There is going to be a lot of mis-information recorded about Covid-19, that much we know. But post-pandemic, we can also be certain there will be books written about good and bad calls made by those "in control". Nadav Ziv, an undergrad at Stanford University, and Sam Wineburg, a professor at the same institution and author of "Why Learn History When It Is Already on Your Phone", have already issued their first piece of advice: "Distrust Your Eyes – They're Easily Deceived".
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of a group of local dog owners, I'd like to introduce information about a bad decision made by a group supposedly concerned with Covid-19. How disappointing it has been to see what the Midland SPCA has become. We had thought the organization served animal welfare. Clearly, this is no longer the case. There is no logic to support not opening the off-leash park that we and our dogs have been sorely missing for well over two months. Especially when all the other facilities have opened up. It is very sad and disappointing to learn what really guides the Society: for sure, it's not the animals.
After the virus hit, and before the park closing, there was no abuse of "rules". We'd love to see any evidence that dog owners were abusing the social distance laws. They weren't. And they won't. We're not teenagers, nor Trinity Bellwood Park Neanderthals: why, then, are we being treated like them? This is Midland, folks, with our measly population of 17,000 souls, not Toronto, with it’s millions.
On a number of occasions before the park's closing, I was the only person present with my two rescue pups. Other times, there was merely a handful of people there. And guess what: every one of us kept at least 2 metres apart, wore gloves and were responsible. None of us has the virus. This is not an unruly crowd. It is unfair that we should be treated like one. But then, as we've discovered, the Midland SPCA no longer cares about animals , or their owners, and that is tragic and sad. Who the hell knows what their focus is: likely insurance mitigation or something silly. In response to my emails pleading with them to re-open the park, they replied "There are no plans to re-open the park at this time." Gosh, how forthcoming of you! Thanks for nothing. But what can we expect from a group that parades themselves as being in favor of animal welfare, but whose acts clearly depict the opposite: they don't give a damn about animals!
There have been various veiled references to wanting to be safe for their staff. Swell, what a noble calling. But sorry folks, that just doesn't wash: the SPCA staff are never there when the public is. (I have been at this park literally hundreds of times, and there has never once been anyone there from the SPCA. Which is fine: why would there be?)
Now, I should tell you that there are a couple of other off-leash facilities we dog owners can use. They're open again, of course, because the groups behind them (the town and the Rotary) care about animals. Trouble is, both parks are small, flat and boring. As opposed to the park the SPCA refuses to open which is 8-10 acres, hilly, wooded, etc.: a paradise for dogs and their owners.
And here's the sad part: I used to support the SPCA financially (I've also bought 3 rescue dogs from them). But I will no longer donate to a charlatan aggregation who are clearly and an animal-disinterested group. And I'm not alone.