On Monday July 13, 2015 Founder and President of Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary Amy Bremner gave a presentation to the Fort Erie Town Council in hopes of changing the animal bylaws to allow easier fostering of animals for the residents of Fort Erie, to add Registered Charity Rescue to the bylaws and request a no limit bylaw for spayed / neutered and microchipped animals in agricultural property.
Write a Letter in Support of Animal Welfare!
Please write a letter to the Mayor and Town Councillors of Fort Erie to let them know its time for a positive change for animal rescue! The Councillors will vote August 10, 2015, so start writing!
Use the website below to write to the following members of council. http://www.town.forterie.ca/pages/MayorCouncillors
Mayor – W. Redekop
Regional – S. Annunziata
Ward 1 – G. McDermott
Ward 2 – S. Passero
Ward 3 – K. Zanko
Ward 4 – M. Butler
Ward 5 – D. Lubberts
Ward 6 – C. Knutt
Wards in Fort Erie
Further Bylaw Suggestions
Private Information Reporting
BCFS strongly recommends removing the reporting of private information to the Fort Erie SPCA for the foster homes and forever homes associated with a Charity Animal Rescue. BCFS will not violate the privacy of our foster or forever homes by giving out their personal information.
BCFS is strongly against adding “dual licensing” of dogs to the Animal Bylaws. If you own property in more than one city the bylaw would state that you must register your dog in Fort Erie as well as at your primary residence. “Dual Licensing” will be offered at a discount rate by the Fort Erie SPCA. I wonder how the cottage population will feel about dual licensing?
BCFS contacted Welland Humane Society, Niagara Falls Humane Society, Lincoln County Humane Society and the Toronto Animal Service who all stated one license is satisfactory.
Information is readily available for lost companion animals regardless of what city they are registered, as long as they are registered.
Ban Sale of Companion Animals in Retail Stores
Add bylaw: Prohibiting the sale of companion animals in retail establishments.
Richmond, BC was the first to ban the sale in 2010
Remove Alpaca from Exotics Animal List
Alpaca removed from exotics, simply because they are accepted to be farm animals in North America.
This is a simple update to an antiquated bylaw.
From the Desk of Amy:
I’ve really put myself out there this time! Standing up in front of council and community in hopes of making changes that will promote animal welfare – particularly with Animal Rescues and Foster Homes.
This isn’t about BCFS, this is about the future of animal rescue in the Niagara Region and beyond… These changes could be the foundation in which other cities base their changes. Let’s be leaders!
The idea of bringing the bylaws up to date will help with many avenues of animal welfare.
There is a generally accepted three prong approach to animal population control:
1. Increasing adoptions
2. Increasing spay and neuter
3. Keep animals at home.
We can also mention that destroying healthy animals causes incredible stress on shelter staff — especially when it is used as population control. (meaning: to euthanize healthy animals to make room for more animals due to a rise in the number of shelter dogs and a lack of kennel space).
1. Increasing Adoptions
Foster Homes are the Key!
To be a foster home in Fort Erie as the bylaws is currently written would require a family to have 5 acres, be zoned agricultural and pay $125 per year foster home fee to the Fort Erie SPCA.
We’re asking to remove the 5 acres and the zoned agricultural. We’re also requesting that the Charity Animal Rescue be responsible for paying a single fee of $125 per year (same as a kennel license) that would cover all the animals at the Charity Rescue location as well as all of their foster homes.
BCFS believes families should be encouraged to get involved with animal rescue by helping our community grow in awareness of the plight of animals in need.
Fostering is the Future!
Fostering is the future of animal rescue. Getting animals out from behind bars is the key to increasing adoptions. Foster homes prevent the dangers of kennel stress, puts the animal in a loving home environment, gets them seen in the community and gets them adopted.
BCFS believes the families of Fort Erie are missing out on a wonderful experience of fostering an animal and we think they should be encouraged to experience saving a life.
BCFS would love to see adoption events happening in Fort Erie (think Petsmart Adoption Events that have gotten over a million rescue animals adopted). Get local businesses involved with adoption events helps increase business revenue, gets animals adopted and gets a community to come together.
Check out this great article in Modern Dog magazine promoting adoption events!
Domestic Registered Charity Rescue
There is an allowance for Kennels to harbor more than one dog on their property for the purpose of breeding and selling. BCFS believes a Registered Charity Animal Rescue should be offered the same no limits to help rescue animals.
SPCAs and Humane Societies need to work with Animal Rescues to help get more animals out from behind bars and into forever homes. A relationship between the two organizations is the corner stone to successful animal rescue.
BCFS currently has relationships with the Niagara Falls Humane Society, Lincoln County Humane Society, Toronto Animal Services and the SPCA Serving Erie County.
2. Increasing Spay/Neuter
BCFS has done a great deal of research on animal limits and found that most studies show: bylaws that limit the number of animals per family is restrictive to those who would like to become foster homes and does not deter those who would harbor more dogs than they are able to care for.
BCFS does our best to match the family and the environment to a foster or rescue dog. Foster families know their limits and will only accept what they are able to manage. We are here to help the animals and it doesn’t help if they don’t get the one on one time they need.
We’re hoping to loosen the restrictions on fostering and animal companionship in hopes that more people will become involved.
No Limit in Agricultural Properties
BCFS is looking to lift the limit of companion animals on agricultural properties as long as the animals are spayed / neutered and microchipped.
Many communities have similar bylaws (Hamilton and Wainfleet).
The new twist of adding spay / neuter and microchipping to all companion animals in agricultural properties will speak to the new wave in controlling the pet population.
Stop Illegitimate Breeding
Puppy mills in agricultural properties would no longer be able to operate as all their animals would have to spayed and neutered. It would be another tool enforcement could use to crack down on backyard breeders.
Hoarding is mental health issue, not a rescue issue and their are many agencies that are brought together to enforce the extreme and dangerous hoarding situation. Hoarding is a complex situation that would require the involvement of several enforcement agencies.
3. Keeping animals at home
Over 20% of all animals in shelters are returned animals. Kennel stress leads to at least one serious behaviour problem in companion animals in the first month post-adoption. Foster homes keeps dogs out of the kennel environment.
Think about it…
People and animals tend to absorb the feelings expressed by others around them. Think of being exposed to a very emotionally upset or anxious person. Think of how that makes you feel. Think of a person consumed and crying with fear – perhaps a dental appointment, confined space or a child torn from the arms of a parent.
Think of how much a simple change makes you experience stress. A change of job or home environment. Something that takes you a step out of your routine can often lead to stress. Think of the TV show the Big Bang Theory and how upset Sheldon gets when they change pizza night.
Now, think if you were torn from your home and family and place in an environment full of fear, anxiety and death. How would you cope? What would you do to survive?
That’s what life is like for a shelter dog. Surrounded by fear and panic even the most level headed animal will feel stress. It takes time to overcome that stress and time is something that is never on the shelter dog’s side. Foster homes prevent all this stress — like a magic wand — shelter stress is eliminated by foster homes.
Help for the Rescue Dog and Family!
Many Charitable Animal Rescues offer free advice from animal behaviourist, trainers and veterinarians. We work with families to keep animals home rather than returned before the animal has been given an opportunity to learn how to be a family member.
Dogs want to be loved, but like all relationships the key to success is communication. Have you ever had a argument with your family or friends? Those situations often go awry and you both speak the same language! Imagine how it is for a dog trying desperately to be the dog you want them to be, but neither of you knows how to communicate with the other.
Studies show shelter stress negatively affects the animals and their adoptive families.
For More Information and another take on the July 13, 2015 council meeting
Check out the article written by Producer Judith Keenan from Furever Network regarding the July 13, 2015 council meeting:
What can you do? Write a letter!
We need to let council members know that the community cares about these issues and want to see change.
We’d love for families who have fostered or adopted a rescue animal to write about their experience saving a rescue. Please tell council how this experience has changed your family and your life.
Sometimes the lives we save are our own!
We’d love letters of support to go directly to the council members who will be voting on this change. At the meeting we noticed a lack of support from Don Lubberts and Mayor Wayne Redekop, so please help educate them on the importance of animal welfare.
Mr. Lubberts stated that he’d visited the Fort Erie SPCA and found the companion animal accommodations very suitable for rescue animals. He also stated he did not believe in kennel stress. Mr. Lubberts has never visited Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary.
Have you been to the Fort Erie SPCA? Can you perhaps speak to the accommodations?
BCFS animals are in foster homes being loved by families.
Please visit the links below to see some our videos regarding our rescue animals and our sanctuary:
Many thanks to Emily and her pups Xena (black) and Willow (blonde) for their help with the presentation to council. Emily adopted Willow from BCFS in 2014. In June 2015 Willow joined her sister Xena in becoming a therapy dog. Every Monday night all three go to the Ronald MacDonald House to bring comfort to children with cancer. Animal rescue often goes above and beyond in ways you’ve yet to imagine. Thank you Emily, Xena and Willow (one of the youngest therapy dogs)!
You can send emails via the Town of Fort Erie at the website below:
Or if you’d like to use old fashion mail please mail to: Councillor Name, Fort Erie Town Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie, ON, L2A 2S6
It doesn’t matter where you’re from as long as you start writing. If you’d like to write to BCFS please send emails to any member of our board of directors. You can find our contact information on the contact page of this website: BCFS Board of Directors
Or by mail to: Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary 2930 Bowen Rd, Stevensville, ON L0S 1S0
If you’d like to contact the board of directors for the Fort Erie SPCA you can find them on the CRA website. Financial statements for Fort Erie SPCA can also be found on the CRA website, as can the financial statement for Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary.
When ever we find ourselves at an important decision we ask ourselves one question:
Will this decision HELP ANIMALS?
…. writing a letter today will help animals. Thank you!
The Difference between Rescue and the SPCA
Before rescue…. Harriette. This dog is a case of severe neglect and obesity (32 pounds). Had she been surrendered to a Humane Society or SPCA she would have likely been euthanized due to medical issues, unless that SPCA had a working relationship with a rescue organization. If so, this dog’s only chance of survival would have been release to “rescue only”.
After rescue… Harriette at Canine Camp Getaway June 2015 (17 pounds). Harriette has been diagnosed with Cushing Disease and is being managed by her forever foster family until her end of days. This is something simply not offered by SPCA or Humane Societies. BCFS pays for all of Harriette’s expensive veterinary cost and medication.
We can list several animals that have come to BCFS through humane Societies. Including our first rescue who came from The Toronto Animal Service.
Cookie – Rescue only Toronto Animal Services – before:
Muffin – rescue only from Erie SPCA – Before
The list goes on….
At the time of publishing BCFS has learned that the Town of Fort Erie has hired a third party to research the bylaws.