Monday, August 18, 2014

Nomansland: Appeal failed - HRM gets back all the power it gave itself in 2008


Not only does the appeal decision of July 11 mean that HRM can go ahead and do what it wants to Brindi - and any other dog: it virtually restores the power it gave itself under the part of By-Law A-300, which the Supreme Court took away in 2009 because it is unconstitutionally excessive power (with no appeal provision). The decision also allows a number of terrible precedents set in the 2012 trial to stand, along with a terrible law.

And it left Brindi's future in nomansland. 

On top of that, the decision adds an amazing comment that blames me for "failing" to appeal in a timely manner. That's something that I would really like to address, having had to represent myself, while coping with PTSD (which doesn't go away in a month or two, as the officials seem to expect), serious financial strain, and a house that takes a beating every winter, which I have to fix myself. Not to mention the sheer difficulty of compiling appeal books and writing briefs, plus the fact that the certified trial transcript I rushed to get done right away turned out to be brimming with errors as well as missing 80 pages of key defense testimony. That alone caused three delays in the appeal, as the transcriber, who demanded to be paid to fix her mistakes, delivered a new version with many of the same mistakes intact, and a host of new ones. To get it overhauled took another three or four months. More on that another time! 
In any case, it was all in the court files for the appeal court to see, so it really astonished me to see that.

I didn’t want to have to appeal in the first place. However, given the trial judge's bizarre ruling leaving Brindi's fate up to HRM despite the fact that made up its mind long ago, I had no choice: weeks before the appeal deadline in August of 2012 the city responded to my question about an assessment (inexplicably) ordered by the court, that they the results of any assessment they might do (and they had no plans to do one), would be kept "internal", i.e., not made known. As they "usually" do - which is not usual at all to do.From what they’ve said in court in October of 2013, when they tried to get the appeal dismissed before it was heard, it’s pretty clear HRM was and is prepared to go ahead and put Brindi down, regardless. 
During that hearing, I listed off to the judge how many times and ways Halifax rejected my offers of reasonable alternatives that would have avoided every single court proceeding since 2008. The HRM lawyer responded first by saying she hoped the judge wouldn't pay any attention to what I said (to which he replied, "well she hasn't provided any evidence for it," though the day before he assured me he'd give me time to gather and submit evidence if it became necessary). Then the HRM lawyer added, "And even if all that she says were true, m'Lord, why should we abandon our position?"

That sums it all up perfectly, as far as this case is concerned. What better proof that it's not about public safety, not about animal control, truth, or justice, but all about "winning". Winning is killing, unjustified by facts or law or expert opinion - but it's still winning, and that's all that counts, apparently. This lines up neatly with the earlier statement about withholding results which signals that they intend to do away with my dog in secret, as there'd be no reason to withhold positive evaluation results otherwise. 
Adoption is out, because they don’t want to be seen to be going back on their original and lasting decision to kill her. It would render everything they did going back to 2008 totally wrong and unjustified (especially given the string of positive assessments from that year up to 2012). A freedom of information application to find out what happened to Brindi would not likely work. And it would certainly be too late to bring her back in any case. And even though people are sending in adoption requests, it appears HRM isn't replying to them. 

So I am stuck applying for a second appeal. I have no problem admitting here  that I have no idea how to do it and do not know if I can make the deadline. The answers are not exactly spelled out in the procedural rules, and the category remains fuzzy. And at the same time, I do know that it's going to be (another) disaster for my own life.

____________ 
Since 2011, l live under perpetual fear that HRM will seize my house and property and sell it off. The by-law people and legal staff set up a neat trick to do this: after evicting me in 2010, the same day, they put up a fence around my house - on the ruse that it was somehow so dangerous and kids could get hurt. Never mind that two years had passed without incident - or for that matter, that the building code and by-laws didn't call for a fence around a freestanding house being renovated. 
At the end of the following summer, by which time they had issued an unheard of conditional demolition order and sidestepped the Heritage Act in the process, they notified me they put a lien on my house for the cost of the fence and boards. Well, I understood "lien" to mean that it would be a problem only if I ever wanted to sell my house, so it was not particularly concerning. However, the Register of Deeds did not show any lien. I found out to my horror that HRM has its own version of lien and it is not a lien at all. They simply took the amount of money - $15,000 - and put it on my property tax account with the label "arrears". Arrears denotes unpaid back taxes. But my taxes were paid up. Not only that, I would have had to be well over 15 years in arrears to rack up that amount! On top of this, they added a 15% annual interest charge.
I delved back into the HRM Charter and lo and behold, way down in the depths it says they can do this very thing - with Council approval. 

If there was ever Council approval, it's news to me; nobody ever let me know it was even under consideration. Then, it turns out, the HRM law also says after a year, they can put your house on the list of properties owing back taxes up for auction, and at that point, you cannot go to court to have it dealt with. A by-law is actually claiming precedence over a constitutional right to be heard and blocking access to the courts. 
Chalk up another questionable and let's face it, undeniable instance of procedural unfairness - what most people would call due process, kind of a big constitutional right. 
But they did it. They offered an appeal, but it was not really an appeal, just a halfhearted review conducted by a member of HRM staff. A decision-making reviewing their own decisions is not generally done in courts or tribunals because it's - well - not objective! So big surprise, the in-house HRM appeal knocked off a few dollars and left the rest.

 In the year that followed, which led up to the trial, there was no humanly possible way to go to court about it. All I can do in the meantime is make small payments every month. If I wanted to deal with it, I would have to apply for permission to apply after the one year period expired, etc. Very time-consuming, exhausting, frustrating stuff. But equally petrifying. 
So if HRM drops a notice about selling my house for nonexistent back taxes... I will have two weeks' flat to raise the money or I am facing homelessness. Again. 

I can't think about that much now. I have to think about how to get these papers filed. The threat will still be there after that. 






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Post by Humane Halifax for Better Animal Control

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  AUGUST 12 2014


Humanehalifax@yahoo.ca (Dartmouth Aug. 12, 2014): In a recent email, HRM prosecutor Katherine Salsman tightened the cloak of secrecy around the municipality’s longtime ward, the dog Brindi, claiming there is no “final decision” on the dog’s future (see Salsman email below).

With a consensus of five expert examinations of the dog between 2008 and 2012 finding Brindi “highly trainable” and rating her reported occasional displays of canine aggression as minimal, a less than positive conclusion is very unlikely. None appear to have witnessed Brindi behaving aggressively.


Brindi, a medium-sized mixed breed rescue dog was seized at age four in 2008 for a muzzle order violation. No evidence of injury was found. She is now ten years old and has spent all but one year of life in isolated confinement.


In 2012 a provincial judge termed Brindi “not beyond redemption”, but passed on deciding her fate, ordering HRM to decide whether to adopt her out or destroy her.


The judge directed HRM to obtain a further behavior assessment by the “usual means”, an apparent reference to pound evaluations of stray dogs.


Brindi is not a stray, and has been well-trained in basic obedience skills.


HRM’s late July statement suggests it is reluctant to disclose its plans for Brindi. It has not stated whether it has carried out the ordered assessment - a step it has been free to take at any time since June 2012, regardless of a possible appeal. 


For six years the municipality has steadfastly held to a July 2008 decision to do away with Brindi. The Supreme Court later quashed that decision, finding it exceeded judicial authority. HRM since failed to convince two judges to grant its equests for proper orders to destroy.

The July 11 appeal decision left Brindi's fate ambiguous.


As an Aug. 18 deadline to file a second appeal of the 2012 decision approaches, Brindi’s loyal ex-owner is at a crossroads. “It’s strange HRM will not say what it intends to do with Brindi if I don’t appeal,” says the East Chezzetcook resident. Rogier included the adoption alternative among her court sentencing requests in 2012 and proposed it to the municipality in 2010.


Earlier that year, the SPCA, then the HRM pound operator, publicly endorsed the dog as friendly and urged HRM to seek an order for adoption (letter attached). The dog’s popularity among SPCA staff is evident in a photo from 2009 (photo attached).


Residents of the province like Olive Pastor, below, have voiced disapproval of HRM’s handling of the case in numerous letters to the mayor and the province.


Meanwhile, Humane Halifax’s request that the SPCA investigate the municipality’s treatment of Brindi - and other dogs held for months and years - for possible infractions of the Animal Protection Act has gone unanswered.



END

------ Forwarded Message

From: "Salsman, Katherine"
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:19:32 +0000
To: Francesca Rogier
Subject: RE: Query re HRM's decided course of action

Ms. Rogier,

A final decision in this regard has not been made and will not be made until the Court proceedings are fully resolved.

Yours truly,


Katherine E. Salsman

Solicitor
Legal Services
HΛLIFΛX
T. 902.490.6024
C. 902.225.0060
F. 902.490.4232
halifax.ca

From: Francesca Rogier

Sent: July-29-14 6:27 PM
To: Salsman, Katherine
Subject: Query re HRM's decided course of action

Ms. Salsman,


As a matter of record, and as HRM has had abundant opportunity to make the determination, on what course of action has HRM decided regarding Brindi? Simply put, will it adopt her out to a suitable home, and if so, where; or will it have her killed?


Notwithstanding the wording of the Provincial Court decision regarding an additional assessment of “adoptability”, I find no reasonable grounds to put off the decision. Now, as before, nothing (including a potential appeal application) realistically or materially prevents HRM from carrying out any form of assessment at any time. Secondly, the consensus of positive opinion established by five previous expert assessments by canine professionals precludes the possibility that a substantively different opinion will result from a further assessment.


However, to my knowledge, a number of individuals have conveyed formal adoption requests to HRM since July 11, which have gone unanswered, leaving those individuals in doubt. Under these circumstances, and given HRM’s stated policy of transparency, it seems not unreasonable to put the question to you, the HRM representative on this matter, at this time. In the interest of avoiding lengthy and costly proceedings to obtain such information, I would very much appreciate a prompt reply answering in full.


Thank you.

Francesca Rogier

--

-----Original Message-----
From: Olive Pastor
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:52am
To: mayor@halifax.ca
Subject: Rogier

Dear Mayor Savage:


At the end of this week the fate of Brindi the dog will be decided. It appears that HRM has only one wish and that is to see Brindi dead but then again everything is so secretive who knows what you want. As a resident of Nova Scotia and a Canadian citizen I am disgusted with HRM for keeping the dog kenneled for so long. It is my opinion that Brindi had a terrible life by being kenneled for years. Can you possibly tell me how a by-law can be right when so many people want it changed and want the process changed when Municipalities deal with animals. I hope Brindi's death will not be in vain. I hope that it will open the eyes of Nova Scotians and they will start questioning the Municipal governments throughout the province on how they deal with animals and many other things and I hope that changes will involve giving back the say to the politicians who are elected by the people and answerable to the people not to the CEOS and staff who answer to them.


I want to see change in the process, ie.: changes where people can be with their pets when they are killed by the municipality and I want to see the remains given back to the owners. This is called closure if you don't know it. I want better interpretation of by-laws that are not so arbitrary and leaving the interpretation to staff at animal control. I am against the secrecy that surrounds the killing of pets or any animal for that matter by the Municipality and if a dog is re-homed it should be monitored by people outside of the Government. 


Face it, we all know that bigger crimes have been committed by dogs and their owners in HRM that got lighter sentences, if they were charged at all,then Brindi. Brindi never killed an animal or did any serious damage but still this travesty continues. You know sometimes the moral aspect of a problem out weights the legal problem and we all have our thoughts of what is happening here and it is not putting Halifax or its leaders in a very positive light.


I can't even address the heartache, pain, financial distress or health distress caused to Ms Rogier who has been forced to fight for her dog.


Why don't you do the right and moral thing and go to the court and have this stopped and give Brindi back to Ms Rogier. The dog has served her time. She deserves to be let off with time served as the penalty.


I hope this letter will be considered as a wake-up call that people want change in the antiquated laws of this province.


Olive Pastor

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Humane Halifax Press Release: HRM keeping plans for Brindi secret / SPCA asked to investigate HRM for neglect & abuse of dogs detained indefinitely

Post by Humane Halifax for Better Animal Control
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  AUGUST 12 2014


Humanehalifax@yahoo.ca (Dartmouth Aug. 12, 2014): In a recent email, HRM prosecutor Katherine Salsman tightened the cloak of secrecy around the municipality’s longtime ward, the dog Brindi, claiming there is no “final decision” on the dog’s future (see Salsman email below).

With a consensus of five expert examinations of the dog between 2008 and 2012 finding Brindi “highly trainable” and rating her reported occasional displays of canine aggression as minimal, a less than positive conclusion is very unlikely. None appear to have witnessed Brindi behaving aggressively.


Brindi, a medium-sized mixed breed rescue dog was seized at age four in 2008 for a muzzle order violation. No evidence of injury was found. She is now ten years old and has spent all but one year of life in isolated confinement.


In 2012 a provincial judge termed Brindi “not beyond redemption”, but passed on deciding her fate, ordering HRM to decide whether to adopt her out or destroy her.


The judge directed HRM to obtain a further behavior assessment by the “usual means”, an apparent reference to pound evaluations of stray dogs.


Brindi is not a stray, however. She is well-trained in basic obedience skills.


HRM’s late July statement suggests it is reluctant to disclose its plans for Brindi. It has not stated whether it has carried out the ordered assessment - a step it has been free to take at any time since June 2012, regardless of a possible appeal. 


For six years the municipality has steadfastly held to a July 2008 decision to do away with Brindi. The Supreme Court later quashed that decision, finding it exceeded judicial authority. HRM since failed to convince two judges to grant its equests for proper orders to destroy.

The July 11 appeal decision left Brindi's fate ambiguous.


As an Aug. 18 deadline to file a second appeal of the 2012 decision approaches, Brindi’s loyal ex-owner is at a crossroads. “It’s strange HRM will not say what it intends to do with Brindi if I don’t appeal,” says the East Chezzetcook resident. Rogier included the adoption alternative among her court sentencing requests in 2012 and proposed it to the municipality in 2010.


Earlier that year, the SPCA, then the HRM pound operator, publicly endorsed the dog as friendly and urged HRM to seek an order for adoption (letter attached). The dog’s popularity among SPCA staff is evident in a photo from 2009 (photo attached).


Residents of the province like Olive Pastor, below, have voiced disapproval of HRM’s handling of the case in numerous letters to the mayor and the province.


Meanwhile, Humane Halifax’s request that the SPCA investigate the municipality’s treatment of Brindi - and other dogs held for months and years - for possible infractions of the Animal Protection Act has gone unanswered.



END

------ Forwarded Message

From: "Salsman, Katherine"
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:19:32 +0000
To: Francesca Rogier
Subject: RE: Query re HRM's decided course of action

Ms. Rogier,

A final decision in this regard has not been made and will not be made until the Court proceedings are fully resolved.

Yours truly,


Katherine E. Salsman

Solicitor
Legal Services
HΛLIFΛX
T. 902.490.6024
C. 902.225.0060
F. 902.490.4232
halifax.ca

From: Francesca Rogier

Sent: July-29-14 6:27 PM
To: Salsman, Katherine
Subject: Query re HRM's decided course of action

Ms. Salsman,


As a matter of record, and as HRM has had abundant opportunity to make the determination, on what course of action has HRM decided regarding Brindi? Simply put, will it adopt her out to a suitable home, and if so, where; or will it have her killed?


Notwithstanding the wording of the Provincial Court decision regarding an additional assessment of “adoptability”, I find no reasonable grounds to put off the decision. Now, as before, nothing (including a potential appeal application) realistically or materially prevents HRM from carrying out any form of assessment at any time. Secondly, the consensus of positive opinion established by five previous expert assessments by canine professionals precludes the possibility that a substantively different opinion will result from a further assessment.


However, to my knowledge, a number of individuals have conveyed formal adoption requests to HRM since July 11, which have gone unanswered, leaving those individuals in doubt. Under these circumstances, and given HRM’s stated policy of transparency, it seems not unreasonable to put the question to you, the HRM representative on this matter, at this time. In the interest of avoiding lengthy and costly proceedings to obtain such information, I would very much appreciate a prompt reply answering in full.


Thank you.

Francesca Rogier

--

-----Original Message-----
From: Olive Pastor
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:52am
To: mayor@halifax.ca
Subject: Rogier

Dear Mayor Savage:


At the end of this week the fate of Brindi the dog will be decided. It appears that HRM has only one wish and that is to see Brindi dead but then again everything is so secretive who knows what you want. As a resident of Nova Scotia and a Canadian citizen I am disgusted with HRM for keeping the dog kenneled for so long. It is my opinion that Brindi had a terrible life by being kenneled for years. Can you possibly tell me how a by-law can be right when so many people want it changed and want the process changed when Municipalities deal with animals. I hope Brindi's death will not be in vain. I hope that it will open the eyes of Nova Scotians and they will start questioning the Municipal governments throughout the province on how they deal with animals and many other things and I hope that changes will involve giving back the say to the politicians who are elected by the people and answerable to the people not to the CEOS and staff who answer to them.


I want to see change in the process, ie.: changes where people can be with their pets when they are killed by the municipality and I want to see the remains given back to the owners. This is called closure if you don't know it. I want better interpretation of by-laws that are not so arbitrary and leaving the interpretation to staff at animal control. I am against the secrecy that surrounds the killing of pets or any animal for that matter by the Municipality and if a dog is re-homed it should be monitored by people outside of the Government. 


Face it, we all know that bigger crimes have been committed by dogs and their owners in HRM that got lighter sentences, if they were charged at all,then Brindi. Brindi never killed an animal or did any serious damage but still this travesty continues. You know sometimes the moral aspect of a problem out weights the legal problem and we all have our thoughts of what is happening here and it is not putting Halifax or its leaders in a very positive light.


I can't even address the heartache, pain, financial distress or health distress caused to Ms Rogier who has been forced to fight for her dog.


Why don't you do the right and moral thing and go to the court and have this stopped and give Brindi back to Ms Rogier. The dog has served her time. She deserves to be let off with time served as the penalty.


I hope this letter will be considered as a wake-up call that people want change in the antiquated laws of this province.


Olive Pastor

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia



Friday, September 21, 2012

Why keeping Brindi kennelled & isolated from contact with dogs is bad for her


Always isolating Brindi from other dogs means not only failing to meet her need for social interaction with her own species. It also risks multiple and compounded harmful effects on behavior, jeopardizing her chances in the future, as well as her health and well being. 

"Within four weeks after picking up their pet, 88% of the owners of dogs that had been housed individually complained of problems."
Abstract:
To emphasize the effects of group- and single housing of kennelled dogs, the behavior of 211 dogs in two German animal shelters was tested and observed. After being placed, 197 of the dogs' new owners were interviewed.

Although 51% of the German animal shelters already keep dogs in groups, there is strong prejudice against group housing because of the fear of dog fights. This study demonstrates that this apprehension is unfounded. Ninety-one percent of the social confrontations between dogs housed together were settled by the use of behavioral rituals. Keeping dogs in groups, furthermore, leads to a significant reduction in noise emission (p<.001). Group housing fulfills the dog's need for social interaction and the need to move. 

Dogs that were housed in groups displayed a closer human-animal relationship (80%) than those that had been kept individually (43%). A high percentage of individually housed dogs suffered from behavioral problems (31%) and 10% developed stereotypes. The percentage of behaviorally disturbed dogs observed in group housing was 11%, and stereotyped forms of behavior did not occur. Dogs who had been kept in groups were, on average, placed within 10 days, and were returned to the animal shelter less often (9%) compared to those housed individually (25%). Dogs that were housed separately needed an average of 17 days to be placed. Even after being placed, there is a correlation between the animal shelter's type of housing and the dog's behavior. Within four weeks after picking up their pet, 88% of the owners of dogs that had been housed individually complained of problems compared to the owners of the dogs that had been kept in groups, 53% of whom were completely satisfied with the adoption.

Despite the fact that these results might be influenced by the small number of shelters examined, the study leads to the conclusion that keeping dogs in groups is a suitable alternative for dog housing in animal shelters and, for the animals' welfare, is preferable to individual housing.

How awful it must be for Brindi to be isolated from contact with her kind as well as her own family!

Our trainer, Susan Jordan, tried to explain to the judge during the trial last March (2012) that it is normal for a dog to back-slide in its training under any circumstances. What's really important is whether the aggressive behavior escalates - which it did not. Also, during those precious ten weeks when she was back home, Brindi was in many situations around strange dogs where she did not react aggressively. 

And now, based on the findings of this study regarding the increased risk of behavioral problems due to the isolation from other dogs, after years of isolation, seems to me that having an incident ten weeks after she was released from two years of isolation from other dogs is understandable. Even for dogs that aren't known to have any aggressive tendencies, "Within four weeks after picking up their pet, 88% of the owners of dogs that had been housed individually complained of problems".

Here is where Brindi has been kept for the last two years

This is Brindi's cell. It is a 3x4 foot area - less than the minimum standard of 3x5 for indoor runs used by vet clinics, required even for stays of just one day. The thought of the minimum standard for two years is not very comforting! I don't know what that material is, but looks pretty dreary and worn. I don't know about the door, it seems to go right to the outside. What happens when it rains or snows or a cold wild blows and she wants to stay in, no idea. 
Halifax has never allowed our vet or trainer to visit Brindi at this kennel. Why not? It's a place of business, it boards people's pets. Friends ask, "What are they hiding?" Well, now there's a glimpse of it. Halifax submitted these photos of the Wyndenfog Kennel, where Brindi has been kept for two years now, to a judge who I hope will hear my motion to order that she be sent to a foster home - a real home - pending the outcome of my appeal. 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The amazing stubbornness of stalkers and haters: a rant for once

At every stage of the way, regardless of the mounting unfair and cruel actions of various authorities or agents, a stubborn core of best unnamed somehow manages to fit them into a strange, ill-minded spin aimed at making me the sole villain. Safe in their internet hideouts, these bizarrely obsessive people currently insist - to anyone willing to listen - that I am now blocking the city from adopting out Brindi.

The emails from prosecutor Katherine Salsman I posted weeks ago happen to make it very clear that by the appeal deadline, HRM had not done the court-ordered assessment, nor made any decision about Brindi, other than to keep the results of said assessment private. Nor had the city scheduled a date for reaching a decision.

So while the idea that I am blocking is hardly credible, it's all the more astounding, not to say mind-blowing, to discover again and again just how persistent these people are. No matter what turn things take, no matter how absurd the spin. I guess they rely on the fact that a certain percentage of people won't think for themselves, let alone discern fact from opinion. It's a low percentage, but the litany of untruths, some hatched as far back as 2009, are not unthreatening in this age of Google.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My house is not a home.

















Brindi and I, photographed through the fence at the SPCA Shelter, which served as the Halifax pound, 2010.
According to rules invented on the spot (no official policy existed or was ever adopted by the HRM council), my visits were limited to 30 minutes once a week, on a day and time set by HRM; I could take no photos, not talk to staff; have no friends accompany me, give my own dog treats, and if I was late for whatever reason, they subtracted the time from the 30 minutes.
Even though there was (and is) no law or rule in place forbidding owners from visiting their dogs in the pound, Halifax refused to let me see Brindi for ten months, barring a single, torturous visit in January 2009, right after the court decision quashing the euthanasia order. At the time I believed she'd be let go in a few days, but it was neverthless horrifying to see her condition and horrible to have to leave her 25 minutes later, after freezing in the subzero weather (they wouldn't let us visit indoors). It wasn't until ten months after they took Brindi away from me that I was allowed regular visits under the same strict rules mentioned above. Then, HRM terminated the visits, just before Xmas 2009, on a claim that I had violated the rules. Which ones and when - forget it; there's no impartial review anyhow. The decision more or less coincided with the onset of Brindi's illness, when it was difficult to get precise medical information. Thanks to that, and the court's insistence that it didn't have jurisdiction to grant visits, I didn't see my dog for another six months.
As of today I haven't seen her for almost two years. Fortunately, I was able to have my vet see her at the clinic on a fairly regular basis, and her assistant took photos. Here's one of the last shots, from June 20. You can see how much she's aged. That probably happens faster when a dog is kept in a cage, I suppose. I know I've aged a lot more than four years.


Meanwhile, I have posted the trainer's recent assessment results, along with her statement to the court. And you can read her in-court testimony here.


"Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is diminished." - Dean Koontz 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Appeal filed Aug. 1: another marathon begins

The reason the judge told HRM that they must wait to take any action until after August 1 was because that was the last day to file an appeal of any kind before the Supreme Court.

I dearly wish it weren't so, but the outcome of this trial was a very odd twist, not what the law envisages, and certainly not what anybody I know expected. For whatever reason, I really felt the case had been mishandled almost from the start. After waiting until well after the trial was finished, the judge denied the motions I filed - including a motion to dismiss the charges, based on several grounds related to constitutional rights. Right or wrong, that motion was to be heard on the first day of court, March 2, and would have been presented orally, and presumably, decided on the same day. Instead, I ended up filing it in writing, to my great dismay.

Though I had prepared to present this motion with a lot of effort, a lot of notes, and a lot of brain cells, March 2 was a very wintery day that kept the tow trucks very busy, and my car went out of control not far from my house, skidding and swerving around a curve on solid ice. Thankfully, a street sign stopped it from flipping into a 12 foot drop at the side of the road, the opposite side, where there was no ditch to speak of, just the drop, and a few trees. I knew I'd be late, but not how late: it took an hour and 15 minutes for CAA to arrive, then another 45 minutes to free my car, which had lodged against the sign with the front tires pitched up in the air. It was not easy getting out of the car and I wrenched my lower back in the process, possibly also in the swerve (I don't know, but it hurt badly enough to force me to a clinic by the end of the day, where a doctor gave me some serious muscle relaxants).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to find out what Halifax is up to: it's not easy!

From: Francesca Rogier
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 15:24:55 -0300
To: "Salsman, Katherine"
Cc: "MacDonald, Andrea", "Scolaro, Lori", (the court clerk; Animal Services; David Hendsbee; the vet; the trainer; Mayor Kelly; legal consultant Kirthi Jayakumar)
Conversation: Awaiting response to July 23 email: HRM's plans for Brindi?
Subject: Re: Awaiting response to July 23 email: HRM's plans for Brindi?
Ms. Salsman,

Thank you for your reply.
Would you kindly explain what is meant by “usual practice”? Other than the evaluations of stray dogs by and at the city pound, I am not aware of any practice or policy by which HRM regularly assesses seized dogs. If such a practice exists, surely HRM would have had Brindi evaluated some time ago, but I never received any such documentation as part of disclosure.
Clearly we are not dealing with anything of a usual nature in this instance, at the very least. So I would still like an answer as to why the assessment results will not be made known.
Also, when do you expect a decision will be made?

Thank you,
Francesca Rogier   

From: "Salsman, Katherine"
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 17:59:55 +0000
To: Francesca Rogier
Cc: "MacDonald, Andrea" , "Scolaro, Lori"  
Subject: RE: Awaiting response to July 23 email: HRM's plans for Brindi?


Ms. Rogier,  

As previously stated, the assessment will not be released because it is an internal document. It is not our usual practice to release documents of that nature.

The assessment has not yet been completed and therefore no decisions have been made.

Katherine E. Salsman
Municipal Prosecutor  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

HELP SAVE BRINDI - LIST OF CONTACTS

-->
LIST OF CONTACTS

TELL THEM: HALIFAX MUST NOT KILL BRINDI!

·      Please contact often and be sure to ask for a reply.
·      Send photos of Brindi with them if you can (download from the blog or Save Brindi).
·      Calling them, if you are able, and using regular mail or postcards is very powerful.
·      For emails, try to avoid using Brindi in the subject line because many of them just dump them!
·      ALSO IMPORTANT: To be more effective, please cc all messages to the media. See list below.

THANK YOU!! 

Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM)
Address:          Halifax  City Hall
1841 Argyle Street, Main Floor
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5 Canada

Mayor Peter Kelly: kellyp@halifax.ca
phone: 001 902 490 4010
twitter: @mayorpeterkelly

Head of Halifax Legal Services: Marian Tyson tysonm@halifax.ca

Municipal Prosecutor: Katherine Salsman salsmak@halifax.ca

Manager of HRM Animal Services: Andrea Macdonald macdonaa@halifax.ca
Supervisor of Animal Services: Lori Scolaro scolarl@halifax.ca (she issued the original euthanasia order)
HRM Animal Services
P.O. Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5
Phone: 001-902-490-7371 or 490 1791
Fax: 001 902 490-6142

Homeward Bound City Pound
Address:             201 Unit 9 Brownlow Avenue,
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1W2
Tel: (902)407-SAVE (7283) Fax: (902)406-8588

Homeward Bound Owner/Director: Hope Swinimer email: hopeswinimer@accesswave.ca

HRM MUNICIPAL COUNCILORS: see Halifax.ca for full information.

Brindi’s local councilor is David Hendsbee.
Mobile:     1 902.483.0705
Home:      1 902.829.2465
Mailing Address: 1 Chamberlain Drive, Dartmouth, NS B2Z 1B1

Email addresses for all municipal councilors: harveyb@halifax.ca, adamss@halifax.ca, barry.dalrymple@halifax.ca, brad.johns@halifax.ca, darren.fisher@halifax.ca, David.Hendsbee@halifax.ca, sloaned@halifax.ca, humd@halifax.ca, jennifer.watts@halifax.ca, karsteb@halifax.ca, lorelei.nicoll@halifax.ca, mcclusg@halifax.ca, mosherl@halifax.ca, outhitt@halifax.ca, peter.lund@halifax.ca, rankinr@halifax.ca, streats@halifax.ca, smithj@halifax.ca, utecks@halifax.ca, walkerr@halifax.ca, wilema@halifax.ca

Twitter addresses for some councilors: @barkhouse @downtowndawn @councillorwatts @darrenfisherns

PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS
Attorney General and Minister of Justice: Hon. Ross Landry
Email: justmin@gov.ns.ca

Minister of Municipal Affairs: Hon. John MacDonnell snsmrmin@gov.ns.ca
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2M4
Phone: (902) 424-5550
Fax: (902) 424-0581

Member of Parliament for Halifax/Eastern Shore: Peter Stoffer stoffp1@parl.gc.ca
Community Office:
2900 Hwy #2
Fall River, Nova Scotia, B2T 1W4
Tel: 902-861-2311 or toll-free (NS only) 1-888-701-5557
Fax: 902-861-4620
Ottawa Office:
Room 242 Confederation Bldg.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Tel: 613-995-5822Email: stoffp@parl.gc.ca

Member of the Provincial Assembly (MLA), Eastern Shore: Sid Prest sidprest.mla@ns.aliantzinc.ca
7907 Hwy #7, Unit 2
P.O. Box 6
Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia
B0J 2L0

Phone: (902) 889-2112
Fax: (902) 889-3190

For all MLAs: http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/people/addresses/

IMPORTANT: To be more effective, please cc all messages to the media.

Local media: news957@rogers.com, radionews@halifax.cbc.ca, Eileen.McInnis@CBC.CA atlanticnews@ctv.ca, news@ctv.ca, jackie.foster@ctv.ca, marnoon@cbc.ca, cbcns@cbc.ca news@globaltv.com, newsroom@herald.ca, letters@herald.ca, editor@herald.ca, Rick.Howe@rci.rogers.com, mileshowe@hotmail.com

Local media on Twitter: @cbcns @cbcmainstreet @maritimenoon @jordimorgan @theRickHoweShow @news957 @chronicleherald @twitcoast @tim_bousquet @openfileHFX @HalifaxMagazine @HalifaxNSNews @nealozano @CKDU881FM

National media: CBC radio and TV, CTV, Global TV, National Post, Globe and Mail

OTHER LOCAL TWITTER ACCOUNTS:  @hfxnovascotia @halifaxtweeters @occupyns

NOTE: Contacting individuals directly and often brings better results than online petitions. We have done petitions over and over, the last total was 10,000 signatures, but the judge and the city ignore them! Belfast ignored nearly 200,000 signatures on petitions for Lennox, sadly!