The man at the centre of the dog seizure controversy is fighting back in a whole new arena—he is trying to help oust Mayor Susan Fennell.
Rui Branco has been named campaign manager for Bruce Haines, who is running against Fennell in this fall’s municipal election.
For mayoralty candidate Haines, Branco represents the “grassroots citizens’ campaign” he says he is running, which is exactly what he was looking for in a campaign manager, he said.
“He clearly ran into a city that refused to accept the truth, tried to cover it up, and had no interest in justice,” Haines said. “It’s what I’ve been fighting for years... It’s brought two fighters together.”
Branco’s family owns Brittany, one of two dogs wrongly identified by the city as “pitbulls”, seized and held for 14 weeks before finally being released when it was determined by an independent veterinarian that they were not “pitbulls”.
“To date, Susan Fennell has refused to independently investigate this matter and instead participated in a campaign of disseminating inaccurate information to the public all the while wasting tens of thousands of the taxpayers’ dollars to facilitate a cover-up,” Haines charged.
Branco said Haines is “a true community fighter for justice,” and residents would be well-served by him as mayor.
“Transparency and accountability cannot be just empty words promised by our elected officials,” Branco said. “Bruce will ensure the city behaves in a fashion that restores the public’s faith if he is elected as the new mayor of Brampton.”Bruce Haines is fortunate to have Rui as his campaign manager.
Susan Fennell is in for the fight of her life. She best be getting her resume updated...
Fennell certainly isn't about fair and equal treatment under the law in Brampton. Rambo and Brittany were seized and ripped from their loving homes only to be held for 3 months. It cost Rui $20,000 and making a deal with the city agreeing to post a dangerous dog sign on their property even though neither dog were seized for any reason other than the Brampton AC thought they were "pitbulls". There are an awful lot of dog owners in Brampton. Approximately 1/2 of households own a dog.. That is a lot of votes!
Rambo's owner took him to the vet to find he had a broken rib that was not a recent injury. It was estimated by the vet the injury happened sometime while Rambo was being held by the city.
The city is refusing to launch an investigation.
Here is an editorial from the Brampton Guardian today.
The arrogance and lack of accountability shown by the City of Brampton throughout ‘doggiegate’ continued last week as city officials refused to answer questions about Rambo’s broken ribs.
Simply stating there is “no evidence” that the dog’s ribs were broken while he was in the care of the animal shelter just isn’t good enough. It’s an unacceptable response to a very serious allegation.
Because the truth is, it is possible that’s exactly where his ribs were broken. According to an expert, the injury happened at least two to four weeks before he was released by the city, and he was in the city’s shelter for 14 weeks.
There are questions.
Who, we ask, will address these questions? They need answering. Residents need to know that the city’s animal services department is operating fairly and transparently. Right now, there are no indications that is the case.
Apparently, the city has no interest in even trying to find out the answers, maybe because the bureaucrats fear the possibilities. Better to say nothing, and deny, deny, deny.
When questions are raised, and city officials take a “don’t say anything” approach, waiting for the storm to blow over, it does a disservice to the residents of Brampton and the city itself.
This whole episode is an embarrassment for this city, and the way it has been handled is shameful.
We expect more from our municipal government, and we demand an inquiry be held to shed some light on this very murky, questionable mess.