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crowdog66 in wpg_misty_grdns

Minutes of the coffee meeting

Four of us met at the Second Cup last night and had a good long talk about a few things. In brief:

1) What legal action can be taken against Gail Harrison? Does opening up the urns to see what's inside compromise evidence that might be used against her? (My husband says no... "chain of evidence" only applies in criminal cases, not civil suits). Who should be sued: Harrison (who was subcontracted by the veterinary clinics), or the clinics themselves?

2) Sandra, who was not present last night, was talking about possibly setting up a memorial headstone for the pets who were lost at Misty Gardens. Gord, who was there last night, suggested that it might be set up at the Winnipeg Humane Society.

3) We also talked about things that might be included in the petition to the Legislative Assembly. These might not all be practical, but the point of brainstorming sessions is to suggest anything that comes to mind.

-- the first thing to do is to look at the Cemeteries Act as a potential model
-- protection of pet cemeteries in perpetuity
-- requirements for documentation of animal remains through the burial/disposal process, standardized and legally enforced, with records regularly checked and a better tagging/tracking system
-- accountability of vet clinics for subcontracted work; making the vets legally responsible as contractors
-- ongoing spot inspections at pet cemeteries/crematoriums by officials (Manitoba Conservation? Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association?)
-- regular inspection of the incincerators/equipment and legal requirements for the nature of the equipment (no garbage incinerators such as were being used at DAC)
-- legislation that "the equipment employed shall be suitable for its intended purpose" (for example, individual cremations, which were promised but not done at DAC)

4) Going out to the La Salle site in the first couple of weeks of November to do a blessing/consecration service on the two mounds at the front of the property (which probably contain animal remains). Are there any other mounds around the property? Is the pet cemetery still accessible since it has been seized from Harrison and is now liable to go up for auction? Can someone who's been out there tell us if there is a fence around the cemetery itself that separates it from the rest of the land around it?

5) Remind the media that the story isn't over. The cemetery is up for auction, which puts the fate of the animals currently buried there in jeopardy; many people still don't know what happened to their little ones; Gail Harrison has apparently "vanished" and can't be found (or so I hear). I'm going to try to do that this week, but want to wait a couple of days for the furor over the Derek Harvey-Zenk case to die down a little (and what a mess THAT is...)

Any feedback, information or suggestions would be appreciated.


"Chain of Evidence" - Cremains

Just so no feminist feathers get ruffled, let me say that in all that follows, where the male pronoun is used alone for simplicity, it imports the female gender, with adjectives mutatis mutandis. OK?

Well, crowdog, unless your husband is a lawyer involved in civil litigation specifically, and I've been asleep somewhere while common sense was ruled illegal; I'm still sure that evidence that is to be introduced in any civil action against "The Bitch" or the Manitoba VMA would have to be handled as follows: (1) pet owner does NOT open any questionable urns on their own. (2) the urn is taken unopened to an animal pathologist who by advance inquiry, tells you he is certain his word will be taken at face value in court, and preferably he has testified previously and is recognized as an authority in his field. (3) The pathologist opens the urn in a laboratory setting and conducts a thorough assessment of the volume or weight, and the nature of the contents of the urn (e.g., bone fragments, rock, gravel, ash, soil, broken glass, whatever) and where bone or ash are identified, an analysis to ascertain species (cat vs. dog) as a minimum. To suggest otherwise flies in the face of logic and common sense, arguably, scarce commodities today. As pet owners, we are all horrified at what we have seen in the media, and maybe want retribution. What's to stop the vindictive among us from opening our urns, burying the contents in our yards, and to fuel the fire and cash in on any damages that may be awarded in court, re-fill our urns with the assorted non-animal detritus enumerated above and then take the concocted urn and contents to the pathologist for analysis. As a retired scientist, let me tell you that any scientist worth his salt describes in his notes and all subsequent reports, the evidence he is about to examine in painstaking detail, including a full description of the packaging or container, which in this case would include a distinct comment that the container arrived open and that for that reason he cannot attest to the origin or authenticity of the material being examined and that the presenter ALLEGES the contents are those received from DAC. Gail's defence attorney immediately challenges the validity of the analysis. If you file with the pathologist and subsequently with the court a sworn affidavit certifying the urn contents presented by you are those received from DAC and have not been adulterated, substituted or otherwise interfered with in any way, and you have in fact fiddled with them, then you're guilty of perjury. Really want to go down that road? I say unless your urn is still sealed exactly as you got it back, you're on shaky ground. But I'm just Yogi Perogy from Kolbassa Crescent!