Can you help FREE Brindi?

By isak, June 29, 2009

Free BrindiDo you have any items you would donate to help raise funds to defray the legal costs of getting Brindi released from the SPCA in Nova Scotia? She was seized by authorities and impounded in July 2008. The By-Laws in Nova Scotia give the authorities total control: they can seize your dog and sell or euthanize it as they see fit… unless you sue the city. Which Brindi’s mom has been doing since last year.

In January, 2009, a judge quashed the seizure and euthanasia ruling, however the SPCA refuses to release Brindi. People and organizations worldwide have stepped up to add their voices — including Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and PETA, as well as shelters, dog behavior experts, dog trainers, vets, neighbors, local business people.

Perhaps you could donate an item to be auctioned. Proceeds would go towards the legal fees as Brindi’s mom, Francesca, continues her fight to have Brindi released.

You can read more about Brindi on her blog.

24 Comments

  1. isak says:

    Sounds fair enough — except for the court part. Their process is too slow for dog years. But that is my personal opinion.

    Perhaps ARPO could develop an arbitration system for animal issues.

    Based on the January ruling, I think Brindi should be returned to Ms. Rogier. Let the new charges start on a clean slate.

    In effect, does the quash expunge the third “incident?”

  2. Heather Morrison says:

    This case is before the courts. It has been made very clear that this is where it will be dealt with. These discussions on blogs, through social networking, emails, etc. are irrelevant to the case.

    They do have relevance in making people aware of the importance of being a responsible owner and the effect poor legislation in our community has. Thus putting the focus on the need to work to change the legislation to be fair, appropriate, supported and enforced.

    ARPO does speak out for Brindi. ARPO has done what it can to advocate for Brindi.

    Our bigger agenda is the change in legislation for ALL companion animals in this province. We have been doing that for a long time before the case of Francesca and Brindi existed.

    Francesca has said and continues to say she will accept nothing less than the return of Brindi to her. I applaud her for fighting for what she feels is right and her dog.

    There has been lots of dialogue between Francesca and ARPO members that has failed to reach a mutually acceptable common ground enough to advocate for Francesca’s position and condone her positions on certain areas and affiliates to this case.

    Yes, I think it would well serve Brindi if all local advocates etc. could find a common ground with Francesca that would allow them to work together for the common good of Brindi and legislation in this area. At this point in time that has not been able to be achieved. The door is never closed nor should it be as long as Brindi is not in a loving and responsible home that is able to provide for her needs etc.

    Believe me – the willingness is there in everyone who cares for animals and hears this story to find a way to save Brindi.

    HeatherM

  3. isak says:

    I totally agree with feeling devastated and responsible if this wouldn’t work out. I feel so much for Brindi… it’s sad that she has spent so much of her life in the shelter to this point. She receives basics, but a real home of her own would be best.

    Is there a dialogue that could be opened with Ms. Rogier outlining your specific concerns? Has anyone directly asked her what she will do differently? I realize that after all the tit-for-tat that has occurred over MANY months this is a difficult step for both sides. But it’s not impossible. From the outside, much of Ms. Rogier’s responses sound like despair — and I can understand her despair. Seems sometimes that when all else fails, yell and yell loudly.

    But no matter — at the heart of the situation is Brindi.

    Perhaps Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership could take this on as a really big cornerstone project for the organization.

    I appreciate all the candor you have shared. This situation is fixable.

    Free Brindi.

  4. Heather Morrison says:

    Joan Sinden wrote:

    “That’s the problem that all the local dog advocates have – because a lot of them have dogs who also have to live under our local bylaws as they’re written – and we do some pretty amazing maneouvers to keep our dogs safe – walking our dogs in the middle of the night, at daybreak, in the middle of nowhere – so that we don’t encounter anyone because we know our dogs need offleash exercise – I personally paid $5,000 to have my backyard completely fenced in as an example – and local dog advocates are worried that when Brindi is released, Francesca will treat Brindi’s dangerous dog designation as flippantly as she did before Brindi was seized – and if she does – then Brindi will definitely be dead – and any dog advocate who supported her will also partially be to blame for supporting her.”

    That really says it all for me. Thanks Joan. I really would like to trust Francesca with Brindi. Yet it is extremely difficult especially as an Executive Director of an organization called ARPO – Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership.

    I know lots of people and dogs with issues that live happily and responsibly within HRM because the owners understand and do what it takes to keep their dog and community safe — Including muzzles without muzzle orders, fences, leashing, especially training and seeking advice from professionals and putting that advice to work plus all the things Joan mentioned.

    Its very difficult to understand why Francesca couldn’t have been able to do what was needed with Brindi to keep her safe. It is extremely difficult to understand that after AC was at her door just once she wasn’t able to do it every time after that when so many people are able to do it every day and sometimes several times a day while looking after their dog that perhaps has issues even greater than Brindi’s. Yet it happened again.. and then again.

    It is not as if the information and help isn’t out there to deal with dogs with issues in this area. There are quite a few respectable and [reputable] trainers and behaviourists. Francesca did work with Brindi with at least one. All one has to do is ask and be committed to the needs of their animal to keep it safe yet healthy and happy. It is very possible here. People do it everyday. Francesca had these opportunities.

    Francesca has made comments that make it very difficult to trust that she truly understands what it will mean to be responsible with and for Brindi if returned to her. Even with her admission of mistakes in the past and her saying she knows what has to be done to keep Brindi safe in the future.

    Even some of the behaviours of Francesca in presenting this story have lead to mistrust in her which leads to how can we trust her with Brindi’s life again. How can we trust what she says in regards to understanding the mistakes she made and her willingness to reform.

    I would feel devastated and partially responsible if I supported Brindi’s return to Francesca and Francesca let Brindi down resulting in AC being able to destroy/kill Brindi.

    Joan got it right….

    HeatherM

  5. isak says:

    I hope you knocked on wood as you suggested this could not happen to you. In case you didn’t, I did as I read it because there are reasons beyond our control that — though remote — could happen: a storm blows out a window, spooks the dogs and they run the wrong way; a friend is moving some large boxes into the house and the door stands ajar just long enough. It happens.

    I, too, am extremely careful with my dogs. It seems sometimes that fences are as much about keeping other people’s animals out of your yard as it is about keeping your pets in.

    Of course part of this is Ms. Rogier’s fault… and she has admitted that. To make a decision about the future based on the past is not necessarily fair in this case. To her favor, she has already implemented changes towards being a better pet owner by installing a fence.

    I have some fence climbers and, as funny as it seems, a 4′ wire fence will contain them better than a 6′ wooden one. I have 800′ of 4′ wire fence that is buried 2″ into the ground. The only escape has been through a gate — seems Maxwell figured out how to flip the latch. That happened ONCE because when he escaped, he took five others with him. Can you imagine 6 large dogs running as a pack through the neighborhood? The escape was short-lived, thank goodness.

    This is certainly not my pattern of behavior — letting my dogs run loose. It was a mistake, unforeseen until that hindsight kicked in, but I fixed it.

    Let’s give Ms. Rogier a chance to “fix it.” Let’s believe she can and extend our support.

    ps — abysmal lawyers should be outlawed.

  6. Joan Sinden says:

    Not everyone locally is against sending Brindi home to her Mom. I personally am not. I think that she should go home to Francesca – I think that a judge should deem Brindi a dangerous dog and Brindi should go home under the conditions of a dangerous dog – but would Francesca follow those conditions? She didn’t when they were imposed on her before Brindi was seized. Under our current bylaw the owner of a dangerous dog must:

    • while on the premises of its owner – be securely restrained either indoors or inside an escape proof enclosure that does not allow the dog to jump, climb or dig its way out.
    • when off of the premises of its owner – be muzzled, securely leashed and under the control of a person 18 years or older.
    • be licensed as a dangerous dog in the municipal registry. The dog must be licensed as a dangerous dog each year

    The report to animal control that caused Brindi to be seized were off her property and she was unmuzzled, and etc., – the story has been told over and over, and I’m sure that “hg” will fill in any of the details that I neglect to mention because they have more intimate knowledge than I do.

    That’s the problem that all the local dog advocates have – because a lot of them have dogs who also have to live under our local bylaws as they’re written – and we do some pretty amazing maneouvers to keep our dogs safe – walking our dogs in the middle of the night, at daybreak, in the middle of nowhere – so that we don’t encounter anyone because we know our dogs need offleash exercise – I personally paid $5,000 to have my backyard completely fenced in as an example – and local dog advocates are worried that when Brindi is released, Francesca will treat Brindi’s dangerous dog designation as flippantly as she did before Brindi was seized – and if she does – then Brindi will definitely be dead – and any dog advocate who supported her will also partially be to blame for supporting her.

    And because of some of the things that she’s said while Brindi has been incarcerated – because literally millions of words have been written – slanderous websites have been begun by her group – too much has been said.

    So there are local people who think that Brindi should be released, and released to Francesca, and there are local people who think that Animal Control is to blame for Francesca’s situation – but Francesca is also to blame. None of this would be happening if Francesca had control of Brindi in the beginning. And just because lots of other people also have problems with their dogs and get lesser sentences does not detract from that fact. Life is not fair.

    Thinking back to when the seizure happened and how Animal Control handled it and that they absolutely would not engage any discussions about negotiating with Francesca to let Brindi go – I can’t think of anyway that things could have gone differently except if Francesca could have had a lawyer who actually had a set of balls. The lawyer she had at the time was abysmal, which is a shame and I told her so. If she was going to sue anyone I’d sue him. But hindsight is 20/20.

    And lastly – you said – “this could be your dog” – and I have to beg the difference with you because of the things I said above, although I do have 2 large dogs (a rottweiller and a lab mix) that look scary to a lot of people, whenever they leave my house – before I open my front door they are ALWAYS leashed – they have never bolted out the front door – and that includes my car as well unless we are going into an area that is an offleash area or an area where there is no one but us – so they are, as the saying goes – trained, contained, and socialized. And I have worked hard to make them that way – to do any less COULD be a death sentence.

  7. isak says:

    Ms. Rogier was the only person who stepped up to adopt Brindi. Brindi was a couple years old and had spent most of her life in the shelter. Ms. Rogier gave her a home. She fed her, took her for walks in the woods and runs on the beach. She gave Brindi life beyond the confines the shelter could provide.

    Ms. Rogier is part of your community — whether she is from there or from outside of the area. Instead of turning away from her in this her moment of need, why not take the opportunity to work with her? Both sides could learn from it. There are so many shades of grey in this situation, but why suffer the dog?

    Brindi knows Ms. Rogier as her mom and her mom has shown Brindi much love. They are companions; they are family. Why make Brindi have to re-learn “mom” and “home?”

    I think Brindi has handled all this confusion remarkably. As human beings, we have heaped a whole lot of our own “stuff” onto Brindi.

    Indeed — WHY have the people who supported her in the beginning “turned away”? If this case had not dragged on for so long, would they have remained her supporters?

    Search your hearts. Find the resolve to start over and help each other out.

    (Okay, this is the spot in the sermon where Sister Sledge comes out singing “We Are Family” — if you are old enough to remember.)

    Send Brindi home to Ms. Rogier, her mom.

  8. Heather Morrison says:

    As a local and one who travels and educates herself by attending conferences etc on rescue, behaviour and training. I think people who support Francesca from outside the community need to ask themselves why she finds it very difficult to drum up support from a very active and effective and educated rescue community within the area.

    All these people do support Brindi though and believe in her ability for rehabilitation in the hands of the right person with guidance and supervision by a behaviourist and trainer.

    Francesca has a very small support base locally. You would think if all she said were true and factual she should easily be able to drum up support from within her own community – atleast from the rescues etc.

    Why have such animal advocates like Joan Sinden etc. who supported Francesca in the first place turned away. Why have such advocates like people from Animal Rescue Coalitions etc. not supported Francesca. We have many rescues and shelters with integrity here. Why are there voices not added to her plea to have Brindi returned to her. I wont answer for them as they can well answer for themselves.

    I do believe an arbitrator would be best or would have been best in this situation.

    HeatherM

  9. isak says:

    From what I have read, Brindi was involved in three situations where she had an encounter with another dog over the course of more than a year. Per the March article by Lezlie Lowe in The Coast, Ms. Rogier adopted Brindi in June 2007. She had Brindi for about 14 months before she was seized.

    I generalize these numbers to make my point because I don’t know the exact dates, but if Ms. Rogier only took Brindi outside once a day, that means that Brindi went outside 424 times without an incident. Taking Brindi out twice a day would mean that there were 851 potty breaks without an incident.

    That said, Ms. Rogier must have been doing something responsibly for the community and for Brindi. Can she do more? Yes and she knows that, too.

    I think she has learned a very hard lesson. She deserves to have Brindi returned to her.

  10. Heather Morrison says:

    You know I have read this banter back and forth and all over the web. I have watched and participated in this story from pretty much the very beginning when I was asked to support Ms. Rogier in her attempts to have her dog returned to her.

    I do believe Ms. Rogier has valid complaints regarding the handling of this case by Animal Control and HRM.

    I do believe Ms. Rogier has proven herself to be an irresponsible owner on more than one occasion that put both Brindi and persons and animals in her community at risk.

    What I feel, as members of the community, we are being asked to put faith in a dog owner who has proven herself to have acted irresponsibly and is not supported by two well known and respected trainers. That is a tall order. Both trainers I know and have worked with personally.

    It is especially a tall order to some of us who want to consider what is best for both the dog and the community. If Brindi is returned to Ms. Rogier and again she fails to be responsible what will become of Brindi then? Will this give AC the fodder to euth Brindi as a dangerous dog? Do we want to take that risk with a person who seems to be by court documents a proven irresponsible owner? A person who I believe admits irresponsibility. I am not sure I am willing to take that risk.

    I am also not sure I want to take that risk for Brindi’s community. They should be able to feel safe and confident as they move about their community with their animals by their sides. Will they if Brindi is returned to Ms. Rogier?

    Ms Rogier has put a lot of information out there and has been very public about her view of this entire situation. I do think it is fair for the community to have their say too. For it is the community that Brindi and Ms Rogier will live in.

    Not all of us agree with Ms Rogier’s view about having her dog, Brindi returned to her. That doesnt mean that she should stop fighting for her or should she stop fighting the city for what I consider their ill failings in this case too. I believe the city made errors too and that is why this mess has gotten so out of hand.

    If legislation had been clear, appropriate, effective and supported while being justifiably enforced we wouldnt even be having a discussion about this.

    To me this story and dog represent a bigger issue of the good of the whole in our communites. As much as one may want to empathize with Ms Rogier I believe that one has to keep the good of the community as a whole at the forefront. This does not mean Brindi should die. It may mean that Brindi is not returned to Ms Rogier who was given the chance to keep Brindi under certain conditions (muzzle order) and either chose not to or couldnt comply to this as described in the court documents.

    Another point to consider as we struggle with this: As a lot of people work hard at making our communities more accepting of our dogs and pets it is imperative that we show are conviction to responsible ownership. That we hold accountable those owners who are not complying with not only legislation but the etiquette of being a responsible owner. For a person or persons who are committed to advocating for responsible pet ownership for safer and more inclusive communities it is very difficult to support a case for Brindi to be returned to Ms. Rogier. It is not difficult to support a case for Brindi to be rehabilitated and rehomed in a proven secure, responsible and loving environment.

    In the end I think that the court will rule that Brindi is returned to Ms Rogier because of the failings of Animal Control in the handling of this case. Not because Ms. Rogier is a responsible owner.

    As the discussion of this sad event has progressed I have seen some rather disturbing actions and accusations on both sides. To me, I am only interested in facts – court documents etc. That is what my opinion is based and it is only my opinion.

    I would hope all sides could come together to work hard to improve legislation and enforcement for the better welfare of our communities and animals hoping we never see a case like this again.

    I would like to say I am a member of the SPCA. That does not mean I blindly endorse any and all of their actions. It is insulting to insinuate that. I am capable of forming my own opinions.

    I have never understood the angst against the SPCA. It was Animal Control that seized Brindi. It is Animal Control that has the incarceration order on her. All the SPCA does is house her. If they are doing anything else to help mediate for Brindi’s life – I would think we should all be hopeful they are successful for Brindi’s sake. The innocent one in all this is the one suffering the most – Brindi.

  11. isak says:

    If someone seized my dog and hung the threat of euthanasia over his/her head, I would feel hurt, anger, desperation, fear, panic, contrition, stress and more in no particular order… and maybe in various combinations. I love my “kids” so this seizure would be with me every waking moment of every day.

    I would slowly evolve into a desperate a–hole and I’m not sure that would take me very long. I don’t know what would be left of me after 11 months. Seriously.

    I have seen this happen to other people in such a situation. How are people supposed to act?

    Francesca Rogier received a ruling in January that should have released her dog after six months of struggle. Brindi was coming home at last! Yeah!

    But that didn’t happen.

    How the hell do you process that in your head and in your heart? Surely Ms. Rogier must be feeling tired to her bones. But she rolls on… for what is right for Brindi and for her.

    Let me ask you a hard question. You don’t have to answer, but ponder it in your heart: what would it take for you to support Brindi being returned to Ms. Rogier?

    In a heartbeat under the right (or wrong) conditons, this could be your dog… or this could be my dog. The path needs to be cleared so we don’t have to endure what Brindi has endured and what Ms. Rogier has endured.

    BTW — this sad news from LA regarding Stu:
    “Despite a case filled with discrepancies, missing reports, and irregular behavior on the part of L.A. Animal Services and City personnel, the California Court of Appeals today ruled that the City’s sentence of death against Stu, a ten year-old dog with a record of one biting incident four years ago, when Stu had himself just been injured, could stand. This clears the way for L.A. Animal Services to euthanize a dog who many, including Animal Services Commissioners, feel was denied his legal due process, and who most agree presents no danger to the public.”
    from the LA Pet Rescue Examiner

  12. Joan Sinden says:

    Wow, I am blown away by the comments here actually. I know who a couple of the posters are, even though they aren’t using their “actual” initials – as for animal control investigating charges against me and I should be in no position to call somebody else irresponsbile – how disingenuous of you, “br” – if you claim to know me so well, you’d know that animal control came to my house because I was having a fence line issue with my neighbour and they were trying to use my beloved rottweiller Daisy as a pawn – you can read all about it in a blog post so shame on YOU “br” for once again victimizing my dog Daisy.

    To the rest of the posters – you are doing what “Brindi’s angels” are best at – attempting to shame anyone who says anything that is contrary to what Francesca Rogier has said in her own personal storyline.

    Maybe none of you know that it was Zonda MacIsaac who told Francesca to contact me – I was the first person she contacted when Brindi was seized last July – I did support her for many months. I was at the “100 dog march”. I made videos, I wrote many many blog posts.

    I personally think that the muzzle order never should have been made – she should have been fined, and then charged when the incident happened with the hearing aid dog – and then maybe the judge would have declared Brindi fierce and dangerous – but that didn’t happen.

    Did any of you actually read my first post? Or did you just skip to the dirty parts.

    The problem here – as it is in most cases – is the owner – and all the shit that’s happened since Brindi’s been seized and all the trips that’s been taken to crazy town. And the fact that Jeff De la Rosa moved all the way from Los Angeles to come visit crazy town and started his what did he call it “parody blog”? You’d think he’d be spending more time trying to save Stu from being killed than stalking people like me.

    And I am a “member” of the SPCA – a volunteer – I haven’t signed any confidentiality agreements, I am nothing more than a dog owner – no better than any of you.

    But back to the “Brindi’s angels” thing – you are doing what you are best at – taking the focus off the real problem – by focusing on people and saying my name in these comments – what’s that got to do with Brindi? My comments focused on the problems with the Brindi case – and you focused on me – that’s the problem with you guys – you go on for pages and pages about everything but Brindi – because there’s actually nothing you can do about her. Because you live in Australia, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, British Columbia – so you like to focus on everything else – so you need to just let it go.

    Focus on the problems in your own city – go visit your local SPCA, volunteer there – if there’s problems there – fix them. If you have a dog yourself – where are they in the room right now? Leave the computer and go give them a pat. There’s nothing you can do about Brindi.

    Only Francesca Rogier herself can do anything about Brindi at this point. Sorry to tell you. And any slander you say about me – or anyone else isn’t going to change anything.

    But people like me and people who I know who are actually active in local dog politics here in Halifax Nova Scotia who are actually working in groups and on committees to change local laws and bylaws to make things better for dogs and dog owners – are what is going to keep other Brindi’s from happening in the future – even when their owners are complete assholes.

  13. Martin G says:

    I read Joan Sinden’s comment, as usual she was first to vocalize her well [known] knowledge. Although she attends, she does not usually reply to blogs, she seems to think she knows a lot of the case.

    She states “The dog behaviour experts that she has listed on her website did actually do an assessment on Brindi – but because of actions that Francesca Rogier has made since Brindi has been incarcerated – they have all withdrawn their support of Ms. Rogier – they stand by their assessments of Brindi – but they don’t support Ms. Rogier anymore personally.”

    This is due to she and a few other people who would rather see Ms. Rogier deported, than get her dog back.

    I [have] seen the video where Ms Rogier spoke of how happy she was to win & finally get Brindi home.

    I [have] also seen where ,Joan Sinden & a few others twisted what she said, to have people believe Ms Rogier said she would let her dog run unleashed to get the extra pounds off.

    This is what was told to the trainer.

    That is definitely not what I [have] seen nor heard Ms Rogier say. That is an outright lie!!

    Ms. Rogier actually said she would like to run her on the beach as that is what Brindi was used to (where there is no population).

    She lives in the country where the harbor is in the back, which is the shoreline. But unless you live there or have been there, you would never know that, Ms Sinden.

    Plus, if this trainer is any good anyway, Brindi could be trained to obey, then would eventually be allowed to run off leash. If that trainer said Brindi would never be allowed to run off leash, then she’s not worth paying. I would never pay someone to train a dog and not have the dog trained.

    Ms Sinden, you should not be spreading gossip, especially if you are an SPCA member and are bound by a confidentiality contract. You and a few others think you know the truth and what’s right for Brindi, but you and the others only mean to slam Ms. Rogier into the dust. You do not know anything [more] about the case than anyone else.

    You said again-
    “so Brindi is being housed at the shelter run by the SPCA – but that is the limit of the SPCA’s involvement – housing Brindi – they have no control over her incarceration.” If that statement was true, why would a nice, kind, loving SPCA, write letters to HRM & animal control, asking, pleading, begging to have Brindi re-homed — and not to Ms Rogier —
    if they have no other part, other than the care they give Brindi?

    There were not complaints called into the AC, as you say, a few months after Brindi was brought home. You don’t know the mentality of the neighborhood. You also don’t know much about the entire case. You are only repeating what the SPCA members are all squawking about. Most don’t know how to mind their own business.

  14. Lillie says:

    I am just agast at the attitudes towards this woman & her dog.
    There is so much said and speculated, which is far from being truth.
    The truth of the matter is, Ms Rogier made a few mistakes, Her dog is paying the heaviest penalty, with her loss of of happy life. This dog’s life span is dwindling away in the SPCA, who can do all they do for her, but they do not love her like Ms Rogier does. This is no place, no matter how fancy they make it, for a dog like Brindi, to spend her life. Ms Rogier has asked to have her transfered to a better care facility, but it fell on deaf ears.
    People talk about this woman, like she’s below them. She is so far above all of them, as I could never see anyone who wants her dog taken from her, ever going the distance, as Ms Rogier has.
    They have literally depleted her finances and her home, all due to ignorance & stubborness.
    This woman has done everything in her power to get her dog home.
    If that ever happens, she may not even have a home to take her to.
    People have even stooped that low, to attack her home. Report her home to be unfit (although they have never been in her home). What are these [that] want her to be nudged out of this great province. They may be happier then and the streets of HRM will be far more safer. I think not!!
    The whole matter is disgraceful, that a province like Nova Scotia would treat another human being like Ms Rogier has [been] treated.

    To all you people who think you love your pets, would give your life for them, don’t fight her, please help her get her dog out of the SPCA, and back home.

    This has gone beyond any normal comprehension, punishment for her mistakes, has reached the ultimate level.

  15. Carol says:

    Francesca is not using Best Friends’ name; it was others who made the mistake, so don’t blame her! And there are about ten other rescues and animal rights groups, from the Tender Loving Care Shelter in Digby, Nova Scotia, to Animal Saviors in Australia, who support her, and so does Deputy Mayor David Hendsbee.

  16. Jenn Richardson says:

    Ms. Sinden said:
    “The public doesn’t know which it is because we aren’t privy to what Animal Control thinks and they haven’t felt the need to fill the public in on any information about the case.” “Perhaps part of Animal Controls problem is that complaints about Brindi attacking other dogs started coming in only 2 months after she was adopted by Ms. Rogier and continued to come in at fairly regular intervals”

    The public has no information, but somehow Ms. Sinden does? If we are talking truth here your readers should know that the “movement” to take Brindi away, including Ms. Sinden, are all members of the SPCA.

    I am sure the SPCA is doing what it can to make Brindi comfortable, however, it is not a long term facility and she needs to be moved to a better place. She is out in a gravel pen once a day, with no walks for 11 months!

    Brindi has not seriously harmed a dog. The owner has admittedly made mistakes. She has taken precautions to get her dog back. We had another incident recently where a man’s dog (off leash in an on leash area) attacked another dog on a leash, and then the man, himself, stabbed the dog on a leash! The dog that attacked was returned to its owner, the one that stabbed! No one has made statements about this?

    This whole thing has turned into a battle of “Now-it-Alls” and “Egos”. It seems the welfare of the dog has been forgotten. Let the woman have her dog back and let them go back to the quiet country life she moved here for.

  17. br says:

    “You do have to question a dog owner who is willing to keep her dog behind bars until potentially March 2010 – the next court date – when Brindi has been at the shelter since July 2008”

    This is a shamefully unfair and patently misleading thing to say, Joan Sinden, shame on you!
    Who says that she is willing to keep her dog behind bars until 2010??!!! Could you tell an even bigger lie than this? You know very well that she is desperate to get her dog out ASAP has been doing everything she can, no stone unturned! Who in their right mind would be “willing” to keep their dog in the pound? She is suffering deeply and cannot find a lawyer willing to effectively take on HRM. Without a lawyer, it is very risky to go to court, even if your case is solid. You know very well, Joan Sinden, that this owner did not at all want to have her dog in that pound for even one night, let alone eleven months. You should apologize to everybody for such mean-spirited statement that couldn’t be more untrue!!!
    You should also apologize to the owner for not bothering to HELP HER get her dog back. YOu have had your own mistakes and mishaps that led to animal control investigating charges against you; you are in no position to call somebody else irresponsbile!

    I am glad you wrote this, however, because it outs you, and you deserve to be outed. You are a (for the time being anyhow) loyal member and defender of the SPCA -who has been doing all it can to discredit the owner (accusing her of death threats, for example!) and whose role you also misrepresent here (their contract is subject to provincial anti-cruelty law which they are mandated to uphold; it is a bona fide conflict of interest regardless of how you paint it); you sought to convince the trainer to abandon support for this owner – after you had your own personal differences with her.

    Your more fair-minded statements here mask the fact that you led an attack on this owner yourself and ran into trouble when a third party created a duplicate blog aping yours, at dogkissers.blogspot.com, that took you to task in a major way – so much that you removed your own posts, something you swear you never do.

    It’s no secret that on facebook and other blogs and behind the scenes, you and your friends have been pushing the SPCA’s not so hidden agenda of “rehoming” Brindi. There is no real justification for this (if there were, everybody who violates A300 would lose their dogs and you know that doesn’t happen!). The SPCA wants to take Brindi away, in order to punish her owner for her public complaints against the SCPA. It tells the public it is not involved in any decisions but it is trying hard to get the city to give her supposedly “dangerous” dog away to somebody else. Yet it knows full well that the dog is not dangerous and should be back home!

    The fact is, the SPCA’s officers have been secretly sending letters to HRM since January (when the city held Brindi beyond the court ruling that made it retroactively illegal), telling HRM it should “rehome” Brindi. The letters even complain about the cost of keeping her, rather than express concern about Brindi’s condition!
    How unfair is it to take a dog away from somebody permanently, after it was wrongly and illegally seized, and then illegally held for a year? Don’t you worry that this conspiracy is there for all to see and will backfire? Even a media blackout can’t hide such an atrocity; it can be seen all the way to California and Texas. (Yes, California!)
    Rogier needs help, she needs a miracle. She is on the brink of disaster. Nobody needs to read your mean and cold accusations of her.

    I think it’s fair to ask, amid all your bashing of this person, what have you and your buddies done to get Halifax reform its animal control policies – or, for that matter, to get the SPCA to rectify its conflict of interest, let alone adopt no-kill policies? If you won’t help this owner, at least help others, and stop spreading misinformation for your vendetta.

  18. hg says:

    To elaborate-what I meant was, the sharp contrast between the calculated and deliberate actions of HRM authorities – over nearly a year’s time – vs. the owner’s unintentional actions that resulted in “incidents” that probably lasted a few seconds and led to very little or, no harm in two of three cases (plus running at large – for a few minutes),
    And, these things don’t even compare to the vast majority of dog-related by-law prosecutions… it’s off the map!!!

  19. hg says:

    The best remedy here is a fence, and private training – which Rogier has already offered since the very beginning. Why hasn’t the city cooperated? I guess it figured it didn’t have to. Usually owners are intimidated into signing over their dogs – 16 put down in 2007!!
    SO of course the city wants to depict Rogier as irresponsible; that is the way to back up what they did wrong by seizing a dog that is not dangerous and refusing to give it back! That is why it suppresses most of the relevant information about her efforts to work out an arrangement and her previous care of and work with her dog.

    As far as mandating lessons — it’s what Rogier wanted all along. Realize that Brindi already passed an obedience class with flying colors. Trainers say her problem is a triggered “drive”, which goes back to her origins on a reserve. Joan Sinden knows this perfectly well and here, she is making it out to be something else. Sinden is not a reliable or objective observer; she has participated in denigrating Rogier – she published many blog posts that she later had to remove.
    To be fair, nobody knew about the triggered drive until THREE months after adoption, I believe, and it is not fair to hold Rogier responsible – when she reports that she consulted trainers all the time and got advice that looks pretty questionable now. Maybe that’s why the first trainer turned his back on her – he recommended agility classes (for $180 which he pocketed and won’t refund!) – instead of private training on her property, with other dogs to help desensitize Brindi’s reactivity.

    The point is, the calls made were mainly asking HRM to speak to Rogier, not fine or punish her. The other owners were much more reasonable in their intent – until, perhaps, animal control officers persuaded them that the matter merited the most extreme remedy!! Such a step is very uncommon in the rural area in which they live.

    The muzzle order was not resulting from the other woman’s concern about financial hardship; she was solely interested in having her vet bill paid in full. She didn’t know Rogier and she lives about four miles away. The court document was based on the animal control officer’s affidavit, not the actual police reports, nor did Rogier provide her full account; it is not complete and not necessarily truthful, but it was all that was available to the justice. More was not considered relevant in that case anyway because the issue was a question of law, brought by Rogier – she was not on trial.

    There is very questionable handling of the case by HRM’s animal control – withholding charges but issuing harsh penalties means withholding the right of redress or due process, twice. Because of that, I believe the muzzle order should be re-evaluated, weighed against all the testimony that Rogier has collected in the form of affidavits. As this dog is considered “highly trainable” and hasn’t caused any trouble in eleven months of incarceration – why punish it or her owner any further?? Clearly it was wrong to seize her and order her to be put down. Why so much scrutiny of this owner, then?? She was wronged. No serious harm was done.

    I fail to see how the lawyers are going to lose. It seems many have already collected healthy sums from this dog owner, all of which would have been unnecessary if: 1. the law had a better definition of “dangerous” and there were criteria for issuing a muzzle (and an appeal as well); 2. the animal control officer was more honest, less manipulative, and had knowledge of dog behavior; 3. the law did not give the officer absolute power over the life of a dog; and 4. the animal control managers had been reasonable and thoughtful enough to review the case and allow an assessment to be done in a timely manner. There is really very little to be admired in HRM’s handling of this case. There is a sharp contrast between its deliberate and intentional decisions in this regard (not to meet with the owner, not to read support letters, pursuing euthanization against a mountain of opposing evidence), vs. the unintentional actions that resulted in a few minor incidents. I feel ashamed to be living here – I know few people who are proud of what this city is up to.

  20. isak says:

    It is my strongest wish that the two sides in this case lay down their fight and see the middle ground. Please send Brindi home to her mom, Francesca Rogier. Period. End of my intent and source of my wish.

    That being said, I am about to release some comments I have received — not in response to my post, but in response to the comments already submitted for this post. For me, they are uncomfortably close to starting another tit-for-tat battle such as I have seen on other sites about Brindi. I have gone back and forth in my heart and my mind about allowing them. I have no obligation to do so. This is my blog; this is my house.

    Therefore, here is my decision at this time: I shall allow the recent comments to appear and monitor any responses. Should this turn into another endless tit-for-tat match, I shall do one of two things for all comments posted after this one right here:

    I shall delete all comments, or
    I shall move the “fight” to another page

    Again, it is my wish that this situation be worked out post haste as reasonable people; that Brindi be returned to her mom, Francesca Rogier.

    The amount of energy it takes to be negative is directly proportional to the amount of energy needed to reach the positive solution: sending Brindi back to her mom.

    Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  21. Joan Sinden says:

    You are exactly right that the dog is paying the heaviest price in this case here in Nova Scotia. And you are also right that the Halifax Regional Municipality should release Brindi to her owner pending the outcome of the trial – in the court judgement link I left it pretty clearly states that the city has no legal right to be holding Brindi – but for some reason the city has some reason to believe that Brindi is either a dangerous dog or Ms. Rogier is an irresponsible owner. The public doesn’t know which it is because we aren’t privy to what Animal Control thinks and they haven’t felt the need to fill the public in on any information about the case.

    Perhaps part of Animal Controls problem is that complaints about Brindi attacking other dogs started coming in only 2 months after she was adopted by Ms. Rogier and continued to come in at fairly regular intervals until she was seized a little over a year later. That doesn’t reflect on Brindi necessarily, but it does reflect something.

    And under our bylaws – when a dog has been given a muzzle order – that also deems a dog as being dangerous – and Brindi was given a muzzle order after her 3rd complaint to animal control.

    Thanks

    • isak says:

      I question the muzzle order after the third incident. If I am remembering it (the court document) correctly, it seems the woman involved did not want to press charges and cause financial hardship for Ms. Rogier. The option offered to her in order to avoid fining Ms. Rogier was a muzzle order. She may have not understood what the muzzle order actually meant. But that’s a whole other can of worms.

      I also question Animal Control’s reason to not be straightforward with their decision. Seems this whole situation could be discussed ad infinitum (much like this case).

      I am left to wonder if Animal Control’s response is rooted in the old cliche, “If we do it for one person, we have to do it for all.” But this case opens a door for Animal Control to develop more communication with citizens/pet owners and better regulations because Brindi would not just be “released;” she would be “released with conditions.” She must be muzzled when outside and must be contained within a “safe” area or leashed. Perhaps in future cases, a mandatory pet owner training class could be added to the conditions for a fee. Accepting all these conditions shows intent on the part of the owner to change past behaviors — both theirs and that of their dog.

      With blinders on to any public opinion — because I believe public opinion in a case like this is tantamount to a common brawl where people lose sight of the issue and all the wrong things get said — I again ask if some agreement could be reached outside of all the legal wranglings between Ms. Rogier and Animal Control regarding the release of Brindi to Ms. Rogier. Perhaps using independent intermediators to keep the emotions out of things, but forge a solution agreeable to both sides. This way, both sides win: Ms. Rogier gets her dog back and the city gains a more responsible owner — I think Ms. Rogier has learned an extremely serious lesson the very hardest way. The only losers are the lawyers, but I am sure if the courts are backed up until 2010, there must be plenty of other work for them.

      Is there anyone or anyway this proposal could be forwarded to the necessary parties? Brindi deserves to go back home to her mom. And the sooner, the better.

  22. Joan Sinden says:

    Hi there – I wouldn’t normally leave a comment on a post – but there’s a few inaccuracies on your post that it behooves me to correct.

    It’s not our local SPCA that is holding Brindi here in Halifax, Nova Scotia – it is our local Animal Control department – and like a lot of municipalities in North America – our local SPCA has the contract with the city to operate the shelter for the Municipality – so Brindi is being housed at the shelter run by the SPCA – but that is the limit of the SPCA’s involvement – housing Brindi – they have no control over her incarceration – it’s the City and the Animal Control department that are actually holding her and who seized her – not the SPCA

    Best Friends Animal Society is NOT supporting Francesca Rogier – they only support animals and people when they can assess the dogs personally – and they have not been able to do that in Brindi’s case – Francesca is using their name without their permission – if you contact Amy Wagner at Best Friends in Utah – she could fill you in on the details.

    The dog behaviour experts that she has listed on her website did actually do an assessment on Brindi – but because of actions that Francesca Rogier has made since Brindi has been incarcerated – they have all withdrawn their support of Ms. Rogier – they stand by their assessments of Brindi – but they don’t support Ms. Rogier anymore personally.

    It is probably true that Brindi is being held illegally by the Halifax Regional Municipality’s animal control department, and she never should have been seized by them in the first place – but since the time that Brindi was seized – so much misinformation has gone out about the case, the dog, this area of the country that it’s absolutely shameful – you can read the court judgement from January 2009 at http://decisions.courts.ns.ca/nssc/2009/2009nssc14.html if you want to read the first part of the story.

    You do have to question a dog owner who is willing to keep her dog behind bars until potentially March 2010 – the next court date – when Brindi has been at the shelter since July 2008

    • isak says:

      Many thanks for the corrections and the link to the court judgement. From where I sit, it seems the dog is the one paying a heavy price while everyone banters back and forth. The bottom line here is Brindi — she has been deemed not dangerous, is said by the staff of the shelter as well as townsfolk to be a friendly dog and her death sentence was quashed. From what I have read, the owner assumes responsibility and has created a “safe” area for Brindi. She is willing to comply.

      So there is a dog being held for no apparent reason and an owner willing to comply with containing her dog, but the authorities will not release her… why?

      I don’t think the dog owner wants her dog kept behind bars until 2010, but rather it’s the Animal Control department that wants Brindi kept behind bars. There has already been a ruling that essentially released Brindi. Animal Control chose to file new charges and refused the release. It’s like they are trying to bury her in the legalese and that seems mean-spirited. Why can’t Brindi be released to her owner’s custody, like house arrest?

      This really doesn’t have to be this hard. Animal Control could drop it’s case and spend the money on puppy mills, animal abuse and placing animals in good homes. Ms. Rogier obviously loves this dog very much and will do as she is required. Brindi is no less than a child to her, and would you not fight for your child if she was taken from you? I would. Yes, millions of cats and dogs are killed every year, they are a dime-a-dozen, a disposable commodity to many. But not to me. And obviously, not to Ms. Rogier.

      I support her wish to have her baby returned. So, setting aside all the legal wranglings, I again ask in very simple terms, what can she do to bring Brindi home? It just doesn’t need to be this hard to work out a compromise. This is just a woman who wants her dog back… as the judge has ruled.

      If her actions have distanced people, I would ask you to consider what it must be like when the law rules in your favor, but out of nowhere, someone snatches your ruling from you. I would ask you to walk in her shoes. And in the same breath, I have to say I am glad it is not me this is happening to. Because it’s already more than I can get my head around.

      Please support Ms. Rogier’s request to have Brindi released to her from the Nova Scotia SPCA.