A recent write up in the Edmonton Sun “Warm homes for cold dogs” http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmonton/2009/12/22/12245696.html
cites truly good news for the Northern dogs who continue to suffer cruelty and neglect in Canada’s North. Koodos to the Alberta animal lovers who have stepped up to the plate to aid in the rescue, relocation and who will hopefully find new forever homes for these deserving animals.
For decades dogs, animals in general, have been considered “disposable”. Note that term comes from a reliable source. The blatant disregard for their care and welfare is more than evident and continues unabated and without consequence.
While good, caring and responsible pet owners shudder at the continued published accounts of animal cruelty and are often witness to the suffering of these innocent victims and while these same individuals may speak up, may make reports of incidents, there remains within them a fear of retaliation, as well as the sense that any reports which they may have the courage to make are disregarded by authorities. After all it is just a dog, just a cat, and there are so many more important matters to attend to.
While written assurances have been received by this writer from the Minister of MACA: Hon. Robert McLeod and the Minister of Justice: Hon. Jackson Lafferty who wrote that “the Department of Justice is working with other Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) departments towards the goal of introducing new animal protection legislation. The government has committed to bringing forward this legislation during the life of the 16th Assembly….the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is currently moving forward with planned amendments to the Dog Act. These amendments, while limited to protecting only dogs, will address the immediate concerns regarding the protection of dogs, until more comprehensive animal protection legislation is implemented.” (July 6, 2009) Note that the 16th Assembly does not end until August 2011. How many more animals will suffer horrifically during the next two years???
In a letter dated August 24, 2009 received from MACA, Mr. McLeod writes “As you know, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) through the Departments of Justice and Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), is developing new legislation to address animal welfare in the NWT, as well as revising the Dog Act as an interim measure until animal welfare legislation is developed and enacted.” In his response to my position that the Dog Act should be replaced by comprehensive animal protection legislation to protect all animals in the North, Mr. McLeod responded “Your point is excellent, however, developing and implementing comprehensive animal protection legislations will take time. In the meantime, MACA is moving forward with amendments to the Dog Act to address immediate concerns.”
Unfortunately as stated by Kam Lake MLA David Ramsay “The fall is here, the snow is falling and Christmas is coming. Where exactly is this legislation, how come it hasn’t even gone to committee yet?” http://www.cjcd.ca/archives.boa (MLA unhappy with state of NWT animal rights laws (03-Nov-2009) Further Mr. Ramsay refers to the current NWT Dog Act as archaic: http://www.cjcd.ca/archives.boa (MLA Says Animal Neglect Has To Be Dealt With (09-Mar-2009).
In addition to MLA David Ramsay, Weledeh MLA Bob Bromley has spoken out in support and is calling for “prompt revision of the animal protection laws” http://www.cjcd.ca/archives.boa (Animal Lovers Want Tougher Protection Laws (23-Feb-2009). In fact you will find Mr. Bromley’s Member’s Statement to the Legislature on Animal Rights Legislation on page 2176 of the Northwest Territories Hansard (February 12,2009). http://google.gov.nt.ca/search?q=page 2176&site=Legislative_Assembly&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&client
The Legislature is now on Christmas Break and Session will begin again on January 27, 2010. Will this important piece of much needed Legislation be dealt with? Will the issues to amend the current archaic Dog Act finally be brought before committee? Will concerned, caring and responsible pet owners finally see progress being made for the welfare of the animals in the NWT? Or will their call for Animal Protection be disregarded just as is the welfare and care of the animals unfortunate enough to be born in and to live in the NWT???
Pictures submitted by Beafort Delta Regional SPCA Director : early 2009. No shelter, malnourished mother and pup. Do these dogs look well cared for to you?
How about these dogs? pictures submitted 2008, by Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA Director.
Below: Victims in Tuktoyaktuk 2009, please see prior posts regarding these dogs in the Archives. No charges laid. PETA speaks out.
Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org (867) 669-2366
Minister of Justice
email@example.com (867) 669-2399
Hon. Robert McLeod, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs
Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Justice
Legislative Assembly Building
4570 48th Street
Bob Bromley MLA, Weledeh : firstname.lastname@example.org (867) 669-2272
David Ramsay MLA, Kam Lake: email@example.com (867) 669-2296
Paul Delorey, MLA Hay River North: firstname.lastname@example.org (867) 669-2233
Please take the time to browse the following links to get a true feel of the situation for animals in the North.
You will have to scroll through the CJCD Archives (tip: search Animal Cruelty to find the titles below).
Behchoko puppy doing well after throat injury (05-Nov-2009)
Animal abuse case leaves three puppies dead, one recovering (22-Oct-2009)
Animal Neglect Charges Stayed for Behchoko Artist (06-Mar-2009)
Charges Coming in Case of Animal Neglect (14-Oct-2008)
Behchoko Artist Could Be Charged For Horrific Neglect of Dogs (14-Oct-2008)
Severely Damaged HR Dog Receiving Care (23-Apr-2008)
Animals and pellet guns don’t mix (18-May-2006)
NWT SPCA not sorry for emotional appeal to adopt animals in shelter (15-May-2006)
Hay River Shooting (11-May-2005)
Justice Minister Concerned Over Animal Welfare (01-Feb-2005) former Justice Minister
Cats left out in the cold (27-Jan-2004)
Dog Update (22-Sep-2003)
Hey want a dog? (15-Sep-2003)
MLA wants animal cruelty act
Animal rights left to the dogs
Dogs deserve better treatment
Police open probe into dog slaughter