Day 6. SPCA: Dirty games, Lost contracts and Spin Doctors

By isak, March 2, 2010

Many of you are asking us what has been the role of the SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) since the Brindi Affair began.

Most of you hold the SPCA in high regard. So did I. Not any longer.

It would be fair to say that the SPCA is a pawn in the middle of this situation. They had a contract with the city of Halifax to house animals seized by animal control — such as Brindi. The contract was worth some $414,000. In addition to this contract, they operate a non-profit SPCA where strays and drop-offs and such are offered for adoption (just as any other SPCA). The city has opted to not renew the contract, that has since been awarded to a third party, a woman who runs a wildlife rehab center.

The SPCA is designed to house animals for no more than 30 days. Brindi has been in there for more than 570 days.

Since confinement, Brindi’s teeth have become infected. She has twice in the last maybe 5-6 months been treated for pancreatitis. So it’s safe to guess it may now be chronic.

Brindi is a mascot of sorts, her days are spent under a staffer’s desk.

Francesca had to FIGHT to be allowed to see Brindi. The first time she was allowed to see her was in January, 2009 (she was seized in July, 2008). She was not allowed inside the building and was confined to a fenced area – the temperature was in the teens (or -0 celsius as we measure in Canada). She was given a ridiculous list of conditions to follow — come alone, no camera/video, no treats, 30 minutes to be determined by the SPCA, supervised visits only, and a few more. The terms changed at the whim of Halifax Regional Municipality/SPCA.

Her visits have been started and stopped throughout the year. The continuous change of rules prompted complains and the loss of her visitations rights.

Whenever Francesca wanted Brindi to be seen by her own vet a lengthy process of negotiation had to take place to everybody’s desperation.

In most cases the requests were denied.

Case law in Canada generally favors allowing an owner to see their animal during confinement when there is a case before the courts. Not Halifax. Case law also supports remediation between the owner and the SPCA. Not Halifax.

The SPCA could have stood up and said Brindi is not dangerous or mean, she sleeps under a staffer’s desk after all. In an attitude that betrays their lack of principles they decided not to challenge the city and risk their contract, a contract that was eventually lost.

In a recent letter signed by Kristen Williams, a spin doctor, the SPCA advocates an “alternative” to killing Brindi. This letter is nothing but a carefully crafted attempt by Halifax Municipality and the SPCA to cover themselves for their inadequate handling of the entire case.

A desperate attempt to save face after a number of recent scandals.

It’s too late for that. The SPCA has, in the handling of Brindi’s case betrayed its very founding principles, and the community has taken note. The SPCA will never be regarded in the same way by the Canadian Community.

It is time for Brindi to go home and to be reunited with her owner, Francesca Rogier.

If you are in Canada please CALL Mayor Peter J. Kelly, Mayor of Halifax on ph: 902-490-4010 and tell him that Brindi must be spared AND returned to her owner.

If you are abroad please email and express the same… We have 8 days.…

For the Animals…
For Brindi…

Viktor Larkhill

Let’s Adopt!
reprinted from Let’s Adopt! Canada