Thursday, August 21, 2008

To the SPCA:

To Darrell Smith and the Executive Board of the Nova Scotia SPCA:

I want my precious dog back now.

Until very recently, the NS SCPA website posted a mission statement with an objective on “intervention and protection” stating: “In order to protect animals from further harm we intervene in cases where their needs are not being met.” Clearly, my dog Brindi’s needs are not being met - not by Animal Services, and certainly not by the SCPA.

The SPCA’s choice to remain silent on Brindi, ostensibly due to its HRM contract, does not constitute a neutral stance. Rather, it is doubly harmful. First, it denies us its powerful assistance as an animal advocate. Second, as pound keeper, it actually facilitates HRM-ordered inhumane treatment, from the euthanization order to its refusal of my rights to visitation, rejection of an expert assessment, and denial of a foster home. In fact, SPCA is actually a party to what experts call an act of cruelty to an animal that has already suffered in a shelter for over two years of its short life, just one year since its adoption. All this, at a cost to me, as owner, of $25 a day, with part, if not all, to wind up in SPCA coffers. For me, a firm believer in pet adoption, a donor to your organization and others like it, owner of not one but three rescued animals, this is quite a blow.

To insist that the SPCA cannot intervene to protect Brindi from the harm of further confinement and/or destruction is incomprehensible and, I feel, unforgivable. By participating in the wrongful seizure of a rescue dog that has never bitten a human or caused serious injury to another dog, the SCPA appears to have traded advocacy for complicity. In fact, it may be compromising its entire mission by supporting this HRM-ordered euthanization under the guise of an incorrectly enforced by-law, itself widely regarded as unjust. For if part of a public charity operates as a private contractor, all of it ceases being a public charity.

Without SPCA help, I face certain financial ruin to prevent the unwarranted death of my dog. Please, I beg you, do not abandon your publicly supported mandate. It is urgent that you take a stand and help us now. Review the case, and allow Silvia Jay or another expert to assess Brindi to determine whether it is right for her to die.

I firmly believe that your actions will succeed in returning my dog to me in the immediate future. I sincerely hope you will agree. I may be reached at (902) 827-3716.


Francesca Rogier

Sent to the SPCA and the media on August 21.

I wish to add here: During our meeting last Monday, through its legal representative, HRM acknowledged unequivocably that it does not regard Brindi as a threat to humans.

And to clarify: I refer to the SPCA's mission statement, which until a few days ago, was published on its website. As of this writing, the page says "under construction" above a prayer by Albert Schweizer.

What is the SPCA position?

This is a response to a letter sent by Jon Stone last week to the SPCA. It is signed, appropriately enough, by its treasurer.
Normally I would not post this. But because it appears that false information being circulated about the case, it seems necessary.

I must also point out that I have no knowledge whatsoever that the SPCA is offering assistance or involved in discussions. Nor is any other group to date.

-----Original Message-----
From: james Kochanoff []
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 9:35 PM
Subject: RE: Mis-representation of the role of NS SPCA

Dear Jon,

Thanks for your email. You are correct on your comments.

Our shelter as are most SPCA's in the country are dependant on animal control contracts to survive. The reality is without government funding, it is the only way we can pay for investigation and housing for cruelty cases we investigate across the province.

It would be a good PR move with the public to make a statement against the HRM regarding Brindi. Unfortunately it would cut us out of city discussions in the case and that would not benefit her.

We continue to work behind the scenes to offer guidance to the HRM on the dog's behavior. It may not generate good press but it will hopefully prevent this poor dog from losing its life from the mistakes of its owner.

Please continue to voice your concerns - your comments are having an effect.


Jim Kochanoff
SPCA Treasurer