May 15, 2016 Newsletter

Dear Animal Lovers, Advocates, Rescuers & Activists:

If Fort Mac wasn't enough to get you thinking about an emergency plan for your pet, nothing will.  So ... who's got a "go bag" at the door, with three days' worth of your pets' gear, food, meds, ID tags/microchip?  Should I go so far as to suggest a lifejacket? An access key stashed somewhere closeby? Do you have an agreement in place with a reliable neighbour  or two who typically are, or work, from home? 

Fort Mac set a powerful example on two fronts:  first, there was pretty decent "consideration" given to domestic pets by the first responders and "the authorities".  That's the good news.  The bad news, is that we really had a hard time figuring out a) who the authorities "were" and b) what was their actual plan? Regional SPCA's voice mail message advised only that "we're open 9-5 Mon-Friday". And, emergency situation notwithstanding, it took 6 days for us to figure out that it was Wood Buffalo Animal Control Services who were on the ground there, liaising with Lac La Biche evacuation centre (for animals). Six days. That's a LOT of stress on the animals (not to mention animal guardians and all of us wringing our hands wanting to help). 

The second powerful example was just how much regular citizens and local rescues sprang into action on behalf of animals. Again, good news, bad news:  good that citizens put themselves on the line trying to help, not-so-good that "the authorities" wouldn't allow local rescues to support stating potential looting as their rationale. 

The moral of the story is, dear authorities, that rescue groups have expertise, equipment, and agility on their side. For heaven's sakes, take advantage of it!   As for each province's capacity to respond to disasters, methinks it would behoove the provincial SPCAs to have a real streamlined plan in place, for ice, water, fire emergencies for all animals.  Because it's 2016. I guarantee this is not a "one-off".

I'm going to start organizing workshops for disaster relief training in Ontario. Stay tuned. 


If you haven't seen it yet, here are some photos of this week's launch of Toronto Animal Services brand-new, state of the art SNYP Truck.  This is an incredible accomplishment for TAS. They deserve such praise for having the foresight and the GRIT to pull this off -- from inception to reality.  Toronto is a world-class city, proactively reducing unwanted pets.   From the bottom of my heart, TAS, thank you.

Here's TAS' James Maclean (we love you James!!!) and Stella

This is Hanna Booth, DVM, who, along with Esther Attard, DVM, and Mary Lou Leiher, Program Manager, Toronto Animal Services, made their dream of a mobile spay/neuter facility a reality. Stella approves heartily of Hanna and her SNYP truck!

I'm putting this in "breaking news" because, for the FIRST time, they are offering stats on how Canadians feel about rodeos... And the picture is heartening: .... " Rodeos, with their brutal treatment of unwilling animal participants, are surely among the worst examples of animal exploitation and abuse. They should be among the first to disappear. Canada's cities should refuse to host such cruel spectacles and ensure that's exactly what happens".


ANIMALS & RESCUERS IN NEED  please spread the word to help these lovely golden oldies (bonded pair) find a home! PLEASE SHARE!

Angel, the GSD posted last week, got some serious interest from a new home this week, thanks to folks in this newsletter. 

I thought I would share a happy tail with you. You posted a very shy and scared dog named Marnie a couple of months ago. I posted her on FB. One of my yoga teachers saw her and fell in love. After many visits to see Marnie, Anna was finally able to take her home last Thursday. I will send you a picture when I get one.  Jerri Johns (Ed note: Jerri, thank you SO much for this wonderful news! And readers, thank you all so very much for networking the animals!)


Did you know the City of Kitchener runs a secret program to kill Canada goose eggs? Sign the petition here:

Let's roar out a response to Trip Advisor for their participation in this:

Petition to stop animal research in Canada -- pls take a moment to sign.

Support the "Freddie the Runaway Cow" colouring book kickstart campaign here -- great way to teach future generations about compassion for all animals:

Is your pet lonely and bored?  This is a very good read 
(thanks Kathryn Robinson for sending):




Next week we're going to share with you some gorgeous footage (Gervais Vignola, you rock!)  and insightful, heartwarming comments of the Metro Toronto Mounted Police Officers on their relationships with the beautiful horses that serve them. While not a "capital R" rescue story, it's really a small "r" rescue story:  these horses are there to rescue / protect citizens in times of need. They are also there to "rescue the hearts" of regular citizens who, for the most part in large cities, never get access to horses, and if not for the unit, would never get to experience the nobility and grace of these fine animals first-hand. For myself, these horses have rescued  my heart for the last 30 years -- call it my version of "equine therapy".  Just to see a pair of them walking up Bathurst Street, makes my heart grow three sizes larger. Gervais and I really hope you enjoy it. Watch for our long-weekend launch!

To see our first bunch o' YouTube RescueDiaries, click here:
To see our Facebook RescueDiaries page, like it here:
We're also on Instagram: you guessed it, "RescueDiaries" :)

Lots more RescueDiaries to come this year:  Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, (Speaking of) dogs, bees, turtles, pet safety, Toronto Pig Save, Northern Dogs Spay/neuter programs, Mercy for Animals Canada, HSI/Margolis Foundation, Kids on Today's Farms, goats!, equine therapy, bats, Zoocheck, Toronto Animal Services, Holistic Vets, C-246 and more! Tons more! Have we got a line up for you! Subscribe to the RescueDiaries and don't miss any of the powerful stories of the amazing efforts of all the animal advocates bearing witness, and lending their hands to animals in need. All animals. 'Enuf said.

Our friend and rescue colleague Ashley Grindrod and family lost their beautiful girl dog Chanel this week. Rescued at 6 weeks of age, Chanel lived a long beautiful life with one of the kindest women I know.  RIP girl. Ash, thanks for being SUCH an outstanding mother and rescuer. m.