Hoping for a real deterrent ….

I love tilling my garden!    It is one of those satisfying jobs that produces very visible results right away!   Even better is the sure knowledge that time spent tilling really reduces the need to bend over and weed later!    Best of all of course is that it does double duty as the most efficient way to add in extra … ahem … organic matter into the garden!

Really it is just frosting on the cake that all this goodness is also great exercise!    Really, really great exercise!   So much so in fact, that unlike campers and boaters, this middle-aged granny is always grateful for the relief of a few cooler days!

Please do not get me wrong!     In no way, shape or form am I whining about gardening chores mostly happening on warm days!     Setting aside the obvious bit about needing the warmth to see results,  as an adult human being it is my choice to work outside in the heat.   My choice when to seek a bit of cool shade in the house!    My choice to pour myself some nice cold water or a lovely jar of iced tea!

The tragic story in BC that is making the social media rounds is the latest horrible proof of that pudding!     Those poor dogs had no choice!    They were depending … as were their owners … on the integrity of the dog walker to protect them!

The plain and simple fact is that until charges with substantial fines and prohibitions are produced as a deterrent, we will continue to see sad stories like this!

Is it because people do not know what a risk leaving pets in hot cars constitutes?    Hardly!      Not a year goes by that there are not several very Unnecessary Unhappy Tails in the media!

Here in the real world, scolding and light fines have never served as any sort of a deterrent for anything!   Just imagine if police were to settle for a scolding when someone ‘failed’ their breathalyzer!   Hah!    The reason there are permanent  dents in some of the old trees on my road is because that is how thing used to be done!

Last July, the animal loving community was horrified when a dog died from heat stroke after being left in a parked car in Wolfville for several hours!    As if that was not sad enough, at the time the reporter covering the story was able to ascertain that in the first three weeks of July last year, the HRM police alone had responded to 139 calls about dogs locked in vehicles!    One hundred and thirty-nine!  In three weeks!      And that was only in HRM, not all of the province!

Here is the real rub …. the existing laws actually penalize the kind heart who attempts to break into a car to rescue a trapped dog!      Instead of rewarding the heroic act of saving a life, kind hearts can be liable for property damage!

So  … will we be seeing any change in the new regulations to discourage dogs being left in hot cars?       Anything to allow for reasonable rescue if the dog is in distress?     Will there be big fines and prohibitions on owning or working with pets?

All we do know is that there was nothing in the draft regulations!     Does that mean that there is no possibility of change?    No hope for ending the practice?

Well actually, as it happens when a dog is in distress because its owner has failed to provide proper care, that is currently considered to be cruelty.!  Justice may seem to be moving at a snail’s pace, but the owner of the dog that died in Wolfville last year was charged and will soon be before the courts again.

What time is it?    It is time to hope that this time there will be consequences!     Really, it is the only way this practice will ever, ever stop!



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