Thursday, 26 March 2009

Another win in court

Remember when we got dragged of the bus and arrested by three pushy cops who were called by the State Transit Officers who didn't even know the regulations they are suppose to enforce?
Daily Telegraphy Story

State Transit pursued their prosecution of me even after the Transport Minister confirmed the regulations. What a WASTE of time and court resources. And they lost, their case was dismissed. Fools? Thugs in uniform? Illiterate? A transit authority that wants LESS passengers on their services in off-peak periods? Back to fools.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Our most recent day in court

Bias: a personal view that has the tendency to interfere with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced or objective. Bias is not something the general public expects from a judge - or do we?

What a fascinating day! With a full court room waiting for more than 30 minutes past the scheduled start time, a judge walking in late without so much as an apology, a judge with a 'good' reputation, but known to be 'grumpy', a judge with a strong Labor past, we were in for a day of surprises - and a good display of 'grumpy' and 'past'.

If you actually get to have your matter heard on the day it is scheduled, you're lucky (a bit like our hospitals perhaps?) So in that way we were lucky. First up was a team of 4 lawyers and barristers getting their matter adjourned until tomorrow. Took a few minutes and probably cost the clients $5000 combined. As a criminal matter, those clients legal costs may well be paid by the tax-payer!

What would YOU do with $5000? These guys charge for a full day in court, even if the entire day was spent waiting. Can we charge our doctors for the hours we wait?

We've been waiting for this day for nearly two years; since our legal assembly on Long Reef Beach back in May 2007. Without getting technical, our system of government invites and respects protests and criticism (think the Opposition). Even without a bill-of-rights, this expression is long established in case law and even statute. The Right of Peaceful Assembly by R.M. Hope QC.

Barking Mad conducts our assemblies legally - they are 'authorised' by law which means with permission of the commissioner of police. This allows us to express an opinion peacefully, without menace. However, as we've said and continue to say, Warringah has been successfully menacing with us for quite some time.

If an authorised public assembly is held in the way it was approved by the Commissioner, a person is not guilty of any offence relating to participating in an unlawful assembly . . .if done for the purpose of participation. Reference.

PS: 14-April-09 The cost-effectiveness of being a criminal. Our District Court appeal was dismissed so we're off, two years after having a dog on a beach, to the next court up.

And, what everyone has asked about this day in court: It was Judge Finnane who showed us an amazing display of judicial intelligence (or some other term that makes it ok for judges to show what 'normal people' would call bias).

After judgment and before the sentencing, for the purpose of leniency, I was explaining my extensive environmental contributions in the fields of organic waste, composting, corporate environmental management and computer recycling . But I was interrupted with the rhetorical question: HOW CAN YOU BE FOR DOGS IF YOU ARE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST - DOGS DEFECATE, DOGS BITE. And I said, we defecate too, every day if it's a good day! (And I'm not sure how you eat your steak, but I like to bite mine). We await the transcript. We point you the reader to all about dog poo...

Read the continuing story and our very exciting next action on the members web.

Friday, 20 March 2009

New poster and membership form

Download our brochure and membership form and let your friends know that we CAN create pet-friendly communities.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Not Happy, Dog

Well, here is Pema two days after surgery and after her first full day at home in recovery. I'm adjusting to being nurse. I had the privilege of spending time outside under the stars and as the full moon was rising over the ocean at 3am today, thanks to the toilet needs of dog. It was really quite pleasant and I'm sure 6 weeks of on-lead will perfect her toileting on command. There has to be a positive in all this somewhere?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Dog off Duty - Pema

Only last week I was finally able to articulate the crux of the work of Barking Mad. I refer to the precise argument that each and every matter dealing with access for pet owners can be distilled to, which is:
It's easier to make bold, unsupported, unrelated claims and follow those with policy decisions than it is to use a scientific method which delivers a logical and relative outcome.
I arrived at this crux while researching the pets on public transport briefing document that argues for a policy just like the one in London and continues our bible-bashing thread of 'regulate for societal benefit, not for intolerant people who complain'.

Today I learned that the origin of the word crux is from 1635-45 Latin meaning cross - as used in executions. At the same time, I learned that cruciate has the exact same origin.

And I learned the word cruciate today because Pema has been hopping around on three legs since having a jubilant play on the beach with a two other dogs on Friday morning. Ouch, she said...and stopped playing. Ouch, I said worrying simultaneously about her health and our finances. And we hobbled back to the car with me carrying her some of the way. Today our vet diagnosed that Pema has torn her cruciate ligament. The anti-inflammatory medication has made her much brighter as she hops around; and I have to choose what type of surgery she will be having (and find a way to pay for it). Pema is a working dog with a lot of jobs - looking after me, weekly visits to a medical ward in a public hospital, visits to a aged care hostel and a dementia unit, our mascot, the sook at Parliament House and more. Exactly one year ago, after being in the Mardi Gras parade, I got rid of the pram I used to put Pema in. (The point being you could take a dog anywhere if it was in a pram and not obvious!) It looks like we'll need a pram again for her 4-10 week post-op rehab, all going well. It's frightening, and the irony that she can get surgery this week and a public hospital patient may well have to wait months, is not lost on us.

So there you have it - the cross we bear.

Please make sure to contribute to our pets in advertising campaign.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Sponsor Wanted: Dogs in Advertising

It's really annoying to see how companies who can afford advertising use dogs to sell their product or service. It's annoying because these dogs are often in places where 'no dogs are allowed.' It's annoying because a false impression is created, such as a new housing development in Randwick Council showing an off-leash dog playing on the adjoining beach. Even the TV series Home and Away has dogs on the beach where us normal folks are told not to The last Federal election had an off-leash dog on the cover of the election guide, in 2008 and 2009 dogs have featured in Reg Mombassa's classic images created for Australia Day.

So, help us compile this list. We're going to target these organisations for sponsorship and to advertise honestly!
  1. Tropical Pineapples No kidding, click to view the TV ad.
  2. XXXX Beer - off leash dog on beach, near pub. View.
  3. More Beer - view
  4. And More Beer - dogs in the pub.
  5. A VW CAR - view
  6. Softdrink - view
  7. Electricity Supply - view
  8. A shipping company.
  9. Paint. And another one from Hungary.
  10. Toilet Paper.
  11. Warringah Council web site - dog off leash walking on track in an area where rangers regulatrily issue fines.
  12. Warringah council - had a dog on beach photo on the web until the day before Barking Mad's assembly at Curl Curl Beach.
  13. Channel 7: Home & Away - dog on beach in Pittwater Council.
  14. Still more Beer (USA)
  15. Yes, more Beer, very funny.
  16. Another Car
  17. A vacuum! (USA)
  18. Insurance (Queensland), also funny. Thanks for sending this one to us!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Stupid Dog Laws - yet another example

Transport with pets in Australia:

Dogs and other pets are allowed on metro trains in Melbourne, but not on buses.

Dogs are allowed on buses in NSW, but the majority of bus drivers don’t know their own regulations.

In Queensland, the Regulations permit a passenger to bring an animal on a bus with the driver’s permission. However Translink decided that only approved assistance animals are allowed.

Queensland claims that pets present a risk – but they haven’t done a risk analysis!

Although dogs are allowed on buses and ferries in NSW, they are not allowed on trains.

Yet they are allowed on trains if the dog provides ‘therapeutic benefit to its owner or another person’. Most dogs provide this.

RailCorp goes one better, requiring an annual pass for an Assistance Dog with medical proof of a disability (of the person), and proof of toileting on command (the dog, we hope.)
  • RailCorp further outdo themselves by prohibiting an animal to drink water on the train OR at the station. Logically it follows, that dog is not allowed to wee on railway property either.
It gets better – dogs, actually animals, are not allowed onto railway land. A level crossing is railway land. Don't let your sheep or cattle cross the tracks. Even disused tracks like the Cooma-Bombala line are still railway land.

Sydney Monorail and Metro Light Rail allow dogs, cat, birds or other animals and they sign-post it.

Most private ferries and punts in NSW welcome pets, with operators stating they are usually better behaved then children.

Barking Mad has correspondence from the NSW Transport Minister and the Director General stating pets are permitted at the discretion of the driver/operator. This discretion is a rare display of common sense that considers the cleanliness and control of the animal. Similar considerations for letting people on board are taken all the time!

Monday, 2 March 2009


Sometimes it takes a while to find your friends or to find out who your friends really are. We've found quite a friend - called Manimalis!

Manimalis believes that all people have the right to be close to animals in any stage of life, as long as the animal is properly cared for and does not disturb those who do not wish to be close to animals.

They are a Scandinavian organisation working to increase awareness of companion animals' positive effects. "Manimalis strives to create a society that is planned and designed with the specific needs and desires of pet owners in mind". Sounds quite a bit like the work of Barking Mad to create safe and pet-friendly communities.

It was founded in 1989 (the year Barking Mad's proprietor (that's me) met the shores of Australia having crossed the Pacific by yacht to participate in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race). The name Manimalis, is an abbreviation of Man and Animal in Society.

Manimalis is sponsoring the People and Animals: For Life conference in Stockholm 2010. This is the 12th conference for IAHAIO. I.A.WHO? That's the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. Barking Mad needs to be with I.A.Who....