Walking in Buddy’s memory

Darrell Cole
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Awareness walk on Feb. 1 in Amherst

Raising awareness about animal abuse it the theme of a walk in Amherst on Feb. 1

Raising awareness about animal abuse it the theme of a walk in Amherst on Feb. 1. The walk has been named in honour of Buddy the dog and will be one of several awareness walks around the province on that day.

AMHERST – Terri and Patti McCormick are unapologetic about their fondness for our furry friends and they’re hoping to raise awareness of their plight – especially in light of a number of highly-publicized incidents of animal abuse.

The sisters and other volunteers are coming together Feb. 1 to organize an anti-tethering and penning awareness walk in memory of Buddy, a dog that had to be euthanized in December after spending seven years chained to a doghouse in Joggins.

“No dog or animal should be forced to live in the conditions Buddy had to endure,” Terri said. “The minister has talked about making the legislation tougher. We just want to remind him of that commitment.”

The walk begins at 11 a.m. and continues until around noon with the event beginning at Dickey Park and moving down Church Street to Victoria Square.

There will be several speakers at the square and the walk will coincide with other walks across Nova Scotia. There will be walks in Bridgewater, Halifax, Shelburne and Kentville.

A walk is planned for New Glasgow on Feb. 8.

A petition will also be circulated that will be presented to Amherst town council and the Municipality of Cumberland.

The goal is to raise awareness of the 24/7 epidemic across the province and to give a voice to all the chained and penned dogs.

“Buddy seems to have become a catalyst for change,” Patti said. “It seems his plight has become the rallying cry for those individuals and organizations who are fighting to raise awareness and change attitudes when it comes to tethering or tying dogs out 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

One of the issues in Buddy’s case is both SPCA and police said there was little they could do because the dog had shelter, food and water. Eventually, Buddy was liberated from his tether after a cash payment was made to a relative of his owner. The dog’s health was found to be so poor that it had to be euthanized soon after being freed from his tether.

A second case of animal abuse was discovered in Preston in which a dog had frozen to the ground and had to be removed with the help of an icepick. Charges have been laid against two individuals by the SPCA.

“Tying an animal to a doghouse and then forgetting about it is just unforgiveable,” Terri said. “We’re hoping this walk will help shine a light on what’s taking place and chance some attitudes regarding dog ownership. The minister has promised to make changes to the legislation to increase the penalties on those owners who abuse their dogs. We want to hold him to that promise.”

Joan Sinden of No Chains, All Love says it’s important to hold walks across the province in support of government’s plan to strengthen the legislation.

“This is not a negative thing or a protest. It’s a positive event in support of government in that they’re doing something about it,” Sinden said.

Sinden said the government has indicated it plans to have draft regulations in the hands of organizations such as hers by the end of February.

She said it’s important that the memory of Buddy and other dogs that have died because of abuse never be forgotten. She is hopeful the walk will keep animal abuse in the public spotlight and prevent other incidents.


Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: Amherst town council

Geographic location: Amherst, Joggins, Dickey Park Church Street Victoria Square Nova Scotia Bridgewater Shelburne Kentville New Glasgow Cumberland Preston

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Recent comments

  • Marilyn Williams
    January 27, 2014 - 13:06

    If you are doing right by your animal that is all that is necessary ...don't worry about harassment ,it would soon be seen or known that you are not guilty .....if I am not guilty of something I can handle misunderstandings ,it will not impact me if I am truly doing things right .

  • Doug P
    January 24, 2014 - 08:36

    Don't get the idea that I'm for an outright ban from based on the article I posted. I am against all of it. I am simply pointing out the futility of such laws to begin with. An outright ban on tethering a dog makes every owner a criminal. What happens when a passerby sees a dog at 8 am on a tether...and on passing again sees the dog at 8pm on a tether and assumes the dog owner is breaking the law? Will they ever know that the dog might have been inside in between those times? Will the animal cruelty enforcement people be dispatched to harass the owner? Will they apologize when they have clearly taken mistaken actions in applying the "law"? Stop and think before you start calling for things that won't work and might will hurt other innocent people. Out of a fit of emotion to "fix things" passing harebrained legislation makes a bad situation even worse. It is not helping that you are doing at all.

  • Doug P
    January 23, 2014 - 21:13

    ALL THOSE WHO WANT ANTI-TETHERING LAWS READ THIS: ______________________________________________________ Tethering bylaw keeps bad owners on the loose posted Nov 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM It has been a long year-and-a-half wait for anti-tethering legislation in Surrey. And the wait has not be worth it. It is apparent that the City of Surrey is determined, once again, to only appear to want to end the suffering of chained dogs in their community. Their proposed legislation to limit the chaining of dogs to four hours in a 24-hour period sounds great in theory. But how, in practice, is this time limit going to be enforced? Will animal control officers wait outside a chained dog’s home to time how long the dog is chained? When the owners of chained dogs see the city watching them, it is reasonable to assume that they will bring the dog inside until the officers leave, then return the dog back onto the chain? Will officers stay outside a chained dogs home for 24 hours to ensure the maximum time is not exceeded? Will reports of permanently chained dogs by neighbours be taken at their word? Or will neighbors be expected to videotape the dog’s time on a chain over a 24-hour period? The drafting of effective legislation must, one would assume, go hand in hand with ensuring its enforceability. If a council is only interested in appearing to be taking action, then this legislation is perfect. During a presentation by the Campaign for Animal Rights Legislation, Surrey council was provided with feedback from communities that had initially enacted a time limit to tethering. These communities had found the law too difficult and costly to enforce and ultimately enacted a tethering ban. We also provided them with evidence that the incidence of attacks by chained dogs was only reduced by a tethering ban. A time limit to tethering did nothing to reduce chained dog attacks, largely because time limits to tethering are practically unenforceable. Surrey has one of the highest number of dog owners (read “voters”) who chain their dogs in the Lower Mainland. This unenforceable legislation seems perfectly designed to try to appease frustrated animal lovers while at the same time doing nothing to alienate chained dog owners. It is all appearance without any substance. Janet Olson Campaign for Animal Rights Legislation

  • Doug P
    January 23, 2014 - 20:26

    I admire the compassion displayed by those who tried to help these animals. I admire the idea of walking to raise awareness for the proper treatment of animals in our care. I admire the will to help the next animals that might befall such treatment. But what I do not admire is that the people will be using this tragic even to lobby for new laws that they think will help. This is not admirable at all. The law will not save these animals, what did was a simple act to buy the animals out of abuse. It worked too late but it was and is much better method than passing animal protection laws that I am absolutely certain will be leveled against perfectly innocent people in the ownership and care of their animals. Those who are high with emotion can not see this at all, they simply want to strike back. I get it. Recognize what worked here and what did not. Purchase these animals out of abuse. Spare us the torches and pitchforks.

    • Robert Bird
      January 24, 2014 - 07:59

      The existing rules and by-laws aren't working Mr. P and we need something that will. Something that makes it illegal to leave a dog chained outside for longer than it takes exposed skin to freeze. Something that makes it illegal to treat your dog worse than they are treated at an animal shelter.

  • carol
    January 23, 2014 - 17:08

    Great idea Patti andTerri,much success in this walk.We need the lays changed to protect those that can't speak for themselve's.

  • Vickie Fitzgerald
    January 23, 2014 - 14:04

    I applaud Terri and Patti McCormick and all Amherst residents who participate in this walk. Thank you for caring enough to take a stand and having the courage to fight for change.

    • Dorothy A
      January 31, 2014 - 15:58

      I agree with you Vickie,, I read the other posts and they do make valid points about there opinions.. but this is not really about tethering a dog for bathroom breaks, or keeping your pet safe from running away or being hit by a car.. because we all want to keep out pets safe and sometimes that means tethering at certain times of the day , the legislation language needs to be changed to allow animal patrol to be able to go onto someones property to investigate a complaint and if it is a valid complaint they can remove the dog without permission of the owners do to unsafe living conditions. .and possibly charged with an offence if that's the case .Animal control needs to be able to take control of a situation without having to go by the guide lines that are given to them with the old legislation. people are not getting what this walk is really about,things have to change because we as humans have to speek out for these pets that are being abused/chained 24/7. if people are concerned about having animal patrol knocking on there door to do a check up on a complaint and if they are not doing anything wrong ,then they have nothing to worry about,, its well worth taking the chance for a new legislation than the out-dated one.