Letters to the Editor

FREEDOM BUS FOR DOGS

At that time of year when giving some times gets blurred with getting, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do both.

I was asked to drive a woman who was going to Bellingham, Wash. to take part in a dog rescue from L.A. and was not comfortable with the snow and ice conditions we experienced then Being recently laid off, and a dog lover, I agreed with out hesitation to go on this adventure.

After driving to Vernon and picking up a rental van, we set off to Surrey where we were to meet three other volunteers from Courtney and Vancouver. We eventually arrived at the home of a dog-fostering volunteer close to the border.

All of the volunteers slept on couches or on bed rolls on the floor, knowing that 52 dogs were being driven to a meeting point in Bellingham, packed in crates for the 17-hour journey from the mean streets of L.A. It was a choice of Canada or die.

It all started when Steve at Top Dog Kennels in Kelowna received a call asking him to take two pit bull puppies that were to be euthanized.

He agreed and then contacted Beth Gibson at Between Friends Animal Rescue in Vernon, another one-person volunteer rescue organization.

Between them, they thought, “Well if we can rescue two, let’s rescue more on the same transport.”

Hats off to them both. They put the word out to two other small volunteer rescue organizations, made calls to shelters in L.A. and between them organized a large van that bought 52 dogs, all to be euthanized, through customs to Canada.

Chihuahuas, pit bull puppies, Labs — most have come from good homes where their families can no longer afford to keep them due to the recession.

One pure bred pit bull puppy — lying next to me on the bed snoring as I type this — is Silva. She was an evidence dog.

She has been kept in confinement for three months while her owners where charged with cruelty after pulling some of her toe nails out and other cruel actions to make her mean, hoping to make her a fighter. It is just not in poor Silva. All she wants to do is cuddle. After the case, she was scheduled to be euthanized as the shelters in L.A. are overwhelmed.

Ruby, a 17-week, red nose pit bull puppy has her ribs, spine and haunches sticking out. In spite of being half-starved, all she wants to do is wiggle her bum.

You have to be careful not to step on her as she happily follows you around.

We made it Beth, in spite of snow, ice and rolled-over cars on the highway. You should be very proud of yourself. You and Steve saved 52 dogs.

For anyone wishing to foster or adopt one of these rescues, please call Beth for information on small dogs, or Steve at Top Dog Kennels for the large breeds.

My thanks to you both for allowing me to be a part of this. Take a bow, you deserve it.

John Wardley

involve first nations

I am writing regarding the North Okanagan Regional District and provincial government's refusal to pay invoices from the Splats'in First Nation for work that they did in reply to a NORD request for input on the regional growth strategy.

NORD has initiated a process and the Canadian courts have ruled that the First Nations must play a meaningful role in the decision-making process.

So far, the local and provincial governments are going by the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law.

The Splats'in band is participating but doesn't have comparable financial and staff resources to continue providing a thorough response.

This situation is like asking a team to participate in a game where you have made the schedule and the rules, but you don't ensure that the other team has the equipment and the players.

When they indicate a willingness to participate in your game, you tell them they are on their own.

The regional district is not the only one playing the Grinch.

Both the federal and provincial governments have a responsibility to ensure the first inhabitants of this unceded land can participate in a meaningful way as required by Canadian law.

Instead of feigning no responsibility, the three levels of government need to work together to ensure that the fourth level of government has the resources to participate in this process.

As a taxpayer, I want to see all four levels of government participating.

Bill Darnell

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