My granddaughter started grade three yesterday! Grade three! How did that happen so fast? I could swear it was only yesterday that Lydia was starting ‘big school’! Good grief … it seems like just the other day that her mother was in elementary school, eh?
Of course time really is relative. I expect that the years do not race by nearly as fast for any dog spending his or her life on the end of a chain. This time last year, while Lydia was filling her backpack for grade two, we were readying for a provincial election! It was still legal to leave a dog chained out 24 / 7, as long as there was some sort of cobbled up shelter and a bit of food and water when the society’s inspectors came by! Gee whiz … it was even still legal to shoot a dog, eh?
So another year has passed. The election is over and any carefully worded promises made to the animal loving community are gathering dust on the shelf. Now to be completely fair to the sitting government, they did not actually offer anything more concrete than the reassurance that … in spite of fielding a candidate openly committed to implementing BSL … there would be no BSL on their watch.
So another year has passed. The freezer is filling up and it will soon be time to put that good dry wood away in the shed. My goodness, it will not be long now until the pickles are ready for their annual debut on Thanksgiving! Fall is such a perfect season for anyone with a full larder who lives in a warm, dry house, eh? But right here, right now, nothing has changed for the animals.
So another year has passed! This fall we are supposed to see something more substantial than political promises. This year, the new regulations for the Animal Protection Act are supposed to make their formal debut. Not a draft. Not a focus group. Actual regulations!
In the month following the release of the draft regulations, the Department of Agriculture invited input from residents! Promises were made to have the new “regulations and standards of care in place in the Fall of 2014”.
Now to be fair, technically it is still summer right now. Here in Nova Scotia, the official kick off for autumn usually comes AFTER the nights start getting cooler again. Personally, judging by the touch of red on my sumacs, I would say that this year will follow the new normal. What do I mean by that? Simply that the weather is noticeably changing and odds are we will see overnight ice on the ponds here before Thanksgiving again.
That is not a big deal for us. With four cord of good dry wood, everyone here will be warm and cozy and comfy. So why I would I care about all the other animals? The cats trying to fend for themselves in the cold? The dogs left alone and cold and miserable? Hey .. my dogs are warm and my cats are safe, eh?
Why do I care? Is it because I think that animal welfare issues trump the concerns of people? Or might it be simpler than that? The ugly truth is that how we as a society treat animals generally reflects on how we treat every other vulnerable sector.
Look at the status quo right now. The sitting government that has been stalling about implementing meaningful anti tethering regulations is the same one that still refuses to take immediate action to preserve the health of the people in Pictou County. Clearly indifference to suffering is not species specific, eh?
So I do care! As a matter of fact, I care very much ! Nor am I the only one who feels that way. As of this writing, six thousand, two hundred and fifty-two other people also cared enough to ‘like’ the People for Dogs Facebook Group.
To really put that into perspective, as of this writing, the current Minister of Agriculture, Keith Colwell has eight hundred and sixty likes on his Facebook Page. The former Agriculture Critic, Leo Glavine, has a paltry four hundred and sixty-one likes on his Facebook Page. Even if one throws in the Premier’s impressive four thousand and forty eight likes, they still tally up less than the public support for People for Dogs!
What time is it? It is time for the Liberals to wake up and smell the coffee. If they are hoping that three years from now that voters will have forgotten these things, perhaps it is also time for them to ask the NDP how well that worked for them.
In other words … in People for Dogsspeak … Its time for a chain-ge!