Friday, April 30, 2010

A super birthday

So today I had a great birthday - I didn't have to go into work, which is a nice thing, I got to go shopping - which is another nice thing - and I got to see someone I hadn't seen in a long time - and I got to meet her dog which I'd never met - Harry!

Do you remember "Furry's Magazine" - the Halifax magazine that was on the stands for awhile a couple year's ago? Lynne MacKay had her dog Harry in at Fetch Inc over at Burnside and she was picking him up while I was there setting up for tomorrow's seminar with Silvia Jay -
So I got to meet him - he is one of those dogs who's ears look like he's got his hair up in pig tails - he was just the cutest thing. There were 55 dogs today at Fetch Inc - that's a lot of fun times, I've got to say. I would love to work in a place like that. That would be amazing.

Tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun too - I can't wait.

But it was a great birthday today, I got to do lots of stuff, got to go out to supper with one of my best friends - and I even got to eat this cute little birthday cake while I wrote this blog post tonight. It was a good day. I'm a lucky person.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

NS SPCA warns about Parvo - NFLD SPCA says - don't put pets in trunk of car!

Sooooo - I don't think this is a Newfie joke - it seems that people in Newfoundland are thinking that putting their cats and dogs in the trunk of their cars is an acceptable way to transport their animals. And we all thought that putting loose animals in the back of trucks was super abusing animals - imagine being a dog and being shut into the trunk of a car.

CBC News in Newfoundland is reporting that the SPCA over there is "calling on people to use travel kennels to transport animals after police in eastern Newfoundland stopped a man with a dog in the trunk of his car.

The RCMP officer who pulled the man over near Whitbourne, about an hour west of St. John's, found the driver had put his suitcases on the back seat and a black and white setter in the car's boot.

"Common sense would sort of say, 'Why do you do these things?'" said Debbie Powers, director of the SPCA in St. John's. "The terror that animal must have suffered is pretty horrible."

Powers offered pet owners some advice.

"Go get a proper travelling kennel," she said.

Powers said her organization recently saw a similar case in which somebody locked a cat and kittens in the trunk of a car and then drove for more than an hour from Harbour Grace to St. John's.

She says transportation of animals needs to be addressed in the new animal protection legislation the provincial government is expected to table this spring."


And before you say this story is just a non-story, like some of the commenters at the bottom of this article - look to a story in the Washington Post where some mothers were charged with reckless endangerment after putting their children in the trunk of their car - for various reasons - one because they said the kids "wanted" to be in the trunk, and another because the front of the car was too crowded with other kids and a dog - but it's interesting what the attorney talking in the story says about the kids - and the dog in the story -

"I don't understand -- they're children, not pets. Not that you would put your pet in the trunk. They're not cargo, I should say."

So true - it's one instance where we really can compare our dogs to children - locking any sentient being in the trunk of a car truly is cruel and unusual punishment.

Over here in Nova Scotia - the Nova Scotia SPCA is warning people that there is an outbreak of parvo locally -

And as of Thursday afternoon - April 29th - the Chronicle Herald is reporting that the outbreak is linked to an area around Shubie Park in Dartmouth - so be careful in that area if you frequent there - I've posted that article after the SPCA's press release -

Here is what they said in their press release -

SPCA alerts public to take caution after a number of cases of Parvovirus reported
Nova Scotia (April 28, 2010) –In the last two weeks, the Nova Scotia SPCA has had a number of calls from both veterinarians and the public about animals contracting Canine Parvovirus. “The number of reported cases appears to be unusually high,” said Executive Director, Kristin Williams with the Nova Scotia SPCA who also said that the organization has seen at least 15 individual cases reported in HRM recently and suspects the number is actually higher. She added “dog owners should take this opportunity to get informed about the risks and take precautions.”

Canine Parvovirus is a contagious viral disease affecting dogs which can be deadly. Typically puppies are more susceptible than adult dogs, but all unvaccinated dogs are at high risk. The disease is transmitted through contact with infected dogs, which may not show any clinical signs, or contact with the feces of an infected dog. Clinical signs include vomiting and diarrhea, which is often bloody.

Helpful Tips:

Inspect areas where dogs recreate and exercise
Ensure that your dog is up to date with vaccinations
Seek vet care if you suspect your dog is infected or has been exposed
Do not take unvaccinated dogs, especially puppies to off leash parks

Parvovirus outbreak linked to area of Shubie Park

Thu. Apr 29 - 3:41 PM
Dog owners are being warned about recent cases of canine parvovirus in animals who've been in the Shubie Park area, from the Shubenacadie Canal to Dartmouth Crossing.

A local veterinary hospital passed the information along to the Halifax Regional Municipality, which released the warning today.
Posters have been placed in park to notify owners.

The SPCA had already issued a notice of an increase in the number of cases of parvovirus.

The virus is transmitted when a dog comes into contact with the feces of an infected animal.

The intestinal tract is where most of the damage occurs when it enters the body. The virus can kill a dog. It's most serious for puppies, but the disease can also be fatal for adult dogs.

Vomiting, watery and foul-smelling bloody diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy are all symptoms. The incubation period is three to seven days.

HRM is reminding dog owners ofthe importance of picking up after their pets.

Really neat article about shelter medicine and Maddie's Fund

Someone sent me a really neat article today from the "Cornell Alumni Magazine" that has all kinds of good links in it - and it's also a super article - it's about their veterinary program and their shelter medicine courses and what they called the "the art and science of caring for homeless pets".

They also talk about Maddie's Fund because it was started by an alumni of Cornell - David Duffield '62, MBA '64 - who in 1994 gave 300 million dollars to start the grant giving organization.

They make the point that shelter medicine has really become important now with the rise of no kill shelters because previously when shelters used to kill 50-80% of the population regularly - there really wasn't any need to address the animals medically if all they were going to do was kill the animals, whereas now with the animals hanging around to be adopted out eventually - their medical health becomes important - and necessary to be addressed - as well as preventing the spread of infectious disease, shelter enrichment - and that's something that veterinarians have never had to deal with in the past.

It's an awesome article - really long and well written - you should definitely check it out - it starts here - at "Shelter Me"

When I went to the "No Kill Conference" last year in Washington DC - Richard Avanzino was there with Nathan Winograd and he talked about Maddie's Fund - it was a great talk and he talked about a lot of the points that are in the article about David Duffield in the above article - the fact that the Ad Council is working with Maddie's Fund and the fact that "no-kill nation" by 2015 is not just possible, but probable.

That's a very serious thing to say - but Maddie's Fund is saying that - and that's amazing. I wrote up notes about that No Kill Conference if you want to read them - you can read them in my post at "Notes from the No Kill Conference"

Thanks for sending me the article, Dorothy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The funniest cartoon I've seen in a while

This cartoon was within a set of those funny pictures that you get sent in emails that I got today and when I scrolled down to it I laughed and laughed and laughed - the cat looks just SO pissed off. I don't know why there's so many memes of cats out there - I guess their faces can be really expressive without actually moving them too much. Because this face is telling us a lot. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Various and Miscellany

So I haven't posted for a few days. When that happens I always get a couple emails asking what's going on because I so regularly post to this blog - I could say it's because I just got back from a wonderful yoga and meditation retreat, but there's no way I could justify an expense like that.

Really, I've had a seriously shitty cold, and I've been getting stuff ready so that about 75 people can hear the true and clear gospel according to Silvia Jay this coming weekend on May 1st at Fetch Inc when she's going to talk at a one day seminar about fear and aggression. It's going to be great. I organized a seminar for her last year, and everyone learned a lot - so I know Saturday is going to be just as good. My belief that she is the best dog trainer in Nova Scotia is not something that I say lightly - and that's why I'm so happy that I get to help spread her word in this small way.

I have to admit too that some days it's hard to sit down and dedicate large chunks of my life to a project (this blog) when I'm constantly barraged by denigrating comments about it from other bloggers - describing it as "endless boring pictures of her dogs doing non-fascinating things like running in the park or eating cheese" - and getting harassing emails. It makes you not think that what you're doing is really worthwhile and is making any kind of difference when that's all the feedback you get - is from the people who think you're a piece of shit and you really do deserve to die - for no reason other than you have a blog about dogs that gets a few thousand hits a month. So you could say that I've been doing some navel gazing.

Such as that is though - I'll continue on with a couple articles I found that were interesting in the last few days - one was today about a book club for dog owners that was started in Portland Oregon which was neat - although if I was involved with starting it up all owners would be allowed to bring their dogs - I'd find a venue where all dogs would be allowed. If you're interested in finding an online version of the story - Yahoo has a group that has almost 6,000 members and they do a different book every month - it's at - the article from is at the bottom of this post.

I'm putting the next article up because it reminds me of my Dad - an 87 year old guy in Illinois got his 5 year old dog stuck in his automated chair - my Dad has exactly the same chair and all day he goes up and down in it with Buttercup in his lap and I can see this happening to Buttercup - I hope the fire department never has to come to my house with the jaws of life!

I've also been trying to spend time in my backyard too - my Dad has strung up really neat lights that came from our cottage (which he sold this past winter) and we've got a chiminea now (also from there) - I haven't checked yet to see whether or not my wireless will go all the way to the chiminea, but it would be neat if it would. I think I'd be better off it didn't though.

Here are the articles -

Firefighters rescue Illinois dog stuck in reclining chair
NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Three suburban Chicago firefighters rescued a small dog that became trapped inside a mechanized recliner chair by sawing the piece of furniture apart.

Ken Makris says his terrier, Ebonyser, has nerve damage following his Thursday night ordeal but that he is "coming along fine."

Firefighters who responded to an emergency call from the Sunrise of Naperville assisted living center Thursday arrived to find a nurse's aide hanging onto the chair to relieve the pressure on the dog and allow it to breathe. Firefighter and paramedic Scott Bolda says the chair's electrical controls stopped working when Ebonyser become wedged inside.

Makris, 87, says the 5-year-old pooch is on painkillers but that he was able to go out for a walk Monday.

Club in Portland launched for people who love books about dogs
By Jacques Von Lunen,

Despite appearances, the club is for people, not dogs.A dog book club has started in Portland.

No, it's not a club to teach dogs to read -- it's for people who want to share their thoughts on books about dogs.

Guide Dogs for the Blind will organize Portland's first book club just for dog people. Canine-loving bibliophiles will meet once a month at the Guide Dogs for the Blind downtown center.

Dogs enlisted in the guide-dog program are allowed to attend the meetings; pet dogs -- or any other pet species -- aren't. The first meeting is May 12, so you better get reading the current selection, which is "Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior," by Temple Grandin.

The book to discuss the following month will be "Dear Kilroy: A Dog to Guide Us," by Nora Vitz Harrison, who will attend the June 9 meeting.

Bring recommendations for future selections to the first meeting May 12, so organizers can put together a book calendar.For more information contact Sheila Shulleeta via email or call 360-607-1276.

The dog book club will run from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., and will be held the second Wednesday of each month thereafter. Bring your own lunch; soft drinks will be provided. The GDB downtown center is at 220 S.W. Yamhill Street in Portland.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today was the Summit for Urban Animal Strategies in Halifax

Well today, I burned away some more people's tax money - and took a vacation day from my job that I've been gainfully employed in for more than 19 years (which means that I get 25 vacation days a year) - and went to the "Atlantic Regional Summit for Urban Animal Strategies" that was being held in Halifax.

I went to the Atlantic Regional Summit last year too - and that was a lot of fun, so I figured I'd go this year too - and today was equally interesting, so I'm glad I went. Today's topic was cats - so I was half-preparing for a complete snooze-fest, but I was surprised, I was involved from beginning to end - even though we didn't talk about dogs at all - I still took away ideas that relate to topics that I'm personally interested in - licencing, legislation, homelessness, euthaization, how to get bureaucrats to do their jobs, and how to also get them to listen to what the populace wants them to do - except today was from the cat's viewpoint.

So for those of you who are also interested in this kind of stuff - here are some of the notes that I took today that I thought were worth remembering.

What we were talking about in the morning was a big survey that some guy did to cat owners in Canada - asking them general questions about cat ownership and stuff - and the survey came up with some conclusions - and in the conversations this morning the idea came up that animal shelters and rescues really have not done a very good job of showing the public what a good value that animals adopted from rescues are.

A lot of the public sees animals at SPCA's and pounds as being inferior animals - when in fact a lot of the time you get an animal that comes to you - spayed or neutered, up to date on it's shots, microchipped, a little bit of training - and it's even been matched to your lifestyle if the shelter has an adoption coordinator.

All for under $200 - what pet store or back yard breeder is going to do that for you? Shelters need to capitalize on that - and show the public the value for the money they're spending - because in the surveys of cat owners - that fact showed glaringly.

Last year I also talked about this fact - the fact that most pet owners get most of their pet care information from their veterinarians - this year the statistic they quoted was 45-71% of pet owners. That scares me - because we all know how backwards a lot of vets thinking is when it comes to vaccinations and what to feed your pets - and how to train your dog even! We in the humane community - but also the CKC, and the bsl people - we all need to work together - because the pet owning population - in order to understand and become aware of the problems of back yard breeders and puppy mills - needs to hear the same information - from all of our communities - in that way by telling the same stories and explaining things the same way - the breeding facilities that are truly puppy mills can be shut down.

One veterinarian from Hamilton spoke about what her city did - and they launched a program called "year of the cat" - which is going to go national in 2011 - and they had one slogan which I thought was hilarious - "cats don't wear condoms". That's a great line.

In the afternoon - Bill Bruce from Calgary gave a presentation about cats and his city.

I have seen Bill Bruce now at least 3 times. He is of course awesome. Although I have to say that I don't know if I would actually want to live in Calgary, because if you sneeze sideways, I think that's a bylaw infraction and you can be fined for that. I'm just kidding about that one - but it is for sure a bylaw infraction to let your dog hang their head out the car door window - and if your dog is deemed vicious you have to put a huge sign on the outside of your house of a growling drooling killer looking dog. If you've never seen him in action you can see him in a video - here -

Bill Bruce also came to Halifax back in 2007 to meet with HRM and Animal Control to give them some pointers on how to run their department - he also met with the public and gave a presentation - I don't know how successful he was when he met with Animal Control department - based on how the department seems to be run now, I'd say they didn't take too much of his advice. I wrote a blog post about his presentation to the public if you care to go back and read it - you can find that post here -

Bill Bruce's talk today was good too - he said that animals end up in shelters not because of pet overpopulation, and not because of the animal's fault - but because a human relationship failed the pet.

He desribed something really neat that happens in Calgary with their feral cat population - because they have a coaltion between the Animal Services Department, their Humane Society, a local shelter, and a tnr society who does all the tnr stuff for the city - every feral cat in the city that gets picked up to be trapped neutered and returned - gets microchipped - with the address and name of the tnr group - so every feral cat in Calgary is "owned" by the feral cat society - and only they know the actual colony location of each feral cat - so if a cat gets picked up - and it's already been spayed/neutered and returned - Animal Services returns it to the tnr society to return it to it's original colony.

I thought that was just the neatest idea - it solves so many problems - it solves the problem of the cat that's been in somebody's back yard for the last 3 years that the person says doesn't actually "belong" to them - and it keeps having kittens and what're they going to do about it - well now it belongs to the tnr society.

Every dog and cat that's adopted through Animal Services gets a free licences for the first 6 months - now THAT is a good way to increase compliance with licencing - you've already got them in the system. I wonder - that would be a great thing for Homeward Bound to start up, don't you think? Seeing as how they seem to have so much closer ties to the city than the SPCA did?

Now this is probably going to be the neatest thing you've ever seen. When Calgary Animal Services picks up a stray cat - they note where they pick up that fan-damned cat - which neighbourhood they got it from, they take a picture of that cat - and then they mail out a card like this one - to ALL the houses in that neighbourhood saying - IS THIS YOUR CAT?

Can you believe that? I wrote a post a couple months ago and I called that post "Think lost, not stray" - I think Bill Bruce has been to some of the same conferences I've been to. I think he has.

Anyway, that's enough bullshit for tonight.

Here's a picture of the Halifax Harbour taken with my beautiful Iphone and one of the wonderful apps I downloaded that makes photos look all fuzzy and wonderful. I love my iphone.

And since we were talking about cats - here's a photo of my cat Whisky on my newly painted back deck - also taken with my Iphone and that nice app - this was taken on the weekend though.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Buying puppies in Nova Scotia - the WRONG Way

So Gail Benoit is in the news again this week - she's sold (allegedly) a couple of puppies that were the wrong breed that she said they were, they were too young, and one of them was sick.

Their stories were interesting enough for CTV news to pick it up and do a story on Monday night.

When I was watching it for some reason I felt compelled to keep a running commentary along with the narrative of the news story, because the puppy buyers' stories were so typical of uninformed puppy buyers.

Here's some of what was said in the story -

"Chelsea Crane was looking for a puppy for her one year old daughter" - MISTAKE #1

Never buy or acquire a puppy or dog for a child under the age of at least 6. It really shows that these parents don't really know what is going to happen in the next 2 to 3 years of this poor dog's life. Chewing, nipping, puppy adolescence, house training - baby crawling on floor and the puppy peeing on the floor - parents freak out about baby walking through pee - what is going to happen to puppy?

"she found an ad for a one year old husky mix online on Kijiji" - MISTAKE #2 - Kijiji is just about the WORST place to get your companion animal. Predators and puppy mills have found the PERFECT place to hide on Kjiji.

I have written so many posts about this - and everyone who has websites and blogs whho writes about puppymills, back yard breeders, and puppy brokers have written ad nauseum about this - I really have no idea why so many people don't know this now.

"She picked the puppy up about 3 weeks ago in a mall parking lot" - MISTAKE #3 - see above.

"within a couple days she said there were health issues, he's had diarhea, he's been dewormed 3 times because he's had such an excessive case of it, Crane says he's also had problems with his hind legs and the vet bills have tallied up to about $400 - When you buy a puppy in a parking lot from an online website - and you feel uncomfortable and get a bad feeling from the person you bought it from, you didn't sign any kind of contract, and there's no way you can follow up or ask questions - you can pretty much guarantee that when you get home - that little guy is going to get sick.

And the fact that his hind legs are starting to bugger up means that you're going to have problems his whole life - either his hips are bad or his ACL's are going to pop - but you're going to be spending 1000's of dollars - that dog's got some bad genes. And unfortunately he's in pain.

Vanessa Comeau said she thought she was getting a husky mix and ended up with a puppy that looks more like a lab - Yes - this little guy looks pretty much like a yellow lab, doesn't he.

"the broker dropped the puppy off at her house" - Gail Benoit did this because if you would have gone to her house you definitely would not have bought a puppy from her!

Jackie Foster said that she contacted Gail Benoit and - "Dana Bailey says "they're allowed to sell them (sick puppies) and they will continue to"

Jackie Foster finished off her piece by saying that Kjiji Canada told her that - "Anyone who sees something questionable on Kijiji should contact Kijiji Canada."

So - if you happen to be surfing Kijiji and you see an ad that doesn't sit right with you - report it. You may save a family a lifetime of heart ache.

That's because not only are people like Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey selling their product there - and they've said over and over that they refuse to stop selling puppies - but because people who try to come off like they're actual BREEDERS sell their junk on Kijiji - and it's impossible to tell what's what when you're dealing with an online marketplace.

Take a place like "Valleyview Canines" for example. They used to be called "Joe and Nan's" something or other until someone built them a fancy website within the last year. Now they're in big business.

They look like they're a proper kennel - they have "available puppies", and a "guarantee", and a section about "puppy care" - but what you don't see -

is anything about where the parent's of the puppies are, or how they're treated, or where they live - or how the puppies interact with the parents, or when they're taken from the parents, or if you get to meet the parents, or if they have any kind of a guarantee about genetic defects, or if they even test for genetic defects.

THESE are the kind of "breeders" that you'll see advertising on Kijiji.

And any responsible breeder who wants to be putting their ads next to Gail Benoit and these kinds of "breeders" on Kijiji - really needs to have their heads examined.

Kijiji says that they won't take down ads selling live animals because it's not fair to the marketplace and the people who sell animals - yet starting in March, 2010 - they stopped allowing ads that put up pit bulls for sale - you can read it in a post by a kijij moderator - it says -

"Following extensive consultation with animal welfare organizations and municipal animal services, effective today, Kijiji will only accept pit bull and mixed breed pit bull ads from shelters across Canada. Pit bulls are currently prohibited for sale in Ontario and Winnipeg, but legal in the rest of the country. However, this particular breed encounters unique issues and for a variety of reasons, there is currently an overpopulation of pit bulls. Animal shelters are having trouble keeping up with the increase of pit bulls they receive in their care, which is stretching their resources at the expense of other animals.

Kijiji is the #1 pets trading site in Canada and by facilitating the trade of pit bulls, Kijiji contributes to the current problem. By only allowing certified shelters to advertise pit bulls and mixed breed pit bulls for rehoming, we will no longer encourage the breeding of pit bulls.

We will start removing pit bull and mixed breed pit bull ads from Kijiji this week, coast to coast, leaving only ads from shelters (in those parts of the country were pit bulls are legal). When advertising for pit bulls, a shelter must indicate their address, phone number and if they have one, a URL of their shelter. Legitimate pitbull rescue groups that are unable to meet this requirement should make arrangements with a bona fide shelter near them to post ads on their behalf. Shelters in Ontario who are offering grandfathered pitbulls should be sure to include the dog's age and spay/neuter status."

If Kijiji can do that for pit bulls - why can't they do that for all companion animals? And why AREN'T they doing it for all animals? Why are they chooosing to do it only for pit bulls? Why has Kijiji suddenly chosen to practice posting BSL on pit bulls?

That just blew me away when someone sent it to me. Such bullshit. If you're going to do it for pit bulls on Kijiji - you should really do it for all dogs - imagine what that would do the back yard breeders and puppy mills if their online business was taken away - they'd find some other online forum - but it'd be a bit tougher for alittle while.

Long story short, it really does seem like you have to talk to every individual person and look him in the eyes and tell them where puppies come from when they buy them at pet stores and in parking lots and the truth about puppy mills and dog brokers - but a problem is that there's a saying that says "there's a sucker born every minute" - and that's what people like Gail Benoit and Joe and Nan Brady are counting on, and so far - they're all making a pretty good wage off the backs os some very unfortunate littled dogs.

Here is the CTV news footage -

Monday, April 19, 2010

Petition for Seaview Park is ready to go

The petition that the folks at Seaview Park were putting up to support them keeping their park open to off-leash use - and to gather support for having an area completely fenced in - is now ready to go - I put a copy on one of my servers at if you want to download it from there.

You can find out more about it from the Seaview crew's blog at - I also made a little section on the side bar of this blog to give it a semi-permanent space here so that you can always have a spot to download new copies to disseminate easily from here too.

Go out and fill - they want at least 1,000 signatures!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today was the 133rd Annual General Meeting of the NS SPCA

So today was the 133rd AGM of the NS SPCA. I almost didn't go. I was really tired this morning, and I was thinking to myself - what's the point, how is this AGM going to be any different than last year - or the year before. But I'm glad I did go - because it was different, a lot different. Today I witnessed a transformed Nova Scotia SPCA.

Today I saw a Society that has a direction, purpose, strategic vision, goals, a business plan, a marketing strategy - an organization that is finally being run like a business - and for the first time in the five years that I've been going to AGM's - I believe that the Nova Scotia SPCA is going to succeed in and thrive.

And it is completely and 100% due to it's current Board and to it's executive Director Kristin Williams and the current manager at the provincial shelter, Sandra Flemming. There is no doubt.

Kristin's and the Board's plans for the next year are nothing short of visionary. Their plans for fundraising are idea's that have never been broached by the Society before - and show that the NS SPCA has moved to a new level of charitable business approach - with a mix of community events and a major gifts program that is going to target a specific audience. Kristin Williams talked about having a program like this at the OSPCA where 400 people brought in $700,000 for that organization. Now THAT is fundraising. When she said that I turned to the person I was sitting with and said to her - "now that's why we pay people to work in position's like Kristin is working - you have to spend money to make money".

At the 2008 AGM Pam Keddy, then President of the NS SPCA said - "We don't have a Director for the Provincial Society – that costs about $60,000 or so which we never approved, part of that responsibility was we've operated for the last 4 or 5 years or so without a CEO to save costs so that the monies raised could go directly towards helping the animals which ultimately is what we're all here for."

Instead - the President of the Society acted in several positions, and it seemed like nothing ever got done. I am SO happy that this policy has not continued - and we now have people like Kristin Williams now working for the organization so that projects like the Major Gifts Program, the Executive Director presenting at the AGM's of the NSVMA AGM, and hopefully the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities AGM - and the increase - probably in about 1000% in professionalism that the Society puts forward now, will continue. I really hope that we don't lose the fabulous resource that Kristin Williams has brought to the Society.

This year was neat in that they gave out awards to volunteer's for the first time - Michele James, Janet Young, who is the web master for the Nova Scotia Homeless Pet Project, the newspaper the Vanguard, CJLS Radio, Jen MacNeil, Dr. Carole Stemkowski, and Joan Murray - who is a great friend of mine.

There were a couple moments at the meeting that weren't without a bit of irony - Joan Murray, who received one of the Volunteer of the Year Awards stood up at one point to mention the fact that at the AGM two years ago she tried to "crash the AGM" - and she and Maureen Tate were unceremoniously booted out of the meeting.

At the time me, Janet Chernin, herself, Maureen Tate, and a couple other people had all had our memberships to the NS SPCA revoked over the Celtic Pets debacle. We later all had our memberships reinstated and a public apology was given to us by the Board of Directors - but the irony today was kind of funny - that just 2 years later she could receive a volunteer of the year award.

And really, that is how far the Society has come. And the feeling in the room today was palpable. Even if public perception about the Society still needs work - the people at the core of the organization - know that good work is being done - and they are there for the long term. All the fluff and nonsense is gone.

Another interesting thing was that everyone was using the term "no kill" so naturally.

One of the first times I talked about the term on this blog was in a post back in 2006 - (the VERY FIRST time was way back in April, 2004) and it had to do with a post I was writing about temperament tests. The topic had come up on a Yahoo group that I belonged to at the time (that I also got kicked off of because of the Celtic Pets scandal - a rescue group called "Maritime Animal Rescue" that is owned by Pam Keddy) - and the fact that shelters were using their temperament tests to kill dogs.

I can pretty much guarantee you that pounds and shelters are probably STILL using temperament tests to kill dogs in 2010 - which is WRONG, but that's another post. But you can go back and read the post from 2006 - but it's still true today - and it's also one of the first times I talked about Nathan Winograd.

At the time nobody would have ever heard about him - but today, everybody knows who he is.

I did want to talk about something though at this point - and that is the actual adoption of animals in the no-kill world of the SPCA. It's because of an email I got a couple week's ago -

"Well, it's hard to believe that with all of the rescue groups and internet twaddle and supposed anxiety to place dogs, that I can't get a rise out of any of the NS or NB shelters and groups about specific dogs on the web or adoptions in general. I'm looking for an overlap dog but I have no doubt as to why people go to pet stores and puppy mills,etc. It's because they can't get an answer. It's incredible that nothing seems to have changed since the fall of 99 when I got D.... I think part of the problem is that, unlike the animal shelters in New york (check out those in Brooklyn where the animals are on a fixed time limit before being killed) animals hereabouts can live in the shelter or foster care forever and no one gives a rat's patoot. Anyway,I meant well.Who needs to give a dog a safe,caring home anyway?"

This email came from a very good friend of mine who makes a very good salary, takes his dog everyday, 365 days a year to an offleash park for at least an hour, is crazy about keeping his dog healthy - he lives for his dog - so he is the best kind of dog owner. And he is being completely frustrated by the shelter system. And he is not alone.

Adoption policies in rescue - needs to be as good and easy as it's fund raising is. That has to be another key to a no-kill society - or people like my good friend WILL go to a pet store. And he KNOWS where pet store dogs come from.

So as the NS SPCA does amazing things with their strategic plans - I really hope they don't forget about the front lines - and the people adopting the animals - and the day to day, moment to moment stuff. Because that is just as important.

And in the long run - that is going to be the thing that is really going to change the public's perception in a positive way - in my opinion, for what it's worth, and I know that is not much.

Also today, the good ladies from the Antigonish branch of the SPCA acknowledged all the hard work that volunteer Maureen Tate does for the SPCA, and particularly does for their branch and they gave her a really nice certificate and a REALLY nice wool blanket that's made a company local to their area. I totally lust after those blankets - and they know it! haha!

The inscription on Maureen's certificate says "unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls" - David Thomas

Here are my reports from past AGM's if you care to click back through time -

2009 AGM

2008 AGM - in which everything got turned upside down and inside out

2007 SPCA AGM - in which Pam Keddy and Judith Gass grab hold of the reins and refuse to let go

2006 AGM - Lisa Murphy was president for a year and we thought everything was going to be okay again

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's part of the sentencing procedure for Brindi

Note - I have edited this post on April 23, 2010 to add some new material and talk about a comment that dog trainer Ted Efthymiadis added to this post on April 22nd, 2010.

I'm not sure how to write this blog post. I'm struggling with it a bit. A lot happened today at the sentencing segment of Brindi's owners trial.

It focused on the assessment that was to be done by an animal behaviourist. That "animal behaviourist" turned out to be a man by the name of Ted Efthymiadis - and I have to say, the crown prosecutor pretty much ate him alive.

The Crown Prosecutor questioned his credentials, and with good reason. It turns out Mr. Efthymiadis has only been working full time as a dog trainer for 2 months, has gotten the bulk of his dog training via the internet, and the type of training that he specializes in - is - there's no other word for it - is probably the most aversive kind of training that you can subject a dog to.

Ted Efthymiadis and his ilk train dogs with the use of "e-collars", or "shock collars" - or what they call - "remote collars".

Mr. Efthymiadis has studied via the internet with Tarheel Canine Training, Inc., located in Sanford NC, a full service training kennel owned by Jerry Bradshaw, Master Trainer, National K-9 Sport Competitor and specialists in behavior problem solutions.

On the Tarheel website there's an article about shock collars at

The first time I heard about Mr. Efthymiadis was when I was googling "protection dog in Nova Scotia". There had been an episode about protection dogs on the "Steven Seagal Show" - and it freaked me out that someone could pay $45,000 for a dog - and so I was just googling around to see if anyone trained protection dogs in Nova Scotia - and this Ted guy came up, along with a few other trainers - at that time he had his own website - but I see now that he's working for a guy in PEI - a guy named Duke Ferguson who has a company called "Unleashed Potential" - which is actually over in Prince Edward Island.

When I was googling protection dogs, I also saw Duke Ferguson's website, and I found an article that talked about "shock collars" - it's an article called "Ruger's first time on a "remote collar" - happy and obedient"

But Ted's website, when he had it up, said he followed the following services -

*Private in-home consultations.
*Life-time training programs
*Drug detection services
*Behavioral issues
*Protection training
*Board and train

As of today, he still has a You Tube Channel up with a couple video's up under his "Quality k9" moniker - and you can see his training technique a little bit.

Today in court Ted talked about the fact that if he got Brindi to train he would take her for 3 weeks into what he called his "board and train" program - whereby Brindi would live with him for 3 weeks and train with him intensively, and at the end Francesca would receive back a dog that was trained, and she would have to do maintenance and follow-up work with Brindi.

As well - his letter was also brought up - in which he guaranteed that he could have Brindi completely rehabilitated within 3 months - and he was forced to back off on that a little bit.

Another very troubling thing that happened today in my opinion was the fact that under oath he said that in his assessment - Brindi didn't show any aggression at all during his assessment of her - although he acknowledged that the assessment took place away from the place where she had shown all of her prior aggression episodes that had prompted the calls to Animal Control - but yet, for some reason (which is ridiculous to me) he still believes that Brindi should be muzzled in public for the rest of her life if she's allowed to live.

If in his assessment he could not find any aggression in her - why would he still say she should always be muzzled? That baffles me. He thinks she can be a normal dog - why would a normal dog need to be muzzled? That is not good advice in my opinion. A dog shouldn't have to be muzzled unnecessarily just because someone says so. That's silly.

I also found some of the the things he said about his assessment to be pretty interesting too - but you'll have to talk to me personally to find out about that. Like when is a dog peeing showing that they are relaxed, or when it is showing that they are marking - you tell me.

And does belonging to the CAPPDT make a certified animal behaviourist? If that's the case - then did you all know that I AM A CERTIFIED ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST TOO! Yea! And I have been for the last 2 years! Yea!

And if you are going to call belonging to that organization makes you a certified animal behaviourist - when you are on the stand at a court proceeding for which a dog's life is in the balance - you really should get the intitials for that organization memorized correctly.

I know I'm getting a bit ridiculous there - so I'm going to get serious again.

Because I still think that Francesca - should get Brindi back. Although after today, I don't know whether she will.

But if she does, I am seriously worried about what's going to happen if she undergoes a training protocol that is going to include strong aversives like a shock collar. Previous to today, I knew that Ted Efthymiadis was a trainer who used that method of training, I just didn't know how little actual hands-on training he actually had. And that worries me, because Brindi's rehabilitation is depending on this man (supposedly) - and he seems to be willing to stake his career on the successful rehabilitation of Brindi - and if Brindi fails and attacks another dog - I don't imagine that Francesca Rogier will be blaming herself - she'll be very glad to blame it on Mr. Efthymiadis.

And is a reactive, long-kenneled dog like Brindi going to respond well to such a highly-aversive training regimen like what Mr. Efthymiadis has planned for her.

I don't know. But I am worried. Maybe his wish for Brindi to be muzzled for the rest of her life is being asked for a reason.

I wonder how much he charges per hour. I should find out, and then charge $10 less an hour myself, because after all - I guess I am now a certified animal behaviourist. You can email me at ...

You can watch CTV's news online at!/video/video.php?v=387753754025&ref=mf

and the CBC have a good article online at

April 23rd, 2010 - since I wrote the above post - comments have been added to this post - from "Nobody Important" - of whom I have written about on this blog previously - you can read that post at if you want to read who the author "Nobody important" is - and that person says in the comments -

"nobody ever said that Ted was an animal behaviourist. The judge was never told he was, nor did she require him to be" and then Ted himself says - "when did I say I was a dog behaviorist?"

So I went back into my 20,000 or so emails and had a look around. It was April 2009 that Ted presented himself to Francesca saying that he wanted to help her train Brindi. At first he was her "anonymous" benefactor - she was saying at the time on Facebook and other places that she has a "trainer" will to help her, but she wouldn't say who he was - and then in July, 2009 - Jennifer Richardson, one of Francesca Rogier's closest "Brindi's Angels" had a letter to the editor published in the Chronicle Herald - and it read:

Send Brindi home
Brindi, the dog, has now been imprisoned unjustly by HRM for a year. A year in a kennel that is meant for short term stays! I am sure the SPCA is doing their best, but Brindi should at the very least be moved to a more accommodating kennel, where she can be walked!

Her current situation is inhumane!

This is not about public safety; this is about HRM trying to save face. They have the power to end this mess. Brindi is not a dangerous dog! This was proven when the Supreme Court quashed the euthanization order, only to have HRM charge her owner, Francesca Rogier, at literally the last hour of the six-month statute of limitations.
To re-home Brindi would mean declaring her not dangerous. The city will not agree to this, because then they would have to drop their charges. They want to kill Brindi; Brindi is not human aggressive (as stated by a professional assessment) and has never seriously injured any dog. Yes, she has issues with other dogs near her property and these issues will be worked on. Ms. Rogier has a certified dog behaviourist/trainer on board to help.
Our animal control system is in trouble. Ms. Rogier has been denied due process. It
horrifies me that I even have to write this letter, as it is all so unbelievable! Ms. Rogier and Brindi are being treated worse than criminals.

I am concerned for the welfare of my own dog under bylaw A-300. The way it’s written, if my dog "appears" to be threatening to someone, they can come and take my dog and kill her! This would all be decided by people who have little to no experience in animal behaviour! We should all fear for our dogs in HRM.
To the HRM councillors, please stop sweeping this under the rug! Hiring pricey outside lawyers to prosecute a bylaw infraction does not sit well with me as a taxpayer, either.

Even the animal control in Calgary, which you are trying to model, is not pleased with the handling of this case.

Stop the injustice and send Brindi home where she belongs!

Jennifer Richardson, Dartmouth

So there is the smoking gun, if you will. At the time - when this letter to the editor came out - I emailed Jenn and asked her what the name was of the "certified dog behaviourist/trainer" that they had found who was willing to work with Brindi, and she emailed me back and said it was up to Francesca to say who it was, not her - so I never found out who the trainer was.

So there is the proof that they were calling him a behaviourist. It really doesn't get any plainer, or public than that - a letter to the editor of the Chronicle Herald - I could probably find more incidents, but really I don't have that much interest.

So - on to Mr. Efthymiadis comment from last night in which he said - "Hey, I'd like to start by thanking you for taking the time to post this info. I have already seen plenty of business come in from the interview on the news, newspaper, and now your blog."

That's another couple sentences where something couldn't have been said any plainer. It looks like Ted may be in this just for the money. "He's already seen plenty of new business come in from all the media he's gotten because of the Brindi story". Well - isn't that just fantastic? I guess his motives are showing.

He should be careful, because if he's not 100% successful in rehabilitating Brindi - there could be problems. When I was going through my emails yesterday - I found an unpublished comment from Francesca that said 1,000 words in a lot less than that, and it went like this -

"She did remarkably well, considering her long stay in a shelter. But dogs, like horses, sometimes exhibit unexpected and out of character behaviors in certain circumstances, and Heather, NOBODY knew about these "issues" until well after obedience class. The advice I got to deal with it was sadly not appropriate. I didn't get a chance to do more."

The important line in that paragraph is the sentence I highlighted - "The advice I got to deal with it was sadly not appropriate" - meaning that she took no responsiblity for the bad behavior of her dog, and that the bad behaviour of her dog was all her dog trainers fault. So if anyone is to blame for Brindi's troubles - it is Bob Ottenbrite according to Francesca.

That's why I think any dog trainer who takes Francesca on has to be really careful - they have to really believe in their system of training - because if it doesn't work - and something happens to Brindi - Brindi's owner isn't going to be blaming herself - she's going to be blaming the training system that was used on Brindi - that's also why I am blown away by the claim that Bob Ottenbrite would love to work with Francesca and Brindi when they are together again. If I was him I'd be taking a vacationo in Siberia rather than have anything to do with her. But that's just me - and my opinion - and people are allowed to have their own opinions.

One last thing about the comments left on this post - from the "Noboby Important" person again - saying that Ted's certification is from CAPDT - like as if there is an organization with that acronymn that's separate from CAPPDT - guess what - there's not. There is no CAPDT in Canada. There is only a CAPPDT - and both me and Ted belong to it.

And in April 2009 - I think it was very disingenuous of Ted Efthymiadis to write a letter to the prosecution in Brindi's case and say - "I studied professional obedience & behavior with Tarheel K9 (,
which is located in Sanford North Carolina"

He said that 12 months ago - and he said in court that -
1. He's only been studying for less than 2 years;
2. He's never actually been to North Carolina - that all his classes were online.
Using the past tense gives an indication that all his studies are done, that he's fully trained, and that he has some kind of certification. He also said in the letter that "My dog training days go back four years, I starting specializing in dog obedience." Either he was lying under oath, or he was lying in this letter. But somewhere he's off by 3 years in his dog training days. That's not good when you're trying to look credible.

Here is the letter Ted wrote to Joshua J. Judah, Municipal Solicitor - who in April, 2009 was prosecuting the Brindi case.

April 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Judah:

Today I am writing with a plea for restoration for a dog named Brindi. My name is Ted Efthymiadis, I am a professional dog trainer located in Halifax Nova Scotia. I studied professional obedience & behavior with Tarheel K9 (, which is located in Sanford North Carolina. Tarheel K9 specializes in teaching dog trainers the skills to train dog obedience, dog behavior, drug detection, search and rescue, dog behavior modification, police protection among others. My dog training days go back four years, I starting specializing in dog obedience. My love for dogs soon evolved to training protection, behavior modification and drug detection. I now specialize in training with dominant and aggressive dogs. The (CAPPDT), Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers has certified me as a professional in good standing.

Many months ago, I heard of Brindi's case in the newspaper. In all honestly, I was shocked that this dog had not been release within a month of being detained. From what I have heard and read of Brindi, I am absolutely confident this dog is able to be rehabilitated within 3 months or less, ultimately I believe this dog is capable of being a good member in her community. I have personally worked with dogs much more aggressive than Brindi, with great success. My business generally caters to larger aggressive dogs like Boxers, Cane Corsos, German Shepherds and Pit Bull's. On a scale of 1/10, Brindi's case at most would be a 5/10.

I have had personal contact with Brindi's owner at length and I am confident in her willingness to change the way she handles her dog. She seems very interested in learning how to properly deal with her dog and trusts my professional opinion in dealing with dogs of all shapes and sizes. Because I believe so dearly that this dog should not be held any longer, I support her return to her owner, and am willing to offer, and monitor to the fullest extent of my ability, a full rehabilitation program for this dog and owner free of charge.

Best Regards,

Ted Efthymiadis

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't hold your breath for closure

Tomorrow is another - and supposedly the last - court date for Brindi, and her owner Francesca Rogier.

I'm not holding my breath that we'll be getting any closure on the story. I think that probably both sides will give their reasons why Brindi should be put down (the prosecutions side) - which isn't dealing with the root of the problem anyway, because the real problem - the owner, can just go out and get another dog, not train contain and socialize it properly and cause it to be a danger to society and we'll be in the same place at another time - and the other side - the defendent - Francesca Rogier - will give her reasons why Brindi should live - thereby looking like the good guy in the case.

And because the Judge will want to make the right decision - she will probably reserve her decision - meaning she will not make any decisions tomorrow - so we'll still be waiting for a decision on the case past tomorrow - so there will be no closure tomorrow.

Which really bothers me - because I personally want this whole debacle to be over.

I am really sick and tired of all the bashing of local institutions and people that is going on in the name of Francesca Rogier and Brindi that is going on. Sick and tired of it. So angry that I could spit.

The organization "Canada my let's Adopt" is one of those organizations that has got me particularly worked up tonight. They have slandered the Nova Scotia SPCA for awhile - but their post today is just above and beyond what any kind of post that an actual responsible organization would write - I am just speechless.

They put out a blog post with really inflammatory photos of animals suffering and talk about high euthanasia rates - and then put a link to the Nova Scotia SPCA's adoption and euthanasia statistics for 2009 - and had the gall to say that they think that their "kill" statistics seemed high.

This is the kind of writing that supporters of Francesca Rogier have been writing for the past 21 months - and I am so sick and tired of it I could scream.

Do I want Brindi to die in order for it to stop? Of course not, that would be ridiculous - but I think that Francesca Rogier could ask these organizations and individuals to stop slandering the area that she chose to move to - because we certainly did not ask to be treated this way.

There's another blog that's written a lot of horrible trash because of this case - the "Titanic Bugle" - saying things like "I hope anyone outside of Nova Scotia reading this gets an idea of the kind of people running the place up there so that you can plan your next holiday a long ways away from it."

Although the guy is a total nutbar - here is what he says about Canadian seal hunters - "In a large sense, the sealers themselves should be forgiven. They are uneducated, unsophisticated men who live lonely, desperate, frighteningly boring lives, even when surrounded by their families. They know no god but envy and greed. Their only hope in life is in the lottery on which many of them waste away their pay, that is, what is left of their pay after they spend it on spirits and pornographic magazines"

So long story short - at this point I don't give a flying fuck where Brindi goes - I just want the thing to end. PLEASE, someone - make a decision and end the torture so that all this garbage will stop and the arseholes will move on to new more interesting targets - like actual animal abusers, instead of humane organizations that are actually out there saving lives and helping animals. For the love of God, people...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You'd think it was me who made this video!

Oh my Dog the video below is funny. If it wasn't a man with a very strong southern drawl, and if the dog wasn't a boxer - you'd think it was me who made this video - everything else is the same. It's HILARIOUS.

Enjoy! And if you aren't on Facebook - this is the kind of thing that pops up there. You should join - you'll see funny shit like this there. It's way worth it.

Local Firefighters win bid to expose anonymous posters

vAssholes of the world, beware - being anonymous won't cover your ass anymore, unless you're really smart.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled that the Coast Magazine and Google must cough up the email and IP addresses of anonymous posters who said potentially defamatory comments on a Coast Magazine article that were racist in nature.

I say - more power to them, as a person who's been the subject of defamatory comments spread on numerous places across the internet. When people post anonymously - they think they can get away with anything - that's why I finally stopped allowing anonymous comments on this blog a few weeks ago and it's the best thing I ever did. I used to have to read so many horrible comments - and none of them ever made it to the blog, but I still had to read them all and delete them - but now none of them ever get typed out because the people know that somewhere - an email address has to be attached to them.

IP address tracking is useless - because you can hide your IP address really easily if you have any kind of computer knowledge - and if you're going to be seriously nasty - I've found that when I've gotten my nastiest threats on this blog - almost all of them have used anonymous IP addresses to make them with - so probably the firefighter group will find that also. They may come up with dead ends anyway.

I don't know where anonymous commenting came from anyway - down in the States, they are thinking about stopping it altogether, and there's even a case of a Judge who's been caught making over 80 anonymous comments on newspaper articles about cases that she's presided over - causing HUGE ethical problems, as you can imagine.

I hope the firefighters get some closure. Anonymous commenters are nothing but cowards. If you can't put your name behind what you're saying, then shut your fan-damn mouth.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homeward City Pound Does WHAT?

So I found out something new at last night's meeting with Jerry Blumenthal. Homeward City Pound is going to help keep offleash parks open. Hope Swinamer is such a friend to animals, she does such great things with animals, that she is going to keep all offleash parks open. That's what Jerry Blumenthal told us. You can listen to is in the below video -

Can you believe it? That's one of the reasons why the City gave them the pound contract. From my mouth to God, it's the truth. If I didn't have it on tape, I wouldn't be telling you this, but I do.

Isn't that wonderful? I tell you, this Hope Swinamer person must sent straight down from heaven, isn't she? That's what HRM Council must think. What evil devils the City Council must obviously think the SPCA is. This is the raw text of what Mr. Blumenthal said about the SPCA at last night's meeting:

"Get me a petition, keep the park clean, Dawn is in touch with Mike Melnick, I'm in touch with Mike Melnick all the time. We have new people who have taken away, that took, the uh animals away from the SPCA, because they werent't doing a decent job, we've got a new company - (yeah, but they have nothing to do, all they are doing is sheltering the animals, they're not, they have nothing to do with uh) - they can help she's a lady who knows a lot of people with animals how they take care of animals, that's why the SPCA lost the contract (but all they're doing is sheltering the animals, they have nothing to do with animal control) - but bylaw will work with them, before it works with the SPCA (uh huh) anyway I don't want to get into that part of it but I just wanted to tell you that I'll work as hard as I can....."

(The person in brackets is me talking)

"They weren't doing a decent job" - of what? What does that have to do with last night's meeting where we were talking about keeping Seaview Park open?

How could the NS SPCA help keep Seaview Park open? And how can Homeward Bound City Pound NOW help us keep Seaview Park open?

This is the kind of misinformation, bad information, no information, un-education - (in my opinion) - that will keep HRM City Council looking like they absolutely do not know what they are talking about, because they do not know what they are talking about, and they obviously do not listen to anything when they are at their meetings, or do not go to meetings - or are just plain stupid.

It's no wonder that the NS SPCA finds it impossible to get a fair shake with the public when it comes to education about their what their mandate is when they've got people in "authority" saying things like this about them.

I mean, don't they even read the RFP's that they spend millions of dollars on that they pass at Council meetings? I certainly do, and I'm not even an elected Councillor.

You can read it for yourself here -

If you care that your own Councillor is properly educated about animal issues - I suggest you personally email them and ask them a couple of pointed questions - ie, what they believe the mandate of the pound is, what they understand the mandate of the SPCA is, and what Animal Control is contracted to do. And if you get an answer back - email me their answer. I'd love to hear what their response is. It'll probably be a complete hoot.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meeting of Jerry Blumenthal and dog owners from Seaview Park tonight

Tonight city councillor Jerry Blumenthal and concerned dog owners who go regularly to Seaview Park in the northend of Halifax met at a church on Robie Street in Halifax.

They met to talk about the fact that Mr. Blumenthal had hinted that there was a possibility that Seaview Park might be closed down to dogs - by whom? He couldn't say, Why? Dog poop, of course.

The people at the meeting tonight were not people who have taken part in any of the off-leash implementation strategy sessions over the last few years - so they weren't familiar with any of those trials and tribulations, which was interesting to me. It was like starting from scratch in a sense - all they want is a place they can take their dogs to where they can go off leash - which is all any dog owner wants.

But this group was interesting, because they are willing to organize. They seemed willing to form an organization, do the work, and make a petition so that Mr. Blumenthal can give it to Council.

By the end of the meeting what the conclusion they had come to was this - they want a fenced in area that they can take their dogs to - and Seaview Park is the area they want - and Jerry Blumenthal is willing to spend some of his discretionary funds to do that for them - he just needs to get them to give him a signed petition by many hundreds of people to give to Council.

And this City will have a completely fenced in dog park. For dogs and their owners.

Can you believe this? Robert Drive Dog Park people, can you believe this?

This was decided in one meeting with a City Councillor. I hope this little group realizes the amount of dog owners in this city who want a completely fenced in dog park. Because....I have just let the cat out of the bag - uh, you can have one at Seaview Park if you sign the petition that they are setting up at ...

And - please, spread the word. A lot of people want a fenced in dog park - so we want a lot of signatures, please.


If you care to read any of my posts about off-leash stuff - there's 72 of them, but I've got a category for them, which you'll find on the side bar - or you can click - here - and you can get to them that way.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Amazing Video from Dogs Deserve Better

This beautiful video has come out from Dogs Deserve Better - it's a must watch. It was made by someone who has a Youtube channel called "Snakehaven" - and a separate website called Paws4Change - his or her videos, and the website are all beautiful and thought provoking - they're definitely worth clicking through.

With all the negative garbage that's out there in animal advocacy - it's so nice to see some of these videos for a change.


Friday, April 9, 2010

A great new blog - and Care Bear's life did not go unnoticed

I found out about a great new blog today. It's from the resident cat Hissy Elliott, a three-year-old feline living at the Oromocto SPCA - with help from the shelter`s manager Tracy Marcotullio. It's a shelter I've talked about on this blog before because they're a very busy shelter, and have done some good things in the past - and also because they were the shelter that took in this little dog - who's name at one time was Ronald, but when he went to his forever home - became "Care Bear".

The blog looks great - and will be a good one to read regularly, because I'm sure that "Hissy Elliott" will have lots of fun things for us to read and keep track of - so make sure you become a follower and check in regularly - congratulations to Tracy for starting it up! Yea! The blog is at

I read there today that Care Bear has passed on - which is sad - he was one of the lone surviving pomeranians who his "owner" - Keith Barton, a pomeranian "breeder" - tried to smash all of his dogs heads in before the SPCA tried to seize them - because he couldn't bear to part with them. He was found not guilty of cruelty - except for Care Bear and a couple others who he didn't manage to actually pummel to death - and was fined for their suffering.
I've talked about the story several times on the blog which I'll link to below at the end of the post - but I'd like to think that this little dog led to new regulations that came into effect this week in New Brunswick - New rules for pet stores, kennels and animal shelters - that Pets will be better protected in New Brunswick thanks to stricter rules proposed by government.

I think that's great, and maybe Care Bear's little life made a difference to the people who saw that he actually did suffer horrible abuse at the hands of his "owner".

Here is an article about the new regulations in New Brunswick -

FREDERICTON (CNB) – Pets will be better protected in New Brunswick thanks to stricter rules proposed by government.

Local Government Minister Chris Collins announced today that the provincial government plans to adopt a new regulation under the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Act which will define specific standards for pet establishments, such as pet stores, animal shelters and kennels, and enable their licensing and inspection.

“This new regulation will fulfill the New Brunswick SPCA’s request for greater enforcement powers and will help them protect animals and reduce the instance of abusive situations such as puppy mills,” said Collins. “The comprehensive standards proposed under this new regulation will make New Brunswick one of the few provinces to oversee pet establishments to such a high degree.”

The changes will apply to both commercial and non-commercial establishments in municipalities and rural areas. Commercial pet operations include kennels and pet stores while non-commercial operations include animal shelters. In addition, owners of more than five dogs, over six months of age, will be required to adhere to nationally established standards of care for those animals.

“We welcome this new regulation that the Government of New Brunswick is putting in place,” said Joy Bacon, president of the New Brunswick SPCA. “It will give the society a broader mandate, permit us to have better oversight of pet stores and kennels, and enable us to prosecute those who willfully neglect their animals.”

Establishments selling animals considered livestock will be exempt from pet licensing requirements as will grooming facilities, training operations, research and educational facilities, veterinary clinics boarding animals for medical reasons and boarding and riding stables for horses. Licenses will not be required for circuses and zoos.

“We value the partnership the provincial government has with the New Brunswick SPCA and will continue to support its delivery of programs relating to animal protection,” said Collins.

Talking about Ronald and the Oromoctor SPCA - "New Brunswick SPCA's and their shelters seem to be doing things right!"

When Keith Barton was having his trial - "the difference between selling your car and setting it on fire"

When Keith Barton was convicted - "a dark day for dog respect in New Brunswick"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Juicy! Salacious! A sign of things to come!

The Courts of Nova Scotia Decision Database publishes every decision brought out by the Courts here in Nova Scotia every day. And today, there is a particularly delectable tidbit there - one decision made on behalf of one Francesca Rogier (Claimant), and Bob Ottenbrite (Defendant) from a small claims court Decision rendered on March 24, 2010.

What can one say about it except to say that perhaps it is a sign of things to come. Once the "Brindi" case is settled for Ms. Rogier - I'd say we can expect more of these types of cases to be rolling through the court system here in Nova Scotia.

A lot of these types of "she or he done me wrong" cases - "defamed" me cases - because part of this small claims court case involved that - this judge threw that part out for Ms. Rogier, unfortunately for her, as I'm sure any more of her litigious attempts - will go in the future.

You can find the court document online in all it'w glory at - that is what the Brindi story has deteriorated to.

The dichotomy about the seal hunt this year from HSUS is disgusting

I got this email today from Rebecca Aldworth - Executive Director with Humane Society International/Canada, titled - "I just saw a baby seal get killed - please help!" - and it's all about how the mean, terrible seal hunters have gone out to start killing 400,000 seal "puppies" that they're allowed to kill because the Canadian government says it's okay to do it, so dog-gone it, they're going to do it.

But HSUS is going to document every one of those puppies that they kill - and they want you the public to give them $1 for every seal in danger of being hunted down this year.

The problem is - today in the Halifax, Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald - there is a news story titled - "Few Sealers Expected to Hunt" - and it says "I’d say about 25 to 30 big boats will go out and they’ll probably bring in 50,000 to 60,000 out of the 335,000 quota," Pinhorn said Wednesday from Conception Bay South, N.L."

hhmmmm. Someone's lying. And I think it's the person who's trying to get money from an unsuspecting public who are looking at photos of little white seals with huge black eyes with long eyelashes.

When will this horror stop?

When will the HSUS stop making millions of dollars off of the back of the sealing industry? When will the public begin to realize that organizations like the HSUS need the sealing industry - and makes millions and millions more dollars off of the sealing industry - than any seal hunter - has EVER made?

It's a disgusting dichotomy - and someone needs to speak up about it. And I don't imagine that it will be someone like Rebecca Aldworth.

If you'd like to read more about this topic - I have a category about the seal industry as it relates to this on this blog - you can find it - here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Things to do coming up

So there's a bunch of stuff coming up that's fun to do, so I'm doing one of my posts putting some of it out there if you're interested in any of it.

A new blog has been started by an old friend of mine named Sandra - her pug Chandler is one of the oldest and biggest stars of Seaview Park in the northend of Halifax - one of the original 2 offleash parks - it appears as if it is in danger of being closed, and the regulars of Seaview have arranged a meeting with Jerry Blumenthal - to talk about the future of the park.

The meeting is going to be:

Date: Monday April 12, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: St Margaret Of Scotland Church Hall 3761 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3K4T3

If you care about off leash exercise - you should go to this meeting - there is strength in numbers - and the regulars of Seaview park need us there. I know I'll be there. Jerry Blumenthal needs to here from responsible dog owners. I know I'd like to have a few words with him, anyway!

I have such a regard for Mr. Blumenthal that he even has his own category on this blog - he has said things in the past that have made me notice that a) he doesn't like pit bull type dogs, and b) he is in favour of passing breed specific legislation - which are both things that make me pay attention to politicians if you know what I mean!

Coming up this weekend is the SPCA's Alley Cat Bowl - this is the 2nd annual bowling tournament - I went to last year's bowling tournament and it was a ton of fun.

This is the trophy that someone made for the highest earning fundraiser - isn't it cute? Last year raised $3,400 - and there were even dogs at the event - so I'm sure this year will be way more fun and do way better - if you like to bowl - you should go!

Speaking about the SPCA - their Annual General Meeting is coming up April 17th - at the Future Inns out in Bayer's Lake, from 9am to 12pm. Anyone can go - they've changed the rules in the last couple of years so that now you don't have to be a member of the Society in order to attend, so even members of the public can attend - so if you'd like to hear what the SPCA has been up to in the last year - you should go!

Sunday April 25th is the next scheduled "Boston Meet" at Shubie Park from 1pm to 2pm at the Shubie ball field. You don't actually have to be a boston terrier to join in - but you do have to be a small dog to live their kind of love. You can find out more details on their facebook group.

Here's something that I can eat to -

Every Wednesday Night Pogue Fado's Going To the Dogs (they love cats, too)

"Grab a friend and drop by the Pogue for Wet Nose Wednesday Night -- Soul Kitchen rocks the stage and all Molson products are just $2.50. The cover you pay on Wednesday goes directly to the SPCA. You'll have an awesome time! Everyone wins!

Wet Nose Wednesday's at Pogue Fado, 1581 Barrington Street, Halifax. Proof that every dog has its day."

As well - starting April 26th there is a monthly fundraiser (last Monday of each month) put on by East Coast Fundraising that raises money for SPCA at the Pogue Fado. It's $10 all you can eat wings (with a beverage purchase). This event also has its own facebook group if you want more information

This sounds interesting for those who find this kind of stuff fun -

Please join us for a special night of MasQ
* in support of *
Ssafe Haven Society for Reptiles and Amphibians

DATE/TIME: Friday, April 16, 2010 9:00pm - 2:00am
LOCATION: Club 1668, located at 1668 Lower
Water Street, Halifax, NS

On behalf of the Ssafe Haven Society for Reptiles and Amphibians, we cordially invite you to join us for an Un-Birthday Party, a special Gala evening hosted by MasQ.
Please help us celebrate with a SILENT AUCTION, a 50/50 DRAW, DRINK SPECIALS, a DJ and DANCING, an INFORMATION BOOTH, PICTURES of the wonderful PETS up FOR

There is a SUGGESTED $5.00 donation at the door. We will also be accepting donations of REPTILE SUPPLIES and FOOD. Your help and support is greatly appreciated!

Dress code is OPTIONAL for this special evening of masquerade. We encourage you to come as your favorite Alice in Wonderland character or perhaps don your loveliest faux snakeskin clothing. You are guaranteed to have an incredibly fun time or...OFF WITH YOUR HEADS!