Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Did 250,000 people x 13 days make a difference?

PLEASE NOTE: THIS is the post that Francesca Rogier is alluding to in her post on the Nova Scotia Truth is stranger than fiction blog post "What Makes Joan Sinden so sure?" and then backlinks to on her Free Brindi blog post shere she says "It's really regrettable that people are getting so carried away and emotional." So you can make your own conclusions from this.

So today was day ONE of the worldwide phenonemom known as "Thirteen Days to save Brindi" or what was known locally as sentencing day for Francesca Rogier.

On the weekend there was an article in the paper where Francesca said she was planning to ask for a postponement today from the judge - so that she could have an expert assessment done of Brindi - of, I guess - Brindi's temperament - to show the judge that she's not a killer dog and shouldn't be killed. Although I don't know why she's doing that, because there are already so many anecdotal reports from people that she could have called for character witnesses that would have said the exact same thing today - but ANYWHOO - that's what she said on the weekend that she was planning on doing.

And guess what - she got it. The case was postponed until April 16th - when the court will reconvene to carry on - and Judge Murphy will make her decision at that time.

And I have to ask - did the 250,000 people who read the "My Let's Adopt" blogs, twitter feeds and Facebook pages every day have any effect on the outcome of today's proceedings? What do you think? I would have to say that I think that is a big fat NO.

Francesca would have gotten that anyway. So all the blathering, bad mouthing about the geographical area called Halifax, and Nova Scotia Canada that I personally love - as much as I love my own dogs - and that is A LOT - was done for NOTHING.

And that makes me a little bit angry. And I think it should make a lot of people angry - and I think it should make the people WHO WERE DOING IT - a little bit angry too. I think they should feel a little bit USED. That's my opinion.

They wasted a lot of their own time, got really emotionally invested in the whole thing - and as it turned out - it was for nothing - it really was - the outcome was the same, regardless of what anybody around the world did.

Brindi is not dying, she is still - not living in a cage as you will hear in the below video - but living inside the SPCA shelter - but only until the end of this month.

And that's another thing I want to talk about - because that is going to be SO HEARTBREAKING for the SPCA staff - that they are going to have to give Brindi up at the end of March - regardless of the outcome of the trial - they are now going to have to give her up. They have had her for longer than Francesca had her - and they now have to give her up to Homeward Bound City Pound on March 31st.

And as I mentioned in a previous post - that could be a SERIOUS conflict of interest. And now that it's actually happening - I know that I personally am going to write a couple emails about it, because that concerns me.

I have to mention something about outside the court proceedings today, and something that was said inside as well - one of the "alternatives to euthanasia" - and that is that Francesca offered an alternative of her getting Brindi back and her leaving Halifax and Nova Scotia with her - and this concerns me - as I said in my previous post - how do we know that Brindi is not going to just disappear? Well - this alternative was sideways mentioned in the courtroom today - and I am concerned.

But I also really feel bad for the SPCA staff - they have had to take SO MUCH SHIT from Francesca herself - and they've had to take so much shit from the public about Brindi - and now they have the heartbreak of having to give Brindi away to a corporation that they don't know what kind of conditions she's going to. That is awful. I feel bad for them.

Pat Lee has really outdone herself on her Chronicle Herald article on this subject today. It is a really awesome article - she's got lots of great quotes from several people - it's super well done. And I'd imagine she's going to get a lot of feedback about it. I hope she gets some kind of journalism award for it - it is great - very succinct, to the point, accurate - and truthful. That - along with Jackie Foster's CTV report - gives a pretty clear report of what happened today, I'd say.

At this point - the story has really gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. I don't know how anyone can argue that point. It has become all so unnecessary. The judge has no plans to kill Brindi. It is quite obvious - the only question is whether Francesca is going to be the one to get Brindi back - and the only thing keeping Brindi in a cage at this point is Francesca herself with her stalling techniques.

Another local blog has started about this story - it's at "Dog Lover" blog - people can follow the circus over there.

I can't imagine this story haven't any more climaxes and then anti-climaxes - but I'm sure there will be - however - from here will start the civil suits - that's when the real fun starts.

And I'll tell you - if you're thinking about leaving an asshole, rude comment - don't waste your precious seconds typing it out - because it's not going to be posted - it's not even going to be read by me - when those come through - I read the first couple words - and they get DELETED. I don't even READ them. So when you leave those comments - they don't even give you that pleasure, unfortunately - they don't get posted - and they don't even get read by me. Sorry - so don't bother wasting your time. So heed this warning. Don't waste your time. Move on, please. Go away. I'm done with you all, thank-you. The 1,000 emails that I've got from you in the last year - I'm done with you. I have been writing this blog since 2003 - if you think this is the only topic I've ever written about - you need to click out of this page and go elsewhere.

There's another really good article at "the Guardian" too -

Woman spends savings in lengthy N.S. battle to preserve life of impounded dog

HALIFAX, N.S. - Francesca Rogier says she remains unbowed in her legal battle to preserve the life of a mixed-breed dog that faces euthanasia after it attacked other canines, despite exhausting $30,000 in savings on lawyers and putting her architecture career on hold.

The 50-year-old resident of Eastern Chezzetcook, a rural community on the outskirts of Halifax, won a reprieve for Brindi before a provincial court judge on Tuesday.

Representing herself, Rogier successfully argued for a delay while she arranges for an animal trainer to visit the pound and assess the dog's behaviour before Judge Alanna Murphy decides Brindi's fate.

"For a judge to decide whether a dog is too dangerous to live, they should be able to draw on expert opinion ... someone who is qualified to assess the behaviour of the dog," Rogier said outside court.

Rogier has been convicted of being the owner of a dog that was running at large, owning a dog that attacked another animal and failing to comply with a muzzle order.

Brindi has been impounded for almost two years after she rushed out of the yard and attacked a leashed dog strolling by Rogier's home in July 2008.

This came after a series of written warnings from the City of Halifax following other attacks by Brindi. One of the city's warnings required Brindi be muzzled.

Rogier admits she made "mistakes" but points out she has built a fence, set aside money to hire a trainer and committed to keeping Brindi muzzled. She says she'll pay any fines arising from the incidents.

"I believe those are reasonable alternatives that satisfy the public interest," she said.

She has set aside her plans to apply for landed immigrant status and to seek an architecture licence in Canada to save the dog. Her home renovations are on hold as she pays legal fees.

Rogier said she wants Brindi to be part of her home again.

"It's time and money, but you can't replace a dog. You can't replace a member of the family," Rogier said.

Vaughan Black, a professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, said the case is important because dog owners seldom actually contest the euthanasia of their dogs.

"My sense is there's not a lot of precedents on this simply because given the cost of this, and hiring lawyers, most people ... don't go to court the way Ms. Rogier is doing," he said.

On the other hand, Black - who studies animal law - said it's difficult for the city to give way if it considers an animal to be dangerous under its bylaws.

"There have been cases where cities haven't acted quickly enough and dogs have attacked people and the injured parties have claimed against the city," he said.

"Maybe the city's lawyers are saying, 'You have to pursue these cases vigorously."'

There are other recent cases of Canadians fighting to keep their dogs alive after an attack.

In Hampton, N.B., last month, a judge gave a dog a reprieve and ruled it be muzzled when it's outdoors despite a town order that the animal be euthanized for biting a woman last summer.

Rogier alluded to that case in court Tuesday, noting it shows that dogs can be returned to their owners - even in an instance of an attack on a human.

"I don't think it would be wise for this city to set a precedent to kill a dog for such minor offences," she said.

But a spokeswoman for the city said there are many past incidents when dogs have been put down after exhibiting aggressive behaviour with other dogs.

"It is certainly not unusual for the city to seize dogs that have been involved in an attack on another dog," Shaune MacKinlay said in an email.

She said from January 2007 to March 2010, 31 dogs were euthanized in the city.

"Of those, 13 dogs attacked other dogs, one dog attacked a dog and a person, 14 dogs attacked people," she said.

"In one case, two dogs running at large killed chickens and their owner surrendered them to be euthanized."

Brindi's case has been adjourned until April 16.


  1. AfricanSunset9:24 PM

    As a person in the court room I must mention that the judge stated " even with the report from the expert on April 16th, I may or may not be able to make a decision on this case at that time" " it may take more time to fully examine, but I will do my best to make the decision as quick as possible"

  2. "She said from January 2007 to March 2010, 31 dogs were euthanized in the city.

    "Of those, 13 dogs attacked other dogs, one dog attacked a dog and a person, 14 dogs attacked people," she said."

    I find this interesting given a large portion of the owner's defense involves precedent. I was wondering if it would come up that it's not so much that the city doesn't euthanize dogs, but it's just that most owners don't fight the order.

  3. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Joan, God bless you. Keep your head held high and stay on course on your mission to help the community of dogs, the mission you have been on way before you even heard about Fran Rogiers and that poor dog Brindi.

    You are wise to choose the path of reason and let the foolish go their own way.

    It doesn't pay to engage in debates with irrational people, people who have lost all perspective like Rogiers, who has an alarming and somewhat frigtening ability to dismiss well-thought arguments and ignore observable facts.

    .. observable facts like this statement which is much more than opinion: you are spot on when you say...

    "the only thing keeping Brindi in a cage at this point is Francesca herself with her stalling techniques."

    That, dear Fran Rogiers, is an observable fact.

    Rogiers is incapable of taking responsibility and ultimately finding a productive, and humane, solution, for the poor animal Brindi.

    Somebody is getting their needs met in this nearly two-year ordeal and it sure isn't that poor animal.

  4. Unfortunately, although Brindi has sat in a cage now for 20 months (I understand with SPCA staffs' attention when possible) she is settled. For her, I'm sure it feels like home. However, due to this next delay she's going to have to go through yet another shuffle to the new pound. Rescued dogs usually don't start to settle until 2 weeks in an environment and then at that point they start to. Some will act out but most are stressed. I feel bad that Brindi will have to do this all over again - strange place, strange people, strange dogs. It's terribly selfish and she may have to do it all again 2 days later, or worse - it may be how she spends her final days. How sad.

  5. I totally agree, Medusa's mom. At least Brindi should be able to stay at the SPCA until a court decision is made. But who ever cared about what's best for Brindi - aside from the SPCA staff maybe.

  6. Medusa's mom took the words right out of my mouth. If she really cared about the dog she wouldn't want to case to be further delayed. Brindi being moved to another shelter after being at the SPCA for so long is really going to mess with the dog emotionally. I don't see why she needs over a month to get an assessment done, and I am guessing most of the staff know Brindi pretty well by now and could offer a solid character reference for her.

  7. Anonymous7:49 PM

    The behavorist that she wants is from NB and is not available til the end of the month.

  8. Anonymous3:01 AM

    The SPCA staff are not qualified to speak as experts in court. That would be a useless effort.

  9. Anonymous, how do you know this?

    "The SPCA staff are not qualified to speak as experts in court. That would be a useless effort."

    Do you know the staff at the NS SPCA? Have you seen their resumes that they were hired with? Or are you going on hearsay from one person? What makes you qualified to say that? Unless you know something that I don't know, and you are qualified to say that - you shouldn't say that. Maybe they ARE qualified to give opinions in court. How do you know? Maybe they ARE the most qualified people to say. You DON'T know, so you shouldn't be making such harsh generalizations about an entire organization.