Thursday, March 28, 2013

Animal Cruelty is firmly on the election's agenda

The need for legislation to protect domestic animals couldn't have been made any clearer than yesterday's news of Gail Benoit's application to the court to continue selling puppies because it's the way that she earns her living.

She has said under oath in court that she has been selling puppies - and this was in 2009 - for more than 16 years at that time, and in that time had sold more than 30,000 puppies.

During that time she has been charged with animal cruelty several times - and in 2009 was finally convicted of it - along with assault, for the 3rd time - which was the thing that got her some jail time.

Obviously education of the public is not working in regards as to what is the best way to buy our companion animals.  Just like educating the public about the fact that it really is in your best interest to wear a seat belt - it isn't until you legislate it - will people start to do it.

People just can't seem to figure out that it's not okay to go to Kijiji and find a picture of a cute puppy - contact the person selling it - sometimes at a hugely inflated price - and then meet them in a neutral location like a parking lot - and then listen to that person give you a sob story about why that puppy looks like it is only hours away from dying - and you give them a bunch of money, take the puppy home - and it dies right in front of you - and there's nothing you can do.

  • We need legislation that doesn't allow people who have been convicted of animal cruelty to buy or sell domestic animals.  Period.
  • We need legislation that limits the amount of time that dogs are tethered - and I am going to write a future post about the specifics of that topic.  We do not need to re-invent the wheel on this - legislation has been passed in lots of areas that has workable and enforceable laws.
  • We need legislation that doesn't allow pet stores to sell domestic animals - unless they are in association with a rescue organization such as is going on currently with so many pet stores currently here in Nova Scotia, which is absolutely awesome.
  • We need legislation that if you are selling domestic animals they must documented veterinary records go with them - so that you know you are getting a healthy animal.
  • We need legislation at the provincial level - ie the Animal Cruelty Act - that makes it illegal for municipalities to enact BSL. 

And from this - Breed Specific Legislation - MUST BE REMOVED from the Muncipal Government Act - right now there is a line in the Municipal Government Act that allows municipalities to enact BSL - and that is so wrong - and it needs to be removed immediately.

It currently says  under the dog bylaw section -
(e) defining fierce or dangerous dogs, including defining them by breed, cross-breed, partial breed or type;

That is BSL - and that needs to be removed.  This has long been a bug-a-boo of mine - and it's time that it was addressed.

If you want to get involved and or be informed - you can join the Facebook group "People for Dogs" - they are leading the thrust to get legislation passed that will help domestic animals.

You can also contact your MLA - and talk to all the people who are running for office in the upcoming elections - the NDP have said in  the Crown Speech this week -

"My government will work to better protect animals and 

stiffen penalties for animal abusers." 

Make the NDP do something about what they said in their crown speech - and have them do something to protect the animals that we all love so much - and also make sure that it becomes a very important election issue later this year when they are all begging for our election votes.

This year we can make a big difference for animals.  Let's make sure we do it.


  1. Joan, I went to the "People for Dogs" FB page but the page there hasn't really got any information, nor any way to "sign up" ... Sybil

  2. In regards to dogs having to have a vet. certificate of health in order to be sold, I think this is great, but it does bring up a concern as to what will happen to those dogs that do not pass that certification. I’m afraid those vulnerable and most in need dogs will be destroyed or discarded. Who will advocate and care for them? What is the criteria for passing the vet exam? I hope the new legislation will not create a new problems. I'm concerned the ill and less than perfect will slip through the cracks.