Rescue Journal


Alison  ·  Mar. 10, 2007

Anyone who has seen the recent newscast about Finnigan, knows he has since passed away. When I saw the newscast I didn't realize that I knew Finnigan, even before his rescue. I used to see him as I drove around town, he lived in my area that i worked, I recognized the house and the dog standing there. I always looked closely because he was a chained dog and he was matted and obviously never groomed. But he had access to the porch and his chain was attached to a pulley so he could actually move. Did Finnigan have a good home? No, frankly he had one that sucked. But it met all the standards that our pitiful laws require,and still I am really glad he was rescued off that chain. I actually met Finnigan in person after his rescue, he was incontinent of both bowel and bladder and this was an issue for his foster home. His rescuers were unable to find him another with his incontinence issues so Finnigan came out to saints. We named him Begin Again Finnigan (i can't remember what his name was when he arrived, i think it was "prince"). Anyway, his incontinence was related to a couple of things, neurolgical disease in his spine (probably end stage hip dysplagia or an arthritc spine, but he wasn;t here long enough for us to look further) plus a raging bladder infection. we started him on pain meds and anti inflamatories and with the decreased inflamation and pain control, he soon regained control of his bowels. Antibiotics fixed up his urinary incontinece and when he began to go after the cats (cuz geez now finnigan was feeling a heck of alot better and able to get into trouble), we returned him to his original rescuers who now were able to find cat free fosters for a continent dog. Last time i heard, he was doing really well and I hoped for a fairy tale ending. But sadly in life, it doesn't always happen and it sounds like his neurolgical disease progressed even further and his pain was unable to be controlled. I was sad to hear that Finnigan died the other day.

BUT...i am not all that happy to see him on the news in this way and would like to say a few things. If we want dogs off chains who are barely surviving while suffering from mankinds neglect, then we better change the laws. Because despite all the claims and blame of the SPCA"S neglect and their own stupid admission of Finnigans falling thru the cracks....that dog suffered because you and i let our laws stay as they are, "food, water, shelter" that's what our laws require and none of them have to be all that good, just there. you cannot enforce laws that do not exist and the SPCA can't either. So could we please quit using the sad life of a dog to beat up the SPCA. if we are going to exploit him, lets do it with purpose and go after the laws that allowed his owners to treat him that way. This is really none of my business since i returned Finnigan when he couldn't fit in here but I cannot stand by while the waters get muddied by a heartwrenching one sided media compaign. It is such a waste of time and resources to be systemactically destroying the credibility of the SPCA when no one has any idea if they can do the job well or not because they don't have the laws to enforce to find out. CHANGE THE LAWS...that is how you make the SPCA to do the job that we expect them to do. And please, if the SPCA spent as much time lobbying for actual law changes as they do in the media doing damage control we might actually make some progress with their help too.

Rest in peace Finnigan, your life and your death were probably truly in vain because we can't stop fighting and arguing and blaming and defending and offering excuses long enough to fix a god damn thing. a spade is a spade even if we pretend its a club and someone else's fault that it's now percieved as a club, but honestly folks, it really is still just a spade....

and that's my dangerous venture into the political arena for this year at least.



Thank you for that write up, when I saw the news heading, it made me feel aweful I volunteer for the SPCA, when I can, and was looking for answers and you just gave it to me and made me understand why I volunteer THANK YOU . Your right ppl are way to quick to point the finger at the SPCA. They should be using that energy to help make the laws stronger. Thanks for the link to the petition, it will be passed around.

My heart goes out to Finigin and all the mistreated.


I signed the petition and so did my husband. Good blog Carol, you are so right. It's easy to cast blame but more difficult to take action. They need our help in every way!!!!

Chris T

THe link to the petition has also been posted on Brindle by Rosie. Hopefully it will get alot of attention there.


I have also signed. For those of you who do notfrequent Brindle Amanda's story of Cha Cha the 18 year old Chow she rescued 10 days ago makes this also hit home hard. We see it all the time the neglect and abuse...sometimes it takes just one story to make you sit up more and take notice. For me Finnigan and Cha Cha in the same week has just broken my heart. I am now sending out the information about the SPCA petition to as many spots as I can...hopefully the needed signatures will come. Here is Cha Cha's story


I agree with you Carol - the website sucks at giving a clear vision of what they would like standards to be at. I don't know why... They use to have literature about why not to have chained dogs etc but I can't find it since they moved to this new website. I also believe that before they can address such issues as surgically altering tails and ears and breeder standards they need to first get the government to acknowledge that animals are sentient beings and therefore not property.

As far as I can tell this is what they are focusing on

"The BC SPCA, in conjunction with other animal welfare organizations across Canada, is actively lobbying the federal government for substantial improvements to sections of the Criminal Code of Canada pertaining to animal cruelty. In addition, the Society believes that amendments to BC’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act are urgently needed to strengthen protection for animals who are victims of abuse and neglect.

Under our current BC laws, animals are regarded as property, not sentient beings, and the penalties for those found guilty of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals are not adequate to provide a serious deterrent to offenders. In the case of those who reap enormous profits through puppy mills in BC, for example, the maximum fine of $2,000 provides little financial incentive to cease operation and end the suffering of the thousands of dogs who are abused and killed in puppy mills each year.

Moreover, the legislation lacks any penalties for those individuals who abuse animals belonging to others, a significant gap that cannot be allowed to continue.

The BC SPCA is seeking the provincial government’s cooperation in strengthening the PCA Act to provide better protection for animals and stronger penalties for those who inflict cruelty on animals."

PS I finally finished the newsletter... It's not the writing ... its the graphics that are killing me. Nicole I need you to give me a lesson one day.


I've sent a letter and signed the petition as well, Sheila. Thanks for posting it.


thx sheila!! i didn\'t even know they had that petition going....i just signed it, thx for the link!

oh and i maybe apologise for my comment that they should be doing looks like they are trying...but i would like to see public presentation on what they are advocating for because if it does not include banning outside, chained dogs, surgical removal of body parts for human convenience and breed standards, the selling of animals as of property and a decent quality of life with adequate living environments, health care and ain't enough.


Carol you have kind of helped me out here because I am very late with my volunteer newsletter ... and feeling slightly guilty.

The SPCA has had a very public (but abviously not public enough) campaign since last year in trying to get the public to back them up so they can get the provincial government to talk to them about changing the PCA act.

At our last CC meet we were told they still do not have enough signatures and there is a push to get an online petition signed before it is officially sent to the provincial government. I think they are 5,000 short. And this is how bad I am I forgot I was suppose to send out a volunteer newsletter early to ask people to sign the petition. The petetion is going to be sent out on the 15th of March (I think) So maybe I can use your blog to correct my error because I am now trying to get the newsletter out tonight.
For anyone that is interested here is the link.

If you click on take action now you can sign an online letter.