"The stench was unreal...It smelled horrible." That's how one apartment dweller described the smell coming from a Lower Sackville apartment, a smell that prompted a call to police and the discovery of several dead and near dead cats inside the unit this week. The cats were apparently left without food or water for upwards of a month and resorted to turning on each other in order to survive. An RCMP spokesman says one of the responding cops described it as a very disturbing scene and the smell one of the worst he'd ever come across. A 35 year old man has now been charged with causing injury to animals and mischief. If he's convicted he deserves a hefty fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals, at the least.
The Nova Scotia SPCA says it's anticipating a 20% increase this year in the number of animal abuse cases. Executive director Kristin Williams told my News 95.7 radio show this week they're now seeing a lot more cases of abandoned animals, 230 such complaints this year. More hoarding incidents are also being reported. Williams says they get some 18,000 reports a year about potential animal abuse but the SPCA has only two investigators who have to cover the entire province. She'd like to see a little more support from the province. Williams also thinks the courts need to come down harder on those convicted of animal abuse, including dishing out bans on pet ownership.
Perhaps rather than licensing pets, we should license pet owners.
Another bonehead decision from the Dexter government this week. Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker, who often looks like a deer caught in the headlights when he faces the media and at times seems ill-prepared for the questions asked, announced the province is extending its bounty on coyotes for another season. This despite a lack of evidence indicating the cull is having any impact on Nova Scotia's coyote population. In fact wildlife biologists say if anything, culls actually increase the coyote's population, as females, when under stress, often produce larger litters. It says to me this is more a political decision designed to appease the Trappers Association and its members.
Mayor Peter Kelly says he has no problem with Occupy Nova Scotia's intention to occupy the Grand Parade next weekend, though he was unaware of the group's plans. Protest organizers have been meeting daily and are using the social media to generate support for their campaign, modelled after the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have snowballed right across the U.S. Their aim is to end corporate greed, perhaps an unachievable goal, but certainly their message is now getting the attention of corporate and political leaders including President Brack Obama. October 15th has been set as the date for the Canadian demonstrations to begin, including the Grand Parade occupation in Halifax. Mayor Kelly says as long as the event's a peaceful one, there'll be no problems though he admits he's relying on information about it from my good self based on my radio interviews with one of the organizers. Those behind the effort say they've received some 1500 "likes" so far on their Facebook page, but whether that number turns out to next weekend's protest remains to be scene. I wish them luck. Corporate profits along with the outrageous salaries and perks given corporate executives can at times be downright obscene. It's good to let the suits know what the real people think.
The citizen's committee looking into a possible sports stadium for HRM plans a number of public hearings starting next week looking for public input. The first session will be held Wednesday at the Halifax Forum's Maritime Hall starting at 7. Committee co-chair Peter Spurway says they wants to hear what residents have to say about issues like the stadium's location, size and design, or whether there's even public support for such a facility. I think many residents, myself included, support the concept, though not at any cost. HRM taxpayers will need to see financial support from the other two levels of government and the private sector, support that so far hasn't been forthcoming. A report on this second phase of a stadium study will be in council's hands in December.
A long weekend's ahead and the weather looks great. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.