Free Brindi: Final Court Appeal!

My dog Brindi is still being held in a cage by the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The city wants to kill her even though it had no good reason to seize her in the first place in 2008. I have been trying to get her to safety for all this time. I tried all ways of negotiating and cooperating, in vain, and so far the courts have been very disappointing, to say the least. I have no other recourse but to appeal a final time. Since 2008 my effort to save my beloved companion's life has depleted my savings and prevented me from taking full-time work.

But I refuse to abandon my beautiful dog. I could not live with myself if she died in custody or were put down for no good reason. There is still a good chance this will happen, however, if I do nothing.

 I do not know why the first judge chose to deny my appeal, but I do know his decision did not reflect my arguments clearly or in sufficient depth. And my grounds of appeal are solid.

Now I am in need of help to mount a second appeal - the last one for us.

Using GoFundMe, early this year I was able to raise $650 for the cost of a court transcript needed for my application to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. Over the summer, I put together the five-volume, 1400-page Appeal Book. I paid for the binding and printing of seven sets by scraping together funds from credit cards and random work. Now I am working on the brief, and I can no longer ignore the need for a lawyer to represent me, as I am exhausted, and more importantly, the Court is more likely to listen to a lawyer.

It is the last chance. But if my appeal is successful, Brindi will come home.

All donations are welcome, in any amount. My eternal gratitude goes out to all the kindhearted folks who help. 

For more information about Brindi, please go to http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2014/12/30/free_brindi/ or one of the sites below. 

Thank you very much.

Francesca Rogier

 

http://freebrindi.blogspot.com
http://humanehalifax.com 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fPT9fL_q-E&feature=youtu.be
http://montrealdogblog.ca 


In April 2010, I asked a trainer to assess Brindi and present the results to the judge who was then about to decide whether to order her to be killed. A friend was able to video some of his work. He brought in two male dogs and had Brindi tied to a pole. As you can see, she is a perfect lady - even though she hadn't had physical contact with a dog for two years. :(

This is text that I prepared recently for those who are new to the story:
Brindi is a wonderful rescue dog who was wrongly targeted by animal control officials in Halifax Nova Scotia who were looking for a chance to try out a new and dangerous by-law that gave them more powers than a judge. They could seize and kill any dog without having to prove anything or hold a hearing or grant an appeal! Since 2008 she has been locked up in the pound for over seven years apart from ten weeks in 2010 after which the city came again to kill her.

I am a single professional architect and "eternal student". Brindi is my partner in life. She is a joy every day and only wants to please and give love. I moved to the area from the States in 2006. I adopted Brindi from a rescue in June 2007 when she was 4. I worked hard to train her in precision obedience. She never bit a person and she is not "dog aggressive" as such; she over-reacted to a few dogs that she saw the dogs as intruders and the reasons were evidence. She showed restraint and I was able to end the scuffles quickly. Otherwise her behavior was flawless.

Worst day of my life. Using its new by-law, animal control trumped up minor incident into a muzzle order. In July 2008 it seized Brindi to be killed on fraudulent grounds, without laying any charges against me and without a proper investigation.

Within days I submitted over a dozen letters and local petitions. She was so well-loved that the local kennel, our groomer, our neighbors, and even our mail lady helped. My own letters begged for mercy and offered sound alternatives to death. But the city of Halifax would not budge. It forced me to start a hellish battle that continues today. You can read more about it at http://freebrindi.blogspot.com.

Brindi's last chance for freedom is a hearing at the Court of Appeal in Nova Scotia early in 2016. I hope to raise enough to hire a competent, trustworthy lawyer to get her out of the city pound and let her live out her life in freedom!

It is the second appeal - no more after this! I filed the papers myself and have represented myself in over a dozen separate matters and countless appearances and filings. Since 2008, there hasn't been a day when there weren't at least two court proceedings hanging over my head, all related to Brindi.

My efforts seem to have kept her alive, but they are enough. The toll on my body, mind, and soul makes it harder and harder to prepare briefs as I am forced to relive painful memories of the past seven years. This year I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had major surgery for it in May. I have lifelong ADD and fibromyalgia. Added stress and PTSD from the terrors of Brindi being taken from me twice, dials up my pain, depression, chronic fatigue, and insomnia.

In 2010, the city took Brindi a second time, following a similarly minor incident just weeks after she was released. I'd made an honest mistake adjusting the window of a car I bought that day. I meant to raise it but lowered it instead, and as we arrived home, she spotted a couple and their dog, and managed to squeeze through the opening to chase the dog.

From their later statements it seems they had been taunting her all summer whenever she was in her dog run; they were related to the first complainants and the husband worked for the city planning office. Immediately, that department began harassing me with drastic actions to block me from obtaining an injunction to release Brindi. It even evicted me from my own home, then denied my right of appeal. Months later it tried to demolish my house, waiving heritage protections and forcing me to find a foundation contractor in mid-summer.

The clue to the city's real intent: if my house was structurally unsafe and should be torn down, why let me do the foundation? I was homeless for eight months; my dog was on death row; and my dream project was ruined right in front of my eyes. Why?

Halifax's prosecutors truly seem to stoop at nothing in their determination to "win". Yet they failed to convince two judges to order Brindi put down - no surprise, because they lacked any evidence of severe harm or expert opinion saying it was likely to happen. It had no expert opinion on its side at all. Even its poundkeeper disagreed with the city's goal.

Sadly, and possibly out of a need to justify the city's use of court time, the second judge in 2012 believed its smears of me rather than the testimony of our trainer and vet. While the judge did not grant an order to destroy Brindi, in an unprecedented move, she "gave" her to the city along with the power to decide what to do with her. Though the city showed it cannot be trusted, the sentence ruling literally gives it the powers of a judge and executioner.

Clearly I cannot fight their dirty tricks by myself - I need good representation! My appeal seeks to overturn the trial verdicts - which would in turn void the sentence. My appeal also has the potential to help protect ALL dogs in Halifax from unjustified drastic actions in the future because it is challenging the law that allowed the judge to transfer her authority over my dog to the city.

THANK YOU from the bottom of my broken heart for reading this message. It means the world to me. Any amount is welcome. I will post updates soon.

Francesca Rogier

http://FreeBrindi.blogspot.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DLDR9iGD0E

Footage of us at the SPCA shelter in 2009 - shot in secret because the city forbade me from taking photos of my own dog.


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Organizer

Francesca Rogier 
Organizer
Head of Chezzetcook, NS
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