Saturday, September 26, 2015

Save A Puppy - An Update On Rescue Bringing In Dogs From Aruba

It was July when I first wrote about dogs brought into Canada by Save A Puppy that were rejected at the border. In the past three months what I have seen has me even more troubled. After the instance of the dogs being rejected it was my hope that Save A Puppy would change its ways. The rescue (Save A Puppy maintains it is not a rescue, I will simply refer to it as such since that's what I consider an individual/organization that has imported over 150 dogs into Canada this year) expressed it had listened to the backlash and concerns, learned from the experience, and would reform. Sadly, none of this has happened. Save A Puppy continues to bring mass transports of dogs into this country with little to no regard for their well being and health.

The most shocking thing I have learned in the last three months however, is several of Save A Puppy's animals have died. It is unacceptable.

The first such case I was made aware of occurred during a transport in April, before I had even written about Save A Puppy

April : Six animals....SIX....were crammed into one kennel and upon arrival, one of them was dead. Upon learning this I spoke with American Airlines and conveyed my disgust to the airline, that it needed to take responsibility for the situation and implement measures moving forward. The corrective action the airline took is in the document above, one can only hope the airline employees strictly adhere to it. For its part, Save A Puppy also admonished the airline :

Here's what DISGUSTS me : Save A Puppy publicly admonishing the airline without accepting one ounce of responsibility. Damn you American Airlines, for letting these six dogs cram themselves into a kennel & then giving them a boarding pass! Even worse? Back in March after one dog died in Canada after being shipped here, Save A Puppy posted the following :

"This is a lesson to me... The transition for a puppy can be overwhelming for a puppy... Transition a puppy into a new country a new home a new world...needs to be done with caution...". Empty words when just 3 weeks later, 6 dogs were crammed into one crate. Someone please explain the, "caution" and, "care" that was taken after the incident in March.

Surely after that next incident in April Save A Puppy finally began taking preventative measures to ensure the pets' health and that no other dogs would die, right? WRONG :

May : One dog died (cause unknown)

August 2 : Six Save A Puppy dogs die. Two are dead upon arrival in Buffalo, while 4 others are sent to a local veterinarian for treatment. The four remaining dogs die. (causes unknown)

August 7 : One dog from the August 2 transport dies in foster care. (Parvo)

September 25 : One woman comments on the Save A Puppy Facebook page about six more dead dogs (Parvo)

Save A Puppy published the following response denying any responsibility for the death of the dogs :

Please note, the above cases are only the ones that have been verified through documentation and speaking with the vets, airline, witnesses, and what Save A Puppy has posted. THESE ARE ONLY THE CONFIRMED CASES. I certainly hope no other dogs have died, but I would not be surprised. The only party that has for the most part remained silent on the issue of the other 10 deceased dogs is Save A Puppy.

Throughout the past three months Save A Puppy supporters have accused me of lying and bullying. They have said I have nothing better to do with my time, "Why don't you actually do something instead of just attacking Save A Puppy?!" I am doing something. I am speaking up for these deceased dogs in the hopes not one more dies on this rescue's watch. Perhaps these supporters know nothing of the last three months? If they do I am extremely concerned they are concentrating their efforts on defending Save A Puppy instead of calling for change at the rescue in memory of these dead dogs.

It is next to impossible to believe that Save A Puppy has the animals' best interests at heart when its animals are consistently dying and next to nothing is being done to prevent it from happening in the future.

People will of course argue that Save A Puppy has had many successful adoptions. That is very true and commendable, but at what cost? Unfortunately that argument does not speak to the dogs that have died. I guess that's just part of the rescue game when animals are treated as a commodity.

Further reading :

For The Love Of Animals - Written by Rachel Brathen

Friday, September 18, 2015

If Your Animals Are Seized By The OSPCA, What's The Next Step? You Can Appeal The Seizure To The Animal Care Review Board - Apparently Run By Kangaroos!

Just a typical day...
The OSPCA has long been overzealous in seizing individuals' animals. The organization also has no problem harbouring vendettas against the few actually lucky enough to have been victorious in their appeal before the Animal Care Review Board (ACRB). What is the ACRB you may ask? Once you learn more you are likely to come away with the same conclusion as me, it is nothing but a kangaroo court.

The ACRB was founded in 1969 to hear appeals against the OSPCA. It's members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Currently there are seven members, including one who has a 30 year history as a professional chiropractor, because that of course is integral in deciding the fate of animals in Ontario. Not all members hear each appeal. The Board falls under the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. On the official website of the ACRB, the board is self-described as a, "quasi-judicial tribunal". I don't know about you but for me the term, "quasi" does not exactly instill much comfort, nor do the actions of the tribunal itself.

Why do I say that? Well let's take a look :

Appeals brought before the ACRB are heard province wide and often take place in small conference rooms in hotels. As all parties involved in the appeals stay at the hotel, members of the tribunal have full opportunity to mingle with OSPCA investigators and witnesses throughout the day and over lovely dinners where they can all catch up personally. Of course they never compare notes on the case as it as evolves, that is strictly forbidden by the ACRB! Why then, have I spoken to three individuals who have had their animals seized by the OSPCA who say they have witnessed such interaction on several occasions?  As for those appealing the seizure? They are not invited to the dinner table. Not even the kiddie table.

By the way, if you're looking for a transcript of ACRB hearings? They don't exist. There is no stenographer, no artist depictions. The proceedings are recorded with a hand held camera....I sure hope the batteries are in there! "Quasi", indeed.

Let's just think about this for a minute. Can you imagine if these methods were adhered to in an Ontario court of law? The government would be forced to spend hundreds of millions in settlements for violating our very basic charter rights. How consoling to know that child abusers, rapists, and murderers are afforded an actual court proceeding while an individual who has had their animals seized by the OSPCA? They get kangaroos and the Holiday Inn.

So there you have it! If you ever find yourself in the unenviable position of having to get your animals back after an OSPCA seizure? Just remember it can take months, throughout the entire proceedings the OSPCA will keep your animals and rack up boarding fees, they will threaten to kill them, and for added insult, you have to eat alone.


Feel free to comment below. I'd be very interested in hearing from even more people who have had direct experience with the ACRB.