Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Think We've Got it Bad? Imagine Living This Nightmare!

Here's what can happen when there is no Board of Commissioners or carefully crafted laws that protect animals and their "owners".

Because the saga of Francesca Rogier, a resident of the Halifax, Nova Scotia (that's Canada, folks) area and her sweet dog "Brindi" has become so controversial_-spawning multiple FaceBook blogs and Blogger blogs, and because there are "factions" who either:
1. Support Francesca wholly
2. Support only Brindi
3. Support Brindi and condemn Francesca,

I will begin this series by only re-posting news coverage and blog posts from other writers. When you get the gist of this now 7 month saga, I'll go more in depth. Here's the latest ( I'll post links to the various sites where you can get more info at the end):

Judge refuses to release pooch


Francesca Rogier

Francesca Rogier left a Dartmouth courtroom disappointed Tuesday after a judge told her he could not reunite her with her dog, Brindi, before her trial on three counts of violating Halifax Regional Municipality’s animal control bylaw.

Ms. Rogier, of East Chezzetcook, has pleaded not guilty to being the owner of a dog that was running at large, owning a dog that attacked another animal, and failing to comply with a muzzling order.

At Ms. Rogier’s request, Judge Bill MacDonald set the trial over to June 5 in Dartmouth provincial court.

Lawyer Blair Mitchell was to argue Tuesday that the charges, laid last month after Nova Scotia Supreme Court quashed a municipal order to have Brindi destroyed, are an abuse of the legal process and violate his client’s constitutional rights.

But on Feb. 19, Mr. Mitchell withdrew as Ms. Rogier’s lawyer. She is looking for a new lawyer.

"It is not my intention to file for a motion," Ms. Rogier told Judge MacDonald. "I’ll need to ask under what circumstances is my dog being held right now and to ask whether or not it’s possible that I could do something to have her released? It’s exactly seven months to the day that she’s been held there."

The charges stem from an event last July, when animal control officers, acting on a complaint from another pet owner, seized Brindi and ordered her destroyed. The dog was under a muzzle order at the time. Brindi, a five-year-old mixed breed, has been kept at the SPCA shelter since she was seized.

In court, Ms. Rogier said she was told by municipal lawyer Josh Judah that he was not sure who has the authority to release Brindi.

"But I do know that it’s not customary for the kind of charges that are being laid against me, for a dog to be held indefinitely until the trial is done," she said. "I also know that it’s not customary for euthanization to be actually considered a penalty for those kinds of charges."

Judge MacDonald said that while he understood her position, the order that was made quashing the original warrant was not an issue before him.

"If we have an early trial date and the charges are dealt with, the court decides what should be done, first of all whether you’re found guilty or not guilty," Judge MacDonald said. "If you’re found not guilty, then there’s no reason to hold the dog. If you’re found guilty there’s still an issue about holding the dog.

"The question of the warrant and whether I should take some action with respect to the warrant, really, I don’t think I have jurisdiction to deal with that."

Outside court Tuesday, Ms. Rogier said she has no idea how her dog is doing. She has been allowed to visit Brindi just once, on Jan. 17, when they spent about 25 minutes together in freezing temperatures in an outdoor pen.

"They’re denying me visitation," she said. "I just wish this would be handled in a way that is reasonable and fair; that’s all I’m asking for."

Ms. Rogier has said Brindi got away from her while she was holding the muzzle.

A Supreme Court judge ruled Jan. 16 that the bylaw that authorized the killing of Brindi exceeded the municipality’s power.

Justice Duncan Beveridge also said Ms. Rogier was never given a chance to oppose the decision to seize and destroy her dog.


Francesca's Blog: Free Brindi

Pro Francesca and Brindi facebook page : Save Brindi - FROM THE CITY OF HALIFAX!!!!

(this page alternates from "closed" to "open" and back again depending on Francesca's mood and how vile the attacks get)

Anti Francesca facebook page (a bunch of lively an ignorant idiots):

Release Brindi but not to her owner

Francesca Rages. Brindi languishes

Brindi needs help! Please!

SPCA beefs up security after threat

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