A few days ago I posted an ALERT in an attempt to locate the owners of the nursing mother picked up in Hay River, NT. This nursing mom had obviously only recently given birth, her teats swollen with milk as was her vulva.
Desperate attempts were made to locate the owners, who failed to come forward. Walking her on a leash within the area she was found, in the hope that she would lead one to her pups or to her home was all in vain.
I had also posted the link to the story of “Yuki” , the sole surviving puppy rescued in Wha Ti, NT. When RCMP arrived on the property, her mother and siblings were found frozen to death in sub-zero temperatures. When Yuki’s mother had gone into labor she was basically pushed outside to deliver her puppies. Little “Yuki” survived by the Grace of God and in the process lost part of her tiny nose due to severe frostbite. Earlier this year a number of other animals had been seized from this property and when Yuki was rescued an additional 3-4 other severely neglected dogs were also seized from this owner. This person now faces charges and is yet to appear in court. “Yuki” is recovering thankfully, but her mother and siblings paid the ultimate price.
So this brings us back to that of the Nursing mom found here and her puppies that were never found ….likely they too are dead. Were they born outside as well in sub-zero temperatures? Or had the owners merely let her outside to void herself? Could they not pay the fines involved in order to reclaim her? therefore not coming forward. Or did they just not care enough? Or is this mom just one more casualty of total indifference?
Once again, this morning, an urgent call has come in from another area of Canada that being Manitoba. Puppies found frozen to death, animals abandoned, neglected, uncared for. Dog populations exploding because proper veterinary care is unavailable, because of remote location, because of poverty in the community.
Manitoba recently passed a new Animal Health Care Act, which came into effect October 2010. How wonderful, if it is actively and efficiently enforced. If it services all areas across Manitoba and not just the rural and city communities.
Remote areas and communities in Canada do not have the luxuries of properly equipped animal shelters, with dedicated highly trained professionals. Nor do remote communities have the luxury of resident veterinarians or veterinary hospitals. More often than not, they also do not have veterinarians who travel to their communities, as is the case here in Hay River, NT. We are very fortunate, our dedicated vet comes in from Alberta.
That being said, the question as to WHY networking and support for these remote areas and communities in other areas of Canada has not been properly established. Dog populations have exploded, due to the lack of mobile free spay/neuter clinics visiting these areas of greatest need.
WSPA, did a couple of years ago, conduct a very successful clinic; Fort Providence, NT also conducted a very successful clinic. Inuvik has a relocation program established as does Yellowknife and Hay River.
IFAW: International Fund for Animal Welfare with their Northern Dog Initiative a number of years ago, HSI Canada, Northern Lights Dog Rescue, and other groups have stepped up to the plate.
Would it not be wonderful to see Provincial Government step up to the plate as well? Would it not be wonderful to put together a group of traveling veterinarians to visit these communities; just as so many communities depend upon LOCAMS (medical doctors who visit for a number of weeks on rotation).
There are many rescue groups across this vast landscape, there are many well established city shelters that take in rescued animals from remote communities, but they can only do so much themselves. Most are charitable organizations dependent upon dedicated volunteers and the generosity of their supporters. Most do not receive Federal Funding or Provincial Funding whatsoever.
Recently a Protest Rally was held in Winnipeg on the steps of the Legislative Building. Protesting the inaction and failure to not only investigate but also to uphold the laws governing animal cruelty. The case was specific, however it has shed a great deal of light on the decades old problem.
Taxpayer dollars pay the salaries of all Municipal Officials, Government Ministers and Employees across Canada, in essence, these officials work for the electorate. They are elected officials in whom the voters held enough confidence to vote for, making the assumption that their elected representatives will pro-actively take on and find solutions. Hhhhmmm! Just what does that mean?
It means total accountability and total transparency of all government offices, budgets and internal structures. It means actively doing the best that one can in order to provide the required services needed everywhere within the respective Province or Territory. It means listening, it means responding to complaints, suggestions and recommendations; it means listening to those private citizens who stand up, speak out and demand action.
What it does not mean is shuffling paper, passing the buck to various other Government Departments, ignoring reports and complaints of situations that require immediate attention, in the hope of keeping one’s hands clean or that it will go away. It means representing the concerns of the people, the electorate that put them in office.
In 2010 a growing awareness and intolerance of Animal Cruelty on all levels began to snow ball. This is a Universal Awareness and it continues to grow. The well researched and documented Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence has seen countless publications, is well recognized by Legal Authorities, Medical Professionals and those in the dedicated field of Family Counciling. In the years yet to come, this Global awareness will continue to sky rocket, more public outrage will be heard and governments of all manner and kind everywhere are going to have to pay attention.
Question: Why have not the Canadian Provincial and Federal Government Leaders acknowledged this link between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence? Done something to curb violence against animals? and in turn human victims? Why has the Federal Government not updated the current Federal Criminal Code as yet, despite the pressure applied to do so? Why are not Municipal and Provincial laws being enforced effectively in order to punish those who continue to cause so much pain and suffering to those who cannot speak for themselves. Why are the courts hesitant to prosecute charges? Under Section 448 of the F.C.C. the animals in themselves are evidence of wilful neglect, so that loophole does not apply. PASSIVE Cruelty is a criminal offence.
HHHMMMM!!! Something to definitely ask oneself is it not.
On November 1, 2010 the Government of the NT brought before their Legislative Assembly the new Dog Act which for three years I have fought for. The first step towards the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act I am after. This new Act will hopefully become law 120 days from November 1, 2010..meaning by March 1, 2011. We will have to wait and see. This new Act pertains to dogs only and no other domestic animals unfortunately so there remains a great deal of work yet to be done.
The point being made is that no matter what Municipal, Provincial, Territorial or Federal Laws are in place, they are not worth the paper they are written on unless they are effectively being enforced, unless there is total accountability on the part of the law makers, that all reports are actively investigated, and that all offenders are duly charged, go to trial and face the consequences of their actions.
The next time you are asked to vote, query your prospective elected representatives on where they actually stand. Request written responses and hold them to what they have to say. Be it animal issues or not. Remember they work for you, it is not the other way around and it is only from your support do they have their jobs and life style secured.
To learn more about Active/Passive Animal Cruelty please go to www.Pet-Abuse.com
Center for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. www.uwo.ca/violence/html/petabuselinks.html
Center for the Human-Animal Bond, Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. www.vet.purdue.edu/chab/abuse.htm