A little bargain shopping …..

I am a middle-aged grandmother not a professional web crafter!    Like any self taught amateur,  puzzling new bits out along the way is really just part of the fun:)    It really is just frosting on the cake to be able to put all these snippets to good use for the animals!

If only everything in life was as simple!    Sadly, here in the real world, there are no tidy little scripts to solve any or all of the sundry bits that need fixing 😦

In a world where politicians are making previously unthinkable choices about essential service cutbacks, how are we ever to entice any of them at any level to pony up new funding for the animals?

The answer is actually simple!  Funding is not the ONLY thing that could be useful, eh?    Straight, sweet and simple …. our laws and bylaws are produced and passed by the politicians that WE elect!

Now normally, every law that is passed comes with a price tag!     Indeed, that is often used as an excuse for NOT passing a law!   Politicians who do not ever want to run the risk of p***ing off voters with Anti Tethering Legislation are long on speeches about the cost of enforcement and short on reminding everyone that it would be actually be a cost-effective  complaint driven process, eh?

But I am beginning to wander afield … as I am wont to do in my meandering way!   The point I want to make today is that there ARE steps that our politicians could take without breaking the piggy bank ( no pun intended … ok maybe just a bit 🙂

What could they do?  Well … at the provincial level there could be bits inserted into the Municipal Act requiring all Fifty-four municipalities in the province to:

  • publicly post their Animal Control information on their municipal websites.   As of this writing, I can count on one hand the number of municipalities that offer this information on their websites.    Is there a pound?   A Contractor?  Where would their lost dog be held?   Could anyone adopt from the pound?    From the contractor?   There is no need for any of that information to be a mystery or even difficult to find.
  • Provide Animal Control Statistics on the municipal websites .   We can look up water quality and zoning and every last bit about the budget!   It is poor economy on the part of politicians to assume that Animal Control costs would escalate  if the tax paying voters knew that animals were being killed on their dime!    In the course of my work with the homeless pet site, I have seen first hand that the truth does more than set us free …. it inspires kind hearts in the animal loving community to step up and help.
  • Did you know that Petfinder accounts are not just for rescues and shelters and the SPCA?    Animal control … and their contractors …. are also able to use this FREE service.    As of this writing, the ONLY one in this province to do so is Homeward Bound City Pound!
  • Hand in hand with that, the little scrap of code to embed the municipal petfinder listings on the front door of their webpage is a one time effort.     What could be simpler and more cost-effective than a simple ONE TIME copy and paste that would never need to be updated?
  • There is a very practical little bit that the society negotiated with the Town of Windsor that should be effective in ALL municipalities!   The gist of this being that after the impound period is up, unclaimed pets must be made available to rescues and shelters!    How to let people know?   The same way many AC shelters in the states do … by listing the dates the pet was impounded, would be available and even the kill date 😦  on each petfinder listing.
  • Last … but definitely not least … BSL should be banned in ALL municipalities.   Before the keyboards catch on fire,  with the advent of Dog DNA, we are only beginning to see the tip of a very expensive legal iceberg that municipalities will find themselves running aground on.

Is that all that needs to be done?   Would that fix everything?   Of course not!   We still need regulations to put actual teeth in our animal cruelty laws.   Until that is done, society ( or if it happens to go that route … Dept of Agriculture ) cruelty investigators can only continue to ‘educate’ instead of actually ‘enforcing

No matter what anyone tells me, I still believe that the partnership between Kjiji and Petfinder creates more problems than it fixes.  Lets face it …. we live in a brave new world where we want to believe we would recognize pitfalls on the internet.    So convicted animal abusers still able to peddle puppies online because folks who would not dream of supporting puppy mills by buying a dog in a pet store still shop for a pet on Kjiji 😦

Even in my most optimistic moments, it is easy to see what an expensive, time-consuming undertaking changing that would be.   As long as people keep visiting the site …. as long as this petfinder partnership puts a thin veneer of respectability on things …. Kijiji will continue to put traffic stats over the well-being of animals.

At the end of the day … No Kill Nova Scotia is not simply about the numbers.   It is all very fine and well for the society to strut its supposedly No Kill stuff … but it is important to remember that even the society only represents a portion of the solution.     Setting aside the obvious bit that they do not have coverage over all the province … the society is not the only ‘stakeholder’ in the game.

What time is it?    As we approach the end of this elected mandate, it is an excellent time to remind our provincial politicians that achievable objectives do not always carry a big price tag!

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