Amherst Buddy Walk one of several held Saturday across Nova Scotia in memory of tethered Joggins dog Buddy
AMHERST-A large crowd of people congregated Saturday at Dickey Park in memory of a tethered dog named Buddy from Joggins who had to be euthanized.
“This is a positive walk to support the (provincial) government’s proposed changes to anti-cruelty laws regarding the 24/7 tethering and permanent kenneling of dogs,” stated Terri McCormick. “If the provincial government doesn’t act soon enough, then the Town of Amherst will be looking to change some of the by-laws.”
According to Cumberland North Liberal MLA Terry Farrell, the framework is in place to make Nova Scotia’s animal cruelty laws tougher than they already are.
“The Liberal government is committed to strengthen the law,” stated Farrell. “Under the new regulations which will come in by the end of the month, our laws, which are already some of the strongest in Canada, will become even stronger.”
Farrell, who has spoken to the minister of agriculture, says the power to change the law exists under the regulations. Simply put, changes do not have to be passed as legislation through three readings of the House of Assembly before becoming law.
“The changes to the regulations are not a knee-jerk reaction,” said Farrell. “I am confident that they (new regulations) are going to help our four-legged friends.”
Amherst Town councillor Robert “Robbie” Bird said that he will be patiently awaiting the passing of the government’s new animal cruelty regulations.
“I have no problem waiting for the Liberal government to get this done,” said Bird. “Getting these laws in place is important so that this doesn’t happen again.”
In addition to Farrell and Bird, L.A. Animal Shelter president Marilyn Williams and dog owner Trish Jardine were afforded the chance to speak at Victoria Square.
“There can be no excuse to tether dogs 24/7,” said Williams. For the two people who rescued Buddy, I have nothing but admiration and praise. They stayed with him until he took his last breath. “We love you Buddy. Your death wasn’t in vain.”
Not every dog tethering story ends in tragedy, a fact made evident by Trish Jardine’s feel-good story about the 14 year-old tethered dog that she adopted.
“When I saw his face on the shelter website, I knew I had to have him,” Jardine said. “His spirit was broken. Right now we’re making up for the 14 years he spent outside in a kennel. Twenty-four/seven tethering is wrong. Dogs can be wonderful. I feel sorry for his previous owners who missed out on what a great dog that he is.”
“Thank you to everyone for coming out today,” said Williams. “Buddy’s terrible death is the reason why all of these marches are taking place across Nova Scotia.”
In addition to the Amherst Buddy Walk, parallel dog walks were scheduled for Feb. 1 or Feb. 8 in such Nova Scotia communities as Halifax, Bridgewater, Shelburne, Yarmouth, New Glasgow, Sydney, New Minas and Cheticamp.