Monday, July 09, 2007

Open Letter

An open letter from Nicole Joncas of Teja’s Animal Refuge regarding puppy mills

Teja's Animal Refuge is suing the Quebec government and Anima-Quebec for not enforcing the provisions of the Animal Health Act. And we need your help.

Over the past few years, I've received hundreds of emails from people who have reported puppy mills to Anima-Quebec and still nothing has changed. The millers continue to operate with impunity. They build their fortunes through the ruthless exploitation of animals who are condemned to a lifetime of confinement in barren cages, never feeling the grass under their feet or the sun on their faces; physically and psychologically ravaged; stacked together, sometimes by the hundreds in unventilated, ramshackle warehouses, without heat in the winter or even the comfort of a cool breeze in the summer.

It is estimated that there are hundreds of puppy mills in Quebec. Those of us who have been inside a mill have not come out unscathed. The images of hundreds of dogs sweltering in the heat, often without so much as a bowl of water, cowering in the corners of their cages or barking in frenzies of despair, will forever haunt us. Equally terrible has been the realization that faced with the unwavering refusal of governmental bodies to intervene, we were as powerless as the dogs themselves to alleviate their misery.

We have documented countless unspeakable acts of cruelty and provided this information time and again to those in authority, to those who have the power to make a difference but who choose instead to ignore not only the plight of the animals but their own legal responsibilities. And we've had enough. It's time to hold those responsible, accountable. We have excellent legal representation, solid evidence and a good chance of success, as demonstrated by the fact that the Animal Legal Defence Fund in the United States has generously donated $4,000 to help fund this lawsuit.

Litigation is expensive, even with the pro bono services of our legal team, but we are left with no choice. If the authorities won't act against the millers, then it's time to act against the authorities. But we need your help. That's why I'm not asking but am begging for your help to pursue this lawsuit. It is my deeply-held conviction that this legal challenge could be a turning point for animal rights in Quebec, and could well inspire similar campaigns in other provinces.

Our legal team says we have a good case, and now it's up to us to provide the necessary financial resources to bring this case to court and win a victory for animals in Quebec. Help us help the animals by raising money, through fundraisers, silent auctions, car washes, forwarding this request, or whatever way you can. Small donations will add up quickly if we all participate, and it's the best chance the animals have ever had.

Teja' Animal Refuge is a registered charity #85496 4202 RC0001. Donations can be made at Teja’s website at: ttp:// Receipts for charitable donations will be issued for donations of $25 and more. No donation is too small to help with this lawsuit. On the memo line of your cheque, please specify "Re: lawsuit".

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