Friday, June 29, 2012

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Affidavit Submitted to Provincial Court for Sentencing

Affidavit of Elizabeth Lindsay

I hereby affirm and give evidence as follows:

1.     I am Elizabeth Lindsay, a friend of Francesca Rogier, the Defendant in this matter.

2.     I reside at address withheld , Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

3.     I have personal knowledge of the evidence sworn in this affidavit except where explicitly stated as based on information and belief. I state my belief of the source of any information I state herein that is not based on my own personal knowledge.

4.     I have been a pet owner in HRM for 30 years and am active in the volunteer and rescue community.

5.     In mid-June 2010, on or around June 10, I observed two of Francesca’s training sessions with Brindi at Belle Kennel in Porter’s Lake, which was conducted according to Court order. These sessions lasted for about an hour.

6.     During these sessions with Brindi, who I had not seen prior to these sessions, the dog impressed me as a friendly, good-natured animal weighing about 60 pounds. She responded to commands obediently and intelligently.

7.     Throughout the sessions, which took place in the pen designated for them, I was able to observe that Francesca was diligent and sincerely focused on completing the training as prescribed by court-approved trainer Susan Jordan.


8.     At no time did I observe Brindi react aggressively toward me or any animals in the vicinity, or even to their sounds, including chickens in a nearby pen and dogs barking in the kennel. 

9.     In early 2010, my partner and I assisted Francesca in her effort to reinforce the top and bottom of the dog run she had built two years earlier, so that it would be a secure containment for Brindi and sufficiently strong to meet HRM approval.

10.  In July 2010, after the Court had returned Brindi to Francesca’s possession, I accompanied Francesca on walks with Brindi in the vicinity of her home during the months of July and August.

11.  I observed that at all times, Francesca was careful to leash and muzzle Brindi before she left the house and remained so until she was back inside, and that Brindi obediently allowed herself to be leashed and muzzled.

12.  I was also able to observe that Brindi was always very attentive to Francesca and eager to perform whatever command she was given.

13.  At no time did I observe Brindi react aggressively toward any humans or animals in the vicinity, or even to their sounds, including chickens in a nearby pen and dogs barking in the kennel. 

14.  At no time while I was in the presence of Brindi and Francesca did I feel personally threatened.

15.  In the many times I have been in Francesca’s company, at no time did I observe her conduct herself in anything other than a responsible manner as a pet owner or resident of the Municipality.

16.  Based on my above experience as a pet owner and knowledge derived from it, and based on my acquaintance with her, I personally regard Francesca Rogier to be one of the most caring, responsible, and dedicated pet owners I have ever known.

17.  In the latter part of 2010, when I had temporary need of someone I could trust to take care of my own pet, I entrusted that task with Francesca Rogier, who took my pet to her home, where Brindi stayed.

18.  When I entered Francesca’s home with my pet, Brindi did not react aggressively to my pet, but remained calm and obedient. 

19.  I am satisfied that Francesca properly and responsibly cared for my pet during that time.

20.  I have knowledge, based on photographs and documentation from organizations involved, that Francesca has done volunteer work with organizations and has an unblemished history of fostering rescue animals.

21.  Having spent time with her on many occasions, and having engaged in extensive dialogue with her, I can personally attest that Francesca is a law-abiding and conscientious person.

22.  It is my understanding that this past Christmas, Francesca Rogier took care of two young dogs at her home whose owner was in need of temporary assistance. These dogs evidently possessed little or no training.

23.  It is my understanding from photographic evidence and public statements made by the dogs’ owner, Jean-Michel Corriveau, that Francesca looked after the two dogs for several weeks without incident. She also saw to it that Mr. Corriveau obtained HRM dog licenses for both dogs, as well as a veterinary exam, by driving them to the vet and paying the costs.  

24.  As a longtime pet owner and resident of HRM, I have had many experiences with pets and other owners, and involvement in the volunteer and rescue community, and I am very concerned about responsible ownership.

25.  It is my opinion and belief as a longtime pet owner and resident of HRM with direct observation and contact with Brindi that does not represent a threat to public safety.

26.  It is my further belief, based on personal knowledge, observations, and publicly available information, notwithstanding incidents that occurred, that Francesca Rogier is very concerned about the well-being of all pets and other animals.

27.  It is my opinion and belief that Francesca Rogier took full responsibility for all incidents that occurred, and based on documents I have seen, by way of apology to the other pet owners, she voluntarily offered to pay for veterinary examinations regardless of whether treatment was needed.

28.  It is my belief based on direct observation and personal knowledge that Francesca is a responsible dog owner, and takes all possible precautions within her means, notwithstanding regrettable circumstances or incidents.

29.  I have observed and am satisfied as a pet owner and resident of HRM that Francesca has taken responsibility for whatever violations she or her dog may have caused.

30.  I firmly believe Francesca is more than able and willing to comply with orders and by-laws, and am confident she will do so in the future.

31.  It is my hope that the Court will give due consideration to the above.
                                                                                     
Text of document, signed, sworn, and submitted to Dartmouth Provincial Court on June 25, 2012.

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