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, March 14, 2010

Letter to the Editor: What About Owners' Rights?

A letter to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald sent by a woman in Bear River, Nova Scotia; posted here in the event it is not published in the paper. (Ed. note: boldface added)

From: K. Murdock
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 14:47:00 EDT 

To: <> 
Cc: <>, <
(Ed. note: these are publicly available addresses) 
Subject: Advocates for Brindi 

Regarding the  March 10th piece in The Herald, "Advocates Offer Option for Brindi", I should like to raise a couple of points and comment on several issues raised in that article.

First of all, it is now very interesting that people such as Bob Ottenbrite are now on record as saying that Brindi is a good dog.  The SPCA has also now gone on record at the eleventh hour to say the same.  It seems that no one wants to see her put down (except maybe for HRM who stubbornly refuse to consider anything but for reasons that can only be guessed at since she is clearly not a danger to the public (a picture of Brindi with SPCA staff including a baby without a muzzle, enjoying her birthday party last year was the first tangible evidence of that to both the public and media).

What I don't understand is why all these animal advocates are not also advocating for the owner's rights here.  Under the law, Ms. Rogier is entitled to the same rights as others who have been charged with animal control by-law offences and that is to pay the fines and have Brindi returned to her. Others with much more serious offenses all have their dogs with them today.  Since Brindi's incarceration, Ms. Rogier has been subjected to all manner of financial and emotional torture.  Her visits with Brindi at the SPCA were initially banned, then severally curtailed with numerous written conditions attached that I'm not sure were even constitutional.  Anyone who has been following this case and has taken the time to educate themselves know all the details and can't help but wonder "what is going on here?"

Who authorized Mr. Ottenbrite "and others" to make arrangements for a suitable home for Brindi?  As I understand it, Ms. Rogier is still Brindi's owner, an owner who has fought tooth and nail to first, save her dog from a wrongful execution, and second have her returned to her own home where she is well loved and cared for.  Who else has stood by Brindi these past two years, literally putting everything on the line for the love of this animal?  What kind of home could be more suitable than the one Ms. Rogier can provide for Brindi?  Everyone, no matter how well intentioned or "professional" someone claims to be, everyone is subject to making mistakes with their animals, especially those animals who come from shelters and often times have many issues that don't surface until you get to know them better.  Ms. Rogier has admitted her mistakes and intends that they never happen again.  What more can a person do?  Who among us who loves our own pets would not do what she has done if we ever found ourselves in the same circumstances, and let me tell you, it could easily happen to any one of us.  This woman will eventually be applauded for helping change the law that gave all the power to an animal control officer who could authorize your own dog be put down for simply "being a dog and protecting his/her own territory" without any appeal whatsoever.

I am troubled by the lack of compassion that is being shown for both Francesca and Brindi on so many levels.  But as this case is about the fate of Brindi, I feel this dog's best interests will be served when she is finally allowed to be with someone who truly loves and wants to protect her, someone who will literally fight with everything they've got to have her with them, do everything that is asked of them including additional training and installing a dog run to make that happen, someone who is not afraid to stand up for their own rights as well as the rights of animals.  Ms. Rogier is not perfect, none of us are, but what sets her apart and should be without question is her commitment to and love for Brindi and her desire to make it right for her at all costs.  Don't you think the price she has paid is already high enough?  What more can you ask of someone?  To those with opinions to the contrary, if you are really interested, take the time to study the background to this case and then try putting yourself in this woman's shoes and only then ask yourself honestly, is justice really being served here?  Does the punishment really fit the crime?  What else would you have her do?  Hardened criminals get better breaks in our system.

I can only hope the judge in this case sees the whole picture and does the right thing by returning Brindi to her legal owner.

K. Murdock
Bear River, N.S.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Letter to the CBC from Olive Pastor

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:33:30 -0400
From: Olive Pastor
Subject: Brindi

There has been some speculation over the last months that the SPCA would step in at the eleventh hour when they believe  Ms Rogier  is at her most desperate.  And they have.  They are  offering  a solution of finding Brindi a new home. Brindi has a loving home and if HRM and the SPCA would give her back to Ms Rogier the two could get on with their life together.  Considering the staggering amount of money HRM has paid the SPCA in the pound contract, I don't think the SPCA can make an objective decision  for the  dog and owner and further, I would like to know what credentials SPCA staff have for making life and death decisions concerning animals  without the owners consent. After all Ms Williams is just a public relations expert. That tells me she is good at putting spin on the issue, nothing else.

Olive Pastor
Caribou, R.R.#1, Pictou, B0K 1H0

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Canadian Press


Woman spends savings in lengthy N.S. battle to preserve life of impounded dog

HALIFAX, N.S. - Francesca Rogier says she remains unbowed in her legal battle to preserve the life of a mixed-breed dog that faces euthanasia after it attacked other canines, despite exhausting $30,000 in savings on lawyers and putting her architecture career on hold.

The 50-year-old resident of Eastern Chezzetcook, a rural community on the outskirts of Halifax, won a reprieve for Brindi before a provincial court judge on Tuesday.

Representing herself, Rogier successfully argued for a delay while she arranges for an animal trainer to visit the pound and assess the dog's behaviour before Judge Alanna Murphy decides Brindi's fate.

"For a judge to decide whether a dog is too dangerous to live, they should be able to draw on expert opinion ... someone who is qualified to assess the behaviour of the dog," Rogier said outside court.

Rogier has been convicted of being the owner of a dog that was running at large, owning a dog that attacked another animal and failing to comply with a muzzle order.

Brindi has been impounded for almost two years after she rushed out of the yard and attacked a leashed dog strolling by Rogier's home in July 2008.

This came after a series of written warnings from the City of Halifax following other attacks by Brindi. One of the city's warnings required Brindi be muzzled.

Rogier admits she made "mistakes" but points out she has built a fence, set aside money to hire a trainer and committed to keeping Brindi muzzled. She says she'll pay any fines arising from the incidents.

"I believe those are reasonable alternatives that satisfy the public interest," she said.

She has set aside her plans to apply for landed immigrant status and to seek an architecture licence in Canada to save the dog. Her home renovations are on hold as she pays legal fees.

Rogier said she wants Brindi to be part of her home again.

"It's time and money, but you can't replace a dog. You can't replace a member of the family," Rogier said.

Vaughan Black, a professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, said the case is important because dog owners seldom actually contest the euthanasia of their dogs.

"My sense is there's not a lot of precedents on this simply because given the cost of this, and hiring lawyers, most people ... don't go to court the way Ms. Rogier is doing," he said.

On the other hand, Black - who studies animal law - said it's difficult for the city to give way if it considers an animal to be dangerous under its bylaws.

"There have been cases where cities haven't acted quickly enough and dogs have attacked people and the injured parties have claimed against the city," he said.

"Maybe the city's lawyers are saying, 'You have to pursue these cases vigorously."'

There are other recent cases of Canadians fighting to keep their dogs alive after an attack.

In Hampton, N.B., last month, a judge gave a dog a reprieve and ruled it be muzzled when it's outdoors despite a town order that the animal be euthanized for biting a woman last summer.

Rogier alluded to that case in court Tuesday, noting it shows that dogs can be returned to their owners - even in an instance of an attack on a human.

"I don't think it would be wise for this city to set a precedent to kill a dog for such minor offences," she said.

But a spokeswoman for the city said there are many past incidents when dogs have been put down after exhibiting aggressive behaviour with other dogs.

"It is certainly not unusual for the city to seize dogs that have been involved in an attack on another dog," Shaune MacKinlay said in an email.

She said from January 2007 to March 2010, 31 dogs were euthanized in the city.

"Of those, 13 dogs attacked other dogs, one dog attacked a dog and a person, 14 dogs attacked people," she said.

"In one case, two dogs running at large killed chickens and their owner surrendered them to be euthanized."

Brindi's case has been adjourned until April 16.

© The Canadian Press, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

News 95.7 on Brindi, March 9

Brindi the dog case adjourned

Jeffrey Lansing Mar 09, 2010 13:44:47 PM

The embattled owner of Brindi the dog has more time to build a defense after the dog's sentencing hearing was adjourned until April.

The adjournment was granted so Brindi could undergo a behavioural assessment.

"For a judge to decide whether a dog is too dangerous to live, they should be able to draw upon expert opinion from someone who is able to assess the behaviour of a dog," says Brindi's owner Francesca Rogier. "And that's what I'd like to put forward to the court."

She says she tried a couple weeks ago, but it couldn't be coordinated with animal control and the SPCA.

Brindi was on a muzzle order last year, yet was able to leave her yard and attacked another dog.

Rogier was convicted last month of three by-law infractions relating to the incident.

Rogier, who lives in East Chezzetcook, says she's also working to get two recent court cases where dogs attacked people, and were not euthanized.

Caryl Michaelson-Rotermund, a neighbour of Rogier, says she's seen no violent behaviour from Brindi.

"Our dog went and took Brindi's bone from her," says Michaelson-Rotermund. "And she had no problem with that."

Brindi's fate could be decided April 16 when the case returns to Dartmouth Provincial Court.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A new and welcome source of support

from Facebook

at 10:09pm yesterday
ABAS Society is a no kill society in Nova Scotia. We do not euthanize an animal unless this animal is in pain and suffering for the duration of its life. 

We support Brindi being returned to her owner with restrictions put in place for (life time leash while walking outdoors). We do not want to see Brindi euthanized. 

ABAS Society is presently advocating changes to Nova Scotia's Animal Welfare Laws. Our present Animal Protection Laws" are out dated." We feel that it is the fault of the province of Nova Scotia that the dog Brindi has been suffering in the SPCA shelter with lack of care. 

Many other animals are presently suffering in shelters across Nova Scotia. It is time to make these (family members) important. Nova Scotia needs to make the ammendments required to the existing Animal Protection Act Bill here in Nova Scotia, to further protect ALL animals from suffering. Sadly, it is not the fault of our animals. It is the fault of the people!

Our animals need these changes!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Chronicle-Herald, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 

Brindi case a travesty

I suppose today that Peter Kelly and his council are smug in the wake of winning the court case against Francesca Rogier. I am angry because this court case was won for the mayor using my tax dollars.

I do not support the animal control laws as they stand, and I want them changed with input from pet owners and animal lovers. As far as I am concerned, this case is not about a crime committed by Francesca or her dog. Instead, it’s about the fact she challenged somebody’s authority.

And unfortunately, she depended on the justice system for help. I hope Nova Scotians will take notice that this could happen to you and your pet. We should have given Francesca more support in this terrible time as she tried to save her dog.

It is not too late. Protest this move and demand that Brindi be given back to Francesca. Brindi was kennelled for 19 months, Francesca has been financially devastated. This is abuse. What kind of society are we running anyway?

People of HRM, I beg you to vote this mayor and council out as quickly as possible and demand new laws to protect animals and pet owners, and select animal control officers with a stringent new hiring policy.

Olive Pastor, Caribou

Chronicle-Herald, Thursday, March 4, 2010

After reading her Feb. 28 letter "Brindi case a travesty," I have no option but to agree with Olive Pastor.

The mayor and city council have done nothing to help Francesca Rogier in her time of need.

Brindi is not a dangerous dog. The SPCA put a picture of Brindi’s birthday party on its website. Employees and their families were sitting around Brindi, who was not wearing a muzzle. They all looked very happy, including the toddler who was sitting a few feet away. 

That picture tells a different story than what the city wants us to believe.

Because she challenged somebody’s authority, Ms. Rogier and Brindi must now suffer?

And to think that the city used our tax dollars to hire a private firm of lawyers to prosecute Ms. Rogier is ridicules. 

It’s time to turn back the clock, give Ms. Rogier the appropriate fines, and let her take her dog home, which should have been done as soon as Brindi was seized — which is what is done in 99 per cent of these types of cases.

If this can happen to Ms. Rogier and Brindi, it can happen to anyone who owns a pet. Do you want to be next?

Valerie Slaunwhite, Beaver Bank

Unpardonable sin

As an animal lover and citizen of HRM, I must agree with Olive Pastor’s comments in the Sunday Herald.

I am now eagerly awaiting the opportunity to cast my anti-incumbent vote in the next municipal election.

Ms. Rogier committed the unpardonable sin of fighting back against a bad law.

Little did she know that the vindictive pettiness of our elected council would do far more damage to the public interest than the actions of her dog.

This thuggery should be resisted by anyone professing concern for the rights of the governed.

Rick Crawford, Hubley

Callous treatment

This letter is not the first time I have come to the defence of Francesca Rogier and her dog Brindi.

I still maintain that someone higher up is the instigator of this travesty. To keep an animal 19 months from its owner is callous and cruel! Would it be too crass to ask who is footing the bill for this dog’s incarceration?

As for the justice system: One judge says "give her back to her owner"and another judge says "no."

Now it is your chance to speak up.
Anne White, Truro

Yagmur, a 4-year old Turkish animal activist supports Brindi!

The words say: FREE BRINDI

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some Letters from our Brindi Supporters

Mr Peter J. Kelly
Maire of Halifax, Canada


Dear Mr Kelly,

Coming back to you after a few days... as things do not seem to have advanced much in Brindi's case! Time's running short... and Fran Rogier, her owner, gets more and more despaired... Wouldn't you, if you were in her

There's no harm in coming back on your decision - don't you think this case has lasted long enough? Brindi's health is deteriorating, as you may read from the last news I got today from :

"Depuis sa détention, les dents de Brindi se sont infectées. Elle a été traitée 2 fois ces 6 derniers mois pour une pancréatite. Nous pouvons supposer que la maladie est devenue chronique".

In other (English) words: Since her detention, Brindi's teeth got infected. She was treated twice those last 6 months for a pancreatis, which can lead us to suppose that the disease's now become chronic.

Mr Kelly, please, please, do make an end to this all too long suffering story... Please be human! Take the only right decision: free Brindi!
So will Halifax Municipality AND yourself come out of this with pride and the feeling to have accomplished the RIGHT THING...
We are thousands, in Canada and elsewhere, in the USA or Europe, to await the happy conclusion of all this...

I thank you very much in advance, for Fran and Brindi!

Joëlle Ley

Joëlle LEY (Ms)
Rue Konkel 181 boîte 7
BE-1150 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 770 61 94
Tel. office: +32 2 296 04 63


From: LEY Joelle (RTD)
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:59 PM
To: ''
Subject: Save and free BRINDI - Sauvez et libérez BRINDI
Importance: High

Mr Peter J. Kelly
Maire de Halifax, Canada


Monsieur Kelly,

Je viens d'être informée du sort funeste qui pourrait, tout prochainement, être appliqué à cette magnifique chienne qu'est Brindi, dont on me dit qu'en effet elle ne constitue aucun danger pour l'ordre public...
Pourquoi donc ne pas revenir sur votre décision (celle des autorités canadiennes) et laisser la vie à cet animal?

Comme le disent si bien ses défenseurs, "essayer d’exécuter un animal innocent en se basant sur des violations de règlement est un comportement qui n’est pas digne d’un gouvernement"... Vous en conviendrez comme moi!

Francesca a tout fait et s'est quasiment ruinée pour pouvoir récupérer sa chienne, sa meilleure amie... en vain! Elle a construit une clôture (fence) et sûrement Brindi ne recommencera plus à 'mordiller' d'autres chiens... Un
psychologue canin l'a constaté: Brindi a été contrôlée par un expert qui a considéré qu’elle était absolument bien dressée...

N'aurez-vous pas pitié de ces deux créatures, Monsieur Kelly? Le monde entier et les amis des animaux vous regardent... et attendent qu'enfin le bon sens prévaille...
De grâce libérez Brindi et rendez la vie et l'espoir à Fran également!

Un tout grand merci d'avance, pour elles deux!

Joëlle Ley

Joëlle LEY
Rue Konkel 181 boîte 7
BE-1150 Bruxelles
Tél. +32 2 770 61 94

The Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

I sincerely hope you will not feel that I am wasting your valuable time, or object to me writing to you about one of Canada’s domestic issues regarding a single case of animal welfare, but actually it impacts on all stray domestic animals, especially in the jurisdiction of Halifax, with its particularly odious and unpopular piece of legislation, A300. I’m sure you are already familiar with Brindi's tragic Francesca, her human companion, has been fighting against the city of Halifax, Canada to keep her dog alive despite the city's insistence on keeping poor Brindi dog, whose health is now failing, in confinement (jail) and on death row. Now on March 9, 2010, the sentence hearing will take place and it is feared the judge will order the killing of Brindi.

However, I do respectfully ask a moment of your precious time to look at the website “13 Days to Save Brindi: Let’s Adopt Canada” at and it’s most recently updated page, “Day 5. The reason for Brindi’s Countdown: Let’s Adopt Canada” at  if you are not already aware of these sites. On Day 2, February 26th, there is a post by Viktor Larkhill entitled “Something is clearly wrong with Halifax”, which contains a direct reference and link to your Fostering Pets Program, within the comments regarding the position of Mayor Peter J Kelly on the Brindi Case.

I myself have written to Mayor Kelly, a very forceful and not very polite letter I’m afraid, but one which expresses my intensely powerful emotions on the subject and which I attach hereto. Like thousands of others in Canada and around the globe who have written to Mayor Kelly expressing equal horror and distaste at the City of Halifax’s handling of this case, I have received no reply. I had also copied the SPCA, Nova Scotia and again received no reply.

I sincerely hope that you may be prepared to add your voice, whether as the Prime Minister of Canada, or as a private citizen, husband, father and animal lover and thus make a difference to a city determined to fly in the face of the pleas for mercy from animal lovers the world over.

I thank you Sir, for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,
Trish Malkoff
Concerned Animal Activist,
South Africa

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean,
We take the liberty to contact You for an EMERGENCY. The life of this wonderful dog, Brandi, captured by the Halifax Regional Municipality, is at stake.
A terrible act of injustice has been committed! She is kept prisoner at the Halifax SPCA.
Brandi will be KILLED on March 9th upon decision of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
A minor incident, completely distorted by some of the people involved, has led into a most incredible ordeal for Brindi and her family.
The International Community is SHOCKED and mobilized for Brandi. We are revolted and we beg for Your help. Please, only You, Your Excellency, can save this dog now and make the difference!
Votre Excellence, nous faisons appel à Votre grande générosité, à Votre empathie, à Votre sens de Justice et à Votre Coeur !
Avec toute notre gratitude et respect.
Yours Sincerely,
Iside Occella

Dear Mayor:
It is time for swift action. The world is watching and only sees what Brindi's owner has shared. Brief snippets of information that supports Halifax's position are quickly proven to either be non factual or embellished to an embarrassing level. Heaven forbid this dog dies in custody or the hands of the court. It will not blow  over. Canada is already suffering the soiled reputation regarding  the seal slaughter. Brindi's case falls directly in the lap of  government not being accountable to it's citizenry.

Please  release Brindi to her owner today.

Michael Blott,D.C.
"Our  lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that
matter." -Martin Luther King Jr.


 The World Is Watching

The eyes of the world are upon Haiti, Chile . . . and Halifax, Nova Scotia; for in this "gateway to Canada's East Coast", a tragedy is also currently unfolding . . . one that you have the ability to stop.

I have just finished reading page after page after page of Brindi's story, the helpless, voiceless creature who has been languishing in the SPCA pound for more than a year and a half. Once robust and fit, she is now weak and has bad teeth, diseased gums, and pancreatitis. What a disgrace! It is absolutely shameful to keep an animal in a pound for this length of time. It is absolutely shameful to refuse to return to its owner (Francesca Rogier) an animal that has been evaluated as not dangerous and highly trainable; an animal who passed 8 weeks of obedience class with ease, having no issues with other dogs; an animal who has the support of her groomer, her vet, Deputy Mayor David Andrew Hendsbee (HRM District 3) who said, "For God's sake, this dog is not dangerous as it has been portrayed. HRM and the SPCA has lost a lot of credibility over this issue." (, and countless other professionals and people of reason world-wide.

At great financial and emotional expense, Francesca continues to fight tirelessly to have her dog returned home, agreeing to undertake WHATEVER measures requested. Still she has been denied and Brindi faces possible euthanization.

Yes, the eyes of the world ARE on you, and should this animal be euthanized, should you fail to return Brindi to Francesca, I assure you that the Halifax tourist industry will suffer greatly because of it.

This situation is nothing less than reprehensible! I hope that, upon reflection, you will find the strength of character necessary to stand up and speak out against this travesty! Save Brindi's life and send her home, where she should have been many months ago.

And if you can't do that, then please tell me -- and every child in HRM that owns and loves a dog -- how you justify the fact that you are supporting the death of an animal who has been deemed not dangerous and highly trainable, because I'd really like to hear it.

I thank you in advance for your response.


Debbie Ann Brett
St. John's, NL
For The Voiceless


Dear Mayor Kelly

I am writing to implore you to spare this dog. If not this will be a terrible injustice not to mention an undesirable public relations situation for Halifax.
I am asking for a small act of compassion which will harm no one but will spare a life and make you a hero in the eyes of many.
Many thanks for your
 kind attention to this by-now ridiculous situation.

Kindest regards,
Carol A Tavani,MD,MS,DFAPA


Comment from California

The internet has made every city next door.
The City of Halifax has an issue that they have not had the good sense to remedy before the eyes of the world.

A dog named Brindi got into an altercation with no injuries.

The animal control seized the dog and was going to kill her except the owner went to the extreme efforts to get the highest court to point out that animal control did not have the authority.

In an obvious example of retaliation they then charged the owner with infractions and continued to keep the dog in a cage for over a year!

The mayor says it is out of his hands.
There are lucrative contracts involved.
This is about egos and money.

The media has not covered this much but the strangest thing, there is no support for the animal control and the media has not called them on this.

Is this what Canada wants the world to know?

Michael Blott, D.C.


 Dear Mr. Kelly, 
There are times in politics when you must bow to the electorate and then there are times when it is simply necessary to do the right thing; in the case of Brindi, the dog of Francesca Rogier, it is the second. 
My family has been in Canada since 1745, having landed and lived in Luneberg, Nova Scotia. I am and always have been passionate about what this country stands for; multiculturalism and tolerance, but I am constantly amazed at how we draw the line on that policy to only include human beings, as if animals are undeserving of our compassion too. 
The very fact that Brindi has lived over a year in a shelter without any incident of violence is irrefutable proof that she is undeserving of execution. Please show compassion and mercy and order this dog returned to her loving owner. 
Do not let politics and face-saving create the anguish that the loss of her beloved pet will cause this woman who has fought heart and soul for so long to save her. 
To those, such as Francesca Rogier, dogs are like children. Would you stand idly by and let your city execute a child...? 
Bruce Herbert Fader