An example of how things can get outta hand…

… on the Interweb thingy…

An innocent post by a fellow Ottawa blogger – and pretty cool person – has caused a storm of sentences! A cacophony of curses! A maelström of meanness! And an onslaught of overreactions!

Seems Zoom (The Knitnut) put up an innocent post soliciting opinions about whether or not they should adopt a certain type of dog from a rescue organization. She said the following: We’re not crazy about the look of poodles. She’s not ugly, but she’s not drop-to-your-knees heart-meltingly cute either. I think we’re both feeling guilty about this. Is it terribly shallow of us to reject a sweet little dog on the basis of her looks?

Um. No. I don’t think so.

Well, some self-proclaimed do-gooder forwarded this on to the owner of the rescue group and the group immediately disqualified Zoom and her family from adopting the varmint… judging their suitability as pet-owners solely based on these couple of lines from a blog post. That’s it. Here’s how Zoom put it:

Yesterday’s blog post, Should we adopt this puppy? has had some completely unexpected and bizarre repercussions.

Someone forwarded the post to Kim Knapp, founder of Friendly Giants Dog Rescue, and she hated it. I don’t understand what her problem with it is, as she doesn’t seem to be able to articulate it, but she really hates the post.

Not only is she not allowing us to adopt the puppy in question, and barring us from adopting any dog from FGDR, but she claims to have contacted all the other dog rescues in the Ottawa area. She says we should not be allowed to adopt a dog. She says “The rescue community is a very tight-knit family and stuff like this travels like wildfire.”

What I want to know is, STUFF LIKE WHAT? What have we said that would make anyone think we’re unfit to adopt a dog?

She’s also threatening to sue me.

Personally – I don’t see the big deal. So what? You make a throwaway comment about the looks of a dog. Don’t we all make comments of the appearance of one thing or another? But it’s a dog, you say – looks shouldn’t matter. The hell it shouldn’t! I’m sorry people, but it is human nature to use attractiveness – whatever the criteria may be – as one element of decision-making! If you don’t recognise that then you are being incredibly naïve.

Anyways – lots of comments on the post. The rescue org is threatening lawsuits if Zoom does not take down the reference to the organization – which is total BS. There is nothing libelous in this post. In fact, FGDR posted several times on its FB site about this whole travesty using terms that COULD be considered actionable (since taken down after they were reported to the FB gurus). Eight-two comments on her blog later (she has had some primo traffic lately) and the morons at the FGDR have been trolling and have adopted different aliases (same IP address – newbies!) to post defamatory comments, and have claimed to have banned Zoom from the animal rescue community and managed to get much of the Ottawa blogosphere into a titter. All over an innocent blog post.

Two things to conclude.

  1. The peeps – as least some – who run that organization are extremely judgmental, thin-skinned, extremist and shallow.
  2. They are bullies, pure and simple. As one commenter pointed out: This is how the values of an entire country are being corrupted. Bullying is the pith and substance of the present government. From there it’s been seeping downwards, into the media and to the grassroots. What you’re experiencing is bullying, pure and simple, and I’m glad you’re standing up to it.

I’m not a dog person, and never will be and will never understand why some people are so attached to animals… but, Zoom, I hope you and your family can find a pet without ever, ever having to go through the bullshit that you have had to endure because of this incredibly cowardly bully.

Happy Christmas!

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10 Comments to “An example of how things can get outta hand…”

  1. I posted this over on that blog, but I’ll put it here too…

    I think Zoom should contact a lawyer. Based on what FGDR has posted on the blog comment thread, there may be ground for action. Given that:

    1. A representative of FGDR has admitted to contacting other adoption agencies to blacklist Zoom.
    2. There is evidence that a representative of FGDR has been sock-puppeting on the blog in order to damage Zoom’s reputation

    I think there is ample ground for a libel and slander suit against FGDR. There’s at least enough to ASK a lawyer about it. FGDR may not like the blogger, but that doesn’t give them the right to run around town talking shit to damage the blogger’s reputation.

    As a slight non-sequitur… Trashy, did you know that section 296 of the Criminal Code makes publishing a blasphemous libel punishable by up to 2 years in prison? Apparently, it’s a crime to lie about gods in Canada. Kinda makes you wonder why we still have churches.

    • trashee says:

      True dat. But…
      Section 296
      (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.

      And it was last brought before the court in the 1930’s…

      I did a post on Ireland’s move to strengthen and actually prosecute under theu version of the Act and I did some research… but clearly this is one of those Sections that should be expunged from the Code… unlikley to happen under the current gov.

      • But if lying about god is criminal…
        … and the test is a question of fact (i.e. you have to prove veracity),

        then you’d think it an easy matter to sue churches out of existence. Churches don’t preach opinion, they preach what they claim is the truth, but if they claim I’m a bad person and going to Hell because I don’t believe their bullshit, aren’t they blasphemously libelling me unless they can prove that I am a bad person AND Hell exists AND that I *will* go there unless I listen to them.

        Sometimes, I think there’s not enough lawyers to do the world justice.

  2. My wife and I have thought about adopting a dog over the last few years, but I have to admit the “process” that one has to go through is something I’ve always found a bit creepy.

    I understand that the adoption agencies really don’t want to send a dog somewhere it will be mistreated. That makes sense to me.

    But as best I can tell, there’s a VERY high level of bullshit involved. We’re talking about dogs and cats, not babies.

    Then I see something like this where a blog comment was blown into a skyscraper of crap. I feel sorry for Zoom.

    I will say this though… Zoom is learning an important lesson about the internet: Everything you post on the internet can and will be used against you, usually by morons, but against you nevertheless.

  3. Zoom says:

    Excellent summary, Trashy!

  4. Dave says:

    I too have been following this from afar and find it hard to believe that what Zoom wrote could have offended anyone so much. I personally would refuse to get a dog that drooled too much even though I really like a lot of the breeds prone to this.Bull Mastiffs, Mastiffs, Rottweiler etc. I also know enough about myself though that it would detract from my loving the dog. I hope the people at FGDR don’t find out about my shallowness and ban me form all rescue dogs in Ontario and threaten to sue. I would have thought that there might be more pressing issues for them to work on. That being said there are some people that put too much of themselves into their relationships with animals. Crazy cat people anyone?

    • mudmama says:

      Hey Dave, if you like rottweilers look at getting a female rottie or cross, our dog Marley has everything awesome about rotties in a small lab x body and she (and her female breed friends) don’t drool except in the car (rotties are notoriously carsick)

      Great summary Trashy. It’s a mistake to assume you can reason or appeal to bullies on an emotional level.

      • trashee says:

        Thanks!
        A couple of dog-crazy friends of mine have been following this and they just cannot believe what has happened here. What a shame because rescue orgs by and large do good work and are valuable members of the community.

    • trashee says:

      Uh-oh Dave: you should expect a process server on your doorstep any time now!
      Hope you’re doing well, bud and ya have a great Christmas!

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