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: <letters@herald.ca> 
Cc: <plee@herald.ca>, <bobottenbrite@lietash.com
(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.

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