Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brig and a little friend Posted by Picasa
Today, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby presented a motion to Toronto City Council, with over 1500 signatures, to have a vote after the budget on the matter of Brig's Law. She's askig for a meeting with Justice Minister Vic Toews.

Also arranging a meeting with Toronto Police Chief William Blair to encourage him to get endorsements from all the police chiefs in Ontario and across Canada.

The sad part is, almost all changes to the Canadian criminal code happen after tragedies. Let's make this tragic and heartbreaking event a step to a better justice system. Let's not let Brig's death be forgotten, and let's try to ensure that something like this cold-blooded crime never ever happens again.

Don't just be sad, be angry. Get in touch with your local politicians and tell them how you feel. This is the only way change happens.

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 26, 2006

While signing petitions is very helpul, it is also CRUCIAL that people
also take a moment to write a letter to the only person that can
actually make a difference regarding our concerns about charges laid in
the death of Toronto Police Services horse, Brigadier. The matter
falls under the Criminal Code of Canada, within the jurisdiction of the
Department of Justice Canada, and a quick simple letter demanding better
protection for Law Enforcement Animals should be written to:

The Honourable Vic Toews
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

Phone: (613) 957-4222
TDD/TTY: (613) 992-4556
Fax: (613) 954-0811
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 24, 2006

please sign the petition

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On March 29 Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby will put forth a motion to Toronto City Council that the City of Toronto Council officially urge the Government of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to make intentional harm of a law enforcement animal an indictable offense. It is crucial that you call your local city councillor TODAY as this motion requires 2/3rds support to be introduced. Please look up your city councillor by simply entering your address or finding their name at and call them right now and tell them to SUPPORT THIS MOTION on MARCH 29, 2006. If there was nothing much you thought you could do in this matter, this is it, this IS the one most important thing you can do right now, just by picking up the phone or writing an email to your city councillor, and it WILL make a world of difference. Please don't put it off, do it now.

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 20, 2006

Brigadier's Law

I just found out that someone has started a website called where you can sign an online petition to get the law changed.

Please, please, please go and get involved.
 Posted by Picasa

Was down at the Mounted unit today and was touched by all the tributes and pieces of art that people have dropped off there. I didn't have time to take photos of all of them, but here are a few. Someone gave me this ceramic tile that they made. They made a larger one for the unit.

Please, if you see your work here, feel free to put your name in the comments so you get proper credit. Thanks.
 Posted by Picasa

I'm afraid the front lobby at the unit is full of reflections so I didn't get a great shot of this one, but P.C. Kris McCarthy, who was there the night Brig was killed, did this painting of him. Sorry for the terrible reflections in the glass. Posted by Picasa

I'm afraid I don't know the names of all the artists who worked on different tributes to Brig. This one came from an elementary school teacher I believe. Posted by Picasa

A gentleman, an artist, who heard about Brig made this lovely wood 3D plaque for the unit.

 Posted by Picasa

detail, layers of wood. Posted by Picasa

From Brig's photoshoot, a few days before he was killed.
It was only today that I sat down and opened the folder with all of his photos from that night. I had just grabbed the one "portrait" of him and never went back to it. I'll post a few more in the next little while. 

Someone sent me this piece:

Death of a horse shattering

Mar 6, 2006

A couple of years ago, when my younger brother Tim was training to be a part of the Metro Police Mounted Unit, I had an opportunity to go down to the stables and visit. It was quite wonderful. Wonderful to be around so many magnificent creatures and wonderful to see the change in my brother, to see him falling in love with horses.

I watched him grooming them and talking to them, stroking their velvety muzzles and affectionately patting their massive flanks and necks. I realized then how good this was for Tim. How good it would be for anyone. Animals, especially domesticated creatures, are precious gifts to humans. If we allow ourselves to be touched by them and connect with them, they reward us with life-changing riches.

My brother was then and is still a member of the ETF. The elite emergency task force. He is a sergeant and has the safety and care of many people as his responsibility. He daily faces situations and crises that I can barely write about from the safety of my home. So, it was with great joy that I watched him interacting with these gentle giants, saw the stress falling off of him, saw some of the armor dropping away. I know that, even though he has yet to officially join the mounted unit, but has stayed with the ETF where he is currently needed, the bond he created with those horses has never left him. He very often drops in to see them, to ride them, to talk to them, to re-connect.

And so it was that I felt my breath being coldly sucked away this past Saturday as I opened the paper to see the photo of several desperate officers draped over the body of a maimed and dying police horse, deliberately struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. The heartbreaking beauty of that photo has remained with me. It is the essence of love and nobility and sacrifice. Something told me to call Tim then and when he couldn't come to the phone I knew that what was just a terribly sad news story to me was a black hole for him.

The universe moves mountains sometimes to teach us hard lessons. That night, it had seen to it that Tim had been on duty and was called to the scene where his beloved Brigadier, his favourite, lay torn and bleeding on a cold, wet road.

He told me later, that as he approached the scene he only needed to see that golden tail to know who it was. He told me through a voice taut with emotion about the tears in the eyes of the other mounted officers there, of the gentleness and the tenderness with which they pled with Brigadier to lie still and of the horse's agonizing efforts to raise his once magnificent body to its feet.

And as the precious minutes passed and frantic radio calls were unable to bring a vet and any kind of relief, the universe pointed its unwavering finger and laid its enormous burden upon the weary shoulders of my brother and those other officers there who loved this animal so deeply. The call was made. The shotgun was loaded and my brother, my hero, stroked his friends muzzle and whispered to him one last time.

--- Neil Crone

Copyright © Metroland, Durham Region Media Group. - All rights reserved.

Death of a horse shattering - Mar 6, 2006

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Poster made by someone touched by Brigadier. Posted by Picasa
Written by one of the mounted cavalry officers who rode at Brig's memorial:
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

please, get angry.

I'm going to keep Brig's blog and Brig's memory alive by constantly updating you on what's happening about the fight to get the law changed in Canada to protect police officers who happen to be horses and dogs. 

Please, get angry. Get motivated. Call your local MP. Tell him how you feel. Let's have something positive come out of this tragedy. I know you can do it.

Get angry. In the words of the late Pierre Berton, regarding another battle I was involved in, (which was won) "Get mad as hell!"
Posted by Picasa

P.C. Vicki Montgomery on Brig. Posted by Picasa
March 10, 2006.

Lindsay Luby to Campaign for Tougher Laws to Protect Police Service Animals

Toronto City Hall - Gloria Lindsay Luby, Toronto City Councillor (Ward 4 - Etobicoke Centre) and former Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board today launched her campaign for tougher laws to protect police service animals. Despite the significant dangers they face, police service animals are not protected under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the eyes of the law, they are seen just as any other animal.

�We need laws that will specifically defend horses and dogs that belong to our police service. These service animals are heros on four legs and need to be protected and acknowledged for their courage and hard work.�

Along with 1,500 grieving Torontonians, Lindsay Luby attended Brigadier�s memorial at Ricoh Coliseum on Monday to pay her respects to an animal who gave his life to public service and protection for this City. The driver who hit Brigadier was not charged for harming the horse. Many officers have expressed frustration with the lack of laws to protect their service animals.

Councillor Lindsay Luby will be kicking off her campaign by writing letters to Federal and Provincial officials. She will also be presenting a motion to Council that she hopes will receive unanimous support. The Councillor will appear today on AM640 the Beat with Ross MacLeod and Craig Bromell to gain public support for the campaign.

�Not everyone realizes the risks and dangers these animals face. Taxpayer dollars pay to train them to assist our officers in protecting the public. The least the animals can expect is for us is to protect them.�


For further information please call:
Jim Burnett, Councillor Lindsay Luby�s Office
March 9, 2006.

The Hon. Vic Toews,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General,
284 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, Ontario. K1A 0H8

Dear Minister Toews:

I write this letter as the City of Toronto continues to grieve the loss of one of its police heros, Brigadier. Although Brigadier was a police service horse, 1,500 Torontonians attended his memorial to pay their respects for his bravery and service to public safety.

Brigadier was killed recklessly and deliberately by a driver in a hit and run. Although the driver was charged, he was not charged with intentionally hitting the horse because there are no Criminal Code provisions against it. On that day Toronto not only lost an animal dedicated to protecting its citizens, but also lost the significant amount of time and resources it invested to train this animal. If you had attended Brigadier�s memorial, you would also realize that police officers and the general public held this animal in special regard.

There are many examples across Canada where police service animals are intentionally killed by criminals without any legal consequence. Sections 444 and 445 of the Code make no mention of police service animals as you can read in the attached.

I am asking the Government of Canada to update and strengthen the Criminal Code to include the protection of police service animals against intentional harm. These animals should be recognized for the dangers and risks they face to serve and protect the public.

There are many jurisdictions outside Canada that offer protection for police service animals. I have attached Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX - Crimes - Chapter 2921 Offenses against Justice and Public Administration for your information. Many other states have passed similar legislation.

Thank you, Minister, for your time and attention to this matter. This matter affects service animals at all orders of government. I have copied this letter to other government officials and ask for their assistance and support. The public is looking to you for leadership to bring the laws into the 21st Century.

Yours very truly,

Gloria Lindsay Luby,
Toronto City Councillor,
Etobicoke Centre - Ward 4.


cc. The Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Hon. Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario
The Hon. Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
William Blair, Chief of Police, Toronto Police Services
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

There has been such an outpouring of love and concern and sympathy for poor Brig and it's heartening to the unit, I know, to reallise that so many people feel their pain. I found out today that the University of Guelph has started a memorial fund in Brigadier's name: You can click this link to read it for yourself.

Gifts made in memory of Brigadier will be directed toward The Brigadier Memorial Fund at the Ontario Veterinary College to support clinical care for horses at the Large Animal Clinic.

Thank you to everyone who sent messages for Brig. He won't be forgotten. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Down at the lake last summer, Brig would do anything asked of him. so many people have said.. "You're off the concrete now, Brig.."
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rest in Peace Brig

I put this blog together to celebrate the life of Brigadier, the brave Toronto Police horse who gave his life while on duty. So many people have asked to see more photos of him, I'm hoping these pics will help illustrate what a loss this is to our city and our hearts.

Getting ready to ride out this morning, for the tribute to Brigadier. Posted by Picasa

Brigadier's stall, with a rosewood urn for his ashes, that was graciously donated by someone who was touched by this tragedy. Carrots, apples and other treats have been filling the hallway for a week.  Posted by Picasa

The condolence book with hundreds of signatures and hundreds more emails. Posted by Picasa

Brigadier's tack, his saddle and bridle, blanket and breastplate were on display in the center of the arena, along with three red roses, one for each of his main riders. Posted by Picasa

Mounted officers from all over Canada and the United States came to pay their respects to Brigadier. Posted by Picasa

I just had to share this beautiful tribute written by P.C. Michael Stravakis, an officer at the Toronto Police Mounted Unit. I was keeping it all together pretty well, until he got up and spoke these words today. If you click the document you can see a larger version of it. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Tribute to Brigadier Posted by Picasa

I finally made it down to the barn today. I had to drop off some pictures and I thought maybe I should get some shots of the tributes that people are leaving at the unit. Brigadier's stall. On Monday, for the memorial service, it will be filled with flowers.  Posted by Picasa

A beautiful card put together by Ward McBurney, a friend of the mounted unit who emailed it to me this morning. Posted by Picasa

Condolence book Posted by Picasa