The new P42 by-law (QC), responsible dog ownership and what all this means.

I am a former animal control officer. After doing care and counseling, I did 6 years in the law field. Until my non-profit shelter decided to let go 15 of us, very important and qualified personnel for, apparently, money reasons. But that’s another rant.

The province of Quebec has now adopted stronger laws when it comes to animal abuse. This law only applicable by MAPAQ accredited inspectors. I was. I have to say that this is good news. At some extent. Basically the law is the same, but the fines are higher and they can face jail time. The P42 is way better than it was a few years ago, but sadly, all this won’t make a big difference at this moment.

When I went to my training to be an inspector (training as explaining the new law and the paperwork), my team was the only team of actual well organized animal control officers, with experience on the field, laws, justice and intervention in all situations. Other SPCAs/SPAs have sent groomers, receptionists, a director. They absolutely have no clue what they are going to encounter on the field and what are citizens that you approach to apply a law.

When we got back at the shelter and got our files, I was sure it would be a piece of cake dealing with our municipal duties and the P42. We were 6 and at all time you just have to send a team west, a team east and a team on a P42 case (Puppy Mills) and do rotations. I was worried about the others that were with us in the class, but we were going to rock it. Oh! Was I in an illusion. Of course, the province asks for way more bizarre, repetitive paperwork than municipal charges. And of course, I was the one selected to do other’s paperwork. It was okay with me since I prefered applying municipal by-laws as we can apply them without hesitation. The province is more “scared”, for example, they wanted me to advise the owner that I was going to seize his 21 emaciated Huskies, on this date. I gave them the big “fuck you” and we went and seized them with a SQ backup. Advising the defendant is like the police calling a drug dealer to advise him they gonna do an operation tomorrow! The defendant is not stupid, he will disappear with all the proof. Quebec’s pencil pushers doesn’t get that. My operation was still a success.

But the general work we needed to do, the files that needed an update urgent or not, slept on the desk most of the time. My lazy coworkers and supervisor stating that they didn’t have the time, mostly because of the municipal contracts. LOADS OF BULLSHIT. I would have a lot to say about their laziness and lack of work etiquette, efforts and so on, but this is enough to say that probably many dogs are now dead or extremely in distress because of them. And then I think about that groomer and director that most, for real, not have much time to get through files. For me, the MAPAQ’s project was a disaster despite the good intentions. So for years, this was going forward as slow as a snail. And defendant that received accusations won’t pass in court until maybe 2 years and meanwhile, they can continue their activities. Everything and everyone is lacking in something. The last that I’ve known, my team is not better if not worst and the MAPAQ got for themselves inspectors that will be only doing this. The second one is good news.

Having a by-law like the P42 is not enough though. I’ve always that, for once, we should take example on some of our American neighbors to give some good hits to puppy mills and closet breeders. To start, a law should be adopted so that ALL petshop can only get their cats and dogs from shelters and rescues. Also, unless you are a Reg’ or PermReg’ in either The AKC or CKC and inspected, ALL dogs should be spayed/neutered. Same with cats. This would not only prevent backyard breeding, but accident breeding, behavior problems, health, etc.

But now, these measures doesn’t stop bad ownership. (Oh! And now pets are now considered as living being toward the law and not an object anymore! YAY!) Bad breeding is a part of bad irresponsible ownership, of course. But most people that gets a dog, have no clue how to educate one. First timers should be obligated with an ownership class and a puppy class. Not all dogs are for everyone and everyone is not for all dogs. Whether they are mixed or purebred, all breeds have their own character, level of energy, grooming needs, etc. But sadly, 98% of the population will get a dog for their looks or because they feel badass with this breed. These poor choices ends up with aggression, abandonment, and even cruelty due to lack of patience. The first mistake when a human brings home a dog, is to think that the dog is “human” and therefore, they will treat him like a baby human. Canines have their own way, their own hierarchy, their own view on life. To have the summum relationship with your dog, you have to think like a dog, you have to realize they need exercise and structure. Losing patience and use violence will only aggravate things. Massive seances of information should rain down the population to prevent all that we see and hear about biting, bad care, and mistreatment.

Dog trainers, the majority of them, never had any experiences in canine behavior. Worst, when I tried to find a “school” to become a dog handler, to perfect my experience, and I was baffled to learn that there is NO program, school or whatever (QC). This means that just anyone can claim to be a dog handler and make money on your back. So how can I prove my worth? I have been helping former neighbors with their dogs issues, and now, it goes smoothly, they told me how happy they were and thank me. So should I start my own  dog information, behaviour help “company”? It would be a sideline most probably but… I don’t want to be labeled as a fraud, despite my officer, care and so on, experience. Who could counsel me on this project?… Oh! dear.

Meanwhile, inform yourselves if the breed(s) fits you, get counseling on raising a dog, spay-neuter the dog, give them GOOD food, exercise, grooming, and enjoy the cuddles!

 

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Simple dreams but…

During childhood or our teenage years, even adulthood, we all have our dreams, wishes, goals. We want to become this or that. Me, I wanted either to be a police officer or enter the military. Sadly, I never thought about myself, so it pretty much went down the drain for me.

Let’s dream a bit… I always was simple, yet precised. Some wants that big modern house, 23 rooms, 10 bathrooms. Not me, I actually hate modern. I like those centennial old houses, wooden cottage style houses. One that would be away from city stress, in the middle of the Canadian nature, where you can’t hear the highway nearby but can almost hear the history that she saw since she was built. A house you can feel the warmth.

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 Of course, a dog or two. I like a lot of breeds though, such as the Bernese Mountain dog, the Doberman, the Pitbull, the Rottweiler, the German Shepherd…So maybe a mixed breed in a shelter, waiting for his forever home? And why not a little stable? But with not more than two horses to enjoy rides and their incredible zootherapy power: A Canadian Horse and a Clydesdale.

My dream car? I am car girl, I like “muscles” and “tuners” but if I had the choice of a luxury car to add to my collection, definitely a Maserati Quattroporte GTS. But know what? I am happy with my Civic coupe but seriously, the sound on that luxury car? Oh dear! I am drooling!

But these are all materials (Not so much the animals, but you get the point.). If I had the choice, all this,  I don’t want. I want something that 9/10 people on this planet has but I never had: Someone that truly, honestly loves me. I want to stop being on my guards, abandoned myself. I never want to be played anymore. I want to taste happiness because I never did. I want someone that a few times per day will tell me: “I love you” and mean it. I want to feel protected in someone’s arms, be loved. I don’t care if I have to live on the streets, that is not the important thing and I have learned it with time. For some reason, life decided I wasn’t worth this, and I know I have mentioned it in previous posts, but at some point, at the age I am, it became a need like water and sun but my hopes are gone, like my trust. So if you have this, please, don’t play with it, be thankful, be very thankful or you might “kill”someone a little more. In my case, I have more chance to have my nearly 200 000$ Maserati….

WITCH HUNT: The Pitbull.

Since the beginning of time, men related on animals to help them. Horses for transportation, cows for milk, dogs for protection and hunting. Dogs… The animal, like the horse, that has been at the service of men since their domestication. He served along men in wars, he helped searching for lost children with police officers, he helped travel through the great North, he helped protect houses, assisted the impaired and made life bright again to the mentally challenged and the lonely.

The breeds used for those jobs are all breeds that were and are now considered “dangerous” and “not trustworthy” and/or are now considered the opposite: The German Shepherd, the Rottweiler, the Doberman Pinscher, the Newfoundland, the PitBull, the Bloodhound, the Malinois…

As surprising as it sounds to the average citizen of this world, dogs such as the gentle giant Newfoundland, was back then a guard dog, and still is, even though he “lost his job”. Fatal bites occurred. Same for the Bloodhound. But back then, the media (newspapers, reporters) reported news with FACTS. “This dog has bitten a man, it seems he didn’t listen to the owner’s warning to not get near. The dog is a guard dog attached to the barn.” This is the kind of news you would read back then. Today, it reads “A Pitbull has bitten a child. The end.” How? Why?  Who cares! A vicious dog as bitten a child! It’s the dog’s fault! That is how the media think and how they make their readers think. If the reporter says it, it must be right!

But back then, no breeds were blamed or banned, it was accidents. In our era, for some reason, we need to blame someone for our faults. So they wanted to ban the Doberman, the German Shepherd, the Rottweiler… and today, the Pitbull.

Let’s start with some FACTS on the breed.

The Pitbull, for starters, is not a breed. It is a common name for 3 different breeds: The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pitbull Terrier. Three very different breeds but yet, very similar. The same general looks and temperament. But with some differences that you will be able to read through the links. You’ll also find their history. Now, throughout the post I will refer all breeds as “Pitbulls”.

Two of the most common beliefs on the breeds are jaw related.

1. The Pitbull can “lock” his jaw when biting: FALSE. First of all, it is biologically impossible for an animal’s or even human jaw to “lock”. The most extreme jaw behavior is the snake that can “dislocate” their jaw to swallow their prey. For the Pitty, what makes it seem like it locks is first the power in it and his will. The breeds were created for the most extreme “sports”/”work”, a fearless and strong willed dog was needed.

2. The Pitbull has the most powerful jaw, up to 2600 psi: FALSE. A NatGeo test determined an average of 235 pounds of pressure for the Pitbull…. The German Shepherd 238 pounds, and the Rottweiler a amazing 328 pounds!

As for the belief that the Pitbull has a unpredictable temperament, that he can suddenly turn against his owner, it’s a myth and not a myth. Let me explain. The Pitbull does not have a brain too big for the skull or a chemical that develops in the brain and drives the dog crazy. BUT, the Pitbull is a DOG, and all dogs can have a very unpredictable behavior if not well educated. And some breeds, like the Pitbull, needs more discipline and exercise than others. The lack of constance, exercise and discipline can be a major factor in bad behaviors including biting, and dogs are part of the wolf family, they need their to know their “place” in their family. But dog behavior is another story… post….

So for some reason, the media as now decided to take the Pitbull has their “star”: the murderer, the vicious, the unpredictable. Why? Who knows. But by their lack of professionalism to search for facts, they have convinced the population that the breed is not trustworthy, and together, they have convinced governments and municipal councils to ban the breed without further search. Working in the field, I have seen more aggressive Dachshund than Pitbull, a range of 1 Pit out of 15, for 5 out of 10 for the Dachshund. Small dogs under 15 pounds have more chances to bite by the way the owners “treat them”. But never will they be reported as their bite is not as damaging as the Pitbull’s or Husky, therefore, victims won’t go to the hospital or fill a report. So we don’t hear about them. But even the other breeds…. how many time have we had a Golden Retriever or Lab mix come in because they have bitten, and it went untold, but this or that Pitbull, the media was already on it before he was transfer to our shelter. I even had municipalities so misinformed and obsess by their by-law, they would create a witch hunt to find all Pitbulls on their territory to then call us to make them get rid of it.

The human being is too fast to judge, and canine racism is a thing. There is much I could say on the subject, I could go on and on with facts and how the breed that was once America’s favorite, suddenly became the number one public enemy. The Nanny dog is not trusted anymore to guard your kids…

For a scientific view, with facts, numbers, history, analysis and so on, I invite everyone to read The Pitbull Placebo, dog experts and first time puppy mom alike. It has become my bible on the subject.

And please, before adopting, make sure that it’s the right breed for you on every level: Energy, sensitivity to anxiety, how trainable, for first time owners or not, etc. You are adopting at a shelter? They can tell you approximately with what breed it is mixed and how the dog is. And dog handlers and dog trainers are there to help you if you need some tips.

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Brothers that needs you to retire.

Dogs are the perfect models that human beings should take example of. They live in the now, are loyal, caring, forgiving and don’t discriminate. We all heard stories of the family dog that saved all members from a fire or that video that went viral of dogs that break up a cat fight. No? You haven’t seen that video? Here it is, it’s worth seeing. You are welcome.

Now back to the original purpose of this post. Like I said, a dog is a living being that we can rely on by their nature . But here we are talking about the story of two Husky brothers. Two retired sled dogs and one is blind. The other brother is the blind dog’s eyes, without him, he is “lost”, can’t properly function. The two retirees are searching for their forever home to live a peaceful retirement. Of course, even though the blind one has is brother to rely on, obviously, we are talking about special need dog and if one passes, the other will need an experienced owner to get through the lost, an owner that won’t keep him in the mourn but help him move on.

You can find the article about the two brothers here … And please, PLEASE share.

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Schutzhund, a working dog sport from the basics.

We all know dog sports such as agilityflyball and freestyle. They are the most common ones in the dog world. But there’s one less well known sport that brings us to what certain dogs were bred for. Schutzhund. Dogs in the shepherd family that will include the German Shepherd and the Malinois, to name only a couple, were dogs bred for protection, herding and tracking. Those breed are used by police force and military around the world for these capabilities.

Schutzhund keeps the basics alive when it comes to guard dogs. It’s not a “canine sport” that everyone will be okay with. Mostly hardcore dog fanatics that thinks that dogs are like children and doesn’t know that dogs doesn’t live or think like us. But it’s also not for everyone as the handler needs to be an experienced, confident, calm, assertive dog owner. The dogs use in this sport are sensitive dogs to anxiety and chaos, so the owner needs to be the perfect leader.

This is one of the sports I am aiming for when I’ll be able to adopt a dog. And maybe add agility or flyball to it. But here’s my problem. My next dog will not be from the Shepherd family, but a Doberman. It shouldn’t be a problem with schutzhund when you think about it since they were widely use by the German army for example. But I have seen over the net that 3/4 of the clubs says that Dobies are not well suited for schutzhund. They say the temperament and the fact that it’s not a herding dog. Yet, some say you just need a different approach. This article was interesting on the topic. When ready, I’ll do more research. And one of my dreams is to become a dog handler, but so far, they all say I need to be a police officer first….

Meanwhile, if anyone knows about it, feel free to message me or discuss.

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This world is going to hell.

I was browsing the web while watching the Habs game and an article caught my eye. You can find it here. I invite you to read it before continuing with my post…..

Done? Alright.

When I see this kind of news, I am not sure if I want to cry, scream, break something or simply someone’s face (the person who did this of course).

You will noticed throughout my blog journey, my cause is animal oriented. Not that I will find ok child or ederly abuse… But it’s not my cause/domain.

It’s absolutely incomprehensible to me that a human being, that is supposed to be able of compassion and love, are able to do this. A dog, the most loyal, loving, none-judgemental animal on the face of earth. The animal that even if you hurt them physically, will come back to you and pardon you (Remember that Yorkie set on fire story).

This is one of the many reasons that I am not really people oriented. That I have trouble trusting a human being. They can be so cruel, weither mentally or physically. And they have no remorse, not even an ounce of it.

So if someone had the guts to do this…. Imagine then what they could be capable of now… And this man or woman is now roaming freely.

Countries like Canada, the United-States, France, etc. have grown and change their views on pets in general. By-laws were created and are applied. Still those kind of events keep happening. People know they will get away more than an homicide and people won’t tell. If those laws could be strengthen, real prison time and more officers, it wouldn’t happen more than a man killing another man. People are not as scared to get caught… It’s just a dog or a cat, right?

I was an animal control officer before my employer screw 5 of us. I saw some sad scenes, saved a pack of 19 Huskies left to themselves, saved 30 domestic cats that were abused and not taken care of, saved a badly wounded dog from parasites and skin disease and that was emanciated and charged the owner, and so on… This world is going to hell. I have heard many times “it’s only a dog”. But this dog is alive, feels physical pain, hunger, love.

I really get speechless when it comes to this. I always been able to do my job, without letting any emotions out, knowing I am here to make a difference. Came back home, not disturbed, able to go on with my life. But when I see this kind of news elsewhere, I am unable to keep it together.

I wish animal control was more of a worldwide, regulated, special force kind of thing. Some autistic kids can’t live without their 4 pawed companion, PD’s need K9 help, your handicap relative can only fonction with her helping dog…. We need to protect them more and punish more.

As much as poorer countries needs to be educated on what cats and dogs are really. I have seen during some trips very happy dogs since they are free, well exercised but yet homeless… But they are not all like this…

If anyone plans a worldwide education/help project, call me, i’m in.

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