Words to Live By

Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Albert Einstein

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. William Hazlitt

I don't believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals. Gary Larson

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being. Abraham Lincoln

The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit. Ashley Montagu

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. Alfred A. Montapert


Halifax Humane Resources


Good animal control is vital to the safety of any community. Public safety is everybody's responsibility.  

Animals have no legal rights. Yet under current HRM law, they are expected to behave better than humans, and the penalties imposed on them for transgressions can be far more harsh than those for humans - including the death sentence.

Owner responsibility means that it is the owner, not the animal, who should be held accountable. At the same time, the owner's rights of property and due process must be preserved. 

We feel the HRM animal control system is seriously flawed and urgently needs improving. For greater accountability and transparency, the revision of By-Law A300 is the best place to start.

By-Law A300 urgently needs:

  • fair and uniform penalties
  • amendments to conform with the Rogier v. HRM ruling (1/16/2009) and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • procedural standards and limits, with specific criteria to be followed by Animal Services staff
  • • an oversight committee to periodically review departmental decisions
  • a reasonable and timely appeals process for decisions, such as muzzle orders, before an independent panel of experts and owners
  • appropriate definitions of such key terms as "dangerous" and "attack" that reflect knowledge
  • regular use of professional experts to review cases of aggression and aid the courts in determining the outcome of trials

In addition: 

  1. Animal control candidates must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of dog behavior and undergo full background checks. 
  2. After hiring, if they do not already possess it, all officers should receive appropriate training, with periodic continuing education seminars, given by the NACA or similar professional body.
  3. HRM's department of Animal Services must be more accessible to HRM residents and engage in dialogue with the community it serves. The department currently keeps its actual location hidden, and its staff are difficult to reach by phone or email. 
  4. These changes should be the subject of a citizen's committee that will conduct thorough research, draw up a draft by-law, and submit it to the public and regional council along with a timetable for the process of implementation into law.

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We all know how important pets are: they enrich our community, give unconditional love, and help us lead happier, healthier, and longer lives.

Isn’t it everybody’s duty to ensure that we have fair laws and the best practices, so they, too, can live happy, healthy, and free from harm – including the threat of injustice?