for them - so they'd just do that even more.


  4. Anonymous7:36 PM

    The SPCA has been working very hard to become THE SPCA we all want and what they were mandated to do for the animals. As one who spoke out publically about the corruption of the past Directors and some of the BOD members - I am more than happy that the current BOD is able to finally speak up and out!
    KUDO's are in order and better yet SUPPORT for the current efforts of this BOD should be lauded.
    Unfortunately the SPCA is beholden to current laws (which they are working on to change) which do not allow them to act as quickly as we may want BUT at least this current BOD is standing up to be counted as a force for fair legislation for our companion animals.

    Janet and the Casbah Crew