Friday, April 29, 2011

A now ... a word from Henry about BSL

For a great example of a better possibility, please click here
(Thanks Joan for taking the time and trouble to put that together.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A little cat(ch)ing up

Its always easy to find the gardeners in the room ... we are the ones who are always happy to see such a good rain!   Overnight it seems like my forsythia has bloomed, all the trees are in full bud and even the most reluctant of the roses are greening back to life!
Its a dangerous time of year for gardeners to go shopping for seeds! We are all so eager to get going that it is all too easy to forget any sensible resolve.  Gosh  ... all my good intentions to only buy rawhides at the feed store somehow went south when I spotted the irresistible bins of seed!
Even so, this isn't my first dance, so I understood before I bagged the seeds what kind of work will be involved to get from raw seed to harvest.
It takes more than good intentions to get a great idea off the ground too.  When we came home from the woods this morning, I was rummaging around to see how the Spay Day project was going.  I knew that their fundraising dinner had been a success, and was curious to see when they were starting.
Starting? Hah!  They've already started!   As of this writing, ten cats have been spayed and neutered already!  They are expecting next week to be very busy as well!
Its not as elaborate as the lovely High Volume / Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic Proposal that has been gathering dust for well over a year now.   But it is, in militaryspeak, an achievable objective that is actually in motion now.  Even better, every cat that is fixed now becomes part of the solution instead adding to the problem.  Best of all, it is already showing the sort of success that would stand it in good stead should there be opportunities to apply for municipal funding at any time.  
What time is it?  It is always, always time to salute success!
Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember that amateurs built the Ark and professionals who built the Titanic.  source unknown

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The best bits are worth rolling up our sleeves for

I love making home made pizza, especially on cool damp days like this.  Is it more work?  You bet!   There is dough to be done and sauce to be simmered ... vegies to chop and cheese to shred ... and that's not even counting the original time it took to grow and process the basil for home made pesto!
But .... at the risk of sounding like I'm bragging ... there is nothing I could find in the grocers freezer that would even come close to the supper I'll have tonight!
Kind of like Miss Ruby and Henry, eh?  The casual new visitor to my home could not possibly imagine the time and love behind the lovely well behaved dogs they have become.  Truth be told, they are both all the more dear and precious to me for having shared such a journey.
It really is such a crapshoot to be a pet.  For every lucky puppy that hits the jackpot and is loved fur life, there is at least one more who will need a new leash on life somewhere along the line.
Why?  Because ... to paraphrase one of my all time favourite minstrels ... life is what happens even when folks think they have a good plan.   Companies close,  human love doesn't last forever and sadly some pet simply outlive their caregivers.
At that point in time, the really lucky pets are those who have been well trained and socialized.  The ones who can greet visitors to the shelter with a friendly tail wag.  In a world where dogs seldom get a second chance to make a good first impression .... it is the dogs like Lola and Lucky who can 'sit on the shelf'
They are very devoted to each other .. indeed it is thought that Lucky depends on Lola so much that he might not manage without her.   They are gentle enough to have slept with the children in the family.
They clearly haven't been out and about in the world much and are finding  SHAID a scary place to be.  Even worse, noone at the shelter speaks the language that their family spoke, so these good dogs can't even understand what is being said.
Worst of all is the fact that they are so timid that it is going to take a very special person to see beyond their shyness to their potential. 
The good news is that they are not all that old ... Lucky is only seven and Lola is a bit younger.   Even better, Lucky was already neutered when he came to the shelter, so there would be none of that freshly 'fixed' marking one such as I had when Henry first came here :)
Best of all, they are Labs and that means that good things can happen with lots of exercise and a pocketful of treats.
To be perfectly honest, I almost envy the kind heart wise enough to recognize the potential in this pair.   
What time is it?  It is time for everyone to put their thinking cap on and help these good dogs get their first chance at the good life they should have had all along. 
The only thing that comes to us without effort is old age    Gloria Pitzer

Friday, April 22, 2011

On hot heads and cold hearts

Once upon a time .... in what now seems like a galaxy far far away ... I lived a much different life.  My daughter was still a little girl, our labrador Max was just coming into his prime and I was enjoying the challenge of teaching at the military cooking school.  
In those pre computer days, lesson plans were still hand written.  Back then, it was still sensible for me as a 'girl' to keep my typing skills well under wraps to avoid becoming the secretary who formatted everyone else's work on the word processor. 
I was driving the only new car I have ever bought ... purchased for the princely sum total of just shy of ten thousand .... and that with leather seats!   A carton of cigarettes didn't cost much more than a package does now  ... and you didn't need a trigger finger to put five dollars of gas in the car!
One of my neighbours was also a coworker in my department.   His wife had been my matron of honor ... he and his wife were such regular visitors they knew not to put their drinks on the same coffee table that Max could clear with one wag of his tail ... in short he was as familiar as family to Max.
Teaching is a little like theatre, and I often brought lessons home to prepare.  One day, our guest lecturer had to cancel and the resulting shuffle meant that the lesson plan I needed at three was still sitting on top of my fridge at home.   I was booked solid for classes all day, so my neighbour offered to run home and pick up the lesson plan for me.
In theory that was a great idea!  In theory.  In realspeak, as soon as Dave unlocked the door and stepped into the entryway, he could hear Max growling on the other side of the door.    Being a cautious sort, Dave opened the door just a hair ... and shut it just as quickly.  Locked the front door and left without the lesson plan.
As he put it ... 'as soon as I saw hackles and fangs, I knew that door wasn't going to be opened!' 
The very next day, when Dave and his wife came over for backyard BBQ, Max was all tail wags and his normal goofy happy go lucky glad to see ya lab self.
Max was never trained to be a guard dog.  He was a family pet whose idea of a high old time was belly rubs after a big walk.  He slept on the furniture, countersurfed whenever opportunity presented itself and loved us completely and unconditionally every day of his life.
It really was the fairy tale that life is supposed to be for a dog ... and one that got to have a happy ending because of Dave's good sense.
Moral of the story? Would you like them in alphabetical or chronological order?  The short version is that BSL would have provided no protection if Dave had been foolish enough to open the door because:
  • Max was a Labrador Retriever
  • As a well socialized family pet, Max certainly was not attack trained
  • Even if he had been a banned breed, in a time and place with BSL, Max would not have been required to wear a muzzle inside his own home
  • most dog bylaws, including our own here in Kings County, allow for the provision that an acceptable defense of the charge of harbouring a dangerous dog is when the attack or bite was inflicted upon or sustained by a person who was committing one or more of the following:
    (i) a willful trespass or other tort;
    (ii) a criminal act upon the premises occupied by the owner of
    the dog; or
    (iii) a trespass contrary to Provincial or Federal Legislation.

 So exactly how does BSL create safer communities?  Sadly the answer to that is simple.  BSL only provides the illusion of safety, and indeed carries its own inherent dangers because:
  • it offers the illusion that all the dangerous dogs are going to be muzzled and does not encourage parents to teach their children safe behaviors around dogs
  • responsible, law abiding pet owners will be discouraged from owning an allegedly dangerous breeds dog.  In Aragon, Spain, it was discovered that after passage of BSL that the dog bite incidents from allegedly dangerous breeds actually rose from 2.4 to 3.5 % (B. Rosado et al., Spanish: Dangerous Animals Act: Effect of the Epidemiology of Dog Bites, 2(5) Journal of Veterinary Behavior 166-74 (2007).  40 Rosado, supra, at 172. )
  • it does not address the underlying causes.  If people were afraid to file a complaint with the RCMP about a specific dog owner, it isn't going to make them any braver about that.  
  • Nor is it going to be a magic wand that will wave away any of the criminal activity that is the real bogeyman here.
Here in Nova Scotia, animal control falls under the municipal police services.   What does that mean in realspeak?  It means that any funds spent implementing and enforcing BSL are going to come out of the policing budget.  Either the budget will need to be increased or policing criminals will face more funding challenges.   
In a political climate where the NDP bobsled team somehow fails to recognize that there are more pressing priorities than LED lights, all our municipalities are facing new funding shortfalls.  How will they pick up the slack?  With property taxes of course.
What time is it?  It is time to remember that Prohibition only created opportunities for criminal activity to become more solidly entrenched and did not actually prevent people from driving under the influence.  Our roads are somewhat safer today because drinking and driving laws have changed, eh? 
Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.  Billy Graham.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Urgent ... ECGSR needs fosters!!!

I love getting ready for company!  Its such a joy to have my brother living back in Nova Scotia so we can share holidays together again.  Even if technically neither of us celebrate Easter, its fun to share all the cultural traditions of our community with family!
East Coast German Shepherd Rescue is getting ready for 'company' too ... a special 'Easter Bunny' will be bringing these beautiful dogs to Nova Scotia this weekend.  
Traditionally, Easter is all about new beginnings ... so what more appropriate time could there be for dogs that were knocking on heavens door down in Georgia to be coming on the Underdog Railroad to Nova Scotia?
Animal advocates down south are lobbying hard to rid the state of the cruelty of gas chambers and heart sticking, so there will come a day when southern dogs don't need our help.
If animal advocates in Ontario ever succeed, there will come a day when 'pitbull type dogs' won't need to come East in order to stay alive.
That day will come, but today is not that day.  
(The subject of how we may need an underdog railroad closer to home if Mayor Mooney and his council have their way is a testy topic that has, and will have posts of its own on another day ) 
These beautiful dogs would have died horrible deaths if East Coast German Shepherd Rescue had not rescued them.  Can you honestly think of a better way to teach children about compassion and second chances than to foster one of these good dogs until their Forever Home ship comes in?
What time is it?  It is always, always time to remember that fostering is one of the easiest ways to save a life.  The rescue pays the bills ... all you need to offer is the love!







Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The best interpreters

I love going to the woods on a morning like this!  There is something so delicious about hiking in the rain ... especially when one can come back home and put on a cozy fire!
Its a different cup of tea entirely for cats that have been cast adrift on their own.   Many of them have to seek shelter where they can, because there are very limited options out there for a stray cat.
In most areas, stray cats are not an Animal Control responsibility unless they have been injured.  The society is crystal clear "that it is often not possible to offer assistance with stray cats"
Now if a stray or feral cat is VERY lucky, they come under the umbrella of SCARS .... where underfunded is never an excuse and heroic efforts are made to save every cat in their charge.  
Take Jovi, pictured above, for instance.  This friendly fellow was rescued in February when he was trying to fend for himself with a colony of feral cats.   After he had begun to recover from his injuries, disaster struck and he had to be rushed in for treatment.  The short version of this story is that after pulling out all the stops, this beautiful boy is now fully recovered and ready to be adopted.
Nor is he the exception to the rule .. the poster cat or dog that gets saved so that his or her face can be used for fundraising appeals.  Nope!  If you look at the list of 11 cats that Sonya has on Petfinder this morning, three are special needs, four more required all the extra medical recovery one would expect from a hoarding situation along with a couple of sweet strays and socialized ferals.
Years ago my mother used to tell me that it wasn't enough to be good ... that one had to be good for something. 
What time is it?  It is always, always time to salute those who pull out all the stops and understand that there is more to speaking for the animals than positioning and pretty white papers.
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.  John Locke

Monday, April 18, 2011

Same old menu .. different day

Thirty-seven years ago today, I was having much the same thing for lunch as is on today's menu.  Sandwich on home made bread, glass of milk, piece of fruit and cup of coffee.  
Why do I remember that so well?  Do I remember every single meal in my life?  Hardly!  But thirty seven years ago today, Dad had just driven me to town to be sworn into the military.  We were both glad to get back in our jeans and tuck into lunch ;)
Thirty-seven years ago, I was much the same person I am today.   I loved animals, cooking and gardening .... just as I do today.   Thirty-seven years of living may have added a bit of polish and experience, but basically the song remains the same.
Does that mean that I yearn for those days?  Of course not!  In the space of time that I served my country, it became a better and safer world for women and children ... for working people .. for consumers ... and yes even for the animals.
Does that mean that everything is just peachy keen now?  Of course not!   There are still women in danger, children going hungry and in this economic climate some employers are not above bullying to better their bottom line.
Even so, the point I am making in my meandering way is that in life's journey it is important to move forward, not backwards.   Which is why I was saddened to see that, in the online minutes of the March 28th BOD meeting that there has been such an unprecedented shift in the society's structure.
The branches are no longer directly represented on the provincial bod.  Instead, their concerns and operational management have become the exclusive domain of the society executive director.  In other words, the folks working frontline will no longer have a direct voice at the table.Web Edit Note:  I have been informed that, while this was the original intention, that at this time the branches actually still have representation on the board.  In addition, the policy of replacing half the bod was apparantly implemented a couple of years ago .... somehow THAT never was shouted from the rooftops in the same way that every other little press release has been.
Even worse, a dear friend of mine who was at the AGM was concerned about the new (see above note) policy of electing half the bod each year ... suggesting that the shortage of candidates seemed more appointed than elected, eh?  (The topic of why the society is having so much difficulty recruiting bod members is a very interesting subject that should stand alone on its own post on another day)

I personally find it disturbing that the VP and Past President positions, which are pretty much standard in non profit, seem to have fallen by the wayside as well.  
Sound familiar?   Where did those brave new days go, when openness and transparency was supposed to be the shape of things to come?  
In this ever changing world its nice to have some constants.  Its great to be able to eat the same foods I did home on the farm.  Its wonderful to still be able to put lessons learned at my mothers knee to good use in my own home and hearth.
But I really was hoping that the Brave New Path was going to have a longer lifespan than three short years.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beware the light at the end of the tunnel ....

I love to putter in my kitchen!   What's not to love?   It is large and comfortable and so familiar I could find almost anything blindfolded.  Not surprisingly, it is chock full of all the things you would expect a professional cook to have.    Do I really use everything?  Not even close!
From baking to shredding raw vegies for dog food to making hummus and everything in between ... the only appliance that really sees steady use is my trusty food processor.  Truth be told ... all the other 'convenient' gadgets that were supposed to make life simpler were really a big fat waste of money :)
Why are savvy ad campaigns currently focusing on the good value being offered?  With spiralling prices, people need to feel that they are getting good measure for their money of course!
Politicians are in much the same position.   Suggestions that they are squandering our tax dollars have more of a negative impact than if they were to moon the general populace on the post office steps at high noon.
Yet at the same time, they are expected to address voter concerns quickly.   When voters are upset about something .. they don't want to wait.  They want action and they want it now.
The Yarmouth Town Council is considering implementing BSL.  Will that address the problem?  Historically, any other place in North America and Europe that has implemented BSL has not experienced a reduction in dog bites.
BSL costs more than the lives of family pets :
  • to begin with, Yarmouth would be unable to have any contractual relationship with their local SPCA branch as it would create a conflict of interest with the society's official position of No Kill
  • now that dog DNA testing is available, litigation costs for the town could foreseeably hike up in a hurry.  Lets face it ... anyone who can afford it is going to pull out all the stops, eh?
  • ergo there are going to be more sheltering costs while litigation is in process.  If you think that is an exaggeration, kindly remember how long Brindi has been in custody, hmmm?
  • "who can afford it" is going to directly impact on which dogs live and which dogs die.   In other words, if everyone in Yarmouth had deep enough pockets to build the fence and get the insurance, BSL would not be such a tragedy.
  • Even worse, these days, at least in Nova Scotia, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find an company willing to insure older homes.  To suggest that it is even possible for everyone to get insurance is ridiculous and unrealistic.
  • As a sidebar to that, it will become very difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to anyone with a banned breed.
  • Last but not least, enforcement costs go up.
In other words, it won't be elected officials who pay any personal price for implementing BSL.  In a community struggling to meet the challenges created by the loss of the Cat, the collateral damage to BSL will be each and every person who has lost their job or had their hours cut back.
The folks who used to work at the Rodd Hotel.  Everyone with a B and B, a gift shop, a restaurant or providing any other related service.  
BSL does not just discriminate against specific breeds.   It discriminates against every resident who does not have deep enough pockets to fulfill the necessary criteria.
The tragedy is that there is a better path ... one that actually has created a safer community.   In Calgary, dog bites are down without BSL.
At the end of the day, fiscal common sense should come into play.  It is just frosting on the cake that the more compassionate models such as the Calgary Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw actually create safer communities.
Beware of the light at the end of the tunnel ... it could be an oncoming train.  source unknown.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Urgent .... The Draft Dog Bylaw for The Town of Yarmouth contains BSL and Pet limit laws!

Tomorrow is the annual provincial AGM for the society.   I was wondering why the Yarmouth branch has an adoption fair scheduled for the same time, but perhaps I have my answer in the newly published article in today's Vanguard about the new draft dog bylaws.
If you will recall, in Taking off the gloves, I talked about the role that we needed the society to play to avoid an emotional knee jerk reaction to the attack that had occurred in Yarmouth. 
When I emailed the society, I was assured that they had reached out to both the Town of Yarmouth and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
Working from the premise that I was told the truth and not being 'patted down' in the hopes I would drop the subject on my blog, one can only assume from the following article that neither the UNSM nor the Town of Yarmouth consider the society's input to be of any importance.
I have included the Draft bylaw in all its gory glory ... complete with the most punitive BSL legislation I have yet to see in this province.   In a community undergoing such economic hardships as Yarmouth, the regulations are going to pose a financial hardship for some pittie owners.  
One can only wonder if the newfound enthusiasm for bringing dogs in from out of province might fizzle out if the society has to start rescuing pit bull types from deaths door in Yarmouth?  
If this is not on the agenda for tomorrow's AGM, perhaps the subject might be broached in the Q & A at the end?   
from today's Vanguard
May 9 public meeting on draft dog bylaw
By Tina Comeau
THE VANGUARD
NovaNewsNow.com
A public meeting will be held on May 9 to get the public’s input on a draft dog bylaw that the town of Yarmouth is considering.
Things contained in the bylaw – which is still a working document – are expected to generate a variety of reaction. People will be angry. People will be pleased. People will be surprised.
At town council’s April 14 meeting, one councillor described portions of the bylaw as “life altering.”
“We’ll probably get hate mail,” acknowledged town CAO Jeff Gushue.
Town councillors did not want to proceed with a first reading of the bylaw until discussing it in more detail among themselves and with their solicitor. They also want the public to have its say so council can know what people like in the bylaw and what they would want to see changed. They also want to consult with the SPCA. The May 9 public meeting at the town hall will get underway at 6:30 p.m.
The town of Yarmouth has decided to toughen its existing dog bylaw following a savage attack by a pitbull on a Yarmouth woman last month. Friends of the woman say she was unrecognizable after the attack and that it is a miracle she survived.


The draft bylaw immediately sets out to define a “fierce and dangerous” dog, saying it is any dog that “is a Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier; Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler or any dog of mixed breeding, which includes any of the aforementioned breeds.”
It goes onto define a fierce and dangerous dog as any dog that:
• has attacked or injured a person;
• has attacked or injured an animal;
• in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in an apparent
attitude of attack;
• is owned or harboured in whole or in part for the purpose of dog fighting; or trained for dog fighting; provided that no dog shall be deemed fierce or dangerous if it is a professionally trained guard dog while lawfully engaged for law enforcement.
• and, is kept for the purpose of security or protection, whether residential, commercial or industrial, of persons or property.


The draft bylaw does not ban any breed of dog, but it does say that owners of dogs that have been defined as being dangerous must, among other things:
• keep the dog muzzled and leashed at all times when it is off the owner’s property;
• when the dog is on the owner’s property, it must be either securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure;
• and, there must be a sign displayed at each entrance to the property and building in which the dog is kept with a warning in writing, as well as with a symbol, indicating that there is a dangerous dog on the property.
The bylaw reads: “If the owner of a dog that has been designated as dangerous is unwilling or unable to comply with the requirements of this section after 14 days, the said dog shall then be humanely
euthanized by an animal shelter, animal control agency or licensed veterinarian. Any dog that has been designated as dangerous under this bylaw may not be offered for adoption.”
The bylaw also states that the owner of a dangerous dog who is unwilling or unable to comply with the provisions of the bylaw will have all current dog licences revoked, and no future dog licences will be issued for a period of five years.
But while the bylaw seeks to address the issue of fierce dogs, it also speaks to many other issues.
The bylaw aims to make sure that owners of dogs provide the animals with safe, sanitary and healthy living environments, and seeks to ensure that dogs are well cared for and treated.
It prohibits unrestrained dogs from being transported in the back of pickup trucks, which is a common practice.
But it also looks at the issues of the number of dogs that would be allowed.


A section of the draft bylaw reads: “No more than two dogs shall be permitted to remain upon or in any land, house, shelter, room or place, building, structure or premises within the town unless:
• the premises are lawfully used for the care and treatment of dogs operated by a licensed veterinarian;
• the premises are temporarily being used for the purpose of a dog show;
• the owner is a not-for-profit association engaged in the provision of specialized dog services, including, but not limited to, guide dogs, police dogs and search and rescue dogs.


“It is prohibited in this bylaw to own more than two dogs. Hello, I have three,” said Councillor Esther Dares. “It’s not final, and it’s not cast in stone,” she said, but it will generate a strong reaction from people.
She said the bylaw contains “some good and some bad.” But she also said there are things in the bylaw that are “life altering for people.”
Which is why, Dares said, this bylaw has to be presented to the public as a work in progress that is seeking people’s input and feedback before councillors even consider going through with a first reading. Council had looked at doing first reading at its April 14 meeting so it could proceed to a public hearing at its May 12 meeting. But there is so much in the draft bylaw that potentially could be changed that councillors said it is best to proceed in the right manner, rather than in a fast manner.
“In the interest of improving the state of animal protection, and human protection from animals in our town . . . by going to first reading we’re unnecessarily getting people all worked up because there’s a lot in here that they won’t like, or that they will like that we won’t keep,” Dares said.


Councillor Ken Langille suggested holding a town hall style meeting to engage the public in the debate.
Earlier during the town council meeting, councillors did hear from the public. People again crowded into the town hall seeking action against the owner of the dog that attacked Yarmouth resident Noella McIntosh last month. They don’t want the owner, Gary Woods, to be allowed to own animals.
Lorraine Hamilton said people live in fear of Woods’ dogs because of how they have been raised and trained. People don’t feel safe in their own community, she said.
Who is going to stand up for the people of this town?” she asked.


Others joined the discussion too. People are angry and frustrated, and they are profoundly emotional about the issue.
Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney said he wants people to feel safe in their community but he said as the law exists now, there is nothing prohibiting perceived bad owners from owning a dog. He hopes the bylaw the town is drafting will address concerns of the public.
Councillor Neil MacKenzie commended the people who came to council to speak about their concerns. He called it a brave gesture.


“I can feel the worry that you’re all feeling,” he said, but he added that council does have to follow a process, which it is doing with its draft bylaw.
“I want something done right now,” he said. “But we can’t build a bylaw or law based on what we want to do to one person, because the law will affect everybody.”
The draft dog bylaw before the town does speak to how charges can be brought up against the owner of a dog. This includes if it is alleged that the dog has bitten, attacked or injured a person or domestic animal; if the dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or animals; and if the owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from biting, attacking or injuring a person of domestic animal or behvaing in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or animals.
Two possible outcomes through a court process could be to prohibit the dog's owner from owning another dog for a specified period of time, or to destroy the dog.

DRAFT Model Dog Bylaw - November 20, 2006 (kind of interesting,eh? )

Title
1. This By-Law is entitled the “Dog Bylaw”.
Definitions
2. In this Bylaw
(1) “fierce and dangerous dog” is any dog that:
(a) is a Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler or any dog of mixed breeding which includes any of the aforementioned breeds.
Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier; Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull
28 The owner of a dangerous dog who is unwilling or unable to comply with the provisions of this section of the By-law, will have all current dog licenses revoked, and no future dog licenses will be issued for a period of 5 years.
Impounding
28. Town staff may, without notice to or complaint against the owner, impound any dog that:
(a) runs at large contrary to this bylaw;
(b) is not wearing a tag required by this bylaw;
(c) is not registered pursuant to this bylaw;
(d) is fierce and dangerous;
(e) is rabid or appears to be rabid or exhibits symptoms of canine madness; or
(f) persistently disturbs the quiet of the neighbourhood by barking, howling or otherwise.
29 Owners seeking to redeem an impounded dog must pay an impoundment fee as outlined in
Schedule A of this bylaw.
30. Subject to Section 28 of this Bylaw, except in the case where a dog is impounded for being dangerous, or is rabid or exhibits symptoms of canine madness, the owner of a dog which has been impounded, upon proof of ownership of the dog, may redeem the dog after payment to the Pound
Keeper, or making arrangement for payment satisfactory to the Pound Keeper, of the Impounding Fee and the Daily Pound Fee(s), along with reimbursement for any Extraordinary Expenses incurred by the Town Staff in relation to the dog.
31 In the case of redemption of a dog which has not been registered pursuant to this Bylaw, the owner shall also be required to register the dog and pay the registration fee before being allowed to redeem the dog.
32 Any dog which has not been redeemed by its owner at the expiry of a period of 72 hours after being impounded may be given away, sold or destroyed in a humane way by the Pound Keeper and, if sold, the proceeds shall belong to the Town.
32 Whenever the 72 hours of impounding time expires on a weekend, the Pound Keeper shall hold  such dog until the expiry of the first business day following the weekend to permit the owner to redeem the dog.
33 Upon any dog being impounded the Pound Keeper shall check for a tag and if a tag is found, the Pound Keeper shall make at least one attempt to contact the registered owner of the dog using the tag number on the records of Town Staff. Provided however that if a dog is missing, the onus is on the
owner of the dog to ascertain within the time period provided for impounding under this Bylaw, whether the dog has been impounded, and neither the Pound Keeper nor the Town shall incur liability in the event of failure to give Notice to the owner, if the owner has not made inquiry of the Pound Keeper
to determine whether the dog was impounded.
Destroying
34. Town Staff may, without notice to or complaint against the owner, destroy on sight or after capture any dog that:
(a) is fierce and dangerous;
(b) is rabid or appears to be rabid or exhibits symptoms of canine madness.
35 Town staff may, after one written warning, has been given to the owner that a dog has been running at large or eluding capture, destroy such dog on sight or after capture.
36 Town staff may, kill on sight any dog that is running at large and which he or she believes, on reasonable and probable grounds, to pose a danger to a person or a animal or to property of persons other than the owner.
Proceedings Against Dog Owner
37. A proceeding may be commenced in the Provincial Court against an owner of a dog if it is alleged that,
(a) the dog has bitten, attacked or injured a person or domestic animal;
(b) the dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or animals; or
(c) the owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from:
(i) biting, attacking or injuring a person or domestic animal; or
(ii) behaving in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or animals.
38. In exercising its powers to make an order under Section 37, the Provincial Court Judge may take
into consideration the following circumstances:
(a) the dog’s past and present temperament and behaviour
(b) the seriousness of the injuries caused by the biting or attack
(c) unusual contributing circumstances tending to justify the dog’s action
(d) the improbability that a similar attack will be repeated
(e) the dog’s physical potential for inflicting harm
(f) precautions taken by the owner to preclude similar attacks in the future
(g) any other circumstances that the court considers to be relevant
39. If, in a proceeding under Section 37, the court finds that the dog has bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal or that the dog’s behaviour is such that the dog is a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, and the court is satisfied that an order is necessary for the protection of the public, the court may order,
(a) that the owner of the dog take the measures specified in the order for the more
effective control of the dog or for purposes of public safety.
(b) that the dog be destroyed in the manner specified in the order; or
(c) prohibiting the dog’s owner from owning another dog for a specified period of time.
Penalties
1 Any person who contravenes any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a penalty as set out in Schedule B.
2 A Provincial Court Judge, in addition to the penalties provided in this bylaw, may, if he or she considers the offence sufficiently serious, direct or order the owner of a dog to prevent such dog from doing mischief or causing the disturbance or nuisance complained of, or have the animal removed from
the Town, or order the animal destroyed.
3 Where any person contravenes the same provision of this bylaw twice within a twelve month period, the specified penalty payable in respect of the second contravention is double the amount specified in Schedule B of this bylaw.
4 Where any person contravenes the same provision of this bylaw three or more times within one twelve month period, the specified penalty payable in respect of the third or subsequent contravention is triple the amount specified in Schedule B of this bylaw.
5 Any person in default of payment may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days.
Schedule A - Licence, Registration and Impoundment Fees
Registration Fees
Registration Type Cost
Dog registration (male or female) $50
Dog registration for neutered male or spayed female $25
Dog registration for neutered male or spayed female that is implanted with a microchip or tattooed
$10
Fierce and Dangerous Dog registration $250
Kennel registration $100
Impoundment Fees Penalties
First impoundment in any calendar year Cost
Neutered male or spayed female dog $25
Non-neutered or unspayed dog $50
Fierce and Dangerous dog $250
Second impoundment in any calendar year
Neutered male or spayed female dog $250
Non-neutered or unspayed dog $100
Fierce and Dangerous dog $500
Third impoundment in any calendar year
Neutered male or spayed female dog $75
Non-neutered or unspayed dog $150
Fierce and Dangerous dog $1000
Offence Section Penalty
Provision of Needs $100
Unsanitary Conditions $100
Harbouring more than two dogs $100
dog barking or howling excessively $100
Failure to immediately remove a dog’s defacation on private or public property $100
Dogs at Large
Fierce and Dangerous $1000
Unlicensed $150
Licensed $100
Dog:
chase, bite or attack a person $500
chase, bite or attack a domestic animal $350
Fierce and Dangerous Dogs:
chase, bite or attack a person $1000
chase, bite or attack a person causing physical injury $2500
chase, bite or attack a domestic animal $500
chase, bite or attack a domestic animal causing physical injury or death $1000
damage public or private property $500
failure to keep vicious dog confined $1000
Improper pen or structure $1000
Failure to keep dog muzzled, harnessed or leashed properly $1000
Failure to notify Town Staff if dog is sold, gifted, transferred or dies $200
Failure to show proof of liability insurance $1000
Failure to post “fierce and dangerous dog” signage $100
contravenes the same provision of this bylaw twice within one twelve month period double the above ccontravenes the same provision of this bylaw three or more times within one twelve month period triple the above

 

(b) has attacked or injured a person;
(c) has attacked or injured an animal;
(d) in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in an apparent
attitude of attack;
(e) is owned or harboured in whole or in part for the purpose of dog fighting; or trained for dog fighting; provided that no dog shall be deemed fierce or dangerous if it is a professionally trained guard dog while lawfully engaged for law enforcement.
(f) that is kept for the purpose of security or protection, whether residential,
commercial or industrial, of persons or property.
(2) “destroy” means kill;
(3) "dog" means any dog, male or female, or any animal that is the result of the breeding of
a dog with any other animal;
(4) "extraordinary expense" means any expense incurred by [Town] Staff in relation to a dog except for provision of food and shelter;
(5) "Town Staff" means the person appointed by the Chief Administrative Officer or Council to act on the Town's behalf for the purposes of this Bylaw, and includes the dog control officer, pound keeper; inspector or police officer.
(6) "owner" means the owner of a dog and any person who possesses, has the care or control of, or harbours a dog and, where such a person is a minor, includes a parent, guardian or custodian of such a person;
(7) “Town” means Town of Yarmouth Provision of Needs
3. Every person who keeps an animal within the Town shall provide the animal or cause it to be provided with:
(a) clean, fresh drinking water available and suitable food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal, healthy growth and the maintenance of normal, healthy body weight;
(b) food and water receptacles kept clean and disinfected and located so as to avoid contamination by excreta;
(c) the opportunity for periodic exercise sufficient to maintain good health, including the opportunity to be unfettered from a fixed area and exercised regularly under appropriate control; and
(d) necessary veterinary medical care when the animal exhibits signs of pain, illness or suffering;
4. Every person who keeps an animal which normally resides outside, or which is kept outside unsupervised for extended periods of time, shall ensure the animal is provided with an enclosure that meets the following criteria:
(a) a total area that is at least twice the length of the animal in all directions;
(b) contains a house or shelter that will provide protection from heat, cold and wet that is appropriate to the animal's weight and type of coat. Such shelter must provide sufficient space to allow the animal the ability to turn around freely and lie in a normal position;
(c) in an area providing sufficient shade to protect the animal from the direct rays of the sun at all times; and
(d) pens and run areas must be regularly cleaned and sanitized and excreta removed and properly disposed of daily.
5. No person may cause an animal to be hitched, tied or fastened to a fixed object where a choke collar or choke chain forms part of the securing apparatus, or where a rope or cord is tied directly around the animal's neck.
6 No person may cause an animal to be hitched, tied or fastened to a fixed object as the primary means of confinement for an extended period of time.
7 No person may cause an animal to be confined in an enclosed space, including a car, without adequate ventilation.
8 No person may transport an animal in a vehicle outside the passenger compartment unless it is adequately confined or unless it is secured in a body harness or other manner of fastening which is adequate to prevent it from falling off the vehicle or otherwise injuring itself.
Unsanitary Conditions Prohibited
9. No person shall keep an animal in an unsanitary condition within the Town of Yarmouth.
Conditions shall be considered unsanitary where the keeping of the animal results in an accumulation of faecal matter, an odour, insect infestation or rodent attractants which endanger the health of the animal or any person, or which disturb or are likely to disturb the enjoyment, comfort or convenience of
any person in or about any dwelling, office, hospital or commercial  stablishment.
Registration
10 On or before the 1st day of April in each year the owner of any dog shall register such dog with the Town and obtain from the Town a tag for such dog.
11 Every owner of a dog shall, within ten (10) days of having become owner, register such dog with the Town and obtain from the Town a tag for such dog.
12. In order to register a dog, an owner shall pay the annual registration fees in accordance with Schedule A of this bylaw and shall supply the Town with the following:
(a) Name, civic address, mailing address and telephone number of the owner;
(b) Name and breed of the dog;
(c) Description of the dog including whether the dog is male or female, spayed or unspayed or neutered or unneutered as the case may be; and, at the discretion of the owner, the following additional information may be supplied:
(d) A photograph of the dog;
(e) Identification information such as micro-chip implants, tattoos or other special markings; and
(f) The name of the veterinary clinic frequented by the dog and veterinary file ID number.
13 Registration shall be effective until the first day of April in the year following the year of registration.
14 The registration fee shall be reduced by 50 percent in the year of acquisition where the owner acquires ownership of the dog after September 30.
15 The owner of every dog shall keep on the dog a collar with the tag issued for that dog by Town Staff at the time of registration. Such a tag shall be kept securely fixed on the dog at all times during the year until a replacement tag is issued. However, such a tag may be removed while the dog is being used
for lawful hunting purposes in the presence and under the control of the dog’s owner and wearing a collar bearing the owner’s name and address.
16 The owner of a dog shall deliver in writing to Town Staff a statement of the number of dogs owned or harboured, or that are kept upon the premises occupied by the owner within 10 days after having received notice requiring it to be provided.
Registration Exemptions
17. The following are exempt from registration:
(a) the Town Staff or the Yarmouth SPCA shall not be required to register a stray;
(b) a dog shall be exempt from registration and registration fees in the event the owner proves that the dog is under the age of three months; and,
18. A dog that is trained to assist and assists a person with a disability is exempt from paying a registration fee but not from registration.
Dog Control Provisions
19 If a dog defecates on any public or private property other than the property of its owner, the owner shall cause such faeces to be removed immediately.
20 No owner shall suffer, permit, allow or for any reason have his or her dog bark or howl excessively or in any other manner disturb the quiet of any person.
21 No owner of a dog shall permit his or her dog to, without provocation:
(a) chase, bite or attack any person or animal;
(b) behave in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or animals;
(c) damage public or private property; or
(d) run at large within the Town except in designated off-leash areas.
Number of dogs allowed
22. No more than two (2) dogs shall be permitted to remain upon or in any land, house, shelter, room or place, building, structure or premises within the Town unless:
(a) the premises are lawfully used for the care and treatment of dogs operated by a licensed veterinarian
(b) the premises are temporarily being used for the purpose of a dog show
(c) the owner is a not-for-profit association engaged in the provision of specialized dog services, including but not limited to guide dogs, police dogs and search and rescue dogs
23. This Section does not apply to offspring under 12 weeks of age.
Dogs Running At Large
24 Any dog which is off the premises occupied by the owner without being on a leash or harness , under the continuous restraint and control of some person is deemed to be running at large for the purposes of this bylaw. A dog which is tethered on a tether of sufficient length to permit the dog to leave the property boundaries of the premises occupied by the owner is deemed to be running at large, except that an unleashed and unharnessed dog that is under continuous human restraint and control shall not be deemed to be running at large if at the time the dog is:
(a) participating in an organized dog exhibition event or dog field trials;
(b) participating in a search and rescue operation or law-enforcement operation;
(c) assisting a person with a disability, provided the dog is trained for such purpose; or
(d) within a Town public park where the area is designated by signage as an area in which dogs are permitted to be without a leash subject to such limitations as are posted.
Fierce and Dangerous Dogs
25. The owner of a dangerous dog as defined in Section 2(1), or as declared by a judge, shall ensure that within ten (10) days:
a) such dog is registered with the Town as a dangerous dog in accordance with the fees outlined in Schedule A
b) such dog is spayed or neutered
c) they comply with the dog control provisions as outlined in Sections 19-21
d) at all times when off the owner's property, the dog shall be muzzled
e) at all times when off the owner's property, the dog shall be on a leash not longer than 1.2 metres with a tensile strength of at least 140 kilograms and under the control of a responsible person sixteen years of age or older
f) when such dog is on the property of the owner, it shall be either securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the escape of the dangerous dog and capable of preventing the entry of any person not in control of the dog.
Such pen or structure must have minimum dimensions of two metres by four metres and must
have secure sides and a secure top. If it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than thirty centimetres deep. The enclosure must also provide protection from the elements for the dog. The pen or structure shall not be within one metre of the property line or within three metres of a neighbouring dwelling unit. Such dog may not be chained as a means of confinement.
g) a sign is displayed at each entrance to the property and building in which the dog is kept warning in writing, as well as with a symbol, that there is a dangerous dog on the property. This sign shall be visible and legible from the nearest road or thoroughfare.
h) a policy of liability insurance, satisfactory to the Town, is in force in the amount of at least $500,000, covering the twelve month period during which licensing is sought, for injuries caused by the owner's dangerous dog. This policy shall contain a provision requiring the community to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of the community to be
notified by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the policy.
26 The Town shall have the authority to make whatever inquiry is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions outlined in this section.
27 If the owner of a dog that has been designated as dangerous is unwilling or unable to comply with the requirements of this section after fourteen days, the said dog shall then be humanely euthanized by an animal shelter, animal control agency or licensed veterinarian. Any dog that has been designated as dangerous under this bylaw may not be offered for adoption.

On making mud pies

Like any gardener, I always like to spice up my repertoire of favourites with a couple of new bits every year.   Some, like okra, get added to the annual roster.  Others take a bit of time to find their right niche in the yard.  And a few simply become one hit wonders.
Truth be told, gardeners are masters at the old childhood game ... 'lets say' :) That is because gardening really is a journey .. not a destination.  Without yesterday's science projects there would be no old standbys ... and we would still all be foraging for nuts and berries.
It is much the same with the No Kill Movement ... which began with the wonderful premise ...'lets say' we didn't kill millions of homeless pets every year.  
Yesterday's science projects have a proven track record ... and there is now enough evidence to show that it is possible to adopt the way to No Kill.
Does this make the commercial pet breeders that form the mainstay of PIJAC nervous?  You bet!  In fact, the political ads we are seeing this month pale  by comparison to the campaign afoot on the PIJAC website.  
I was looking at it last night while perusing interesting documents such as 'Arguments against banning the sale of pets in pet stores'.  Word to the wise, don't have any beverages in your mouth when reading about how pets stores are reliable, trusted sources that are part of the solution.... and if you have high blood pressure issues, please don't read the bit where they pull a quote from an industry study that claims that 51.9 % of all cats and dogs adopted from shelters in 2008 had health problems within one week of adoption. 
That's pretty rich coming from an organization whose recommended  Stocking Densities  for pets in retail environments is measured in square centimeters and inches.
( Note from author ... when I popped into the site at time of writing there is a new emotional little video on the front door of their site inviting pet owners to help PIJAC become part of the solution.  Who knows what new little tidbits we can look forward to? )
Lets face it .. the Pet Industry represents big bucks.   The very fact that they have initiated this new campaign is real proof of the pudding that campaigning against selling pets in pet stores has elevated public awareness of the problem.   Of course some of their own, like Bud Wheatley, have done a bit of consciousness raising as well, eh?
So how CAN the rescue community counteract such a campaign?  Especially when PIJAC is so closely associated with our own 'national voice' for the animals?  How can genuine non profit groups without big money PR budgets get their own message out?
With offsite adoptions of course!   The animals make wonderful ambassadors!  Even better, their healthy, friendly, fully vetted and altered selves are the most effective way to discredit the scare tactics being promoted by PIJAC.  Best of all, every good pet adoption experience is the best possible PR for animal rescue in general and the shelter or group in particular.
Its almost frosting on the cake that it really boosts adoption rates, eh?
Tomorrow, the Yarmouth SPCA is holding another Adoption Fair at the Beacon Church Hall.  Admission is free and one can even pick up Rappie Pie for five bucks!   And of course, there will be beautiful cats and dogs to meet there as well.
What time is it?   It is always time to remember that there is no downside to offsite pet adoptions!