Sunday, November 9, 2008

News from Nowhere

Many people call and write to ask me how Brindi is doing. Not allowed visits, I rely on reports from others. These are usually one or two words long, until recently.

This is part of a series of emails I received. I've placed them in chronological order. They start with a letter from a Facebook member to Mayor Kelly. I forwarded her letter to SPCA board member Sean Kelly. He replied to both Jen and me. It is the most detailed information I've received to date, after a note from Sean about two weeks ago answering my questions. Sean included the vet’s letter as it appears here.

I am, as may be imagined, utterly and absolutely grateful for these and all reports on Brindi's welfare. I hope it turns out to be a step in the right direction. And in that spirit, Jen's reply raises very pertinent questions.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jen [mailto:]
Sent: Samstag, 1. November 2008 19:18
Subject: Save Brindi!

Hello Mayor Kelly,

I am writing you with my heart on my sleeve. There is a desperate issue that needs to be addressed right away, it is a life or death matter, which makes it all the more urgent.

Brindi is a dog being held on death row at the Nova Scotia SPCA in Burnside. No one is allowed to visit her, including her owner. Her owner rescued Brindi and gave her a loving home. Brindi was removed from her home for doing what comes naturally to her - defending her property. No one was hurt by Brindi, yet she was taken from her safe and loving home and put into a cage to await her fate.

Please, visit Brindi's Facebook page ( and read the history for yourself. Brindi needs all of our help, financial or otherwise. I can't help financially but I believe, Sir, that you can step in and be a hero for the animal community, and a positive role model for children.
Please Mayor Kelly, please help Brindi in her desperate time of need. She is scared, she is lonely. She's been locked up since July 24 with no visitors.

I used to work at the SPCA where Brindi is being held. I know what kind of attention she is getting - none. Dogs in those holding pens are not allowed to interact with the public at all. Brindi will get walked once a day, twice if she's lucky. She will have to live in a pen that is bleached out daily, that is cold, that is lonely. It's a very scary place for dogs. Having come from a nasty home in the first place, Brindi is no doubt reverting to old behaviours, behaviours that humans themselves display when they feel unloved and forgotten about. She is pacing in her pen, panting, searching desperately for any way to escape, eagerly awaiting the humans who will feed her twice a day and take her outside for 10 minutes while her pen is being scrubbed with harsh-smelling chemicals and a fresh piece of scrap fabric is placed on the hard floor for her to sleep on. alone. in the dark.

It breaks my heart and if you're the empathetic person you appear to be in public appearances, you will help Brindi be reunited with her one and only loving owner she's known. Help her escape the awful cycle she's been living in, being in and out of shelters. Be her rescuer, her hero, and mine.


Jennifer Burtch

(Isn't she gorgeous?! Her coat is so shiny, it causes glare!)

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Kelly Sent: November 7, 2008 6:31 AM To: 'Francesca Rogier' Cc: Jen Burtch
Subject: RE: Save Brindi!

Hello Francesca,

I just wanted to pass on some information. Last night I was out with Brindi in the backyard. She was having a great time we tossed the ball, she mainly played keep away J The people at the shelter are doing a lot of training with her to keep her mentally stimulated. Her weight is good she is eating very well. I have attached a letter from Dr. Pauline Giffin who is one of the vets we use. I can assure you that the information that is in Mrs. Burtch's email is incorrect!! It may have been that way in the past but it certainly is not now. I hope this information helps you in this difficult time.

Cheers, Sean Kelly Chair of the Shelter Management Team

Dr. Pauline Giffin's email is below:

I am a local veterinarian who was asked to address your concerns regarding Brindi's emotional and physical well-being during her time at the Metro SPCA. I am pleased to inform you that Brindi has adjusted well to her surroundings, showing no signs of stress-related problems. Her weekly physical exam by a veterinarian indicates no health concernsat the present time and her vaccines have been updated. Brindi has been given a quiet kennel that gives her some privacy from other dogs. She sleeps on a Karanda Bed with a blanket and has access to a large dog run. Her daily routine consists of a minimum of two 30-minute walks (during which time she is unmuzzled) allowing her an opportunity for interactive play with shelter staff. It should be notedthat a catch pole is not being used during Brindi's exercise/play time. Brindi is also provided with enrichment tools every day in her kennel to give her the opportunity to chew/play on her own while shelter staff is performing their daily duties. In conclusion, Brindi has adapted very well to her surroundings. While I realize this is a very difficult time for you, I assure you that Brindi's emotional and physical well-being is of utmost importance to the Metro SPCA and we will endeavor to continue to address all of her needs.

Sincerely, Dr. Pauline Giffin Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

-----Original Message-----
From: Jen []
Sent: November-07-08 10:30 PM
To: 'Sean Kelly'; 'Francesca Rogier'
Subject: RE: Save Brindi!

Hi Sean & Francesca, I am very glad to be proven incorrect! I am also very glad to know that conditions are much improved compared to when I worked there.

Sean, while Brindi seems to be adapting to her situation, what is being done to free her and send her home? I only want to see her happily returned to her home, and not needlessly killed. It was mentioned in the vet's email that she is being trained and worked with easily and without a muzzle. Why can she not be returned to her home? Her home has all of the necessary adaptations made to it to ensure she is safe and kept penned in her yard. Why is she still being held? Her execution date may have been pushed back, but has it been disregarded in light of how wonderful a dog she has proven herself to be?

Sincerely, Jen