Igloos, whale blubber and maple syrup

Did I miss any stereotypical Canadianisms? I apologize if I did, please feel free to include them in the comments.

Yes my friends, it’s time to head north and explore the Canadian SPCA.

I’m going to attempt to sum up the story so everyone’s up to speed and then WHAM we’re going to talk about why the SPCA feels it’s ok to ignore horse killers who hide behind supposed ignorance.

  • Wonderful horse-lover comes across picture of neglected, starving filly (Zora) that turns out to be the half sister to one her horses
  • Said wonderful person attempts to purchase the filly – at first the owner says no but eventually a price is agreed upon and arrangements made for Zora to be picked up.
  • Owner tells wonderful person that she’s feeding the filly as much hay as she’ll eat and grain twice daily (I’m not even going to try to mask it with a cough: I call bullshit!)
  • Wonderful person picks up poor little Zora (literally, as the filly trips while trying to load into the trailer and doesn’t have the energy to pick herself up)
  • Zora wasn’t strong enough to stay on her feet for the trailer ride home (1.5 hours) so they once again had to pick her up upon arrival
  • Get her in a stall, give her hay and fresh water – Zora lays down after 30 minutes because she can’t stand anymore
  • Poor little baby doesn’t even last the night. (ok, I’m already crying and I’ve read this before).

Deep breath.  And continue.

Since when are people not held accountable for their actions?  Even when someone doesn’t mean to do something! – the charge of involuntary manslaughter was created for a reason!  But according to the Canadian SPCA, it’s a-ok in their books for someone to starve and neglect a foal (a foal! A freaking FOAL) to the point of death.

The person who took in Zora contacted the SPCA to ensure that poor Zora`s death didn’t go unnoticed.  If nothing else, maybe it could serve to keep that wretch from ever doing this to another horse.  So a necropsy was performed, the findings of which supported that the filly had been starved over a period of time (nonexistent fat stores, below normal levels of skeletal muscles) and then the SPCA investigated.  Two months later, the case was closed and nothing was done.

The wise people of the SPCA concluded that it wasn’t worth their time since they couldn’t conclusively prove that Zora had been neglected on purpose, as opposed to her neglect being the result of the previous owner’s lack of education.  You’ll notice that the SPCA isn’t arguing the fact that Zora had been neglected – just whether or not is was on purpose.

How lax are the laws “protecting” animals (including livestock) that people can hide behind ignorance and avoid any consequences by saying “oops, I didn’t know”.  And how sad is it that they can apparently convince the SPCA that they didn’t realize practically being able to hang hangers off Zora’s pelvic bones, thinly covered with baby fur that should have shed out months ago, was a bad thing.

Well, as it turns out, it may not entirely be the SPCA’s fault.  After a brief googling session, I found this summary that outlines and compares the “Farm Animal Welfare Law in Canada”.  Apparently, if you want to abuse animals, New Brunswick is the place to go! The only place animal protection officers (APO’s) seem to have any authority to intervene is when a “pet establishment” (ex. a dog kennel) is involved.  Furthermore, New Brunswick is one of 4 provinces that does not have a “standard of care that includes provisions for Duty of Care requirements for the keeping of farmed animals”.  So, if I’m reading that right, anything goes?  That’s what you’re telling me?  Farm animals aren’t worth protecting?  Unfortunately, and despicably, that’s probably not the first time any of us have heard that.

I don’t care how inexperienced with horses you are, ribs = bad.  At some point, way before starving to death was even a possibility, anyone with an iota of common sense would have figured something wasn’t right and sought help.  Low on cash? Ask a neighbor.  Visit the internet.   There are ways to get free advice as to why your cute little baby horse is too weak to stand on its own.  The fact of the matter is that the former owner didn’t care for the animal in her possession and caused its subsequent death.

If you’re not going to feed ’em, why have horses, eh?  (Sorry, I missed a stereotype)


About snarkyrider

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Posted on March 21, 2012, in Horse News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. You need to ad eh? at the end of your title and I think you’ve got it covered

  2. But I LIKE maple syrup…

  3. You forgot that they bash white baby seals to death for their coats. At least they used to, not sure if they still do, but WHO could club a baby seal to death while it’s big black eyes watch you do it? Sick! I won’t even buy Candian bacon after hearing about that!

  4. Also, when I went on a riding vacation in Canada, with mostly Canadians…

    …they really DO end every sentence with ‘eh’. It’s not some kind of national stereotype…at least some Canadians really do talk like that! Worst part was that by the end of the week…


    Seriously. Any Canadians here…what’s with the eh thing?

    • It depends on where you are in Canada, it happens more in some places than others. Although I’m not sure where you were that people ended *every* sentence with “eh” because it does have an actual purpose, it’s not just there for the hell of it… The point of “eh” is to turn a statement into a question. If it’s on the end of a sentence that’s not meant to be a question then… it’s not being used right. It’s the same as sticking “y’know?” or “yes?” on the end of a sentence to make it a question.

      • Well, it was a while ago, and I may have heard it everywhere because I wasn’t expecting it to be real, you know. I thought it was some silly American stereotype.

        Next time I’m up north I’ll bear that in mind. But I was with a mixed bag of people from different parts of Canada and it at least *seemed* that everyone used it.

        • Honestly, I’m pretty sure that that’s a stereotype we consciously adopted XD I don’t know where exactly it started, but the McKenzie brothers used it in their act (that’s where a LOT of Canadian stereotypes come from), and we all kind of starting using it, lol.

          Also keep in mind, 90% of us, upon learning that a person is American, will purposefully play up (at the very least) the “eh” thing (and sometimes some of the other stereotypes as well), just to see how you’ll react. And because we enjoy making fun of you guys. Just a bit 😉

          • Or maybe because they realize how contagious it is and think it’s funny to give Americans a case of it? (In my case, I have a thick BRITISH accent so it probably was pretty hilarious). I didn’t see anyone playing up any *other* stereotypes, mind.

            • It really is contagious. I didn’t even know the stereotype existed until I was maybe 13 or 14 (not many kids use it it seems, mostly adults), and then watched an episode of some American cartoon where they were REALLY having a go at it, and then I started noticing people using it… and then I started using it, and now I can’t stop XD

    • It’s the equivalent to your “huh”

    • Are you sure they weren’t just teasing you? Back in high school, I definitely remember visiting south of the border with a few friends and pumping up the Canadian lingo just to see if we could get a reaction.

  5. It’s not just in New Brusnkwick. It’s all over this Great Northern Country that nothing is being done. The bullshit that happens here where I live is disgusting. Supposedly we have a federal animal cruelty act that is supposed to be enforced by our federal police force the *coufuckingwankersghs* RCMP.

    So, here’s a massive “hoorah” for Kanata and it’s forward thinking, it’s great ability to enforce laws and lack of hypocracy.

    As for “eh” dunno, it gets pretty weird depending on where you are in the country, the more rural the more prevalent it is (as is very bad english/french). I do though know, the use of ‘eh’ will turn a statement into a question so the conversation doesn’t end while you are Timmy’s drinking a double double.
    e.g. “Farking cold out today. Eh?”

    I would like to know what’s with the “uh yeah” in North Dakota.

    As for Canadian Stereotypes – you forgot hosers, The McKenzie Brothers, beer, mullets, toques, mukluks, moose, beavers, the CBC and Timmy’s.

    p.s. *whispers* canadian bacon doesn’t come from canada, eh. it’s a style of cut.
    p.p.s. Not all Canadians have their heads shoved up their collective arses (unless they’re in politics or are RCMP management). Most people here are really nice and intelligent and caring people. The bad ones have a way of burying us good uns though.

  6. p.p.s – does anyone know how to spell “hypocracy”?! I can’t!

  7. You forgot hockey. 😛

    But I’d like to point out that a horse being OVERWEIGHT has just as many health risks (including death) associated with it as being underweight. Just saying “ribs = BAD” is a gross over-simplification. Yes, seeing all the ribs while the horse is just standing there IS bad (usually VERY bad), BUT seeing SOME ribs while the horse is in motion is actually (usually) a sign of being in good weight – in fact that’s what most vets in my area tell owners to strive for. It seems like the massive majority of horse owners just CANNOT, for some reason, recognize obesity in their animals, and a horse is going to be JUST AS UNHEALTHY if it’s too fat as it would be if it was too skinny.

    Just putting that out there.

  8. She’s right.
    I have a client who keeps making excuses for not moving her now OBESE gelding. He’s not overfed, in fact I think he’s underfed it’s just that she is not dealing with the underlying systemic cause.

    But yes, neglect through love (aka – overfeeding) is also a serious problem.

    • I know of a woman who literally had NO CLUE her gelding was overweight until the vet told her that he’d die in a week or two if she didn’t restrict his diet.

      He’s now a happy camper, on a “dry lot” version of the Paddock Paradise, getting between 14 and 16lbs of orchard grass hay and about a cup of orchard grass pellets as a filler for his supplements. He’s now at about a 5.5 on the body scale – and she’s working on getting him down to the 4.5 that the vet wants him to be at.

  9. oh, and screw hockey.
    You freakin’ puck heads.


  10. You forgot the crazy “oot and aboot” accent.

    Yup, our animal welfare laws are crap. I like to think we do pretty well in most other areas. But our animal welfare laws suck. Of course, in the same vein, it’s fairly rare that I hear of serious cases of animal abuse/neglect, which may be why (if it was happening more often, and more people were complaining about it, I’m sure something would change), and even though the laws are pretty lax, the social consequences if people find out? My friend was once (falsely) accused of neglecting her horse (she legitimately was doing everything she could, and he just would not gain any weight), and it was not a pretty sight to watch. Legally, no one could do anything about it, but she had a lot of abuse hurled at her from a lot of different people. It wore her down so much she eventually gave up and sold him back to the person she’d bought him from (there were other factors too, but the neglect thing was a big factor). That was years ago, and there are still people who refuse to talk to her because of it.

    Now, it might just be the specific area I live in that people are that harsh, but animal abuse is a BIG deal to most people here, even if our laws don’t reflect it.

    • In addition to animal abuse, “oot and aboot” is a pet peeve of mine. I grew up in Washington state, not too far from Canada, and visited Canada a fair bit (back before it required a passport…), and the proper way to imitate that particular manner of speech is “oat and aboat,” not “oot and aboot.” I, personally, never adopted that particular habit, but I do utter an occasional “eh.”

      • Yeah, the “oot and aboot” thing drives me crazy. I have no problem with most of the other ones and can laugh at them, but that one’s just so… blech. I mean, we obviously don’t talk that way (well, except for those of us who do it on purpose to mess with Americans… Honestly, it’s no wonder so many people believe those stereotypes XD).

    • The weird vowel thing that results in “oot and aboot” is specifically eastern Canada. I thought it was just a made-up thing until I was 16! (I’m from Vancouver)

  11. Every time I see where someone has been excused for neglecting an animal to death because they say “I didn’t knoooooooooow!”… I want to punch them. Repeatedly. And then punch the powers that be that are responsible for allowing them to get away with that shit.

    These people eat EVERY day. They drink EVERY day. They don’t stay outside in all weather and they don’t sleep in their own shit. If they have wounds they take care of them. If they have snot running from their nose, mucus from their eyes, diarrhea, broken bones, bleeding… etc.. they go to a doctor. If they were losing weight to the point that every bone in their body was visible.. they’d be concerned.
    So, yeah.. THEY KNOW.

    For them to say, like a spoiled child, “But, but, but I didn’t know!!!!” No. Fark you.. the truth is that YOU DIDN’T CARE.

  12. the animal protection laws are getting a little better (at least in Quebec anyway). We still have a long way to go though. People can’t let up the fight, and we need to EDUCATE BIG TIME!

  13. Hyena Overlord

    Well said Paso Fiend. There’s no excuse for not knowing with the technology and internet available.

    Hey, if anyone loves to laugh please look up Shaun Majumder and the Herbal Elements skit on youtube.

  14. You forgot Terrance and Phillip

  15. As a New Brunswicker, a local of the area this happened in, and someone who has interacted with the people in question, I can say that what has been said here has been said all over our horse community. Zora’s Story (as it has become known as across the forum boards) is one that is just so utterly retarded that all you can do is stand there and look stunned.

    BUT: while admittedly no one is happy with the NBSPCA over this, we do have a level of respect towards them for handling our biggest equine neglect cases, which involved over 30 mares, foals and studs and a successful court case against the owners.

    With Zora, everyone is angry because of the fact that the SPCA had to drop the case, despite Zora being in an obvious deplorable condition, because they can’t legitimately prove that out of all of the other horses on that property,all of whom were in good weight and condition, only one was willfully neglected to the point of starvation and death. And Zora might not have been the only young horse that this happened to, from what some of the talk has brought to light.

    BUT!! No one did anything for that filly before that sale was made, there was no complaint or report to the SPCA about a case of neglect, farriers and vets had been on that property to service the other horses and nothing was said, and not one of the owner’s family or friends spoke up about it at all until it came time to defend her. People were always going on that property, how did anyone not see or say anything?!

    We’re all pissed at the SPCA, but we also realize that they had their hands tied in regards to what they can and cannot do. We’re REALLY pissed at Zora’s former owner, because no horse should have been left to suffer that way, and that she DEFINATELY knew better no matter what they told the SPCA.

    And don’t forget; we all dress like lumberjacks, it’s a toque not a hat, hockey is our national religion, we worship the almighty beaver, poutine is our staple meal, newfies will be the butt of every joke and Tim Hortons will forever be superior to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins in everyway.

  16. Thankyou whoever posted about obesity in horses, it is just as bad at times as starving a horse. I am getting tired of seeing horses in photos that you cant see their ribs, they have good flesh/muscle everywhere and people stating about how “skinny” they are and how they need to gain 150lbs… ugh… Ideal is you cant see the ribs, but they can be easily felt. Also depends on breed, more TB type will be leaner built (not THIN), QH will be more beefy (but not FAT)

    Anyways… this is ridiculous about the filly who starved to death… not a nice way to go 😦

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