Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Little Rescue that Could

I love February. I know it can be cold and I truly doubt that this weekend's weather was the last storm of the season. Unlike Europe, we are still a country mile from anything remotely resembling the first signs of spring.
Or are we? In spite of the new blanket of snow, the first little hints are all around us. The "February Birds" .... the juncos and all the lovely varieties of grosbeaks and finches ... are starting to find their way back out of the deep woods and out to the bird feeders. Seed orders are starting to be pared down to something more sensible.... what we used to refer to in the military as a 'more achievable objective'. Best of all, instead of full dark, we can savour the prettiest twilights of the year now during our after supper strolls.
If you really want to drive the cold winter away and see the promise of something better, give yourself a treat and visit the new P.E.T. PROJECTS website. These people understand that there is no one single magic solution that will make a better world for the animals.
Look at their front door! To start with ... adoption is only PART of these folks are offering. Their resource center definitely raises the bar. As well as offering information and suggestions, these folks are also:
  • asking people to report a cat colony because Pet Projects does TNR
  • offering spay neuter subsidies .... visitors can apply online
  • providing emergency vet care subsidies ... once again with an online application
  • offering emergency foster care ... once again with an online form
  • running a Roof over Rover program to try to help the dogs living outside in their area
  • offering to partner with pet owners to rehome chained dogs
  • willing to come talk about advocacy issues or humane education to any and all interested groups

If adopters can't find the pet of their dreams in their virtual adoption room , then there is a PET Match service that is offered on the site.

Like any other rescue group, these folks are powered by volunteer love ... unlike many others, they are upfront and specific about the ways anyone can help. Their volunteer positions are detailed enough to include the time commitment expected .... with a wide range from an hour a month and upwards for interested applicants to pick from.

When my daughter was a little girl, I used to read her a classic old children's story about a stranded train that was looking for an engine to haul it up over the mountain. After all the big shiny strong ones refused, a little engine said that she would give it a try .... chugging up with all her might while chanting ' I think I can, I think I can, I think I can .... "

On the way back down the mountain, she proudly chanted " I thought I could..".

Not unlike P.E.T. PROJECTS .... who 'think they can' keep the numbers of homeless pets down by helping pet owners keep the pets that they love.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New SPCANS Strategic Plan

From the SPCANS web page tonight

Nova Scotia SPCA Strategic Plan 2010 - 1012


Nova Scotia is a no-kill province and a safe place for all
animals with zero tolerance for animal cruelty.


The strategic plan sets three to five year high-level goals for the
organization that will be reviewed annually and updated as goals
are reached and new priorities identified.

Strategic Goals

The strategic goals have been grouped into six themes that align
with the operational and Board level functions of the organization.
Each theme area will be supported with an action plan that will identify the specific objectives and strategies to reach our goals.


  • To establish, collectively with our branches, a commonset of policies, standards and best practices that support our strategic goals while allowing flexibility in recognition of the unique context of each branch and community.
  • For the provincial Society to provide increased support and direction to its branches in support of our shared strategic goals.
  • To have a stable financial base that supports all our desired initiatives.
    To incorporate risk management and succession planning into Board activities.
  • To invest in our employees through professional development and communication.
  • To attract and retain talented volunteers and employees committed to our vision.
  • To implement a stream-lined provincial Board structure that reflects and supports the strategic goals of the organization.

2. Animal Care

  • To establish Nova Scotia as a no-kill province through implementation of the programs and strategies of the no-kill equation.* To work towards this goal, the target is to:
    - For branches with a live release rate for cats of less than 90% in 2009, increase live release rates for cats by 15% per year until 90% is achieved
    - For branches with a live release rate for dogs of less than 90% in 2009, increase live release rates for dogs by 10% per year until 90% is achieved
  • To provide first-class care for animals in our control through implementation of provincial standards and best practices.
  • To lead and facilitate community support systems to help keep animals in their homes and improve outcomes for stray and feral cats.
  • To adopt a consistent province-wide approach to highvolume, low-cost spay/neuter programs for owned animals and Trap-Neuter-Return programs for feral cats to ensure consistent access throughout Nova Scotia.
    See end of plan for the complete No-Kill Equation.

3. Investigations

  • To operate a respected system for responding to animal cruelty and fulfilling our mandate as defined in the new Animal Protection Act and associated regulations.
  • To improve the public perception of the SPCA as a professional animal cruelty investigation agency.
  • To work closely with the provincial government to develop regulations to support the Animal Protection Act.
  • To implement standards and protocols to support professional and timely investigation of animal cruelty and facilitate communication with local branches.
  • To increase capacity through recruitment and training of paid and volunteer Special Constables.

4. Marketing

  • To create and implement a comprehensive communications, marketing and media plan that supports a provincially consistent SPCA approach and brand.

5. Public Awareness and Advocacy

  • To become the most credible source of information on companion animal welfare in Nova Scotia.
  • To engage all levels of government to support creation of a safe haven for animals in this province; in particular, to engage municipal governments to increase support for animal care initiatives in communities across Nova Scotia.
  • To grow our network of volunteers, donors and adopters through increased community engagement and strong, consistent public relations.

6. Fund Development

  • Actively identify and expand SPCA friend base.
  • To turn SPCA friends into SPCA donors by expanding and enhancing donor stewardship activities.
  • To take a provincial, integrated approach to fundraising to raise our profile through concentrated public awareness and promotional strategies that benefit the branches and provincial Society.
  • To regularly review fundraising initiatives to refine the focus of activities based on overall performance.

The No Kill Equation
Feral cat TNR program
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs improve animal welfare, reduce death rates,
and meet obligations to public health.
High-volume, low-cost spay/neuter program
Low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter services will quickly lead to fewer animals
entering the SPCA system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving
Coordination with rescue groups
Transferring animals to rescue groups frees up scarce cage and kennel space,
reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning and killing, and improves a community’s rate of lifesaving. In only rare circumstances should a rescue group be denied an animal.
Foster care program
Volunteer foster care is a low (or no) cost way to increase animal care capacity,
improve public relations, increase the SPCA’s public image, and rehabilitate sick,
injured or behaviourally challenged animals.
Comprehensive adoption programs
Lifesaving is a direct function of policies and practice. Comprehensive adoption
programs include public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing.
Pet retention programs
Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping
people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees the SPCA as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier the job will be.
Medical and behavioural rehabilitation
In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all saveable animals, SPCAs need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned or traumatized.
Public relations/community involvement
Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering
with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the SPCA’s pubic
exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of all a SPCA’s activities and their success. To do all these things well, the SPCA must be in the public eye.
Coordinated volunteer program
Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful no-kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers make the difference between success and failure.
Pro-active owner redemptions
One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in most animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Shifting from a passive to a more proactive approach has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.
A compassionate shelter director/manager
The final element of the no-kill equation is the most important of all, without which all of the other elements are thwarted – a hard-working, compassionate shelter director or manager not content to continue killing while regurgitating tired clichés or hiding behind the myth of “too many animals, not enough homes.”

The original document can be found at Downlaod Strategic Plan 2010-2012, btw.
Well then .... this isn't the kind of thing that was whipped up in the last week. The fact that there has been a new strategic plan in the works hasn't exactly been a secret, eh?
Although, it IS particularly good timing for the society to be able to move forward with this plan instead of dwelling on Metro's loss of the sheltering contract.
Does this mean that everything has changed overnight? Nope. But this is a plan that has been approved at a well attended board meeting ( although as of this writing I am depending on the word of someone I trust as the online minutes from that meeting are not on the site)
I've always marched to my own beat and in keeping with that have no intention of jumping on board the bandwagon of celebration that Metro lost the contract. If it had happened a couple of years ago, back when everything was veiled in secrecy ... including the killing ... I would have been blowing my horn along with the rest of them.
But there is a part of me that thinks it is colossally unfair for them to lose the contract AFTER they have turned so many things around and moved so far in the right direction. And of course, everyone seems to be conveniently forgetting that there is no obligation for an AC pound that has nothing to do with the society to post its statistics. HRM can spin it anyway they want because they are under no obligation to provide stats. ( The subject of what a fuzzy grey area it can be to obtain freedom of information data from a government contractor is a separate topic for another day )
Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. Ronald Reagan

An Ounce of Prevention

It was absolutely beautiful outside when the dogs and I were out for our last stroll just now ... one of those rare winter nights where it was warm enough to really enjoy the clear night sky. We're still a few days away from the full moon, so even without my trifocals, the stars were easy to see.
For the past few days, I've been working on a new section of the homeless pet site which is focused on the other end of the stick .... how to keep pets from becoming homeless. Some of it came from an awesome Best Friends webinar that I 'attended' recently .... some came from the No Kill Advocacy Center and some came from our own SPCANS education section.
Hand in hand with that, I opened up a new facebook group tonight to serve in the same self help capacity that the Canadian Military Pets Foster Network . The group is called the The NS Good Neighbour Pet Foster Network and will remain public unless problems arise.
There are of course other things that would help keep pets with their families ... but that involves the kind of advocacy that is kept separate and apart from the homeless pet site. Lifetime licenses for microchipped and altered pets. Free rides home for licensed pets. Forgiving fines for first time offenders when unlicensed pets are impounded. Municipally sponsored dog training workshops. Off leash dog parks to encourage socialization.
Like a stuck record I could go on and on .... but tonight I'm going to add a new bit in .... right now the onus is on the pet owner to find a lost pet. Studies have shown that lost pets are often mistaken for strays .... and so they are either adopted by the person who finds them or entered into the animal rescue system.
AC is subject to all the same budgetary concerns as every other government department. On the surface, it might seem like wasting time they do not have to ask around the neighbourhood about 'strays' they pick up before taking them to the shelter....BUT every animal that does not have to be sheltered represents a fiscal saving too, eh?
Studies have shown that is an effective way to reduce intake at AC shelters ... while at the same time providing a service for grieving tax payers and voters who have lost their pet.
And before the keyboards catch on fire, I am not suggesting that every instance of pet abandonment represents a lost pet. Nor am I suggesting that the pet owners who habitually allow their pets to wander should get the 'free ride home'
What time is it? With this .. as with anything else in life ... its always wise to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on Flower,

Good news!!! Flower has been safely returned to the Yarmouth SPCA!

Is anyone looking to adopt an adult female Yorkie?

I received an email this morning about this little lady .... her name is Branwyn, she is three years old, spayed and has been well cared for. Branwyn's owner turned to her vet for help rehoming her because Branwyn does not get along with their other little dog. Because of that, they want her to be the only dog in her new home. For more information, contact Jacqueline at the Richardson Animal Hospital, 865-8110

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making it worth the effort

from this morning's Herald
SPCA may lose city pound contract
Council to hear proposal to give job to operator of a wildlife sanctuary
By PAT LEE Staff Reporter Mon. Jan 25 - 4:53 AM
Municipal staff has recommended that the city award its animal shelter contract to Hope Swinimer's Homeward Bound City Pound. (Ted Pritchard / Staff)
Halifax Regional Municipality may award its animal shelter contract to Hope Swinimer, who runs a well-known Seaforth wildlife sanctuary.
In a report that will go before council Tuesday, municipal staff will recommend that the five-year, $2.4-million contract be awarded to Ms. Swinimer and her new Homeward Bound City Pound.
For about a decade, the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has had the contract to house and care for animals — mostly dogs and cats — that municipal animal services workers impound.
The SPCA looked after the animals at its Dartmouth shelter.
Ms. Swinimer said Sunday that she didn’t want to speak about her proposal in detail before council discusses it.
But she said her plan is to lease a Burnside Park facility to care for the animals.
"Until I get the official word, there are many things that are pending," said Ms. Swinimer, also manager of the Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital. "But our hope would be that it be right in Burnside, which would be very convenient for animal control."
She said she also hopes to operate a backup site in the country for animals that may be at the pound for longer periods.
"This is so the long-term (animals) can have a good quality of life."
She is perhaps best known as the founder of the Hope for Wildlife Society on the Eastern Shore, which rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife and releases them back into the wild.
Ms. Swinimer said it wouldn’t be appropriate to operate a facility for domestic animals alongside one for wildlife.
"It would be a huge conflict to have domestic animals near wildlife, so it’s a totally separate entity."
Ms. Swinimer said she has got employees tapped to work at the new facility once she gets the go-ahead from regional council.
"I want the pound to be a positive experience and not have a negative connotation."
Municipal staff are recommending that Homeward Bound be given a two-year contract, with the option for three one-year extensions.
The existing SPCA contract expires March 31.
The report said staff are not recommending the SPCA because the organization did not "clearly identify" in its tender application the cost of caring for the animals or the revenue generated from adoptions.
The SPCA and Homeward Bound were the only two groups in the running for the contract.
Kristin Williams, executive director of the provincial SPCA, said while her organization wishes Ms. Swinimer well with the new endeavour if she receives the contract, it is a blow to the SPCA.
"It’s disappointing," Ms. Williams said Sunday, "mostly because we feel that we were able to do more than a typical pound can do. The SPCA is not ever considered a pound. We’re first and foremost an animal welfare organization."
Ms. Williams said the animal services contract allowed SPCA workers to help many animals in distress.
"Because of the way we work, we were able to place many, many animals in loving, adoptive homes in an expeditious manner. That’s what we do. It’s what we’re very good at."
In light of the change, she said operations at the metro shelter will have to be re-evaluated, which could result in staff cuts.
‘I want the pound to be a positive experience and not have a negative connotation.’Hope Swinimer Animal activist

According to another article in today's Metro Section of the paper, HRM Council is holding an in camera session today, which as well as putting the official stamp to this will be "considering ways to handle the tens of thousands of feral cats city staff say are loose on metro’s streets"
To be perfectly honest ... for today I am much more concerned about the immediate outcome for the cats. HRM has a chance to lead the way foward for the animals, but judging from the history contained in my friend Joan's blog, there might not be a lot of room for optimism there.
That's not to say that I haven't got compassion for any of the Metro staff who very likely will be personally affected by the 'staff restructuring'. There was a lot of time and energy invested there in making improvements during the last year and a bit ... improvements that at least bettered the lot of animals during that time period.
I am not going to speculate about how this is going to affect Metro ... nor about how the new facility is going to operate. At the end of the day, I do believe this situation offers Metro the incredible opportunity to be able to reinvent itself ... and that is a gift that organizations seldom get.
At the same time, this is a wonderful opportunity for the new contractor .... starting fresh with a new facility with no history to overcome and a clean slate of possiblities.
I hear nothing but great things about the new contractor, but as a sidebar note, I do believe it would have been appropriate for HRM to have extended Metro's contract by three months to allow time for the new facility to set itself up for success, so to speak.
I've lost track of how many emails and comments I've had on the subject.... but 99% of the comments that I receive never get posted because this blog is not about ripping anything down without offering a positive alternative. If ya don't like that .... get your own blog, eh?
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby its not just cold Outside

I'll be the first to admit that the sight of a bald eagle swooping down low is a pretty impressive thing. They are such a majestic bird that its easy to overlook WHY they are circling so slowly ... which is of course that they are on the hunt for their next meal.
Unlike humans, they are not killing for sport ( although the topic of how sporting it is when only one party has the gun is a separate subject for another day). The eagles, along with every other raptor around here, are simply looking to survive.
A bald eagle... or a red tailed hawk ... or a golden eagle .... does not attach a sentimental value to an animal. For them, a rabbit is a cat is a small dog is dinner. Straight, sweet and simple.
Nor is the buffet limited to the little animals. I've lost track of how many times an eagle or hawk has swooped into my bird feeders to scoop up their next meal. This time of year its much worse for the little birds ... not only do they have to battle the cold, but with all the leaves down there is much less natural habitat protection to conceal them from the raptors.
Last year, when I was feeding Dora ... and then Oscar , I took quite a bit of flack from a couple of my neighbours about stray and feral cats. Like me, they are avid birdwatchers. Unlike me, they are convinced that stray and feral cats represent the biggest threat to the wild bird population.
They are not alone in that .... one of the biggest reasons that TNR has had such a hard time getting out of the gate is the misconception that it represents a great risk to the wildlife population. In spite of studies to the contrary ( , educated people still believe they are protecting wildlife by opposing TNR.
I love living in the Valley, but even so I find it has really changed since I first moved here twenty odd years ago. At that time, there were five subdivisions in and around the Greenwood area.... now there are at least twelve. The "big" expansion of the local mall has been overshadowed by the arrival of both Sobey's and the Superstore a few years ago. Not to mention the huge acreages of gravel pits that have been excavated to support all this growth and development.
All those houses and all those streets and even all the new big stores and fast food outlets ... each and every one of them is located on a spot that was either formerly a wildlife habitat and/or traditional farmland ( the subject of how conveniently laws to protect agricultural land from development can be suddenly sidestepped in pursuit of the almighty tax dollar is an interesting subject for a blog with another focus )
But I am wandering afield here. If you are reading this blog, odds are you don't need to be convinced about the merits of TNR. Odds are also pretty good that you also see Nathan Winograd as one of your heroes.
"Some people believe that feral cats lead “short, miserable” lives and that for this reason, TNR programs should not be implemented. On the contrary. As most caregivers can attest, feral cats frequently lead long, healthy lives. And while feral and abandoned cats may face hardships, death is not better than a less-than-perfect life. Many animals, such as raccoons, foxes, flied mice and others, face similar hazards and do not live extraordinarily long lives, yet we would never consider killing them “for their own good.” All animals, including feral cats, deserve compassion and protection for their entire lives—no matter how long that might be." Nathan Winograd
What time is it ... its time to remember that each individual can make a difference for feral cats by contacting their MLA's (Members - Constituencies) and Councillors ( to let them know that there is real support for TNR and that there is opposition to the ineffective concept of catch and kill.
I know I say it all the time ..... that the way ahead is always, always paved by voter feedback ... but that's only because its a true story.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Common sense vs fiscal sense

from the SPCANS website:
SPCA and Animal Service contract set to end March 2010
Halifax, Nova Scotia (January 23, 2010) –The animal control contract between HRM’s Animal Services and the Nova Scotia SPCA’s Metro Branch is set to end in March 2010. A report was released with the recommendations following a tender process on Friday, January 22, 2010.
The SPCA is disappointed by this news, as it means that abandoned and stray animals will be at greater risk for euthanasia and less comprehensive care. The SPCA has never considered itself to be a city pound. The SPCA is first and foremost an animal welfare organization and as a result has considerably higher standards as it relates to animal care. The SPCA is not only concerned with providing for the physical and medical requirements of animals, but their social and behavioural needs as well. Being involved in an animal control contract meant that the SPCA could act in the best interests of the animals once they were turned over to the SPCA’s care.
Additionally, the SPCA was and is not willing to compromise on care considerations related to the long term residents who remain in a shelter environment for periods in excess of three months. These rare, court ordered scenarios result in the need for flexible, individualized care programs, so that the health of the animal is not compromised by stress.
Lastly, the SPCA, unlike a city pound, will always work towards the adoption of animals and will never consider euthanasia for space appropriate. Additionally, the Society is very successful in addressing hard-to-adopt cases, such as animals with special medical needs or senior animals. Common euthanasia rates for city pounds are between 50% and 70%, whereas the SPCA has a live release rate of well over 90% for dogs. For full details, please
click here.
Unfortunately, the loss of the contract will result in a restructuring of staff and a limitation to the SPCA’s ability to address stray and abandoned animals. The Society will continue to enlist the support of the community to permit the Metro Shelter the privilege of re-homing displaced and abandoned animals in addition to those that have come to the SPCA through cruelty investigations and have suffered abuse and neglect.
Those wishing to make a donation to the SPCA to support either cruelty investigations or animal care can go online to

Finding information online is like being the mother of a teenager .... its always more successful when one knows what questions to ask / aka search. The following document is from the HRM website
PO Box 1749
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3A5, Canada
Item No. 10.1.6
Halifax Regional Council
January 26, 2010
TO: Mayor Kelly and Members of Halifax Regional Council
SUBMITTED BY: ___________________________________________________________
Dan English, Chief Administrative Officer
DATE: January 15, 2010
SUBJECT: Award - Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 09-137, Animal Services -
Shelter Services
The current HRM Animal Services Shelter contract is set to expiry on March 31, 2010. Staff have conducted a request for proposals (RFP) for parties interested in providing this service to HRM in the future.
It is recommended that Halifax Regional Council award RFP No. 09-137 to the recommended proponent Homeward Bound City Pound for a period of two (2) years, with the right to award an additional three, one year extensions for a potential five (5) year contract, for a total price of $2,390,969.00 (net HST included). Funding exists in the operating budget, S320 - 6399 as outlined in the Budget Implications section of this report.
Award - RFP No. 09-137, Animal Services - Shelter Services - 2 - January 26, 2010
Council Report
The current animal sheltering contract ($413,820 annually), is due to expire March 31, 2010. As per procurement policies, an RFP was issued publicly for parties to provide responses on providing HRM with services and facilities to handle the containment and coordination of animals picked up by HRM Animal Services.
The scope of work was prepared and a Request for Proposal, RFP No. 09-137, was issued. The RFP closed on December 1, 2009. Included in the scope of work was the provision of shelter of all animals impounded/seized by Animal Services to specified guidelines, veterinary care for the animals including injuries, administration of the process for the return of animals to their owners, adoption of unclaimed animals, the long term care of animals held for court proceedings and euthanasia if and when required as per the legislation.

The following additional areas were to be addressed in the proposals:
• a description of the proposed structured customer friendly approach;
• verification that the hours for animal redemption would be from 8 am to 8pm
Monday to Friday and 8 am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday and Holidays;
• a description of the after hours access to the shelter for HRM Animal Services
• verification of the adequate and appropriate number of kennels for all animals;
• a description of the process for handling multiple animal seizures for which
animals may be held for extended periods of time.
RFP Responses:
There were two respondents to the RFP #09-137, Animal Service - Shelter Services:
1. Homeward Bound City Pound
2. Nova Scotia SPCA (NSSPCA).
A team consisting of staff from HRP - Community Projects, Finance and facilitated by HRM Procurement, reviewed and evaluated the proposals on the criteria in Appendix “A”.
Award - RFP No. 09-137, Animal Services - Shelter Services - 3 - January 26, 2010 Council Report
The final scoring for all proponents is as follows:
Homeward Bound City Pound 84
The Director of Homeward Bound City Pound, Hope Swinimer, is a Certified Veterinary Hospital Manager with 20 years experience and has a proven and reliable history in animal care.
Additionally, the staffing structure for Homeward Bound City Pound includes individuals with extensive backgrounds in shelter management and animal care giving.
Homeward Bound City Pound’s description of the long term care options including associated costs was clear and included the fixed costs as outlined in the RFP. The SPCA did not adequately address the long term care of animals. From a financial perspective this was considered a risk as there was no definitive costing included in their proposal. It was indicated in addition to the total costs outlined in their budget proposal there would be an additional charge of $25 per day for animals held in custody over three months as well as ‘extraordinary costs’ that
would be negotiated with Animal Services, if required. Moreover, it was stated “the arrangement is and will continue to be something that is determined on a case by case basis.”
The SPCA did not clearly identify the costs and revenues associated with adopted animals. This reduced both their revenue and expenditure lines and therefore clouded their operational budget as it didn’t provide the complete picture. Homeward Bound’s proposal addressed revenue from adoptions, pickup and boarding as well as detailing all the associated shelter and medical costs.
As Homeward Bound City Pound does not have a facility currently operational that could accommodate this service the evaluation committee sought assurance that their plan was viable.
The Director of Homeward Bound City Pound presented the committee with documentation from her financial institution, letters from contractors for required services detailing proposed outlines for work to be completed, and the proposed lease agreement developed for the facility to be used.
In the event that the facility is not operational by the contract start date, Ms. Swinimer provided the Committee with a contingency plan. This contingency plan provided details on temporary kennel arrangements that have been made in the event that the facility is not fully operational by April 1, 2010
The evaluation committee did a site visit of the proposed location and were satisfied that all operational requirements were met.
Overall the Homeward Bound proposal proved an all-inclusive submission that addressed all the components of the required service provision.
Award - RFP No. 09-137, Animal Services - Shelter Services - 4 - January 26, 2010
Council Report
Therefore, it is recommended that Halifax Regional Council award a contract for a period of two (2) years effective the date of award, with the right to award an additional three, one year extensions for a potential five (5) year five year contract to Homeward Bound City Pound.
Fiscal Year Costs
2010-11 $434,457
2011-12 $455,373
2012-13 $477,220
2013-14 $500,040
2014-15 $523,879
Total $2,390,969.00 (net HST included)
The 2010-11 proposed Operating Budget includes funding for this initiative.
Budget availability has been confirmed by Financial Services.
This report complies with the Municipality’s Multi-Year Financial Strategy, the approved Operating, Capital and Reserve budgets, policies and procedures regarding withdrawals from the utilization of Capital and Operating reserves, as well as any relevant legislation.
There are no alternatives.
Appendix A: Evaluation Document
Award - RFP No. 09-137, Animal
Services - Shelter Services - 5 - January 26, 2010
Council Report
A copy of this report can be obtained online at
then choose the appropriate meeting date, or by contacting the Office of the Municipal Clerk at 490-4210, or Fax 490-4208.
Report Prepared by: Supt. William Moore, Halifax Regional Police 490-4817
Report Approved by: _________________________________________________
Deputy Chief F.A. Burbridge, Halifax Regional Police 490-7138
Procurement Approval by: ___________________________________________________
Anne Feist, Operations Manager, Procurement 490-4200
Report Approved by: Frank Beazley, Chief of Police, Halifax Regional Police 490-6500
RFP # 09-137
Webmaster note ... to read the appendix, and see the scoring breakdown table, please go to the source document, at

Well then ..... what do we know about Hope Swinimer? She is the founder and director of the Hope for Wildlife Society in Seaforth, Nova Scotia ( the subject of how a certain animal owner who is currently doing battle with the society and HRM AC both, was a volunteer at that facility is an interesting topic to pursue on another day)
The questions just come rolling off the keyboard tonight:
  • first and foremost of course is what will happen to the animals when their time is up?
  • what will happen to the senior and special needs pets?
  • will the society, rescue groups and breed rescues have access to the animals?
  • How is one tender able to offer more precise figures? Is it because the current contractor/ aka Metro, knows from experience that nothing is black and white?
  • will there be a time limit for sheltering the animals? What will happen to them then : ((( Will HRM 'stray dogs" go from a 90% live release rate to a more typical and much lower animal control one?
  • will the new facility be altering all their adoptables?
  • will the adoptables be vet checked and vaccinated
  • where will the unweaned puppies go?
  • what's going to happen to the 'stray' cats
  • will they have special and/ or negotiable adoption fees for harder to adopt pets ... or is it all going to be black and white like their budget?

Honestly, I could go on and on but tonight my head is still spinning ... although I expect not nearly so much as the staff at Metro.

For two years after the new food services facility was completed at my last posting, cooks came from all over the country to learn what NOT to do when planning their own new facilities. It is just a fact of life that there is a country mile between the drawing board and a successful facility with fully operational and functioning systems. I have yet to work in a new facility where there were no difficulties to be ironed out.

It was the same way whenever there was a new service contract. Eventually things would work out ( or the contract would be cancelled ), but there was always a learning curve. In this case, we can only hope that it will not be at the expense of the animals.

And before the keyboards catch on fire, yes I know I keep saying that each municipality should have its own Animal Care and Control Centers. But for the moment at least.... to have such a tight timeline, a new contractor ( who may find it quite different to run a pound than an educational widlife rehabiltiaton center) and a new facility ... might make fiscal sense to HRM but it is seriously lacking in the common sense category.

Offsite adoption at the Mayflower Mall today

Today is Saturday, and that means that this afternoon, the great volunteers from spca...adopt a dog ! will be at the Mayflower Mall in Sydney. I just had an email
"spca...adopt a dog will be at the Mayflower Mall today from 1:30 to 4:00 ! we will be having with us a chihuahua looks to be purebred ! a boarder collie mix ! and a retriever lab puppy about 4 to 6 months old ! also will have a cat with us free to good home, not with the spca ! female, about 6 months old, grey and black tiger prints "
Who knows what wonderful things will happen each time that this is done? Bringing adoptables out into the public eye isn't just a very valuable adoption tool ... the animals themselves are the best advertising that animal rescue can have to awaken folks about rescue.

Visually impaired kitten missing from Yarmouth SPCA

Yarmouth SPCA concerned about missing blind kitten

by Carla Allen/The Vanguard
The Yarmouth SPCA is concerned about the whereabouts of a visually impaired kitten that was taken from the shelter without completion of proper adoption papers on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 20.
“The kitten’s well-being is our utmost concern,” said president Frieda Perry.

“We welcome the opportunity to ensure the kitten is healthy and is safely returned with no questions asked.
Flower is a domestic medium-hair, white, grey and black tiger. She is small and only three-months-old. Anyone having information on this kitten is asked to contact the Yarmouth SPCA at 902-742-9767
One can only hope and pray that this story ends as well as the last time ... just last year ... when someone broke into the shelter at night and removed a dog from the premises.
But this is the thing ... during the day, how do you protect the animals without treating potential adopters like criminals? Would it be too off putting to ask visitors to sign in, with a piece of id? In all honesty, I have no idea if Yarmouth does, but in many places the volunteers are already screened and have to sign in each time.
Perhaps ... if the cat room is heated, there could be a coat rack outside for visitors.
After all, its a hard enough world out there to be a cat. They should at least be safe after they are rescued, eh?
Here's hoping that in Flower 's case ( whom I might add according to her bio is not yet spayed ) that the no questions asked approach helps her story end well.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Well, then....

On the front door of the SPCANS website,, there are a couple of pretty significant items .... the second one being that the Animal Protection Act comes into force in Nova Scotia ... in other words that it has now been proclaimed by the Governor in Council ( aka our NS Lt Governor ) and so as of today the new Act ( ) becomes law.
If it is not everything that it should be yet, the new Act allows for the possibility of improvement:

40 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing, with respect to animals kept for sale, hire, exhibition,
research, or that are impounded, boarded or kept for breeding
(i) standards of design, construction and maintenance of facilities in
which the animals are kept,
(ii) the standard of care with which the animals are to be maintained;
(b) defining what are reasonable steps to find and notify an owner;
(c) determining reasonable expenses to be charged to the owner of an animal
taken into custody pursuant to this Act for transportation of the animal, food, care, shelter and veterinary medical treatment provided to the animal and for the enthanasia of an animal; (d) prescribing acceptable methods of euthanasia;

(e) prescribing societies, organizations, institutions or persons to which this
Act applies for the purpose of enforcing this Act and determining the extent to which
this Act applies to the society, organization, institution or person;
(f) exempting research activities from the requirements of subsection 23(1) if
the research activities are being conducted pursuant to an audit program approved by the Canadian Council on Animal Care or an organization prescribed in the regulations;
(g) prescribing activities for the purpose of subsection 21(4) or 28(1);
(h) prescribing procedures and time periods for appeals to the Board;
(i) prescribing identification devices or methods for the purposes of subsection
(j) prescribing further powers and duties of the Chief Inspector, the Provincial
Inspector or inspectors;
(k) prescribing minimum qualifications for persons appointed as the Chief
Inspector, the Provincial Inspector or inspectors;
(l) prescribing procedures respecting appeals to the Board;
(m) defining or prescribing unacceptable animal practices, modifications or
(n) prescribing activities that are deemed to cause animals to be in distress;
(o) prescribing or adopting acceptable codes of practice respecting animals;
(p) respecting the licensing of animal care facilities and standards for such
(q) prescribing fees or ranges of fees for appeals;
(r) prescribing fees for the purpose of this Act;
(s) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(t) further defining any word or expression defined in this Act;
(u) the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out
effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

As a sidebar to that, if anyone is wondering how to find out about future amendments, the way our legal process works is that amendments to existing legislation do have to be put before the House.
The same House with many of the same players who were quite prepared to let BSL be brought in the back door under the cover of a municipal housekeeping bill, Bill 136. As always, the way ahead for the animals will be paved with due diligence and feedback from voters.
Now on a normal day, that would be the number one item in my books, but there is another news note on their front door concerning a subject that is very very close to my heart.... Nova Scotia SPCA seeks to resolve cat dilemma in HRM with presentation to Council . You really want to read this presentation, click here to Download presentation
The society is proposing a much more financially viable and humane alternative to the staff report that I discussed in Flushing tax dollars down the drain ... the gist of which was the old scare tactic of "we can't afford to be humane so we better step up the old catching and killing of the cats"
The short version is that society proposal is for the society, with assistance from HRM, set up a low cost, high volume spay neuter clinic. Assistance I might add that represents a significantly smaller investment by HRM than the staff report figures.
Even better, included in the proposal is the suggestion that this could be the start of something that could spread around the province.
If you care about cats, you are already an advocate. If you live in HRM and can't make the meeting at two this afternoon, you can still let your councillor know what a great idea this is. Don't know how to reach them?
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. - Samuel Adams

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talking the talk or actually walking the walk.

From the front door of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies site,
Nearly 1.4 million adopted through Iams Home 4 the Holidays
After setting its most aggressive pet adoption goal to-date – Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) announced today that 1,363,638 million animals were adopted through the global program.
In Canada, more than 145 animal shelters participated in this annual adoption drive with more than 3,500 animal organizations participating world wide.
The following animals were adopted this year:
729,357 dogs
588,265 cats
46,016 other animals (including rabbits, reptiles, horses, birds and more)
Between Oct. 1 and Jan. 4, 2010, two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Hilary Swank acted as the IH4TH ambassador and Quebec actress and television personality Geneviève Brouillette acted as the French Canadian Program Ambassador.
“We were thrilled to once again partner with Iams for the Home 4 the Holidays campaign,” says Steve Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of animal shelters from across Canada, we have made a significant impact on the lives of homeless animals in Canada.”
The 2010 program will kick-off on October 1.
Visit to learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet.

Out of that 1.4 million, how many were adopted from Nova Scotia? Zip. Nada. Not a one. Why was that? Don't we have compassion here in this province? Are we short of animal lovers?
No... the short version of this story is that not one of our Nova Scotia rescues or shelters signed up for the program. No sir ...instead there was a chorus singing the same old song about how irresponsible it would be of them to permit holiday adoptions.
Permit? Allow? Do none of these groups or shelters trust their own adoption screening process? Did they suddenly start passing pets out like candy without checking references?
Potential adopters are often responsible, animal loving ADULTS who tend to take a dim view of being dictated to.
The easiest job I ever had in the military was teaching in the military cooking school. Why would I say that when there was so much work and the hours were so long? Because the students, especially the privates, hadn't spent enough time in the working world to become set in their ways.
When the students came back for the equivalent of their journeyman's training, they were more resistant to change ... and by the time they came back for their senior management training there were very few open to anything new.
One of the cornerstones of the No Kill philosophy is the simple and beautiful idea that it is possible to stop the killing by increasing adoptions. How do they do that? By engaging in better customer relations, offsite adoptions, more user friendly shelter hours and embracing new social networking tools.
And before the keyboards catch on fire ... yes I know that the private rescues are not normally killing any of the pets in their care. But their ability to help the other animals ... the multitude of Unhappy Tails who can't find room at the inn .... is directly connected to how aggressively they promote the adoptables in their care.
Nor does the society get off the hook. There is no justification for branch closures over the holidays until they can at least get their total kill rate down below ten percent. Now in all fairness maybe that's the case this year, but we won't know until this years statistics are published, eh? But ... based on the stats to the end of Sept, the proverbial snowball has a better chance than that.
The Home for the Holidays campaign is almost as good as a winning lottery ticket. Every year there are ads in all the media to bring attention to the campaign. There is a well crafted and informative website for the campaign that allows interested potential adopters to learn more .. including which shelters are participating in the program.
Every group and shelter in the program is listed, with links back to their sites and contact information. Each and everyone of the 147 Canadian participants was there.
The 2010 campaign kicks off just before our Canadian Thanksgiving and will run until the holiday season is over.
What time is it? Its time for Nova Scotia rescue groups, breed rescues and shelters to embrace the concept so that this year their animals can get the attention they deserve.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Improving the odds

The lottery is up to thirteen million tonight, so odds are pretty good that most people remembered to get a ticket.
Its an even bigger gamble to be a homeless pet in this province ... but over in Cape Breton there are some young people trying hard to improve things ... at least in their corner of world.
This Saturday, the wonderful volunteers who have formed spca...adopt a dog ! will be bringing pets from the Cape Breton SPCA to the Mayflower Mall. They'll be there from 1:30 to 4:30 pm in the hopes that great dogs like Blackout and Rufusmagoo will have a shot at meeting someone who might adopt them.
There are no guarantees that the animals will all get adopted ... but like the lotto ... the odds are better when they are out in the public eye.
At the end of the day .... the winning lottery ticket wouldn't hold as much joy as the double barrelled satisfaction of saving a life while making a friend for life.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Double the fun

No ifs, ands or buts about it, its just more fun to live with more than one pet. Fun for us to watch them play and of course, its always fun for the pet to have someone right there to play with.
Adopting the first dog is always easy .... its finding the second one who will be the best fit with the first that can be a challenge for some. It helps if they are the same age and size .... as Ruby and Henry are.
In most instances, its possible to arrange for the 'old' dog and the 'new' one to meet. That will tell you if the two dogs can be polite to each other, but it won't guarantee that they will become best of friends.
There is one surefire way to be sure that you will have two pets who suit each other .... and that is by adopting a bonded pair of adults. Coming out of the gate, the adopter already knows that the pets get along well. Why is that important?
Here in the real world, most people have to leave the house and they can't always bring their pets with them. A bonded pair of adults will be a comfort to each other because they are never 'home alone'.
When individual cats come into a multipet household, they aren't always accepted by the ones already in place. For instance, in this house, George, Clive and Morgan are such good friends that it took them a long while to warm up to Dora and Oscar. Dora and Oscar had become quite devoted to each other during their journey from the wild to the garden shed and finally to the house. While they were waiting to be accepted by the 'kiddles', at least they had each other to play / sleep / hang out with.
Its a big change for any dog when they are rescued. Even good changes can take time to adjust to, and its at this time especially that its great for them to have the comfort of a familiar friend.
It doesn't matter that life is better ... what matters is that not everything will be quite so strange and new for a bonded pair. Before Bonnie and Clyde were rescued, they were used for breeding and never saw the inside of a house. Thanks to East Coast German Shepherd Rescue , these two great dogs have gone from knocking on heaven's door in Georgia to the safety of life in a foster home in Nova Scotia.
Its all new and strange, but they are adjusting wonderfully because they are in it together.
It isn't just Maddie and Kylie who are lucky that the Queens SPCA are willing to wait for an adopter willing to embrace them together .... the person who adopts this special pair of ladies will be pretty darned lucky too. They are well behaved, housetrained and best of all they already get along well together.

Grace and Pal came to the Yarmouth SPCA together and the staff at the shelter are hoping that they can find someone with enough heart to keep these good friends together. Pal is a senior and at the Yarmouth SPCA, that means that his adoption fee will be waived for an approved adopter .... so in this particular case it would be possible for the right home not to have to be put off by two adoption fees.

At the end of the day, bonded pets just settle in easier. Unlike the old chewing gum ad that promised 'double the trouble'... they are generally much less trouble and just ever so much more fun.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Did you know we have a Canadian Veterinary Reserve?

From the Bedford Highway Animal Hospital site,
January 2010
In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday, we are offering nail trims in support of the Red Cross relief effort. Nail trims will be done for $15. One-hundred percent of the money raised will be donated. Please help!
Also be aware that the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is placing its Canadian Veterinary Reserve in stand-by alert status to be ready to deploy to Haiti if requested by the government of Canada.The CVR consists of a roster of 400 mainly private practice, volunteer veterinarians from across Canada. The CVR works in partnership with governments to provide medical expertise for animals in large-scale disasters and emergencies. CVR Reservists can provide a broad range of disaster veterinary medical services including emergency care and assessment for food and companion animals on a mass casualty basis.

This is one of those awesome little things that is always nice to discover. Not being a vet or a tech, I can't access the section on the CVMA site about this great initiative, but I did find an article in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, As a follow up to that article, according to the contracts page of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, they did wind up partnering with this innovative initiative.
What time is it? It is never time to shine such a lovely light under a bushell, particularly if they are always in need of resources.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Travelling in the right direction

Its Wednesday ... and not just any wednesday. For these four dogs, it is their first wednesday in Canada which is of course the final leg of their journey by underdog railroad. They have all gone from knocking on heavens door down south to the safety of a second chance here in Nova Scotia.
Cazzie, the fellow with the yellow ball, came all the way from Tennessee. He is clearly enjoying the chance to stretch his legs and play. The ginger girl that he's with in the fourth picture below is named Pretty and after being used for breeding she will need a bit of confidence building to blossom into her best self. Lowrider, may be an honorary shepherd, but in true sweet pitty style he has fit right in with the crew. Leah may have dodged the camera for all but one shot, but she is clearly not avoiding the rest of her fellow travellers.
Anyone with any questions about these great dogs should contact East Coast German Shepherd Rescue.
Update ..... Cazzie is still in need of a foster home. He's young, about fifty pounds and Leah describes him as a well rounded fellow ... he did very well at home when she went out .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going without gloves

I love living out here. Its far enough from the village that the starwatching is great, but close enough to the amenities that I'm not completely cut off from the world.
Starwatching always seems to be at its best on the chilliest nights. So we bundle up and head out, secure in the knowledge that there is always a lovely warm dry house with a cozy fire to come back inside to. If we head back out before the coats have dried off, there are always warm dry spares so that nobody is uncomfortable.
Right now, I don't bother keeping a water dish outside for the dogs. Even if they didn't knock it over when they were in full flight, it would freeze pretty quickly in weather like this. And of course there is always fresh clean water waiting for them when we come back in from outside.
Nor do I keep food out there for them. They have regular indoor feeding times and anything left outside would just entice predators ... some of them big enough to pose a safety hazard even for the big dogs. There are enough occasional 'tourists' from the coyote den up behind the gravel pit without encouraging them to visit on a regular basis.
At this point in time, it is not illegal for anyone to banish their dogs to a life of being chained or penned out back. It might be legal but it is definitely not humane.
A dog isn't a snowmobile that can be kept in the shed until someone wants to take him or her out to play. A dog isn't a set of snowshoes to be stuck in the snow by the doorstep until someone wants to go for a hike. Nor can a chained or penned dog be boosted like a car battery if he or she freezes up in the cold.
Even worse, because dogs are by nature pack animals, they never become their best selves when they are deprived of the company of the pack. Even worse than that is the fact that many dogs are originally banished to life on the end of a chain .... with no parole ... because their owners didn't bother training them in the first place. These frustrated, untrained and unsocialized dogs are like ticking time bombs.... with utterly no experience in how to behave appropriately around children or other animals.
Ah ... but it only takes bringing this subject up anywhere to realize that in many eyes, this is not an inhumane and unsafe practice but is instead the right of everyone who owns a dog. Opposition to chaining and penning dogs is treated as an affront to personal freedom and liberty.
Every law to protect to public safety started out with this type of opposition. Child labour laws were heavily opposed at their onset as an infringement on the rights of factory and farm owners. Legislation to protect the rights of any minority have traditionally been opposed by a strong majority.
Legislation is the ONLY effective way to change attitudes. Employers didn't stop asking women during job interviews if they were planning on having children because they realized how unfair that was ... they stopped because it became illegal for them to do that.
During the last big storm, there was a story on the news that really highlighted the tragic plight of all chained and penned dogs .... where the Fire Chief in Port Elgin and his family lost their labrador. This article is from the Sackville Tribune Post, Jan 7, 2010
State of emergency declared as Port Elgin area gets slammed by storm, tidal surge
JOAN LEBLANC The Sackville Tribune Post
Residents of Port Elgin and the surrounding communities bordering Baie Verte bay sustained extensive damage when a massive winter storm hit the area late Saturday, continuing into the early morning hours of Sunday.
A state of emergency was declared in Port Elgin on Sunday, just as the flood waters from a storm surge which had swamped some areas of the village were receding.
The winter storm dropped some 30 centimetres of snow on southeastern New Brunswick before turning to rain. High winds gusting upwards of 90 kms per hour, combined with moon tides, resulted in a tidal surge several meters high which caused the waters of both the Gaspereau River and Baie Verte to overflow into some areas of Port Elgin.
Massive damage to land and property has also been reported in the surrounding communities along Baie Verte bay where strong tidal currents and ice crashed on shore.
Port Elgin's Emergency Measures Organization coordinator Terry Murphy said Tuesday that a cost value for the damage to the village and its residents is currently being assessed.
"Right now we're still assessing our water and sewage systems. They seem to be working okay but we have to keep assessing the water quality. We didn't lose any fire hydrants but we're looking at our streets to see if there was any damage; so far things are looking alright. We don't see any evidence of undermining of the streets at this point; they look okay," Murphy said.
Damage to residences and businesses in Port Elgin varies from water damage to electrical and structural damage, he added. The fire department is currently contacting village residents and businesses to determine the cost of damage.
"We'll be submitting our report with the cost of damages to the village and its residents to the provincial EMO coordinator who will then present it to John Foran, Minister of Public Safety. The people of this entire area need assistance right now and I hope the government will provide some financial relief," he said.
One resident hit hard by the tidal surge is Port Elgin Fire Chief Steve Alward and his wife Holly who, with their two children, were not at home at the time of the flood.
Alward said Tuesday the family had lost their electricity around 8 p.m. so had gone to visit friends in the area.
"We could see the river had risen but it wasn't extraordinarily high at the time so we left. By the time I got the fire department call that the village was being flooded, at about 10:20 p.m., we were unable to get back to our house because of excessive flooding," he explained.
The Alwards' house basement was flooded, destroying the furnace, water heater, gym equipment and other household items, with the water rising only one centimeter from the first floor. An outbuilding and a new two-storey garage were flooded with more than two feet of water, destroying various machinery and tools including an ATV and ride-on lawnmower.
However, saddest of all for the family was the loss of their purebred Labrador retriever.
"The dog was in a kennel behind the house and we couldn't get to her.
The floodwaters moved the kennel and pushed it over onto its side and she was caught in it. Needless to say we're all very upset about it," Alward said.
Another local resident living just outside of the village limits near Fort Monckton, Stanley Silliker barely escaped his flooded home when he managed to climb a nearby tree and, shining his flashlight, caught the attention of a passerby who helped him to escape to safety.
A family of six, including three young children, who were living in a winterized house within a cluster of cottages at nearby Indian Point had to be rescued by boat when the area was completely flooded with several feet of water and ice. Most of the cottages in that area have been totally destroyed.
Although the basements of several Main Street homes and businesses were fully flooded, the hardest hit was Spence's Woodworking, located along the banks of the Gaspereau River at the foot of the wooden walking bridge, which was itself moved several inches.
Water levels in the two Spence buildings, including a wood-frame workshop and a metal storage building, rose to almost four feet, causing extensive damage to many woodworking machines and tools, works in progress and lumber supplies.
Just three kilometers away, the community of Baie Verte was isolated late Saturday night and early Sunday when flood waters rose at either end of the community. Water and large sheets of ice were pushed up onto Route 970, covered the roadway, all but destroying the local park there.
At the southern end of Baie Verte, several home owners sustained much damage when flood waters rose more than two feet. The exterior steps of St. James United Church was torn off and taken out with the receding tide and the basement totally flooded, destroying two new electric furnaces.
All the Baie Verte shores from Bayside to Cape Spear and Cape Tormentine, many cottages and summer homes sustained extensive damage or were totally destroyed by high flood waters.
Although a Port Elgin resident, Murphy and his family own a cottage at Rayworth Beach, about 10 kilometers outside Port Elgin.
"Like many cottages along the beach, ours was pushed off of its foundation and is now on our neighbour's land. I don't know if we'll be able to salvage it or not. There are several cottages on our beach which have been destroyed," Murphy said.
Although most Cape Tormentine residents managed to escape damage, due to high winds and flooding two 100-foot long rows of bait sheds were completely destroyed on the municipal wharf with many fishermen losing various types of fishing equipment stored in the 24 cubicles.
Local fisherman Tony Trenholm said Monday that damages could total more than $250,000 to both area fishermen as well as Small Crafts and Harbours, the government agency who owned and leased the storage facilities.
"The bait sheds were leveled and pieces of the structures are spread out all over the area, in the water and on the shore. Some guys lost nets and other stuff they had stored in their sheds. There was at least $25,000 worth of Fiberglas (fish) storage tanks, a lot of fish trays and equipment. It's a big loss for everyone," Trenholm said.
I first saw this on the late night news on global, and was saddened to see that the family were already planning to get another lab, when they had 'time to get over this'
On a day like this ... when hands can hurt after a few minutes without mittens or gloves .... there are no good arguments for chaining and penning the animal that was supposed to be the family pet.
What time is it? As sad as this story is, it is always time to recognize that legislation to ban the chaining and penning of dogs is a public safety measure. Its time to remember that voter feedback is the ONLY way to effect change. If you do not let your MLA ( Members - Constituencies) know that this is an issue of importance to you, he or she will simply move on to work for the issues that voters do call him or her about.
Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand. - Bodie Thoene