Walking for Buddy and tougher tethering laws

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Anyone who reads this column knows I'm passionate about two things: animal rights and Russell Crowe.

But since Russell keeps ignoring my advances, I've decided to focus mainly on animal rights; the tethering of dogs 24/7, to be exact. And I'm not alone. There are so many brave and wonderful people in this area who love dogs and want to see currentanimal cruelty laws change, and they are willing to do something about it.

That's why Amherst is joining seven other communities in the province with a march tomorrow to take a stand and advocate laws that will protect permanently tethered and penned dogs.

Our walk is called Buddy's Walk, in memory of Buddy the dog, a victim of long-term tethering. We will meet at Dickey Park at 10:45 a.m. and begin the walk at 11, which will coincide with marches in Halifax, Bridgewater, Shelburne, Yarmouth, New Glasgow, Sydney and New Minas.

This dog-friendly event will see us head down Church Street to Victoria Square, where we will hear a few words from Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell, a representative from the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter and from a dog owner who adopted a rescued former tethered dog.

Town councillor Robert Bird will also be there to accept our on-line anti-tethering petition, which garnered over 6,000 signatures. Mr. Bird is proposing the town come up its own by-law regarding tethered dogs, should the province not follow through on its promise of tougher laws and enforcement. 

Hopefully, this peaceful and positive march will send a message that long-term tethering won't be tolerated, and will encourage our

government to act quickly on proposed amendments that will make 24/7 tethering and penning illegal.

For me, the issue of tethered dogs really intensified with the Buddy the dog case in December. It was so close to home, in Joggins, and so heartbreaking. Buddy was tied out for seven years but couldn't be seized by authorities because current laws say it's not illegal for an owner to tie out a dog in all types of weather, 24 hours a day as long as he has food, water and some type of shelter.

Buddy was finally saved but he had to be put down because he was so ill. This not only broke people's hearts, but it created a bit of a media frenzy and caught the attention of Agricultural Minister Keith Colwell, who took another look at long-term tethering.

Another sad case before Christmas in North Preston, where a dog was found starved and frozen in a pen, kept the issue in the media, and the result is a real push to eliminate long-term tethering. If the animal cruelty act is amended to protect chained and penned dogs, then Nova Scotia will become a leader in animal rights. And that means dogs like Buddy won't have to suffer any longer. It also means owners who do this will be held accountable.

If you love dogs and think long-term chaining or penning is wrong, please join us tomorrow and make a difference in an animal's life. And don't forget your poop bags!

 

Terri McCormick’s column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.

 

Organizations: Buddy's, Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter, Amherst News

Geographic location: Dickey Park, Halifax, Shelburne Yarmouth New Glasgow Sydney New Minas Church Street Victoria Square Joggins North Preston Nova Scotia

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  • Doug P
    February 04, 2014 - 19:00

    And for those who can not be bothered to research tethering laws and thier pointlessness and even harm, please pay attention to the most important point: those who think of animals as the owner of Buddy did will probably abide by any new anti-thering law. This will not make the owner magically see the error of their ways, they will simply cage or pen the animal in a basement or garage out of view as an alternative. The laws you are seeking have a very good chance of making a bad situation for an animal even worse.

  • Doug P
    February 04, 2014 - 18:23

    If any person is support of passing anti-tethering laws did even basic research of those who have tried similar laws, they would find out how practically useless they are. Animal rights people have huge hearts for sure, but have no business claiming to have the ability to formulate just laws in accordance with thier views. At this point certain people who want to use the political process to finally put an end to animal cruelty have thier minds cast in cement. Even if a law is passed they will find the original problem still in existance while introducing a slew of other problems as a concequence of ther short sighted emotionaly driven push to have more powerfull laws to help animals. Like I have said before, if my dog is on a chain and some passerby thinks its against the law to do so, will I be harrased by police? What I know for certain is that innocent people be harmed by such a law if an out right ban on tethering is passed. There will be zero chance of proving this law saved any paticular animal in any specific circumstance. Will animals owners will be threatened and thier pets be siezed based on tying your dog outside?