Time to hang up that suit of armour ….

I love George!    Six years ago this week, we found his small self playing in a puddle of water … with absolutely no idea just how far down the food chain he was!   To see him now, the casual observer could never imagine he came home in my pocket … with plenty of room to spare!

In a sense, George owes his life to my granddaughter!    My daughter was so close to her due date that our power walks had settled to more serene power waddles.    Had we been going at our usual pace, we would never have heard the squeaky little voice clamouring for attention.

The short version of this story is that we were not one bit surprised to discover that no one in the neighbourhood was missing a kitten.   Although we scoured the surrounding area, we never did find any sign of any siblings either 😦

I never know what I am going to find when I open my inbox either!   Yesterday, somebody sent me this picture of a letter to the editor in the Yarmouth paper (see below).  Unlike most papers, the Yarmouth ‘free’ online edition only publishes gardening bits in its Opinion section.   Anyone without access to a hard copy of the paper would miss any carefully crafted letters sent in on any subject … sigh.

As you can see, in the spirit of fair play the paper elicited a response from the Yarmouth Branch!  Couched in the same careful language as has been used in the past to explain why cruelty charges could not be laid when a dog froze to death, it is pretty much what we have come to expect wherever and whenever a branch has come under fire. (see below)

There may come a day when the society is either willing and/ or able to address any shortcomings at the Yarmouth Branch … but clearly today is not that day.   Does that mean that I have given up hope of better days ahead?   Of course not!

But I do believe that transparency should not be like Alice’s Jam!  No mention was ever made of a failed Kings Branch Audit  …..  yet the 2011 Shelter Audit at Cape Breton was very well publized!  To date there has been absolute silence on the subject of any other shelter audits that have been conducted!

If I am planning on eating out in any restaurant in Nova Scotia, I can go to the Department of Agriculture site and check out their inspection reports.   Why should potential donors to any branch in the society not be able to do the same?

Perhaps it is thought that airing ones dirty laundry in public would be a deterrent to public support!    That is the same mind-set that can see the medical attention needed by an animal as an obstacle instead of a fundraising opportunity.

Do the kennels need repair?  Are the animals cold?  Not getting enough exercise?   Needing toys?  Walks?   Well then … what happened in Cape Breton when everyone stopped pretending everything was just peachy keen?   Why there was such an outpouring of public support that silenced all but the critics with a vested financial interest!

In other words,  silence is not golden!    Lets face it, in these tough times, there is stiff competition for a dwindling pool of donor dollars!   In the retail world, silence makes sense because it can be the kiss of death to suggest that everything is not ticking over as it should.   In the animal rescue world which is traditionally supported by kind-hearted animal lovers,  it is the exact opposite!

At the end of the day, everybody wins with transparency.    Kind hearts get the satisfaction of knowing they are being ‘heroes’.    We have seen in Cape Breton how a branch that was thought to be hopeless was able to get the support it needed.  Best of all, the community gets a better branch … and the animals get a better community!   What could be better than that?

What time is it?   It is always time to remember that silence is not golden …. it is a squeaky rusty suit of armour that only prevents potential supporters from seeing how much their support is actually needed!

from the ‘old’ SPCANS website”

Necropsy inconclusive, investigation ongoing in case involving dead dog in Cape Breton

Nova Scotia (Wednesday, February 17, 2010) –The Nova Scotia SPCA has received the necropsy results for a dog that was found dead in Cape Breton on February 3, 2010. The veterinary report was inconclusive regarding the cause of death, but did report that the dog was in good condition, had appropriate fat stores and appeared in generally good health.

The investigation is ongoing, but without a conclusive cause of death, the investigation will now be concerned with whether or not the specifics standard of care outlined in provincial and federal legislation were met.

The Nova Scotia SPCA first responded to a complaint at the address in question in October, 2008. The owner voluntarily complied with the Society’s requests regarding standards of care. Follow up was conducted between October, 2008 and January, 2009, with a total of 5 visits. The owner remained compliant and nothing was noted in contravention of the legislation. On the last visit, the dog had been removed by the owner and the case file was closed. Following the initial complaint, the Society did not receive any further complaints regarding the property. Though the Society cannot be certain, the dog has the same general description of the dog from the 2008 complaint.

The Nova Scotia SPCA continues to advocate for tethering regulations under the current provincial animal welfare legislation. Current legislation outlines minimum requirements for animals, inclusive of adequate food, shelter and water, but does not address tethering restrictions or guidelines.

The Society responds to more than 1,500 complaints annually of suspected abuse, neglect and cruelty and relies on donor dollars and volunteers to support its lifesaving work. To report animal cruelty call 1-888-703-7722. To make a donation to support the Society or to learn more about how to get involved, please visit http://www.spcans.ca.

m the old SPCANS Website

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