Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Outcome of March 9 court date

The judge agrees that she must hear from an expert on whether Brindi is dangerous and granted me extra time to arrange for a report. The first was positive but is a year old, so she agreed to the need for a new one. 

The new hearing date is set for April 16. The judge may not make a decision that day, though; she likes to take time. I tried to avoid this extra delay by arranging for an assessment on Feb. 27, right after HRM gave permission. But the trainers were not allowed to see Brindi then, due to some mixup between HRM and the Animal Services department. The trainers were unavailable after that day for the rest of the month. I have now arranged for another trainer to see Brindi later this month.

The city will not be offering any assessment and says it is not calling any expert to the stand to argue that Brindi is dangerous. I do not know who it will be calling to the stand, if anyone.

A few points to make:

1. Neither the Halifax by-law nor the provincial law require a dog to be put down solely because it is labeled "dangerous". The by-law allows "dangerous" dogs to be kept under certain conditions. 
While Halifax does seem to put down a lot of dogs, all of them have caused serious harm to people or animals. Brindi is significantly different, and pre-emptive action is not called for.

3. I am being asked about the "plan" to re-home Brindi that has been publicized by the SPCA and Bob Ottenbrite

I heartily welcome the main message behind this plan, because it confirms is what I have been saying all along: that Brindi should not be killed. It supports the evidence I will present to convince the judge to keep her alive. 

4. Under the law, and given the circumstances, to put my dog down can only be justified as an "additional penalty" for the charges, an unnecessary and needless waste of life. 

4. Halifax dog owners are commonly charged and fined without any question of losing their dogs because of it. I will be fined for charges due to one incident that did not involve an attack on a human or serious (or any proven) injuries to a dog. I am no different from scores of other dog owners whose dogs remain in their care.

As it seems all are now saying that Brindi is not a dangerous dog, why can't she just please go home?  

Sad developments:
A reporter told me this morning that trainer Bob Ottenbrite says he received some sort of email threatening to steal Brindi or cause him or his business harm if he were to take her to his kennels, where he had offered to keep her for the rest of her life. Because of this he says he is taking back his offer. 

This is the first I've heard of this. Anyone who would do such a thing is badly misguided. 

I myself have been harassed and cyberstalked throughout this ordeal but I have chosen not to share it all with the press. But this month alone, I've gotten about twenty such messages. From time to time, I bring some of them to attention of the RCMP. 

It's really regrettable that people are getting so carried away and emotional. I like to think that people who really love and understand dogs know that dogs love and forgive unconditionally, and out of respect for this, they are uninterested in engaging in violent or threatening behavior towards others. 

Dogs are my role models. They are hard to emulate.

However, I did feel it was important to ask the Herald for a retraction of the unfortunate message they conveyed in an article published yesterday.