Thursday, March 20, 2014

No bullshit - the Draft Standards of Care for Cats and Dogs in Nova Scotia

I'm a little bit angry about the things that other animal advocates have been saying about the Draft Standards of Care for Cats and Dogs that the Nova Scotia government has proposed in the last couple weeks saying things like "There are still major gaps in the proposed draft" and "how are vet certificates going to stop convicted animal abusers" - and then outright lies like "no provisions to get off his or chain nor the opportunity for socialization or exercise" - these statements are really grinding my gears.

It's inflammatory - and they are posting it in pictures as all caps and giving no alternatives or answers and it's really bothering me.

What do I think about about the Draft Standards of Care for Cats and Dogs in Nova Scotia? I think it's a start, and I don't think what's written now is what it's going to look like at the end - I think the 12 hour tethering thing is going to quietly disappear because there's no way it can possibly be enforced. The NS SPCA is only open 8 hours a day - so how can one of their officer sit in their car and see whether or not a dog is kept out for 12 hours? There's no way.

The way it's going to look is really going to depend on how many people fill out the questionnaire that's available on the government's website at -

The more people who tell the government what they think should be there - the more they will listen.

What do I think should be there?

I think that instead of a 12 hour tethering limit - it should be tied to weather conditions - if it's -15 - that's too cold and the dog should be inside - if it's +25 - that's too hot - then when the officer shows up and the dog is tied out - they can issue a ticket or seize the dog. It's much easier than fighting with owner and proving whether the dog has been out for 12 hours or not.

We cannot stop people from chaining their dogs out - but we can improve the conditions that they are tied out in - and that's what the government is trying to do - to put tools in the people's hands that go to visit these dogs - and that's what we asked for.

There's also other things in the draft standards that are unrelated that are good - dogs can't go in the back of open trucks anymore - do we want to throw that away?

Dogs have to be groomed properly so that they can be healthy and move properly - whether they're chained, or not chained - or wherever they live - do we want to throw that away? How many dogs have we seen in our travels who are just a mess - who have never been groomed - that's just as much abuse as any other kind of abuse.

Every animal sold in Nova Scotia has to come with a certificate from a vet - and this will include rescues and shelters - this is not a bad thing - there are some rescues and shelters that are as shady as back yard breeders - so it's good that every animal that changes hands now in Nova Scotia will need to see a vet before that happens - do we want to throw that away?

The Draft Standards are at - read them from the point of view of an animal that's suffering - and take away the 12 hour tethering section - and leave everything else in - it's not such a bad document if you look at it that way.

I personally like it. And I am the furthest thing from a government apologist. I am a person who wants to give tools to the people who need it. And I think this document does. If they are able to use this document literally - and I hope they do - then I think this is a good thing. And I think other people should too.

But have your say - and fill out the quesitonnaire - because now is when you're going to have your only say - and please - be polite.

You're doing it for dogs and cats who have no voice whatsoever - dogs like Scotty - who is pretty cute - but for 8 years he was chained and people thought he was quite worthless.


  1. I agree with you Joan, the draft standards are a good start. I do think the 12 hour tether needs some revision and more thought. One thing that is not there that I feel is vital, is restrictions on how long a dog can be crated. Just the other day I talked to a woman whose son keeps his Boxers crated from 7am to 6pm and then crates them again through the night. One dog has hives and they can't figure out why. I told her's stress and unhappiness. You can't have a dog living in a box that many hrs a day! I'll be giving my 2 cents worth for sure. I appreciate the opportunity to do so.

  2. I agree. Now that the NS government has taken steps to address these issues, it is not the time to alienate them or encourage people to alienate them. It is an opportune time to work with them. I have seen this confrontational approach time and time again with not only the government but with fellow animal advocates and it just doesn't work. I would hope that the people who know the most about these laws would be the ones stepping up and attempting to work with not only the government but with others. This is a great read and I agree with you wholeheartedly.