Saturday, February 28, 2009

Help sought in SPCA probe of dog’s death

This is further information about the post I made on Wednesday about the dog found hanged in Brookside, outside Halifax

This photo from the SPCA shows a male mixed breed-dog found dead in the snow Wednesday after it was hanged from a nearby tree in Brookside, outside Halifax.

Help Sought in SPCA Probe of Dog's Death

The Nova Scotia SPCA is seeking the public’s help in finding out who is responsible for killing a dog the agency says was recently hanged from a tree in metro.

Sean Kelly, a spokesman for the agency, said Thursday the animal’s death, which the SPCA said was caused by being strung up with an electrical cord, is disturbing and worrisome.

The mixed-breed dog, about the size of a Labrador retriever, was an unneutered male found in Brookside, outside Halifax. An autopsy is being done in Truro and should help determine its age.

"It’s very concerning to us," Mr. Kelly said of the dog’s death. "Anybody who would be this cruel and this calculating to this dog, in my view, would have no problem doing it to a person."

Mr. Kelly said the SPCA received a phone call Wednesday afternoon about a dead dog lying in the snow in Brookside. It was near a tree that had an industrial electrical cord tied around it.

The dog had part of the cord around its neck.

An SPCA investigator sent to the scene made the grisly discovery, said Mr. Kelly.

"It appeared that the dog was hanged from the tree," he told The Chronicle Herald. "And then the person cut the cord on the dog and just basically left the dog there to rot."

The dog was tan with black on its nose and was possibly a mastiff mix, Mr. Kelly said. The cord found on the animal is white with a large yellow three-pronged plug; the plug has #6 written on it in black marker.

Under the Police Act, the SPCA is conducting a criminal investigation into the animal’s death and can lay charges, Mr. Kelly said. He said there are no suspects but a person has contacted the SPCA to say the dog looks familiar.

"They gave us some information to follow up on," Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Kelly said the dog wasn’t wearing a collar and didn’t have any identifying material on it, such as a bandana.

"When the dog thaws out a little more we’re going to try and test him for a microchip," he said.

It’s not the first time a dog has been hanged in Halifax Regional Municipality. Ten months ago, a dead dog was found in woods in Upper Hammonds Plains. It had been strung up, too.

Regarding the hanging in Brookside, Mr. Kelly said the way the dog was killed was unconscionable.

"The horrible thing about this act is that the dog was cut down but left with the cord around his neck, which shows us that the killers actually watched him die, then cut him down," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA at 835-4798.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is there a serial dog murderer in the HRM?

Today someone made the grisly discovery of a dead dog, who'd been hanged from a tree with an extension cord - out in Brookside, which is just outside of Halifax. The dog had just been killed in the last day or so, so it's very recent - and the SPCA is hoping someone is going to know that a dog who is beige or orange has gone missing and will contact them.

It rings really eerily for me of a case just last April of another amstaff mix that was found hanged out near Hammonds Plains (which I've pasted below) - a case that hasn't been solved - that was also an obviously owned pet, and it's made me wonder if there is an animal abuser out there who has decided that they are enjoying inflicting pain on dogs that they can get ahold of when they are able to. The dog last year was supposed to have not died immediately - it would've took them awhile to do - so this person enjoys torture.
These stories are horrible from beginning to end. Every part of the world has very bad people - and our little shangri-la is not immune to these human beings it would seem. It would be nice if we could identify this person so that our pets could be safe from him or her, but in the mean time - we should be aware that there is a person out there who might be looking for his or her next victim. Please be aware.

Here is tonight's news piece - and below is a news story from last April:

Dog left to hang was someone's pet
April 08, 2008 - 5:18 am

Police are looking for the person or persons who killed a dog by hanging it from a tree at Pockwork water shed at the end of Hammonds Plains Road.

Judith Gass is the head of investigations at the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty and she says this was not an accident.

"Plastic twine from its collar hung to a fallen tree. It appears ...the front legs have been taken off the ground and it couldn't get a grip and it hung there."

Gass said the animal's back legs could touch the ground and it choked to death.
She says she's confident someone will recognize the unneutered male dog, which is described as a beige 2-year-old amstaff mix wearing a red collar.

It's estimated the dog was tied to the tree in the last couple of days, because it is not showing any signs of decomposition

Gass adds that the animal is not thought to be a stray, it was someone's pet.
Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA at 835-4798 or the police.

There is also a file on this case at the website -

The SPCA is investigating what a spokeswoman described as a "heartbreaking" discovery Monday - a dog hanging dead from a tree in woods outside Halifax.

A man checking fencing around the Pockwock watershed in Upper Hammond Plains made the disturbing discovery.

We think somebody took the dog out there and tied it up to the tree quite high, said Judith Gass, past president of the Nova Scotia SPCA and the agency's head of investigations.

It looked like the hind legs would have been on the ground but the front legs not quite. It would have choked itself to death trying to get free.

"What a lonely, miserable way to die."

Gass said the beige and white, unneutered male dog appeared to be an American Staffordshire terrier mix. She said it was no more than two or three years old.

The SPCA released photos of the dog in hopes that someone might recognize the animal or its red collar.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Several sections of bylaw A300 are deeply flawed

So it's become quite obvious that there are several sections of bylaw A300 are deeply flawed. It's probably not so obvious though that there are people and dog organizations who are trying to work at getting what they believe to be the dangerous to dogs, dog owners - and also the general public's interests acknowledged by the city's politicians and bureaucrats.

I don't think it's a secret that members of the local dog community have banded together a couple weeks ago, in an unprecedented meeting, really - given the dog politics climate in recent months with the contentious goings on after bill 186 went through the Provincial legislature - and is soon going to be coming back into the public space again - but nonetheless - a couple weeks ago - members of the NS SPCA, Canadian Kennel Club, Dog Legislation Council of Canada, Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership, and Students Animal Law Law Association of Dalhousie University met to go through the current bylaw A300 as it's written to pick out piece by piece what is wrong with the bylaw and submit what we think needs to be changed to make the bylaw safer and better for dog owners, fanciers, and the public at large.

A couple days after that meeting, representatives from that group met with Mayor Peter Kelly - and we submitted changes that we felt needed to be made to make the bylaw a workable document for the city, and for dog owners.

The city's bureaucrats are already working on some sections of the bylaw - so there's some parts that are no use in talking about - because they aren't interested at all in having any conversations about them - but there's other parts that are showing themselves to still being completely abysmal that they don't seem to be thinking about at all.

One thing is the idea about the fact that when a dog is impounded because they've been deemed fierce and dangerous - but the dog's owner has decided they want to fight for the life of their dog - that poor dog can be stuck in a cage for a year because of the way the court system in set up. This obviously is just completely unacceptable.

I met with Peter Kelly - - and we submitted several model bylaws that addressed this - and when we met with him a couple weeks ago - we submitted those bylaws again. Any bylaw that allows a city to impound a dog for any reason and take away the dog from his owner for litigation - MUST set pre-set time limits. To have a dog rot in a cage is WRONG. How anyone on either side would disagree with this is a sadist.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has a model dangerous dog law on their website - and they've got a great section that addresses this specifically -

The chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or head of the local law enforcement agency shall notify the owner or keeper of the dog that a hearing will be held by the municipal court or the hearing entity, as the case may be, at which time he or she may present evidence as to why the dog should not be declared potentially dangerous or vicious. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be served with notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition, either personally or by first-class mail with return receipt requested. The hearing shall be held promptly – within no less than five working days nor more than 10 working days after service of notice upon the owner or keeper of the dog. The hearing shall be open to the public. The court may admit into evidence all relevant evidence, including incident reports and the affidavits of witnesses, limit the scope of discovery, and may shorten the time to produce records or witnesses. A jury shall not be available. The court may find, upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the dog is potentially dangerous or vicious and make other orders authorized by this chapter.

and it goes on ... blah blah blah ... The hearing shall be conducted in the same manner and within the time periods set forth in Section 121 and subdivision (a).

As well - this dangerous dog bylaw sample has a sliding scale of aggression severity/danger - which is great. You can read the whole dangerous dog legislation bylaw at

Another huge problem with A300 is felt by dog owners who have hobby kennels - prior to A300 they used to be able to register their kennels and pay a $100 yearly kennel fee and have as many dogs as they wanted - but now they have to pay registrations for each of their dogs - and kennels now fall under the 21 different land use bylaws, and not every land use bylaw even has a definition for kennels - so some areas of the HRM don't allow kennels at all - so purebreed people are especially screwed. I've written about this in 2 different spots, first in a post called "Another defect of Bylaw A300" and then recently in a post called "HRM is diabological in its hatred of dog owners"

This was another topic covered by the umbrella group of dog advocates a couple weeks ago. Hopefully they'll take some of our ideas into consideration, because dogs are suffering, and they don't have to be.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Animal Rights Video from Malaysia

I watched the below video about dogs and cats being killed inhumanely at pounds in Malaysia and it really shows that the problems we are having with our animal control department here in the HRM are happening all around the world - there's even a segment where a lady puts a copy of their policies and procedures about "how to exterminate stray cats and dogs" and says that their municipal workers don't have a copy of that policy and that the whole of the department should step down immediately - and it was like - "wow, shit like that really does happen all the way around the world".

If you watch all the way to the end it's a real tear jerker about the humanity in animals, so get out the kleenex. It's a must watch.

Interesting article about pet extravagence

There is a neat article from the Globe and Mail about the fact that we still aren't skimping when it comes to our pets even with the downturn in the economy. I'd agree with that.

Woof? There's no recession nipping at our heels

If Scarlet and Molly have noticed any dip in their personal economies, it's only because fresh salmon is getting harder to find.

The boisterous dogs still get their daily raw beef bones, and their owner treats them to occasional doggy Caesars and lattes. But tinned salmon has superseded the fresh variety.

“I mix it with eggs, because eggs are cheaper,” said owner Susie Horvat, who has cut back on her own food, buying fruit and vegetables only on special and sticking to the bargain racks. “Scarlet likes boiled, and Molly likes scrambled with lots of butter.”

Doggie daycare, is still seen as essential in urban areas.

In dog-mad Toronto, few pet owners are critically eyeing their pooch's lifestyles and wondering if it's time to cut back.

But if owners decide to shorten their spending leashes, a plethora of stores and service providers would be affected, from doggie daycare centres and mobile pet groomers, to ostrich-leather-collar manufacturers and pet couture designers.

“It's still too early to say it's going badly. It has slowed, but not terribly,” said Pauline Lau, owner of Bobo Canada Fine Boutique and “parent” to pampered pooch Bobo.

Ms. Lau opened her second store in Leslieville on Jan. 18, as both a snowstorm and an economic tempest bore down.

While sales of luxury items and non-essentials have dropped, Ms. Lau said it's unlikely pet owners will cut back completely. She remains upbeat about the new store's future.

“People will still buy [treats], but maybe not as much as before,” she said. “Parents don't cut back kids' stuff. For us pet owners, or pet mommies and daddies, [we'll] continue with good quality food and treats.”

Dog daycare remains stable, thanks to the proliferation of dog-friendly condos and the relatively stable Toronto work force.

For the excited dogs bounding around the Umbrella Pet Services play room – just below the downtown west store – that means little change to their routine. Some owners have cut back to half-daycare, but few are pulling out altogether.

“It's a necessity,” Umbrella co-owner Joanne Gourley said. “They need us just like we need them.”

When it comes to appearances, though, some owners aren't quite as breezy with their cash.

Just as hairdressers have noticed people delaying their cuts, pet owners are putting off regular grooming visits.

And luxury pet clothing has lost some of its sheen.

Rufhaus K9 Couture is a three-year-old Toronto company that makes designer dog coats that are sold in Canada, the United States and Europe for $150 to $240.

In response to a slowdown in orders from the United States and a less-intense drop in local sales, the company will soon have its first sale to move extra stock.

“It was a tough call to make,” co-owner Katina Constantinou said. “We've never, ever done a sale. We've never really needed to. … [but] we don't want to lose business, and we don't want to fall off the map, and we want people to enjoy our products.”

The triple-layered, locally made jackets are a luxury, Ms. Constantinou said, but not everyone balks at the price tag. “If they want our product, they want our product. What we offer is hard to find,” she said.

Still, for a short time, subscribers to the company's mailing list could score an unexpected bargain, and Ms. Constantinou is now working on a cheaper line of products for next winter

There won't be any price slashing at ultra high-end pet accessory company Hartman & Rose. The Ancaster-based company sells its Italian-leather, Canadian-made collars and leashes at Nordstroms in the United States, and is now in negotiations with Saks Fifth Avenue. Hartman & Rose also makes exotic leather products by request.

At this end of the market, the only way is up. Customers are looking for new ways to splurge on their pets, and the local, elite appeal of Hartman & Rose is winning fans.

“There's Prada and then there's Payless. We're definitely not a Payless market,” owner Steven Holbrook said.

“Rather than go out for dinner, they're still pampering and spoiling their pets, more so than themselves.”

Mr. Holbrook questions the longevity of other “luxury” items, like wine and beer for dogs, but says leashes and collars are a necessity – even if they are studded with Canadian-made jewels.

“There's a market for everything. It's how you advertise and market,” he said.

Expect no such luxuries for Avery, a Nova Scotia duck-tolling retriever. He may be getting fewer walks with a paid dog walker, but his owner won't scrimp on his favourite treats and quality food.

“I'll go without, not him,” said owner Lisa Brown as she took Avery for an icy morning walk.

Ms. Brown trimmed her entertainment budget after a job change cut her income, but she's making sure Avery won't go without.

“I don't think people cut back on animals. It's like kids,” she said. “His life hasn't been affected.”

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Walter the singing boston terrier

Tonight I had the great pleasure of meeting Walter the singing boston terrier and his Mom Mary Ellen.
Walter was adopted a few months ago through Boston Terrier Rescue, and he has found his perfect forever home with his Mom - that's for sure. He is deeply in love with his Mom - and she is deeply in love with him.
It is so great when you see that happen in rescue - when a dog who has special needs finds the perfect home for him. Walter is so lucky - and so is his Mom. And the audience at the local Unitarian church tonight got to watch Walter be his perfect little self tonight.
It's just too bad that didn't include any of his singing - but certainly it got the audience all working together to try to make him feel more comfortable - which was great!
And who couldn't love this beautiful face? Below is some video of the great Walter - for one moment he almost sang - maybe for his next public performance he'll amost sing to for 2 moments - that will be something super to see! I can't wait!

I Think Mr Kelly Has Just Lost the Next Mayoral Election

While Terry Marriott Junior was being murdered in Harrietsfield yesterday, Mayor Kelly was at Kool FM getting his face painted to look like a member of the rock band Kiss - and we now have this fabulous photo of him for all time to look back upon and dredge up whenever we need a picture of him to give us a money shot of his moniker -

Rock on, Mr. Mayor
Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly gets into his role as Gene Simmons from Kiss after he was painted up at the KOOL radio studio on Friday as part of a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The legendary rock band Kiss will play in Halifax on July 18.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Canine Casbah is over one more legal hurdle

Today Janet Chernin - local legend in the dog community, went to court for her in-home doggy day care - for the last time. In the last, what is it now - THREE YEARS?? She's been to municipal court at least 5, may TEN times (it seems) because she was charged with running an illegal in-home occupation - the vaguely termed "keeping of animals" - or what we who actually live in the 21st century and own companion animals and not cows in our backyard - an in-home doggy day care.

And in fact she'd been running the most successful in home doggy day care in the HRM for the last 10 years (at that time, now it's 13 years) - without a complaint from a neighbour, a client - past or present. The "query" about her business came from a former competitor. Who was that former competitor? I talk about that story at length in a past post from 2007 called "The Truth as I've seen it". You can read about it there.

But today, the judge has finally seen the light of day - and thrown the charges out - and stayed the charges against the Canine Casbah - so Janet is free to pursue her chosen pursuit of livelihood - and dog owners on the peninsula of Halifax can have access to the same type of services that owners in other areas of the HRM can access.

It doesn't mean that in home doggy day cares aren't illegal on the peninsula - they still are - there is no definition of kennel, or pet care facilities in the land use bylaws for the peninsula - but the Canine Casbah has no cease and desist order - so I guess you could say that it's like a person jay-walking and no police officer being there to catch the person doing the deed.

And with the municipality having already spent probably upwards of at least $30,000 - $50,000 on the prosecution of this case to this point surveilling Janet Chernin's house so that they could "confirm" that she was in fact running a whore-house - oh no, that's not what she was running - she was running a doggy day care! And then cross-checking everyone's licence plates so they could get people's names and addresses - that takes time and money and resources. You get the idea. You have to build a case to successfully prosecute a case.

To do that twice for the same case? It's unlikely they'll do that to the Canine Casbah - so now she'll just have to work her way through the Municipal Planning system - public hearings, Regional Council - how many more years will that take?

Talk to Wendy Gillespie out at Pampered Paws in Hammonds Plains. From start to finish it took her case less than 2 years. See some inequity there? A lot of Janet Chernin's friends do.

Buttercup being perfect

When I was taping some news tonight I taped a little bit of Buttercup - so I thought I'd put some video of it here with some very pretty music to it - it's just like 40 seconds long or so - Buttercup still has not given up on getting Jack to play with her. It is the cutest thing in the whole world when she shakes her whole body to try and show Jack that she is trying to initiate play. It is gorgeous.

Do you think the same uproar would have occurred if Barton's dogs he killed in NB were "Pit Bulls"?

RG has asked the question -

On a similar vein do you think the same uproar would have occurred if Barton's dogs he killed in NB were "Pit Bulls"?

I titled my post about the Wildside dogs being killed - "Today 145 dogs were killed and a lot of people noticed" - for a reason, and it's because last October I wrote a post called "Chapman Kennels kills 175 dogs and no one cares" - and it was basically about the same thing - a "breeder" killing their "property" - and not one news station carried the story (except for the now defunct Carleton Press).

No one cared that in one shot (well actually in at least 175 gun shots) - in rural New Brunswick Canada - a man by the last name of Chapman - killed 175 of his breeding dogs - and some of them were puppies, just like the Wildside kennels dogs.

Isn't there some kind of a dichotomy there? I agree with you, RG - there's something wrong there. IS it because they weren't pit bull type dogs? Is it because they were used for breeding purposes to be sold to pet stores and not to the dog fighting rings? Is it because it happened in rural Canada and not rural USA?

I don't know. But it definitely does show that injustice for animals is happening everywhere - not just in the United States - it is happening right here in our own back yards, and it's not just happening to pit bull type dogs. It's also happening to the cute little fluffy dogs, too - and they are just as deserving of our advocacy.

Even when no one is watching.

A member of the HSUS has put out a statement about why they've done what they did in the Wilkesboro case - it's abysmal -

John Goodwin, the manager of animal-fighting issues for The Humane Society of the United States -

Thank you for contacting us regarding a county judge’s decision in North Carolina to euthanize fighting dogs seized from the property of notorious dogfighting kingpin Ed Faron. We understand your concern about the judge’s order to euthanize the dogs, and it is always a tragic outcome when healthy animals meet such a fate. But the blame lies with Mr. Faron, and not with county officials or The Humane Society of the United States. While we may not endorse every action of the county, we are grateful to them for working with The HSUS to bust a man who is responsible for an enormous amount of cruelty to dogs, and to bring him to justice.

No organization has done more to attack and harm the dogfighting industry than The HSUS. We’ve probably invested more in combating dogfighting than all other humane groups combined, and to great effect. We are principally responsible for the strong state and federal laws that make the practice a felony and ban possession and sale of fighting animals, and we have trained thousands of law enforcement personnel on investigating and raiding fighting operations. What’s more, it is our training, investigations, and rewards programs that are resulting in the arrest of countless dogfighters and the seizure of thousands of fighting dogs (which are, according to the dogfighters, an asset they lose upon seizure).

We are involved in dogfighting busts on almost a weekly basis, and the handling of Mr. Faron’s dogs raises the same questions that confound us constantly. With approximately 600,000 pit bulls killed in shelters each year, why should fighting dogs, which obviously require more resources to manage and which pose an obvious threat to other animals, get placed in favor of other equally deserving pit bulls and other breeds slated for euthanasia? In a local jurisdiction that has perhaps hundreds of other pit bulls waiting for loving homes, why not save them in favor of fighting dogs that will cost far more to handle on a per dog basis? How do we solve the larger pit bull problem in the nation, since we have an epidemic of dogfighters and others breeding them for aggression and for uses other than as companions?

We conducted a long-term investigation that led to the arrest of Mr. Faron and the seizure of his fighting dogs. He is considered one of the “Godfathers” of dogfighting, and it was our goal to put him out of business, just as it is our goal to target other industry leaders, in order to prevent thousands of dogs for use in fighting pits. Had it not been for our investigation, most of his dogs would have suffered immensely in a fighting pit in the weeks and months ahead. And who knows how many other dogs he would have bred to face this same fate.

It is now an HSUS policy to recommend an evaluation of all fighting dogs. In this case, The HSUS offered to pay for an additional professional evaluator to assess the dogs, even though we were skeptical that these dogs could be safely rehabilitated. The county did not take us up on that offer. Without an affirmative professional evaluation to indicate that the dogs could be safely placed in a new setting, we could not recommend adoption of these dogs who had been bred for generations for their instinct to kill.

While separate evaluations were not done, it is safe to say Faron’s dogs have been bred to produce animals with an unstoppable desire to fight, even in the face of extreme pain and fear. Professional dogfighters typically “cull” the dogs that don’t exhibit gameness or aggression, and only keep and breed the ones that exhibit the desired traits. For proof of that, we can refer to Faron himself, from his book about dogfighting:

“His face had only just healed from that fight with the Wreckers’ dog and he got his nose chewed half off again, that night.”

“The gamest dog I ever saw in my life was King David. At ten minutes, his right leg was broken. At twenty-three minutes, his left leg was broken. At thirty-seven he scratched on stumps, and at forty-eight minutes when he scratched he scratched down one wall and down the other ….until he got to Beau again.””

“ I mean, he broke muzzles, crushed skulls- we saw him bite dogs in the chest and their chest would literally collapse. That was Beau…”

Game-bred dogs pose a risk to other dogs not just because of training, but more importantly because of breeding for aggressive characteristics. Even no-kill shelters typically recommend euthanasia of obviously dangerous dogs.

These fighting dogs do not compare with the dogs from amateur “street fighters,” who typically take any, random pit bull and try and force them to fight. If pit bulls have not been bred for generations to have a “fight crazy” instinct, even if they have been exposed to dogfighting, they have a chance of being rehabilitated. This is why a substantial number of Michael Vick’s dogs were candidates for rehabilitation, after the court ordered Vick to pay $1 million as a set-aside to provide care and retraining for the dogs.

Once game-bred dogs are confiscated from a fighting situation, there are very few good options. There are no sanctuaries that exist for the thousands of game-bred dogs confiscated each year, and as a nation, there are hundreds of thousands of pit bulls awaiting adoptions in shelters every year. The resources that would be required to confine or rehabilitate fighting dogs could save many more dogs in shelters every year. So, in that sense, it is not a zero-sum game when it comes to euthanasia; it is a negative-sum game, and an inordinate focus on these few pit bulls would result in more euthanasia of other dogs. And if you impose upon rural counties – where most fighting busts occur – the burden of long-term holding of fighting pit bulls, then they may decline to intervene in criminal fighting cases, allowing the dogfighters to continue to operate.

There are tough choices to be made, and the only morally clear act is to attack the dogfighters where they live. We are the only national organization that has an entire unit devoted to this work on a national scale. That’s what we’ll continue to do.

The Wilkesboro dogs will not have died in vain

The dog internet is spinning today about the Humane Society of the United States being the cause for the death of the dogs in the Wildside kennels dog fighting case. Best Friends Animal Society have put out a press release urging HSUS to re-evalutate their policies about dog-fighting and killing dogs automatically that come out of those situations based on the success that everyone has seen with the Vick Dogs.

They've formed a coalition with several other high profile groups to speak out against what the HSUS has done and to not let this atrocity (hopefully) happen again. Hopefully these groups together will be more powerful than the largest - what Best Friends is now calling "Humane(?) Society" in the United States. That is pretty sad.

This is their press release -

Humane(?) Society
February 19, 2009 : 6:34 PM ET

The court-ordered destruction of 145 dogs, including about 75 puppies, who were seized from a fighting-dog breeding operation in December, was based on the faulty assumption that all dogs seized in dog-fighting-related busts should be deemed dangerous – and consequently euthanized.

The decision to kill the dogs was supported by the largest animal-welfare organization in the country, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). According to the Winston-Salem Journal, representatives of HSUS testified in Wilkes County Superior Court that the dogs had to be destroyed because they had been “bred for generations to be aggressive.”

HSUS reasserted its outdated policy, written more than 20 years ago: “Any dog who has been specifically bred or conditioned for fighting, or for which there is evidence that the dog has been used for fighting should not be placed for adoption by an animal shelter but humanely euthanized as soon as legally possible.”

A coalition of animal welfare organizations, led by Best Friends Animal Society, offered resources to the county to evaluate, spay/neuter, and find homes for qualified dogs. These animal welfare organizations, which have extensive experience with rescued fighting dogs, urged Wilkes County to accept their offer of support for an alternative to killing, such as the rehabilitation approach used in the Michael Vick case. The coalition includes BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls), Animal Farm Foundation, Villa Lobos Rescue Center, Downtown Dog Rescue, The Sula Foundation and Our Pack.

Ledy VanKavage, an attorney with Best Friends Animal Society, said, “We are disheartened and shocked that HSUS, a leader in the animal welfare community, would testify in court for the automatic destruction of puppies and dogs who had not been given the opportunity to be evaluated as individuals, based on [HSUS’s] policy. The Michael Vick dogs have proven how antiquated this approach is.”

In 2006, HSUS advocated that all the dogs from the Michael Vick dog-fighting case be put down, for the same reasons they used when recommending the killing of the Wilkes County pit bulls. In the Vick case, a federal court appointed a “special master” to oversee the evaluation of Vick’s dogs, all of whom were adults. Many of the Vick dogs are now in adoptive homes, and at least two of the so-called “aggressive fighting dogs” are therapy dogs who visit hospitals to cheer up ailing patients.

“The coalition members and their supporters are urging HSUS to re-evaluate this policy and apply a more progressive approach that reflects the lessons learned by the animal welfare groups in the coalition, as well as other organizations that work directly with dogs,” VanKavage said.

Written by Barbara Williamson Photos by Gary Kalpakoff

As part of Best Friends’ 25th anniversary in 2009, our goal is to double our membership, so we can double our efforts to bring about a time when all companion animals have a forever home. What can you do to help? Give the Gift of a Best Friends membership to family and friends.

Coalition Contacts

Best Friends Animal Society Barbara Williamson, (435) 689-0200 (cell) or John Polis, (435) 644-2001, ext. 4858, or

Animal Farm Foundation Stacey Coleman, (845) 868-7559 or

BAD RAP Donna Reynolds, (510) 441-6461 or

Downtown Dog Rescue Lori Weise, (213) 448-9961 or

Our Pack Marthina McClay, (408) 460-4244 or

The Sula Foundation Ken Foster, (504) 613-7370 or

Villa Lobos Rescue Center Tia Maria Torres, (661) 268-0555 or

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today 145 dogs were killed and lots of people noticed

Last year I wrote a post called "Could Michael Vick be the best thing that's ever happened to pit bulls?" - and it was all about the fact that the Vick dogs were NOT all immediately killed, they were given the chance to live, to be rehabilitated, to show the world that they were like every other dog, and no different than any other dog. It was a great time to be a dog advocate. You could feel the change coming - naysayers were going to see once and for all with these former "fighting dogs" that they could be our companions and that they could live with other dogs and lived to be loved just like any other dog.

And it's true - that IS what's happening with the Vick dogs.

But at the same time - today - 145 dogs from the former Wildside kennels are being killed, simply because it was the Humane Society of the United States - who were listened to, as the "experts" by the people who had the power to decide whether or not the dogs involved in the criminal case - lived or died.

It's absolutely unbelievable. Best Friends Animal Society tried to step in. Bad Rap tried to step in - but HSUS won the day - and all the dogs - and something like 60 puppies - are now dead. Because of the HSUS's expert testimony.

They killed all the dogs without any kind of evaluation - they just deemed they all to be too dangerous to live.

Back when the arrests were made I did a bit of googling and the MySpace page for Ed Faron was still active and he had video of his kennels and video of his dogs - and I watched the videos - and the dogs didn't look that bad - and the kennels didn't look that bad either - nothing like "Bad Newz Kennels" at any rate. What a tragedy.

If there's anything to be learned from this - it's that there are still some very archaic very powerful organizations out there who have too much power, and I hope that the international outrage this story is causing is going to have some effect.

PETA has lost most of it's reputation within the advocate community - I hope this story will take away the HSUS's.

There are some fabulous blog posts about the story - you can go read them at

Bad Rap - Aftermath of a Massacre

Bad Rap - Numb

Nathan Winograd - the death of hope at HSUS

Lassie Get Help - Worse than Vick - and I LOVE it when they say - "because they pay lip service to the dog/human bond, and at the same time help to arrange a massacre. Because they have a script. Because they've spent time rehearsing it. Because Sue Sternberg is their pit bull "expert"." - that is awesome.

Joys of being a dog mum (or dad)

I was sent this today, and I think a lot of us can relate to it -

Before I was a Dog Mom: I made and ate hot meals unmolested.
I had unstained, unfurred clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.
even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got to bed
or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I cleaned my house every day.
I never tripped over toys, stuffed, chewies
or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags,
toilet paper, soap or deodorant
were poisonous or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never been Drooled on
Chewed on
Or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had complete control of
My thoughts
My body and mind.
I slept all night without sharing
the covers or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop a hurt.
I never knew something so furry and four-legged
could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never held a sleeping puppy
just because I couldn't put it down.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.
I didn't know how warm it feels inside
to feed a hungry puppy.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never known the warmth
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being
A Dog Mom.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A couple of langerous poses

I don't know about you, but February is my least favourite time of the year. So only doing things I absolutely have to, and then doing things I really want to - are the things that get done - and because of that I'm taking a couple days away from the computer. I did get a couple particularly good shots of Buttercup though - although I think a 2 year old with a steady hand could take a good photo of her. I wish I had a steady hand. Life would be much easier.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's been a tough week to be a dog in Atlantic Canada

It's been a tough week to be a dog in Atlantic Canada in the last couple weeks - but things are starting to look up - at least in New Brunswick.

Last week 5 puppies were found in the woods in Baddeck Nova Scotia - 2 of them had already died, but 3 of them were still alive - 1 of them had a broken leg that had already healed, 1 of them had a head wound - but all 3 of them are going to be okay and as of today are already in their forever homes - 100's of people came forward wanting to adopt them.

In Waycobah Cape Breton, a woman's german shepherd was barking at some men who were ice fishing - so they called 911 and the local dog catcher came who shot him 10 times - killing him.

And then here just outside of Halifax in Ketch Harbour - a dog was shot dead when it was on a walk-about - and the owners are devastated - I guess the dog regularly ran around at large, and one of the problems with our provincial laws is that it's perfectly legal to shoot a dog if you say you saw it chasing wildlife and it's owner was not around and under his voice control. So in this sad story the only human breaking the law was the grieving dog owner.

But some good news did happen - because of the recent non-satisfying conviction of Keith Burton up in New Brunswick a new organization has been formed - "The BARK Campaign" - and they have a facebook group - they are an advocacy organization and they've formed because they're -

"Fighting for the animal cruelty laws to be changed to reflect domestic animals as pets, not property". Today’s laws allow the killing of pets to be a non-criminal act as long as you’re killing your own “property” and the animal dies relatively quickly.
Outraged? Join and find out what you can do to help stop this..... You can contact your elected officials by any means and as often as you like until the laws change and make our BARKING stop!!!"

They've watched Keith Burton in New Brunswick be allowed to kill his pomeranians by bludgeoning them to death with a hammer - and now these puppies be left to die in the woods - and it seems they're tired of the way that animals are treated in their province and across the country. Their group has quickly grown to over 1,200 members and they're taking their message to Ottawa to change the animal cruelty laws.

Personally - I want to keep my animals as property - but animal cruelty laws do need to include end of life issues - so that how animals are killed and the methods that are used is covered.

I talked about that "kennel" in Pennsylvania that killed their 70 dogs on this blog when I talked about Chapman kennels in New Brunswick who killed ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE of their dogs in one shot - and no news organization picked up on the story a few months ago. It was a national disgrace and no one cared. Hopefully laws will change so that something like that is never is allowed to happen again. We can only hope, can't we?

There is a super article on MSNBC that someone sent me today about the subject that covers the subject -

Animal cruelty laws among fastest-growing - Concept that pets and livestock have rights, as humans do, gaining ground

PORTLAND, Ore. - Some things shouldn't happen even to a dog. But they do.

In Pennsylvania last year, a warden ordered two kennel operators to examine some of their charges for fleas. Instead, Elmer Zimmerman of Kutztown shot 70 dogs; his brother Ammon, who had a kennel next door, shot 10.

Horrible, yes, said Jessie Smith, the state's special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement, when the killings were reported. "But it's legal."

No more. Partly because of outrage over the shootings, dogs in Pennsylvania kennels now can be euthanized only by a veterinarian, and the state keeps a tighter leash on the "puppy mills."

Changes in animal law have come, and not just to Pennsylvania. Other incidents of abuse and a shifting national consciousness have made this one of the fastest-growing fields in the legal profession. In 1993, just seven states had felony animal cruelty laws; today, all but four do.

"Animal law is where environmental law was 20 years ago. It's in its infancy but growing," said Pamela Frasch, who heads the National Center for Animal Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, where she has been an adjunct professor for 10 years.

Lewis & Clark opened the first Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter in 1992. Today it has branches at more than 115 law schools in the United States and Canada.

In 2000, nine law schools had animal law studies. Today about 100 do.

"The reason it is getting taught is student demand," said professor David Favre, who teaches animal law at Michigan State University College of Law and is a top authority in the field. "It's not because tenured professors wanted to teach it, it's that students want to take it."

Favre said most animal law cases in private practice deal with issues such as dangerous dogs, divorce settlements, purchases or other property-related activities.

But it is the animal rights cases that draw attention. And while there have been advances in recent years, some issues remain unsettled. Should pets have more rights than livestock or wild animals? Are some species more deserving of protection?

In George Orwell's words, are some animals more equal than others?

State laws vary widely.

For example: At a Montana campsite, Gunner, a chocolate lab, was killed by a camper who cut off the dog's head with a chain saw and threw it at the owners.

Russell Howald, 30, was sentenced to the maximum — two years.

But in Iowa, undercover video shot by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows farm workers hitting sows with metal rods, slamming piglets on a concrete floor and bragging about jamming rods into sows' hindquarters.

"I hate them. These (expletives) deserve to be hurt. Hurt, I say!" the employee yells as he hits a sow with a metal rod. "Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! ... Take out your frustrations on 'em."

Scott Heiser of Portland, a former district attorney who now is criminal justice program director for the Animal Legal Defense Find, said Iowa's general animal cruelty law exempts livestock from protection. If charges were brought against the workers, they most likely would be misdemeanors, at most.

Animal law, Frasch said, is a mix of incongruities.

"In the past if someone did something bad to your animal there wasn't much you could do," Frasch said. "But if your animal was stolen and well-treated, it could be a felony. It was out of balance.

"A mouse as a pet has protection. A mouse as a pest can be killed at will. Research mice have no protection. It is the same animal but it is a matter of context."

Portland attorney Geordie Duckler practices animal law exclusively, but as property. Animals, he said, gain instead of lose value over time as owners build affection and investment.

"Someone who runs over a dog may ask why he should pay the owner thousands of dollars instead of just buying a new dog. That might work with a piano," said Duckler.

The concept that animals have rights, as humans do, appeals to many. But not Duckler, who noted in a legal column in "Bark" magazine that an owner can have a dog euthanized or end an animal's pregnancy.

Duckler, who also holds advanced degrees in biology and zoology, said writings and advocacy by animal rights activists tend to be limited to mammals alone.

He asks why earthworms — simple and senseless, but animals, nevertheless — "are left out in the legal cold," while others soak in "soapy tubfulls of nonscientific nonsense that we are not all that far removed from our animal ancestry."

Yet there is a middle ground.

Princeton professor Peter Singer, a pro-animal rights scholar, is quoted in a recent New Yorker article as saying he doesn't think his cats should vote or call on him in the hospital, although he wouldn't object to the visit.

"The right category for pets is closer to children, who can't vote, can't own property but you can't inflict pain on them, either. The law is catching up with societal beliefs."

Well, some of them are, and not just for pets.

In November, California voters banned cramped metal cages for chickens being raised for food and gestation crates for sows and crates for lambs that leave the animals barely able to move. Other states have passed more limited measures, and similar proposals are floating around Congress.

"People are starting to ask questions about things they don't see, and animal abuse mostly happens in places we don't see it," said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president of litigation for the Humane Society of the United States and adjunct professor of animal law at Georgetown University.

"Most legal protections were drafted in the 1800s. They've upgraded a few of them but the overall framework is not a modern one," Lovvorn said. "Hamilton and John Adams would not be surprised by our cruelty codes today. They would be very familiar to them."

Lawyers from the Animal Legal Defense Fund are busy helping overworked prosecutors try abuse cases, ranging from aggressive cruelty to cases of horses abandoned to starve because owners cannot afford to feed them.

Heiser says he concentrates on helping prosecutors who increasingly cannot ignore animal cruelty cases. "Some may need five hours of research and don't have time for it. We will help them."

Political pressure to require aggressive investigations and prosecutions began building about 15 years ago, he said. Before that, some prosecutors were giving away cases "for a song at the plea level," he recalled.

Pockets of resistance remain, he said. Some prosecutors tell him "it's just a dog" or "I've got real crime to prosecute. I'm too busy."

But new laws in many states, he said, put animal abuse on par with drunken driving cases where prosecutors are prohibited from "dealing," or plea-bargaining, down to a lesser offense.

He said the law students he has met who are devoted to animal law "are very skilled and talented young men and women. Of course the empathy is there but most have faith in the legal system to effect change," unlike some animal rights activists who resort to violence.

Few areas of the law inspire greater emotional response — or more contradictions.

"Companion animals are especially caught up in this," Heiser said. "There are people who would risk their lives to save their dog or cat. But they still eat meat."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today's GPAC Pet Expo

What a day - I'd say that today's GPAC Pet Expo at the Halifax Forum was a pretty big success - there were a ton of vendors and a few tons of people and their dogs who came to see the vendors. It was a big day and I am exhausted. It was also the first dog event that I've gone to that I didn't take one of my dogs along with me - so that was interesting - not to have a dog with me to interact with the other dogs there - and I totally missed that, and noticed it all day long. There were a lot of dogs at the event, which was great - there are a lot of dog owners interested in providing their dogs with socialization exrpiences, which is fabulous.
This is the table which was next to us - the NS SPCA table, and they had the best centre piece - a little dog who had a successful adoption yesterday - the best little balanced and well behaved dog. He was such a sweet little guy and loved everyone - humans and dogs. I think he had a lot of fun, and showed the public that the SPCA gets small nice dogs as well as the big dogs too.
This is Duke - who you see just below as a puppy - when he was a puppy he was bought from a Pet's Unlimited locally and he almost died because he came with some kibble and a receipt, and he also came with parvo. But his parents loved him enough to spend egregious amounts of money after realizing that a pet store isn't the place to buy a puppy - and even though he had a horrible start to his life, a few years later - things have turned out okay. Duke was one of the reasons that Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership was originally formed - he was one of our "poster puppies" when we were demonstrating outside of Pet's Unlimited - so it was wonderful to see him today at the Pet Expo and take a photo of him with our banner now that we've reconvened our organization.

This is Riley - a rescued greyhound - his Mom Paula says he does lots of great tricks and this is one of his best - holding a treat on his nose for as long as his Mom tells him too! Yea!
This is Hutch - his Mom Leah is a groomer at Tailwagrrrs - she used to be a regular at Seaview park when me and the dogs went there every day when the dogs were younger - Hutch came from the Lillian Albion Shelter in Amherst and he was about 1/2 the weight he is now. He's well loved now!I was SO lucky! I won the raffle prize from the Tiny Paws Rescue Canada booth!! I got some dog treats, a mug, some stuffed toys and a basket - I'm the luckiest girl in the world - and also because I got to spend some time this weekend with a very nice lady - Charlotte Estabrooks who came all the way from PEI to man the booth yesterday at the Kennel club show and today at the pet expo - talk about dedication!
This may be the first child ever on my blog - this is the very pretty Lauren - the daughter of one of my best friends Debbie - they were at the Pet Expo today because they love dogs - and Lauren had just had her face painted, so she was looking exceptionally beautiful.

I have a slideshow at the end of this post - and I was able to get a couple photos of this little guy smelling this husky's bum - the husky's name is Polaris, but I didn't get the little guy's name - but he was basically digging tunnels he was trying to go so deep!
This is Sage and Guiness - regular reader Janice came down all the way from King's County to see the Pet Expo today and I was SO happy to be able to meet these guys finally - I was sorry that I didn't bring Buttercup when I met Janice - it would've been nice for her to meet Buttercup. I`m sure there`ll be other times though. I wonder how Buttercup would`ve reacted to dogs that look this big. Dogs that are big enough that even when she`s in my arms they are at her face level - that would`ve been interesting!
This is Toby - the most perfect little dog in all the world - I`ve written about Toby several times on this blog - he is just so beautiful. He is everything that a little dog should be. He loves to run at Point Pleasant Park, loves to be held, loves life, and looks beautiful. He`s perfect.

I hope everyone else had as good a time as I did - we gave out a ton of educational materials about what we believe is responsible pet ownership, I saw a lot of people I know, met new people - dog events are always a lot of fun. I can`t wait for the next thing to come up. Dog friendly Halifax is alive and well - at least for the dog owners. The bureaucrats at City Hall might think differently - but the dog owners are wanting to get out and have some fun with their dogs and other dog owners - that was glaringly apparent today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

An oldy but a goody

There's not much going on - just meeting with my friends who are getting ready to go to the Pet Expo on Sunday and waiting to go the Halifax Kennel Club show tomorrow - so I thought I'd post a video to remind us why we love living here in Shangri-la here in Nova Scotia. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today is Jack's Got Day

It was one year ago tonight that I brought Jack home from his latest foster home that he'd burned through - after arriving back in Metro from animal abuser Alice MacIsaac - he was one of the dogs irrevocably injured by the Celtic Pets scandal last year - and by the skin of his old teeth he was not killed by the Executive team in place at that time at the NS SPCA. Even one of the Special Constables almost killed him because he was being so nasty.

You would too if you'd just livled through many many months at a hoarding animal abusers house with 40 other dogs and you had a huge ulcer explode in your eyeball and receive no treatment for it so you eyeball literally disappeared in it's socket and the hair around your eye became all encrusted with mucus and you couldn't shit because hair become encrusted and there wasn't one part of your body that didn't have a matt on it - so everywhere you felt was rock solid, and his nails grew so long that they had grown all the way around and embedded into the pads of his feet. That's no way for anyone to have to live - but that's the way that animal abuser Alice MacIsaac thought it was okay to let her 40 or so dogs live day by day - so by the time he was rescued - he was pretty unhappy.

I got him 5 days after animal abuser Alice MacIsaac's house had been raided - and the worst and hugest matts had been cut away - so if you can believe it, he was looking pretty good when I got him.

And it's been all sunshine and lollipops ever since then. If only the rest of the world was as good as he is at expressing their emotions - the world would be a much better place. For those who know Jackie - they know exactly what I'm talking about. He's a very special dog - and I'm very lucky to have him.

Further on my "There is so much going on"

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about all the local dog stuff going on - and there's even more that is continuing to go on. If it wasn't February - the darkest month of the year - I might be enjoying myself right now.

There's more information about Temple Grandin coming to Nova Scotia, which is fabulous. I had an email today from a lady named Marguerite who has gotten to the bottom of the Temple mystery and found out that Ms. Grandin is in fact making several appearances in Nova Scotia when she comes here next week. She's going to be speaking at the Atlantic Poultry Conference, at the Nova Scotia Agriculture College - AND she's going to be speaking here in Halifax on February 19th at Dalhousie University from 7-8pm. Click on the photo at left to find out more information on the person to email and call because you have to pre-register for the Halifax talk.

Susan Jordan is going to be putting on a seminar on February 26th from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m - the topic is "Understanding Dog Signals" and emphasis is on helping dog owners at everyday places like the dog parks, out on public walks and in the will include such skills as learning the difference between rude vs agressive behaviours, recognizing when your dog is threatened or anxious, when they are "shutting down", when they are under pressure, etc. Susan will be using powerpoint, photos and handouts to support the presentation. She will be offering techniques and suggestions as to how to help dogs (and owners) cope with these situations!
Cost is only $20 per person. The location is at "The Chewed Slipper" doggie Daycare in Lower Sackville. You can check out all the details on their website (home page) at

And I'm very excited about the fact that my favourite trainer in the whole world - Silvia Jay - is going to be having a one day seminar she's calling "the Art of Mindful Leadership" on April 18th here in Halifax at the Future Inn out in Bayer's Lake. I'm helping her to set it up - so if you're interested in going - you should contact me at to reserve your seat - it costs $40 for the day and different topics that are going to be covered are laid out in the poster to the left - click on the picture to find out more. It is going to be an amazing day - and I hope it's just the first of many that Silvia will be giving.

And if you haven't heard - this weekend is a super busy weekend for dogs - all weekend is the Halifax Kennel Club show out at the Exhibition Park, and then on Sunday we've got the Grey Hound Pets of Atlantic Canada Pet Expo at the Halifax Forum's Civic Centre and I found out today they've got like 70 booths signed up - so that's a lot of vendors to browse through. Me and a couple of my friends are going to be at one of those tables - we've resurrected a group we started a couple years ago called "Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership" - and we're going to be giving out educational materials about responsible pet ownership and puppy mills, and what one person can do to help dogs locally, places to buy your pet supplies locally that don't also sell live animals, information about chaining dogs - and just generally a coming together of local dog owners in a PAC (pack) - or if you want to call it a "political action committee"... it's time to get moving. We also have our requisite facebook group at

Rick Howe talks about Blumenthal again

Last night I was reading Halifax Newsnet and I came upon a Rick Howe column and he was talking about Mr. Jerry Blumenthal, our newly re-elected city councilor who seems to be fascinated by dogs. He talked about what I mentioned in a previous post a few days ago - the fact that he tried to ban "vicious dogs" in 2000. I'll paste the article below, it's pretty interesting.

When I was poking around the HRM's website a few days ago, I found minutes from 2001 - when Mr. Blumenthal was deputy mayor and he called for the following -

i) By-Law Changes
Deputy Mayor Blumenthal requested a staff report regarding amendments to the Municipal Government Act, and noted that it is his understanding that By-Law Enforcement staff are currently working with Legal Services regarding some possible changes to the Act. The Deputy Mayor suggested some issues that need to be addressed in these changes which included the following: people not paying their fines, removal from streets of vicious dogs, dog owners not purchasing dog licenses, HRM cleaning unsightly premises and charging the property owners, increased fines for by-law infractions and advertising on trees, poles and in the ground. Deputy Mayor Blumenthal stated these changes need to made as soon as possible. MOVED by Deputy Mayor Blumenthal, seconded by Councillor Sloane, that this matter be referred to staff for a report on possible amendments to the Municipal Government Act to address the concerns raised. MOTION PUT AND PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Here is Rick Howe's article - and I have to say again - I love it whenever Lloyd Hines opens his mouth. In this article he says about the valley bull dog who bit the kid up in Stellarton - “Whatever the heck the solution should be, it doesn’t seem right there’s an eight-year-old kid in the IWK torn to pieces.” I don't think that child was "torn to pieces" from the news reports I heard. This is the same man who said -

"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."

Now that is a man who loves all breeds of dogs equally. And he's a really balanced guy to get a quote from whenever you're talking about banning breeds, or dog attacks, or anything like that - he is the unmitigated face of evil when it comes to breed banning in Nova Scotia. Luckily we've able to keep it strictly at him so far. He's a one off. He's been the only one able to pass a breed ban - there's a couple other breed restrictions down in his area - but he's the only big winner in our province. We just have to make sure Mr. Blumenthal doesn't get too many tips from him.

Not all Rottweilers are vicious animals

Vicious dogs, not vicious breeds, are the problem

The recent dog attack on two adults and a child in Stellarton has those within the canine-rescue community concerned about renewed efforts to ban certain dog breeds.
Earlier this month, a Valley bulldog was shot dead by a police officer after it had mauled an eight-year-old boy and attacked the two women who came to his rescue. North-end Halifax Coun. Jerry Blumenthal, who tried unsuccessfully in 2000 to have the city ban vicious dogs, says there are too many of these attacks taking place and he plans to revisit the issue in the new year.

He wouldn’t get breed specific, but generalized by saying there should be a ban on “vicious breeds.”

Blumenthal was reluctant to name any particular breed because he doesn’t want a battle on his hands right now with dog activists only too willing to mobilize and fight any effort at a ban.

It may be too late. Local dog activists like Joan Sinden are already warning the councillor not to go down that road. “We will be watching this councillor very carefully,” she said in an e-mail.

Annette Armitage of Animal Rescue in Halifax says people like Blumenthal are too quick to blame breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers. She points out poodles are more inclined to bite humans, yet no one is calling for a ban on poodles.

“No dog attack is acceptable,” she told me in response to a question about the Stellarton incident. “There are so many triggers that could have provoked the dog. There’s not enough information out before the public to see if this dog was at fault. For example, those Rottweilers in New Brunswick that attacked, the female dog was in heat. There are extenuating circumstances.”

Armitage says breeds are getting the blame when in fact it should be a case-by-case look at individual dogs involved in attacks.

“There are dog bites that happen in our city on a regular basis, but not much actually gets to the media. Breeds get a bad rap verses the actual dog; breeds are not necessarily inclined to violence.”

Ontario, however, banned pit bulls in 2005, the first province to take such a breed-specific step. Winnipeg has also banned pit bulls and Vancouver’s bylaw automatically considers pit bulls a vicious breed. Here in Nova Scotia, Guysborough County has banned pit bulls and Rottweilers. County Warden Lloyd Hines would like to see more onus on dog owners. He says incidents like that in Stellarton require a solution. “Whatever the heck the solution should be, it doesn’t seem right there’s an eight-year-old kid in the IWK torn to pieces.”

A rash of dog attacks in Westville two years ago prompted the town’s police chief to recommend a drastic increase in fines for animal infractions in an effort to force their owners to deal with their pet’s aggressive actions. Don Hussher says he sent a report to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, but it fell on deaf ears.
But that’s the kind of effort Armitage and the armies of others opposed to specific-breed bans say is necessary to make dog owners more responsible. She says it’s the irresponsible owner, not the dog breed, that is to blame for many of the dog problems so much in the news these days.

Other posts relating to this post:

Why I'm glad bill 138 didn't pass in Nova Scotia

We Need to Keep Watch over Councilor Blumenthal

Blumenthal says he was Misquoted

Does Jerry Blumenthal Hate Dogs now like he did 9 Years ago?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Find the dog

A perfect photo appeared to me tonight as I was tucking everybody in - my dogs are pretty typical I think in that coming from less than fortunate backgrounds, they enjoy their indoor and on the bed lifestyles now - and they actually prefer being under the covers - especially Daisy - who lived for the first 3 years of her life outdoors - likes to be under a couple layers - even with all that fur - so you have to look at this photo and figure out where the dogs are in all the bedding. I just sort of fit in somewhere amongst the group and try to get a blanket somehow. It's pretty bad when you let the dogs hog the blanket.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Phoebe finds a home

I got word tonight that one of the dogs I posted the other night - Phoebe - has found a home.
That is super - she's going to be living with one of her littermates - so that's great - she's going to have company, and the owners are going to have a matching pair.
I've got to say - that's going to be a lot of hair, but it looks like their house is quite lightly coloured, so it should be okay - but that is wonderful that a dog has found a forever home - and the dogs look very happy to be together, that's for sure. Kudos to the ladies at the Antigonish SPCA for all the hard work they do and the very little recognition they get.