There has been much by way of emailing between parties with reference to the controversial No Kill Movement, and in addressing the issues and conversation that ensued, I have received permission from Ms. West to copy and paste her response in one of her communiques. My own comments are made first and I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. West.
Over population is definitely NOT and animal problem. It is in fact a HUMAN problem period! Every single day, in every single town, city and province countless kittens and puppies are born and cats and dogs are either turned into shelters, are found abandoned and dumped. Why, because educating the masses as well try to do, stressing the need for spay/neuter is being totally ignored by the ignorant, the money hungry and the irresponsible pet owners not only in Canada but elsewhere throughout the US and every country on the Globe. It is a HUMAN problem. We see it everyday, and we clean up the mess and horror left behind.
As far as the laws governing companion animals in this country, we all know how archaic and antiquated these laws are, yet each time a new Bill is brought before the House to improve the legislation and declassify animals as mere property, it is voted down by the current government in power. Further, shelter funding for the most part is not subsidized by provincial or federal funding and often depends solely upon donations. What municipally owned shelters there are, are dictated to by the municipal bureaucrats who dictate!!
Over burdened shelters, and especially No-Kill Shelters trying so desperately to find forever homes for those in need, unlicensed back yard breeders, the human failures of spaying and neutering companion animals, the total lack of responsible pet owners and the failure of municipal, provincial and federal government to properly address the issues of inadequate veterinary services in many areas across Canada, the Federal Legislation, the lack of very real animal protection By-Laws within our communities, municipalities and not having enough qualified, fully educated Animal Cruelty Investigators within each SPCA, town, city, municipality and province/territory is also part of the problem.
We need the powers of Seizure to save distressed animals held in the confines of ongoing neglect, disregard and failures to provide the necessities of life. Here in Canada, we need the powers that are given to SPCA’s within the US. Here instead we must depend upon the local police forces for seizure and quite honestly folks they have enough on their hands and distressed and abused animals are the last of their concerns.
Major movements within this country and elsewhere, as Sarah has pointed out, must have one focus to be effective Any problem regarding animal welfare is NOT a single faceted one The No Kill Solution is taking the shelters to task. This is one of the problems we have with bad shelter management, lack of cooperation with rescues, not socializing dogs and the list goes on!
We have seen the scandals surrounding the OSPCA, my God my computer files are enormous on that particular issue alone. Then you take into account the Whistler case, that massive slaughter was unnecessary and fueled only by greed and a failure to effectively monitor such operations. The subsequent investigation into the slaughter was too little too late, and the outcome of the judgement issued by the Courts for this mass murder was merely a slap on the wrist.
WE must, support each other. WE must be united period. WE must not criticize or judge that which is being done by any one group or organization in their fight to end cruelty to animals in this country or anywhere else period. Dissention among the troops proves only to make the army very shaky and ineffective. While one has the right to disagree, and I will defend that right, we all have one common goal and purpose..to save animals. Since the Federal Government shows total disrespect and total disregard, often branding many of us as ‘terrorists’ if we speak out against the lack of very real Animal Protection, cutting off charitable status to organizations that openly oppose current ridiculous antiquated legislation and policies..we have only each other from which to draw strength and resources.
Ms. West writes:
Areas of Focus That must be Addressed Regarding Pet Overpopulation and Animal Cruelty
- Education and awareness both public the government courts police and the media ( Bonnie is working on this )
- Education and awareness both public the government courts police and the media that animals are sentient beings
- Education and awareness with regards to THE CAMBRIDGE DECLARATION ( that animals have the same consciousness as we do) yes we all know this but it’s NOT public knowledge and certainly NOT known and recognized by the public courts government police and media
- Education and awareness via humane education in elementary schools ( I am working on getting certified as a humane educator ) for CFAWR
- Education and awareness with regards to the Animal Cruelty Syndrome ( for the public courts, government and media)
- Getting the TERM “ Companion Animal” listed in our dictionaries and as working on getting the use of this TERM in precedence setting legal cases
- Debunking the myth that shelter ect are somehow inferior or broken
- The destruction of whose who run puppy mills and back yard breeder
- Education and awareness regarding the necessity and positives if spaying and neutering
- Creating ways to make spaying and neutering ( more accessible and affordable ) for the public Mobile vets and subsidised procedures by the veterinary profession for low income citizens
- Legislation that bans the sale of puppies and kitten from pet stores ( Canada wide)
- Acceptability of TNR programmes by municipalities ( Canada wide)
- Complete transparency and better shelter management by shelters and humane societies ( FOCUS for the NO KILL MOVEMENT) and Bill Bruce the Calgary Model Bonnie also working on this
- Animals removed as property from the Canadian criminal code and PROPER Animal welfare legislation brought into Canada ( CFAWR is trying to work on this tiny step by tiny step
- Creating and establishing relationships with those MP’s trying to make changes to federal and provincial cruelty legislation ( Peggy Nash Mac Harb Mark Holland ect
- Contraception for cats and dogs Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs
- Cohesiveness, elimination of back biting and power struggles inherent in many animal welfare rescuers and groups ( animal advocacy underground)
- Animal advocacy volunteer training/ support regarding education speaking with media, animal care and networking for animals in need
If we have groups and movements taking on any of these’ issues of this multi-faceted program…. it is a good thing! No one group can do it all and we cannot criticize each other if any one of us feel that something is fundamentally wrong with a specific group then don’t work with them Keep doing what you are doing, but I feel other than that we must work together as Bonnie says.
Think about this list above. This is a huge problem almost beyond comprehension but we can neither be “ overwhelmed” or critical. All efforts are helping and the No Kill movement may be doing some things you don’t like but the fact that Nathan Winograd has started this is a good thing. Many animals lives have been saved by his movement and that is a good thing regardless. I for one glad am he is on the ground fighting back with the No Kill Movement
All of us have to pick one focus and working on creating a dove- tail relationships with others who have a different mandate and focus! It is out of “ combined” efforts that will and do make a difference for all the animals we care for so deeply.
We can’t change other countries but we can all come together to do what we can for Canada and her animals and creatures, wild, marine, stray ,farm and companion.
Sarah West Founder/President
Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform (CFAWR) www.cfawr.org
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