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August 06, 2006



For crying out loud. Why doesn't she just move a few feet out past the town limit. I think, although she has an extremly bad situation, she is acting like a sook or spoiled brat. I am very offended, after visiting her "Florenceville Sucks" site, that she would put down a whole town based on her problems with a few people and THE LAW. Imagine her wanting the world to boycott Mc Cain merely because she can't just walk into a town and get her way. I agree she she has a good cause but she is handling it the wrong way. By the way....No hard fealings from my freinds and family who live in the area. We forgive her despite her rude and ignorant attitude towards us and other town's people.


I wish I had been involved when this debate was a hotter topic, but this came to mind... I believe there is short-sightedness in the recommended McCain boycott...Do you really think the boycott and resulting loss of business would cause Fred to make "a phone call", and would that call really save Shire? To me, that's promoting discrimination by using someone's position of power to influence another.

Let's say Florenceville did become a ghost town, like one writer hoped. What about all the financial pressure that will cause on the community, many of whom are dog owners (let alone parents, children, seniors, etc.)? Where is the concern we are showing for the welfare of those dogs when their owners cannot afford to care for them? If everyone would just work together we really could make the world a better place. Yes, that statement may seem naive, but only because of the lack of hope that perpetuates by the bashing that goes on with sites like this.

EDITOR"S NOTE - Angela - This is my soapbox, and bsahing anti-dog policies, politicians and readers is what I do. This piece has nothing to do wiht other dogs and making the workd a better place. BTW - McCain's had a chance to make the world a better place - and failed. And if you were so concerned about homeless dogs, what about the dog named Shire left HOMELESS by McCains and FLorenceville? Who are you anyway - another McCain's PR person still miffed that this post is still ranking (and rankling) high in Google with the seacr of McCains?

Penny Reames

The reason to go after the company is because the company IS the town. The town grew up around the company and most of the town fathers are McCains executives. What McCains executives say determines the town policies.


Well Peter... with the questions you asked.... suffice it to say... the deWeerds did go to N.B. in Oct and was searching for a home... they checked with the towns that was closest to where Mr. deWeerd would be working... that was Harland and Florenceville. The when they were looking for their home... the deWeerds asked both town clerks in each place... Harland told them there was a ban on Rottweillers... so they stopped looking there.... they were told by Florenceville that there WAS NO ROTTY BAN... twice to the real estate agent was told and twice ( once in person ) Mr. deWeerd was told himself. This was BEFORE they moved... They had the tags before they moved there.... 10 days before they moved in .... the AC said they sent a letter... they had not recieved it as they were not there yet. There is alot that can not be spoken about due to pending court cases.... suffice it to say... the one at fault here IS THE CLERK in the town. They have experience tremendous hardship, from personal well being to finacial. Everyday wondering if this is the day the happy to kill any dog for any reason ( oh wait , he don't need one )AC is comming AGAIN to shoot the dog. This family has don't nothing wrong, re-selling their home that they just spent what money they had left to redo it and now has it up for sale again at a huge loss. Re-homing Shire for her safety a few times, not being able to give her the exerise she needs to help with the healing she needed because of surgeries and everything else. You don't know the whole story and right now it isn't available to everyone because as I have stated before. You do not have the right to judge this family and what they are doing to save a member of their family who has done nothing wrong... the only thing wrong in this mayors eyes is Shire was born a Rottweiler. Well this ROTTWEILER and family has done more for people then this town, clerk, mayor has ever done for another human. If this family was told the truth... they WOULD NOT have moved there... just like they never moved to Hartland. For someone to say... sell their home and just move... it isn't that easy and won't happen that quick. Does any of this make sense to you?

Peter Wishart

Thanks, but I think Gail will be writing in soon to set the record straight and to tell me that I don't know the facts. LOL.


Try Google - there's lots of info out there :)

Peter Wishart

No caveat, I am not involved at all. I live far away, so I do not have access to information that might be circling in NB. I am being told that I do not know the facts, so I am asking for the facts.


I personally wouldn't be giving out detailed information. I suspect this person is involved, let them do their own research. What's available on the web should be sufficient for someone with a casual interest in the case. Others can do their own digging, no?

Peter Wishart

Gail, I totally agree with you that I do not know the facts in this unfortunate situation. Please, by all means, point out anything inaccurate that I wrote. In the meantime, with your knowledge of the situation perhaps you would be willing to provide some facts so I may make a more informed opinion on who is responsible for this mess.
The date that the Deweerd's moved to New Brunswick? The date of the purchase of the house in Florenceville? The date(s) that the Deweerd's inquired about BSL to the village of Florenceville council? The date(s) that the Deweerd's inquired about BSL with the village of Florenceville clerk? The date of the dog license with the village?

If you would so kind to provide these five dates then I would be in a much better position to make my opinion. Someone is responsible for this mess, and I thought it to be either the real estate agent or the village in my last message. Thanks for the help on this. Also, please update as to the status of Shire...the reprieve ended on the 25th, and I am wondering where that stands now. Thanks again.


LOL I see what you mean Dianne. I don't mind a good debate... but if they don't know what they are talking about.... they should get facts first.


*looks around* Interesting. Ask someone if they're a troll, and they disappear.


The real estate agency DID check with the Florenceville council BEFORE the deWeerd's did and was told the same thing. The deWeerds themselves checked with the same council twice and was told the same thing. They got the licence BEFORE they moved there. Which CLEARLY stated ROTTWEILER. So Peter please know your facts before you type. After all avenues were exhausted by trying to contact the mayor and anyone else in his office (they were told NOT to talk to anyone) letters written, petitions done and the list goes on.... the mayor still will not talk. Repeated attempts were made by the deWeerds and the DLCC. Guess what...... NOTHING. Going after McCain's compared to the real estate company is like finding 10 cents to finding a billion dollars and being able to keep it.Aslo.... being the mayor where a big company with such a big revenue comming into your town...wouldn't you at least talk to them if they called? They have done everything within the law. The DLCC are the ones who started about the boycott with McCains.... the deWeerds ( loving their dog ) will naturally do anything at this point to protect their FAMILY. Shire has never been a danger to anyone and has never done anything wrong. So Peter... before you start spouting.... know the facts. Listen to the radio programs, read the papers, watch the news footage. Their lives are turned upside down because of a stupid law that just don't work. It wasn't because of not doing a check etc. It was because humans are not doing their jobs. The deWeerds checked out the laws in Hartland... they were told there was a ban.... notice they didn't move there. Wonder why? Would it be because they were told the truth?


I am quite familiar with this case.

In my opinion, the town is at fault. Period. They issued a licence which is a form of contract. They must honour it until expiry at the very least.

It is likely that the real estate agent did check with the clerk and got the same information received by the DeWeerds, ie, that they could licence their dog in beautiful downtown Potatoville.

I don't hold McCain's directly responsible but I'm sure a phone call could have sorted this out to everyone's satisfaction. It would have been the decent thing to do.

I don't buy anything McCain's makes anyway, so my boycott wouldn't have much effect.

It's too bad that all these little Tin Pot Towns can get away with discrimination against people based on their appearance and not their actions. It's even worse that it is happening in North America.

These days will be looked back upon with the same revulsion we now hold for other periods in history when the innocent were persecuted by those unfit to hold public office.

Shame on all of them.


Peter, we've got to stop meeting like this. People are starting to talk.
From your detail orientation and certain phrases, Peter, I'd guess you're either a lawyer or a bureaucrat..although Peter Wishart doesn't show up in the Canadian Law List. Which is it? Are you a troll for McCains, or the Village? *LOL*

Peter Wishart

Dianne, it is necessary when providing a qoute is to get it accurate. You omitted the word 'potential'. Please reread what I wrote. In addition, you are disagreeing with something that I never agreed to. I was trying to provide some perspective on why the province of NB considered BSL. I never said that I agreed with the reasoning. Please keep to the situation at hand, and if I have said something inaccurate, then please point it out.
You asked what I would do:
From what has been said, the real estate agent gave this family incorrect information. The first recourse of legal action is against the agent and the company of the agent. They should be brought to task for giving out misinformation to their client. Instead, the DLCC (with full support of Jane as stated on her website) goes after a company that is not responsible for this situation. You want a company? Why not a boycott of the real estate company? This is the company that is responsible. Why not? Because McCains is an easy, big target. It is not terribly sexy to go after a real estate company. Dianne, it is your perogative to go after McCains but from what I see it is all about real estate.
The second recourse is against the village if the dog license was bought prior to the purchase (not the move in) of the house. It would mean that the family did their due diligence by inquiring directly with village personnel prior to the purchase of the house (instead of just relying on a real estate agent). This could be easily proven out with documents, and if this is the case, then this ought to prove that the village was irresponsible. If the license was bought after the house purchase, then it would not prove diligence on behalf of the family.
In the meantime with pending legal action and Jane's intent on leaving (as posted on her website), I would hope that the village would commit to giving a reprieve to the family.


hmmm, kill the innocent and let rapists and murders go free........sure, makes sense I guess.


Thank you Diane..... even though Peter is entitled to his would be better served if he knew facts instead of hearsay. Everyone has likes and dislikes which is fine. Some people think that the family dog is " just a dog" and if it isn't convinent... just get rid of it. Alot of people ( more and more everyday ) love their pet enough that it is FAMILY and will do everything to protect it. I understand and respect the deWeerds and anyone else willing to do anything and everything to protect their family...this includes ALL members. To bad some people don't.

Dianne Singer

Something caught my eye in Mr. Wishert's post..."sensitive to dangerous breeds". I do not agree with this statement; breeds don't bite, dogs do. An owner is responsible for his or her dog's actions. An irresponsible or criminal owner who creates a dangerous dog through abuse, neglect or sick training should be severely penalized, regardless of the breed of dog owned. A responsible dog owner with an unoffending dog, regardless of breed, should not be criminalized.

If memory serves, New Brunswick's BSL bill did not fail. It was withdrawn after public hearings where the provincial government listened to expert testimony proving BSL is ineffective, unworkable and fiscally irresponsible. Unfortunately, and probably because of pressure from minor communities that aren't able or willing to enforce sensible dog legislation, NB left a loophole allowing municipalities to pass BSL.

Another comment disturbs me..."I do not care if they take a loss on their house or not...". Mr. Wishert, I envy you if you are in a position that allows you to be free of financial cares, but the great majority of people are subject to financial concerns. Most people cannot buy another residence without a guaranteed sale of their current residence, usually the biggest purchase of their lives.

Dianne Singer

Thank you, Gail. I know the deWeerds as well, and they did everything reasonable, law abiding people would do. They got a dog license from the town, for heaven's sake.

Mr. Wishert, if the town clerk tells you there is no breed specific legislation and sells you a dog license with your dog's breed on it, would you then not be horribly surprised to have an officer show up at your door three days after you move in, to seize and kill your dog?

If the town's mayor and council were to behave ethically and honourably, they would admit the mistake, honour Shire's dog license, renew it annually when the owners pay the annual fee, and allow Shire to live out her days with her family. They should also employ a town clerk who makes it his or her responsibility to actually know the town's by-laws. However, the concepts of ethics and honour seem to be lost on the Florenceville government.

Because of this incident - the local government's bad behaviour and McCains' refusal to assist - it will be a cold day in Florenceville before I buy a McCains or McCains-related product. Nor will I spend one cent of my tourism budget in Florenceville.


As for someone who knows this family personally along with being in the know 1st hand to all the crap this family is going through.... I do know they DID do all they could to find out the laws. They ARE trying to sell their home at a big loss and also are trying to cooperate with the town as much as possible without loosing Shire. When the town officals don't know their own is anyone else suppose to know it. Where some people get their FALSE INFO from is beyond me. This family is going through hell everyday. All money donated is going to Shire's lawyer to fight for her life. This family is an honest one and it devestating to them to ask for monatary help. The deWeerds didn't start the boycott on McCain's... the DLCC did. This was long after trying to talk to the mayor and other avenues which was ignored. This was even after trying to talk to McCain's themselves. McCain's sent only one or 2 of us a letter that ISN'T a generic letter. So instead of blaming this family of not doing homework and not JUST selling their home and moving...there is more to the story. Their home IS for sale and has been for months. They just can't get up and move when everything is tied up because of the move at the start. This family is doing everything they can the legal way and needs help from people who at least do try to understand. They are not asking for a windfall, only help to save a member of their family who has helped special needs people her whole life and who has never done anything wrong. Unless being a rotty is wrong. The end all be all is that this family was lied to, given a dog licease ( stating breed before moving there ) and then the town officals admit their blunder and won't help to solve it only to issue a death warrant for Shire. This family was told correctly about the other town with the rotty ban and knew not to move there. They were not irresposible, the town was. There are 2 rotty's currantly living in Florenceville ( grandfathered) and allowed to live there peacefully. I myself have been fighting for this gorgous dog ( whom I have met along with the family) and will continue to do so. I ask everyone to help in any way they can. If you don't agree, that is your right. It is also this family's right to live peacefully in it's entirety as a whole as they started.

Peter Wishart

In responding to Penny I have to ask, how do you really know that this family did all their homework and asked all of the right questions? Not everything is as it appears. My understanding is that Jane and her family did not move directly from Ontario to Florenceville (as indicated on this website), but they took up residence in a town called Woodstock for 1 to 2 years prior to moving to Florenceville. The towns are a mere 24 miles apart from one another. They already lived in the area. Perhaps a more thorough investigation into the town's bylaw could have easily been done? This story is misleading. If the realtor did make the error that has been alleged, then yes I agree with Penny, her/his license ought to be revoked. In addition, compensation from the real estate company should occur. I also agree that this is about them finding a place to live. Jane, however, has made it about condeming an entire town, as well as a boycot of a company. As a result, among words such as hate and horrid on this website, we have references to Nazi Germany from one of your readers. I vote for Shire in getting this issue resolved, but this website is reprehensible.

Penny Reames

This is in response to Peter Wishart's post of Aug 24th. I think you are correct in principle, but these people did their homework and asked all the right questions. They made a life changing decision based on the information they were given, and the information was wrong. The people that gave them that bad information should be held responsible. I have been a Realtor, and in this country I could lose my license for what this agent did, and so could the real estate company she works for. The real estate company should buy the house from them and let them move on, like they want to. At this point it is not a matter of taking a loss on the house. It is about being able to get another place to live.
Also, Shire is a trained service dog, and could be a tremendous asset to hurting people in need. This is a responsible, giving family and they have been wronged. They need to be put back in the condition they were in before they were led astray and get back to their "pre McCain" lives.

Peter Wishart

The province of New Brunswick (Florenceville is located within)has been and continues to be sensitive to potential dangerous breeds because there have been a number of fatal and non-fatal attacks on children. A bill was put forward in 2004 to encompass the entire province with BSL. The bill failed, however, some communities chose to adopt some or all of its contents due to the dog attacks. As one of your previous posts indicated Florenceville is a very small town of 762. The population is small and so is the land mass. However, there are several communities in the area in which to choose to reside. Another alternative is to live outside the town limits. Most people in and around that small town do reside outside of the limits. Housing is not plentiful in this rural area, but it is available. Not with standing whether or not BSL is morally correct, this is a problem with a simple answer. The Deweerd's could simply move. I do not care if they take a loss on their house or not...but if Shire truly means something to them then perhaps get a(nother) real estate agent. By all means, continue to fight the village and it's bylaw, but to blame the company and the real estate agent and the rest of the town for the mess that they got themselves into is childish. Before I donate to a cause I want to know where my money is going. I hope everyone feels similar thoughts about their own money.

Penny Reames

I have done some more research on McCain, only to find out that Florenceville is a very small community of less than 800-mostly McCain executives.

"Florenceville residents, the McCains expanded their potato exporting - the major exporting crop of the area, to other countries, and in 1957, this enterprising family constructed a frozen potato processing plant in Florenceville East advancing economic and residential growth.

In 1966, Florenceville and Florenceville East were officially amalgamated into one municipality knows as "The Village of Florenceville" and is administered by a mayor, four councilors and a clerk. This small community of 762 citizens lays claim to housing the international headquarters for the multi-million dollar McCain Foods Incorporation, which today supplies over one third of the world with french fries. Due to this statistic, in 1998, Florenceville was given the trademark, "French Fry Capital of The World"."

So much for trying to distance the company from the townspeople.

Penny Reames

I wrote to McCains; Your failure to support Shire and her family will result in my failure to support McCains products. Until you restore this family to the condition they were in before McCains came into their lives, I will be busy spreading the word to boycott your products to every pet lover I can reach.
Here is their response; Thank you for submitting your message to, the international corporate website of McCain Foods Limited. We appreciate you taking the time to write to us!

Here is our response:

Thank you for your email. In response to your message, please find below a statement from our Canadian operation.

Thank you for taking the time to write us regarding your concerns about the Village of Florenceville, the Rottweiler named Shire and your wish for a McCain Foods Canada intervention.

As I hope you can appreciate, McCain Foods Canada views this as public policy issue to be settled between the village council of Florenceville and one of its citizens.

The village council has been duly elected by the people of Florenceville and therefore should represent the majority interest of its constituents.

We are hopeful that an outcome will be found that works for all interested parties.


McCain Foods Canada

Don't you just love it when they make your point for you?! May this be the beginning of the end for McCains. I hope they are the major employer in Florenceville.

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