Friday, September 21, 2012

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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.

I can't look at these images for very long, I am fighting back the tears and shrieks already. I can't believe that a civilized city would argue that it's okay and even healthy for my dog to be kept in a kennel for years at a time. Any dog.

This is the outdoor space. It's fenced in, it has no trees for shade or windbreak. They use it for walking her a few times a day - it doesn't appear that they allow her to run around in it by herself.

It's no wonder that when they took Brindi to the vet clinic (instead of allowing the vet to go to the kennel in her mobile unit), Brindi seemed to be in a good mood. She was getting out of the kennel for a few hours a month.

September 27 will mark the beginning of her FIFTH year at the hands of Halifax Regional Municipality. The first two were spent in a pound that was even worse than this - but this is not much better, frankly. 

Even if it were the Plaza Hotel of dog kennels, I just cannot and will not ever understand why any decent person armed with only two facts - that Brindi never bit a person and that she never caused a severe injury to a dog - would agree that keeping her for years in any kennel is an acceptable action!!

And yet that is what Halifax is arguing and it has the kennel owner arguing this as well, in court, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 2 pm, in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. 

Right now, I can't really absorb these images to the point where I can adequately comment. I have yet to read the full affidavit of the kennel owner, Christine Graham. So these are just initial thoughts, really, from the position of having to prepare for a court hearing in a few days. Otherwise, I have a lot of emotional scar tissue, and it takes a lot to penetrate to what my "real" feelings are, even as new wounds being inflicted. I often think I might never be able to express my feelings fully or very well, but usually I spend time trying not to feel. My greatest concern, and not entirely by conscious choice, is to avoid all the unpleasant thoughts, memories, information, and all their collateral damage, as much as possible. It's a very energy-draining drive, unavoidable but kind of dangerous, because the pragmatics of this unending effort require interrupting it, at least enough to do a halfway decent job. But there is no defining what is halfway.

So a first question naturally arises in bewilderment: how could any decent person, armed with two key facts - the facts that matter the most: that Brindi never bit a human & never inflicted severe injury to a dog - lock her up for years and years

Even Halifax's attempt to get Brindi killed by smearing me as much as possible, conflating a human's alleged by-law violations with a dog's alleged "dangerousness" - failed. The judge could have ordered her put down, but instead passed the buck to Halifax.

Who is going to put a stop to this insanity?

Do the people responsible for this - and there are people responsible -  have any inkling of what they are actually doing here? Honestly?

I don't even need to bring up my own suffering to elaborate on the horror. Some very wonderful people out there care deeply about Brindi, and they suffer a fair amount of sorrow themselves. Some, like my dear friend Teresa Turner out west, despite her serious illness, worked tirelessly to help me, never met me or her, and passed away last June. Ria Smit in Amsterdam died two whole years ago now, I believe; she took great pains to send me a contribution for the legal battle, in Euros, cash, wrapped carefully in foil. I cried at the sight. Many of these dear people have had pets die, some even gave birth, in the last four years. And new people come along every day, just as caring as them. 

Why? Simple, I suppose. They see a lovable and beloved, beautiful dog being treated badly, cruelly, in so many ways, and above all, needlessly. They see an unmoving and hostile, but also ill-advised and ill-informed city acting irrationally and ruthlessly. They find echoes of other cities in this, but those are generally cities with anti-breed legislation. They feel frustrated that they can't seem to do much more than tweet or repost, or send a few emails, or sign an online petition, while the number of cases seems to multiply daily. 

None of them really compare to Brindi's case. There's not much gray area when the city doesn't even produce a single vet or trainer to agree with it!

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