Keeping our supportive fans and champions up to date with events, here is more on the Bylaw Council Update of May 27, 2015. We received an email on May 26, 2015 asking for a meeting with the two councillors who have been assisting us with some positive bylaw change.
This time I did not sit alone. Our Adoption Coordinator and our Operation Manager joined me at the table to bear witness and give support. I felt less exposed and stronger with their physical presence.
Chris explained that they had a few meetings with the Town Clerk and the Fort Erie SPCA to work out some initial details regarding the bylaws.
We were worried when Marina stated that “the main bylaws for dogs are good.” Really? They weren’t going to work on all the animal bylaws to make them more progressive? Hamilton has added potbellied pigs to their animal bylaws allowing people to have them in their homes complete with pig tags and registration.
I could almost hear the panic in my voice when I thought of all the charges coming my way. They wanted to write more bylaws, not better ones.
They want to write a bylaw just for Sanctuaries — including Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary. There are exactly two registered charities in all of Ontario. The other one is in King City. Does that justify an entire bylaw?
So, council wants to write a bylaw for BCFS. The next day an email comes requesting my wish list for a “Sanctuary Bylaw.” Should I be happy? I feel like I am writing my own suicide note.
I have to take a deep breath and appreciate that BCFS has been invited to participate in the creation of something new and positive. Bylaws that will help us rescue animals? You can see our trepidation.
I understand their point of view. They don’t want to give rights to just anyone who wants to start a Sanctuary. There have to be laws and regulations to prevent hoarding and promote animal rights. We’re still worried about the policing part, but we’ll come to that bridge when it’s set on fire.
Sorry. Three years of fighting makes me a little punchy.
Chris promises to look at the foster dog licence. The bylaw listing alpaca as an “exotic” animal is going to be updated. I’m very happy to hear this news. We offer two experts on alpaca who will explain scientifically why alpaca are not considered exotic, but the councillors state it won’t be necessary. No other town in the Niagara Region lists alpaca as exotic. Slam dunk.
I have been asked to provide an outline of what BCFS would like to see in a Sanctuary bylaw and I’m grateful to have a team of people researching.
So we started focusing on what our “dream animal bylaw” would contain. Let the research begin….
For more about Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary and its interactions with Fort Erie SPCA and Town of Fort Erie Bylaws, read these related posts: