Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
The first seven years were entirely unremarkable except for the fact that he was tied to a dog house the entire time and only one person cared about him that time - and that person was not his owner. It was a man who came to feed and water him because he knew that his owner didn't feed him regularly - for whatever reason, his owner did not - so he took it on himself.
For seven years it didn't matter the weather he got up every morning and went and fed a dog that wasn't his own. He's a quiet, gentle man and he didn't make a fuss about it. He just knew it was the right thing to do and he did it. And Buddy stayed alive all this time.
This summer a relative of this man had had enough and she contacted the SPCA and I don't know if they sent someone there themselves - or more probably - they sent an RCMP officer out - but because he had food, water and shelter - they said there was nothing they could do - and she started googling tethered dogs and she found me. That was August.
Meanwhile Buddy continued his vigil tied to his dog house.
In November the man's relative contacted me again to give me the address of the dog so that I could send out the letter - and she said that she had contacted the SPCA again. The SPCA was upset to hear that the dog had not been moved to the daughter's house - at this point in November Buddy was living at an address no one was living at - he was living at an abandoned house - his ownwer had moved in with his daughter - so not only was he not being fed by his owner - his owner was not even living there anymore!
I guess the SPCA had made contact with the owner when my contact had originally contacted them - but had never followed up on it - but they assured us they were re-opening the file. This is now December 11th.
On December 12th I made contact with the owner's daughter on Facebook - asking her if she'd be willing to sell Buddy to me for $200 - this is a common tactic in rescue when all other avenues have been exhausted in surrendering a dog - offering money for the dog - it's a last ditch effort - and through an intermediary on the evening of December 12th she refused the money - I never did talk to the owner's daughter directly.
December 13th was the day that Buddy died and the day that everything came together - and the day where everyone became involved, and I'll try - from my viewpoint - to explain how everyone got involved.
In the morning I was told that the SPCA and Mounties were involved and that Buddy was going to be free by the end of the day if there was no food or water at his dog house - they WERE going to seize him - IF THERE WAS NO FOOD OR WATER THERE.
So I emailed my contact and said to make sure there was no food or water there - it was such a panic because her relative was so keen to make sure there was always food or water there - but she assured me he would remove it for this day - because this meant the life or death of Buddy.
So we waited with baited breath to see what was going to happen.
And the next email I get is that there was food and water at the dog house - so there was nothing that could be done - the RCMP officer had walked away - and that Buddy had bit the officer. Case closed. Buddy was staying where he was.
I was FURIOUS!
But then I had other news - the daughter had accepted the $200 and we could have Buddy. Nancy Noel at the SPCA had negotiated with the owner's daughter to give us the dog - and she was turning Buddy over to our rescue - which was the best news of all.
So Natalie Morison and her husband Robert went to Buddy and spent 2 hours getting him unattached from his dog house - he gave them kisses, he was a good dog - he was a fearful dog - he was a dog who'd never been exposed to humans - he was a dog (unknown to us) who was in pain - he was a dog who'd never been inside - and they took him back to the Lillion Albion Shelter in Amherst to give him vaccinations and prepare him for me to go pick him up.
They had to sedate him to have a vet look at him because he was attempting to bite them so much -he'd never been handled in life before - and when they did, they found a large cancerous tumour down by his penis - it had ruptured and it was very obvious that he'd been a lot of pain for a long time.
Any dog who was a normal dog owner would have noticed it a long time ago - who hasn't scratched their dogs belly? Even dogs that are put outside sometimes? But this dog had never received any love so it was never noticed. So the kindest thing to do was to just let him go. And that's what they did.
So that's the sad 7 year life of Buddy.
Is that cruelty, is that negligence, was that a good life - a life that never once received a kind human hand from his owners - even in death? That someone had to pay the owners $200 in order to give their dog a humane death?
How many times that someone could have helped Buddy - walked away from him? Even on the day of his death - the RCMP officer walked away from him - because he had dirty water, and food that was not eatable - available to him.
Conditions for dogs need to change in this province.
Just because dogs have food, water, and shelter - it's not enough - people who have the power to seize dogs need to have more power to seize - and USE THOSE POWERS - even to seize temporarily to have the dog examined - and then return the dog if he's not actually in distress. Let an external vet make the decision - not the RCMP officer or the SPCA officer - obviously they are doing a really shitty job at the moment.
Don't let Buddy die in vain, because there are SO many more Buddy's out there.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
He lived his life completely alone. His owner had moved away from the house he was living in - moved in with his daughter - so he didn't have anyone living with him at all - no one feeding him or giving him water - kind strangers did that. One man came everyday and fed him for 7 years, no matter what the weather. His owners never did that for him.
And last night Buddy died.
He never experienced what it was like to live inside, to have a dog bed, to eat in a kitchen, to lay on a couch, to hear a kind word, to be inside from the weather.
To have someone care enough to check to see whether he's sick or in pain.
This is a dog in Nova Scotia, Canada under our current legislation.
This dog lived in Jamie Baillie's riding and he has said "we need to work on changes to end cruel tethering"
We need to start holding our legislators to what they say.
To contact Mr. Baillie - go to http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/people/members/jamie_baillie