This blog began with 16 letters from people from Brindi's world - who know and like her, including her groomer, vet, kennel owner, neighbors with kids, neighbors with dogs, and friends of Brindi's owner. It is growing fast with letters from supporters near and far. See FREE BRINDI for a blog kept by Brindi's best friend, Francesca Rogier. Best friends are forever!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Longtime dog owner, knows Brindi since adoption

July 28, 2008

Lori Scolaro, Animal Services Field Operation Supervisor
Andrea Macdonald, Manager of Animal Services an taxi and Limousine Services
Halifax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

Dear Ms. Scolero,

Brindi, who belongs to Francesca Rogier, is a good dog. I have known her for an entire year, practically since the day she was adopted. My dog, Ella, is a friend of Brindi’s, and we have been on lots of walks together, with no unpleasant incidents.

I have had dogs for 20 years now. It’s easy to tell that Brindi is smart, loving, and eager to please. She knows and obeys an impressive number of commands. Brindi adores Francesca, and has helped her get through a lot of difficult times. The love that Brindi and Francesca have for each other was evident every time I saw them.

I heard that Brindi has attacked three dogs, but I never witnessed her being aggressive. I understand the incidents were short-lived and the dogs were not seriously hurt. Perhaps something from her past made her feel threatened when she saw a dog walk by her property. In any case, I have spoken with Francesca, and know that she will get special training to change this negative behaviour.

Brindi has never attacked a person and has never caused any real harm to a dog. I request that you let Francesca work with a trainer who will correct the behaviour. Francesca is in the middle of a large housing renovation project, but plans to have an enclosure at the back of the house, so that the dog cannot escape. Please let Brindi go back home where she belongs.

Yours truly,

Margot Overington
a resident of East Chezzetcook

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Local business owner and neighbor

[note: Jean Myers, my neighbor and hairdresser, wrote this letter by hand and sent it via regular mail]

August 2, 2008

Dear Lori Scolaro,

I am writing this letter to just give you some encouragement about how I know that Brindi is a sweet dog. Francesca is a neighbor of mine and when she first brought this dog back from Cape Breton, she came to visit me, the dog never jumped on me, never moved, she just sat there, so quietly. She is very well behaved with people and adores her master Francesca. I have never seen a dog like this before. She never, never jumps up on Parker, my husband, or me. I do hair in the community and I let her bring her dog while I am doing Francesca’s hair; the dog just sits, very well behaved. Francesca has had some bad luck with other dogs. All dogs go after other dogs, it's just normal. A lot of people tend to be afraid when a dog attacks another dog. Not too many people know how to handle them, but Francesca is not afraid, which is great. But I know she needs to hold on to her dog. She lives very close to the road and there are a lot of people who have dogs, so Brindi dashes after them, not really meaning to hurt them, the other person tends to be afraid and does not know how to handle the matter, they cause a lot of fear. Everyone overreacts. I just hope you will give Francesca one more chance to take care of Brindi. She said that she would do everything in her power for better care.

Thank you for listening
A neighbor who cares
Jean Myers 839 east Chezzetcook Road
Halifax, NA B0J 1N0

PS Please call if you want to ask any questions!

Wife of East Chezzetcook ballplayer

[August 10, 2008]

Margo Ross
138 Pearson Drive
Chezzetcook, NS

Re: Brindi Rogier

Dear Lori Scolero,

I am writing to you about the case of Brindi Rogier from East Chezzetcook set to be euthanized early in August. I felt it extremely necessary to Fax you my thoughts on this matter. I have known Brindi since last summer. My husband plays ball at the East Chezzetcook Ball Shack close to Brindi’s home. At least a couple of times a week last summer and this summer Francesca would walk Brindi up to visit the ball placers including their families. There was always lots of activity with the game and the kids running around and often other dogs. Brindi Loved it. She was always so gentle with the children and loved coming in the ball shack to receive some affection from us all.

I strongly believe that anyone claiming we need to keep our children (or any other human being) safe from Brindi is either fabricating a story or has been lied to. I know Francesca will see to it that Brindi will never step outside without her muzzle on and any future altercations with other dogs will cease to be.

Brindi has never and I truly believe will never hurt anybody. Please keep her alive.

Thank you

Margo Ross

Professional groomer

August 13, 2008

To Halifax Region Animal Services:

I am the owner and operator of DOG LUV – Dog Wash, Services & Supplies, located in the Lakeview Shopping Centre in Porters Lake. I have many years of experience as a groomer and dogowner. I am writing to you concerning Brindi, a female Shepherd mix who was recently seized from her owner and slated for euthanization.

Brindi and her owner have frequented the shop on numerous occasions, coming into contact with many dogs and people without incident. I also cared for Brindi during several grooming sessions and looked after her as part of our Doggie Day Care service. She was always easy to handle and a delight to have around.

In the recent incidents leading to her seizure, I understand Brindi’s actions were not severe. Although unwanted, they do not under any circumstance justify euthanizing her. She is a calm, submissive, and obedient dog who was simply acting like a dog at the time of these incidents. Dogs display dominant behaviour due to the nature of their species. They live in a world of hierarchy and domination. It is completely natural for dogs to act in what we have deemed as aggressive behaviour when in fact, this is how dogs simply behave. They are hardwired to communicate with each other this way. However, society’s humanization of dogs unfairly demands that they act like civilized human beings, stripping them of their natural God-given rights.

In my opinion, euthanizing Brindi is an option that should not be considered at all. She is a good dog. The decision to put her down is completely unwarranted. Brindi may be in need of some rehabilitation, but not death. This measure is extreme, and Brindi does not seem like an extreme case to me. In fact, it seems like cruel and unusual treatment on your part.

It is my understanding that Francesca has put up a fence, she has hired a contractor, and her property is under construction at this time. She is has been pro-active in this regard and is taking the utmost measures to ensure that Brindi and she get the training they need, while insuring that her dog remains on her property by means of barriers. For Francesca, who suffers from chronic fatigue and muscle pain, Brindi is her best friend, companion, and support system. Francesca is a wonderful dog owner who cares deeply for her canine. She has also enlisted the aid of professional dog trainer Bob Ottenbrite of Lietash Canine Academy, and Silvia Jay, to help work with Brindi.

Please feel free to contact me. I feel very passionately about this case. We expect dogs to act like citizens, but is this how we treat our citizens? The system seems harsh. Please look at this case with love and compassion.


Katherine Chaisson, Owner
DOG LUV - Dog Wash, Services & Supplies
5228 #7 Highway, Porter's Lake, Nova Scotia B3E 1J8 website:

Brindi's vet and obedience classmate

5228 Hwy 7, Box 7 Porter’s Lake Centre
Porter’s Lake, NS
B3E 1J8

July 26, 2008

Re: Brindie, 5 year old FS Shepherd mix
Owner Francesca Rogier
(address), HRM

To whom it may concern,

Brindie has been a patient of our hospital since June of 2007. She was also a student in the same obedience class with my own dog. I have not observed aggressive behaviour with either dogs or humans in those environments. Her medical file is not flagged for aggression.

Frances Minty, DVM

Neighbor and experienced dog owner

July 25, 2008

7 Elmwood Ave.
Dartmouth NS B3A 3E2

Lori Scolaro, Animal Services Field Operation Supervisor
Halifax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5
Phone: 490 1791 Fax: 490 6142

Dear Ms. Scolaro:

I am writing in support of Brindi a dog owned by Francesca Rogier. I have known Ms. Rogier for 2.5 years and she has owned two dogs in that time. The first died of old age. After the loss of her first dog she adopted Brindi last summer. To the best of my knowledge she has taken immaculate care of Brindi who is the centre of her life.

I have accompanied Brindi and Francesca on walks and during that time I have never experienced any aggression from Brindi towards me or to others that were present. Given the care and love that this dog has received from Francesca, I feel that it would be a terrible misjustice to euthanize Brindi.

Thank you for reading this letter.

Yours truly,

Deborah Kiceniuk

Neighbor and owner of border collie

Dan Grantham
744 East Chezzetcook Rd
East Chezzetcook NS
B0J 1N0

August 17, 2008

Lori Scolaro, Animal Services Field Operation Supervisor
Halifax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

Dear Ms. Scolaro:

I am writing in support of Francesca Rogier and her dog, Brindi, that you have impounded and intend to euthanize. My dog and I have played with Brindi on many occasions and have found her to be a friendly, playful dog. She has never been aggressive at all with me or my dog. It would be outrageous to put her down. Perhaps her owner could have handled things differently, I don’t know, but the dog does not deserve to die. Perhaps she could be given a second chance. She is a lovely dog. Thank you.

Dan Grantham

Friday, August 15, 2008

Experienced dog owner and ARC foster mom

13 Royal Masts Way
Bedford, Nova Scotia
B4A 4B1

July 25, 2008

To whom it may concern:

I am writing in response to the seizure of Francesca Rogier’s pet dog, Brindi.

Brindi has been known to me since her rescue. Brindi has been in my home, having spent last Christmas Eve peacefully lying by my feet as my husband and I entertained friends. She was well socialized and well behaved. I have also been in Ms. Rogier’s East Chezzetcook home on several occasions, and other than the normal dog barking as I approached the house, Brindi was calm and accepting of my presence.

Ms. Rogier has spent countless hours in training, socializing, and exercising her dog. In fact, last spring I had offered to look after Brindi for a few days when Ms. Rogier needed to visit her elderly mother. I am aware that Ms. Rogier’s house is under renovations. This is the only heritage home in East Chezzetcook, and as an architect, it became a challenge for Francesca Rogier to repair and restore her new home. As the house is presently blocked up to allow for a concrete basement to be poured, the entrances and exists to the home are difficult, such that taking Brindi out is not as easy as when a pet owner can simple clip the leash on the back deck. The back deck is missing. Most dogs will run to other dogs when they see them on the side of the road at the property line. An instinctive reaction. Since no harm has been done, I fail to see why anyone would order a young, healthy dog to be killed.

Having been a 27 year resident of the Eastern Shore, I know how small rural communities can close ranks against a newcomer. This would not be the first time I have seen this. Many residents allow their dogs to run at large and do not leash them when walking. These dogs are a hazard, however, no one complains because they know the owner and don’t want to upset friends or relatives of the neighbours. Ms. Rogier is a single woman new to the community. She is friendly, intelligent, and thoughtful, yet it can be almost impossible to “break into” a rural community and gain acceptance. I hope that this is not a factor at work in the seizure of Brindi. Can the death of Brindi be halted? What are the necessary steps to take? Please respond to me in writing, giving me adequate time to prepare for any necessary action on the part of Ms. Rogier and myself, as a concerned citizen.

With best regards,

Carol-Anne Hutchinson

Hope Swinimer, Hope for Wildlife Centre

August 12, 2008

To Whom it may concern:

Francesca Rogier is a valued volunteer of the Hope for Wildlife Society and
has been very active with our Society for over a year. In all of this time of
knowing Francesca, I have found her to be an extremely caring individual of both native and domestic animals.

There have been several occasions where Brindi and Francesca have both been at our facility and I have not had a moment of concern with regard to the behavior of Brindi. I have also observed Francesca and Brindi in large public settings and have found Brindi to be well-behaved and obedient of her commands. I feel Francesca has always acted responsibly within these settings.

It would appear Francesca was not made fully aware of the results of the
muzzle order when it was placed. Francesca has stated she will do whatever is required by Animal Control in the future, including building a complete enclosure around her property and enrolling Brindi in training. She has already installed a 65-foot dog run that attaches directly to her back door.

I am concerned for Brindi's welfare as this process continues, especially
where there appears to be a solution and a willingness on Francesca’s part to comply in everyway. This should lead to a speedy and favorable decision for everyone evolved.


Hope Swinimer, CVPM
Founder and Director
Hope for Wildlife Society

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trainer Opinion: Silvia Jay

August 12, 2008

To Whom It May Concern,

After a lengthy phone conversation with Ms. Rogier, owner of Brindi, I feel compelled to forward my professional thoughts about Brindi’s behavior. Please note that following statements are very preliminary only. This letter is intended to provide an explanation for Brindi’s behavior, and an educated opinion how likely it is for Brindi to do serious damage to a dog or person (any age). Please link directly to read why I feel I am qualified to make these statements.

The facts that Brindi is able to attend and complete obedience class with a well known and respected training facility; that she is able to socialize and play with dogs she is familiar with; and that she is cohabitating with a cat and even allows her (the cat) around her food, indicate that Brindi is not an aggressive dog, but circumstantially reactive to dogs she perceives as a threat (imagined or real is irrelevant). The position where a bite happens is important, because it indicates motivation. The fact that Brindi neck grabs leads me to believe that she feels unsafe and threatened. But her bites seem to have been very inhibited – no deep punctures or shakes, no severe damage or kills, no redirected bites to humans that go in between to break the dogs up. In other words, Brindi exhibits a good amount of self-control.

Dr. Ian Dunbar, Veterinary Behaviorist and world-renowned expert on dog behavior, states that a dog that attacks once and does severe damage is considerably more dangerous than a dog that has several incidents but does little to no damage. In my professional experience, I agree. To my knowledge there are no reports that Brindi ever attacked a person. She doesn’t bite a person that pulls her away from a dog she’s attacked. Every dog has the potential to bite, including Brindi. That fact that she never bit a person in the past, and that the motivator for the attacks against dogs seems to be fear, not predation, indicates that she is not any more likely to bite a person than most other dogs.

Based on my experience, the behaviors Brindi displayed are not uncommon, and euthanasia for a dog that has not killed, not done serious damage, and never attacked a person, seems unwarranted. Quite frankly, the preemptive action to euthanize to guaranty society’s safety from dog bites 100% means that almost all dogs would have to be executed.

Also, to cage a dog that lived at an overcrowded dog hoarding place again for a lengthy period of time, and to prohibit the owner, Ms. Rogier, to visit her, is cruel.

I reiterate that this is a professional opinion only, based on experience. In order to be accurate about Brindi, I would have to personally assess her. If given the opportunity, I would be willing to do that, and/or work with Ms. Rogier on an action plan how to manage Brindi better, how to get obedience where it counts – in and around her home, and how to establish a kind of leadership where Brindi feels safer and is less reactive.

With regards,

Silvia Jay
Dog Behavior Expert and Professional Member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers CAPPDT
Greenfield NS

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chair of Physics at Dalhousie

July 26, 2008

Andrea Macdonald
Manager of Animal Services and Taxi and Limousine Services
Halifax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

Dear Andrea Macdonald,

I’m writing on behalf of Brindi, a dog who has been apprehended by your officers last Thursday from the home of Francesca Rogier in E. Chezzetcook to put the dog down. I have met this dog many times, my dog has played with her, and even “stolen” a bone from her in her yard and Brindi has always been a friendly and non-aggressive dog. As you are certainly aware being in your position as Animal Services Field Operation Supervisor, dogs have to establish a rank between them and mentally healthy dogs do it in a way where the other dog involved is never seriously hurt.

We humans also try to establish some ranking, but some do it in more subtly cruel ways. If someone thinks a certain foreign female really does not belong in our Chezzetcook, they might try to make her feel unwelcome by utilizing a By-Law to have her dog taken away and put down. I think this may be a human equivalent for establishing social ranking.

Do not get me wrong: I have no problems if a dog attacks children or any humans to have a very strong response from the law enforcement, but a ranking discourse between dogs is natural behavior. As I said before I do know Brindi reasonably well. I have had dogs all my life and Brindi is certainly a well-tempered dog. I had my kids play with her without any worries and I witnessed how her owner pulled about ten porcupine quills out of Brindis snout. Any inherently aggressive dog would never tolerate this! If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.

I am also willing to appear at a hearing and be interviewed about Brindi.

Sincerely yours,

Harm Hinrich Rotermund, Ph. D.
George Munro Professor of Physics & Chair
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University
Halifax, NS B3H 3J5 Canada
Tel. (902) 494 2342
Fax. (902) 494 5191
Internet page:

Neighbor, owner of two boxers

Lori Scolaro, Animal Services Field Operation Supervisor
Halfiax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

July 30, 2008

Dear Ms. Scolaro:

I am writing this letter in support of Francesca Rogier and her dog Brindi. Brindi has a planned euthanasia occurring on August 7, 2008. I must disagree with this preventable action. I believe that if Francesca takes the right steps by fencing her yard and continuing to use a muzzle on Brindi when out for walks, the problem here can be solved and Brindi can go back home to her loving home. I have known Francesca and Brindi for close to two years and have never been apprehensive to play or pet Brindi. She has on every encounter been a sweet, loving and calm dog. Just three weeks ago, Brindi was at my house muzzled and tied up to the steps leading to my side door as Francesca came in to see my newly painted kitchen. My two dogs were at the fence barking at her, approximately 2-3 feet away and Brindi did not make the slightest sound or show any type of unruly behaviour whatsoever, she just patiently sat there until her Mom came out to continue their walk. Later that evening I went with Francesca and Brindi to a campfire and Brindi simply sat there for the evening and took whatever pat on the head she got from whomever would pat her. She is such a polite and delightful companion.

Please reconsider this dreadful action which is to take place on August 7th and give Brindi another chance.


Tracy Root
2740 East Chezzetcook Road

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kennel owner, Porters Lake

August 1, 2008

Lori Scolaro
Animal Services
Field Operation Supervisor

Dear Ms. Scolaro,

I am the owner/operator of Belle Kennel, in Porter’s Lake.

I am writing to you concerning a shepherd mix, named Brindi, which was been seized from her owner, Francesca Rogier.

We boarded Brindi for nearly two weeks at the beginning of this year, and had absolutely no problem with her. We are not the typical kennel. With several acres of fenced areas, the dogs are encouraged to run, play, and socialize. At the time when Brindi was here, we had over 20 other dogs boarded, and she was not aggressive with any of them, or with us.

As I’m sure you know, when a dog is loose on its own property, they can be very protective of their home, and people. I believe that this is the case with Brindi, that she was only doing what she is supposed to do, protect her property. Keeping her in a secure fenced area in the future, surely has to be a better solution than euthanasia.

Should you wish to discuss this further with me, please contact me any time at the number below.


Gordon Durant
Belle Kennel
627 West Porter’s Lake Road
Porter’s Lake, N.S.

cc: Andrea Macdonald, Animal Services
Francesca Rogier

Canada Mail carrier who dislikes dogs

Lori Scolaro, Field Operation Supervisor, Animal Services
Halifax Region Police
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

July 27, 2008

Dear Ms. Scolaro,

I am writing to ask you to return Brindi to her owner, Francesca Rogier.

I am not a dog person. In fact I am always wary of dogs. I am not wary of Brindi. As a postal employee collecting customer signatures on signature-required items, I’ve gone to Francesca’s door on many occasions, knocked on it loudly, gone in, called out, and walked right back out again, without hearing any response - only to find out later she and her dog were resting upstairs the whole time! Brindi had never stirred from her side.

There are people whose houses I will not go to in that community. I know whose house I can go to and not be in fear. I see their dogs are loose all the time, and I cannot be sure how they will behave. The other day a loose Rottweiler charged at my car while I was pulling in a driveway. It was in my face before I could shut the window. No owner was in sight, and nobody came when I repeatedly hit the horn.

I know for certain that Brindi will never bite me. I didn’t know what that dog was going to do, and I wasn’t taking any chances. I refused postal delivery to that home, as I do anywhere I fear for my safety. I have never felt any fear around Brindi.

Someone has made a terrible mistake here. Brindi should be sent back home right away.


Marina Findlay

Thank You Councilor Hendsbee

From Jon Stone to David Hendsbee: Thank you for your assistance

Dear Councilor Hendsbee,

I want to thank you for taking the time to assist your constituent Francesca Rogier over the issue of her dog Brindi. Now that you are familiar with the case, I am sure you understand that beyond the individual impacts this situation is having on Ms. Rogier, there is a larger issue.

You probably don't recall a discussion I had with you a couple of years ago when I was reviewing the issue of how municipal councilors were remunerated in HRM. I was the co-chair of the commission struck to determine rates of pay for municipally elected officials. At that time, there was a myth that the work of a councilor was "part-time" and something which could be done in addition to making a living at another type of work. This current situation illustrates exactly the kind of scenario which shows the importance of having municipal councilors fully available to their constituents.

Prior to the implementation for the current regulations, I recall some of the comments you made about this animal control by-law when it was being formulated. In short, I would say you were an advocate of the law primarily focusing on protecting humans. This is a point I strongly agree with. A dog which is dangerous to a human being has no place in our community.

Now the case of Brindi. I believe this case shows how badly things can get twisted. The spirit and intent of the regulation has been so badly mangled that an animal that has not only never harmed a human but has universally shown affection for every human she has ever encountered can end up sentenced to death. I would be amazed to the point of shock if you or any of your colleagues on Council ever envisioned a scenario like this arising from the by-law. This hopefully sends a signal to you that there is a huge problem here that needs to be rectified.

Councilor Hendsbee, with all due respect, how can this Council continue to support a by-law that requires a person such as Ms. Rogier who is a newcomer here, someone who is trying to better the community by moving here to go to the Supreme Court to save an animal that has never caused harm to a human? Does this not clearly send a message that changes have to be made now?

I recall discussing a number of scenarios when we were in deliberations on what to recommend as a remuneration value for Councilors. My arguments were always that "No, a councilor is NOT merely a conduit for information to and from the community. We elected councilors to keep municipal bureaucracy in check." This role, as advocate for the individual resident against municipal bureaucracy running amok is the most important role of an elected official and one which should be remunerated at the level of a professional.

As a citizen of HRM if I so much as get a parking ticket I have the right to be heard before an impartial authority. That is how laws evolve, mature and ultimately serve those for whom the legislators have brought them forth. This by-law has no such avenue. It has no way to be reshaped through precedent and reasonable adjudication. I submit to you this is the time to shine by taking on this cause and bringing some rationality to this law.

As a person duly elected to represent the interests of the community, this is an opportunity for you to take this badly executed law and help us all build a workable, and supportable set of rules which will respond effectively to the real needs of the community.


Jon Stone
21 Highwood Street
Nova Scotia B2Y 3B9