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Brindis owner found guilty of animal bylaw charges - Nova Scotia

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                                                                                                                                                        Halifax, NS | Wed, February 24th, 2010




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Brindi's owner found guilty of animal                                                                   MULTIMEDIA CENTRE
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bylaw charges
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter | UPDATED 7:05 p.m.
Tue. Feb 23 - 3:52 PM

                                          The owner of Brindi the dog has been found guilty of
                                          violating Halifax Regional Municipality's animal control
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                                          bylaw.                                                            Elementary's African                 return to Canada      Feb. 14-20
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                                          Now the judge has to decide what to do with the dog,
                                          which has been held at an SPCA shelter since it was           ANNOUNCEMENTS: Obituaries | Births | Cards | InMemoriams |
                                          seized by the municipality 19 months ago.                    Milestones


                                          Francesca Rogier was convicted in Dartmouth
 Francesca Rogier holds a photo of her
 dog Brindi in this 2008 photo. Rogier
                                          provincial court Tuesday of three charges — being the
 and her dog have run afoul of the        owner of a dog that was running at large, owning a
 Halifax region's animal control bylaw.
 (TED PRITCHARD / Staff / File)
                                          dog that attacked another animal and failing to comply
                                          with a muzzle order.

Judge Alanna Murphy, who presided over the three-day trial, adjourned the sentencing
hearing until March 9.

The municipality is expected to argue that Brindi, a mixed-breed dog that Rogier had
rescued from a shelter, needs to be destroyed to protect the public. Rogier will ask that the
dog be allowed to go home with her to East Chezzetcook.

The court also could hear from a dog trainer who's prepared to have Brindi spend the rest
of her life at his kennel in South Rawdon, Hants County.
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“Brindi was in my obedience classes where she did very well,” Bob Ottenbrite said outside
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the courtroom. “She was also in agility classes where she got to interact with other dogs.
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“I don't believe that she deserves to be put to death. I think there can be alternatives.”             Man charged with manslaughter in Spryfield stabbing

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Rogier told reporters she would be willing to have Brindi live with Ottenbrite temporarily but         agency
not permanently.
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“That would be completely acquiescing to an unfair process, an abusive process that is                 Brindi's owner found guilty of animal bylaw charges
over the top,” Rogier said.                                                                                                                                           Back to Front Section


“She doesn't belong there. She belongs with me.”
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The dog was under a muzzle order in July 2008 because of earlier complaints about her
                                                                                                       TOP 10:
behaviour. On the morning of July 20, she ran off Rogier's property and attacked a dog that
was being walked along East Chezzetcook Road.

Rogier said the dog got away from her as she was trying to put on the muzzle.

Animal control officers, acting on a complaint from another pet owner, seized Brindi and
ordered her euthanized.
But a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ruled last January that the bylaw that authorized
the killing of Brindi exceeded the power of the municipality. Justice Duncan Beveridge also
said Rogier was never given a chance to oppose the decision to seize and destroy her
dog.

Three days later, and one day before the six-month limitation period would have expired,
the municipality laid the charges against Rogier.

Rogier, who represented herself at trial, argued that the charges should be stayed because
of an abuse of process by the municipality.

But the judge ruled that she could find no evidence of “any improper or oblique motive or
bad faith or any acts so wrong that it violates the conscience of the community. ... It seems
to me that the laying of the charges was an attempt to remedy a previous effort which had
been deemed to have been circumventing the proper process.”

Murphy also rejected Rogier's defence of due diligence. “What occurred could have been
prevented by taking a very simple preventative measure – putting the dog on a leash and
putting the muzzle on before leaving the house.”

Outside the courtroom, Rogier continued to argue that the judge ignored a lot of evidence
that she said would have supported her case.

“There's a preponderance of other cases that shows that dogs that have done worse than
my dog — bitten people and really savaged animals — have only been fined,” she said.

“I have a behavioural assessment that says my dog should not be put down ... but HRM
refused to consider it.

“HRM has failed to consider reasonable alternatives in this case. They have contradicted
their own pattern of enforcing the law – wildly contradicted it.”

She said she hasn't been allowed to visit Brindi at the SPCA shelter since December.

“I just believe that this dog is a good dog and she should be in my home.”

With The Canadian Press

(sbruce@herald.ca)

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