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« New Jersey infant dies from bite | Main | Ignoring Societal Problems »

September 09, 2008

Comments

spotted dog farm

All very good points. But I wonder whether you're correct in noting that the animal controls "didn't do anything about the dogs." Is that fact or inference? Because I can tell you that around here, citizens constantly demand enforcement of leash laws, but usually that means that they want their neighbor's dogs and stray dogs to go away. The hysteria you speak of has infected public consciousness so much that every stray dog becomes a "vicious pit." Most of the time, it isn't either one.

Around here, at least, AC's do enforce leash laws, but they (we) still want citizens to reclaim their pets and keep them properly confined. We don't want to take people's pets and kill them, as much as complainants would like us to.

Personally, no matter how many times someone's dogs get loose and are picked up by AC, I'd still rather give them back than kill them. No matter how hard AC's work to enforce the laws, it WILL happen that dogs will get loose and hurt people and other animals. And if reforming AC means providing support and education when possible in lieu of enforcement (per No Kill Advocacy etc.), it will happen MORE. And the more stray dogs that are picked up and dangerous dogs classified, the higher the euth. rates. Just sayin'.

So if we can be real and get past the polemic... surely you realize that AC's must balance the individual rights of pet owners and animals with the need to protect communities.

Caveat

My view of enforcement of leash laws has nothing to do with seizing and killing off-lead dogs.

It would involve a warning followed by a sliding scale of fines for non-compliance, which creates a file of problem owners - who will be a tiny minority.

Once word gets out that it doesn't pay to let your dogs run off lead, fail to clean up after them, etc, the bar gets raised and problem owners drop off. Responsible owners support this kind of enforcement, by the way.

That's the way it usually works in successful places here in Canada. A few tickets have a way of smartening people up.

Of course, bylaws can't be enforced if licensing compliance is low because you can't identify owners, so when you have laws such as 'breed' (LOL) bans, mandatory sterilization, etc, you don't get high compliance with licensing or other forms of ID such as chipping.

spotted dog farm

as the problem owners drop off, those dogs "drop off," too.

i'm not meaning to catalyze the issue or suggest non-enforcement, just noting that the dogs pay the very real consequence in that many people do not "smarten up."

Caveat

In some cases, but usually once the bar is raised and a culture of responsibility takes shape, people just accept it as the 'new normal'. I mean, who would ever have thought of picking up dog poop when I was a kid or even a young adult? Now, it's completely routine.

I don't envision an alternative that would be supported by dog owners and non-dog owners alike. And let's face it, you have to start somewhere. You should check out Calgary, they've had some remarkable success in this area.

It's not an overnight thing.

Caveat

Calgary posts its stats online, check them out:

http://content.calgary.ca/CCA/City+Hall/Business+Units/Animal+and+Bylaw+Services/Animal+Services/Statistics/Animal+Statistics.htm

I had this up awhile ago but it's buried now, I think I'll move it up because it's well worth a look. Bill is always happy to help if people want to find out how to improve their local situation.

Re: dogs paying the price, they always do no matter what. If allowed to run loose they can be shot by farmers (legally here in Ontario, which I get), poisoned, hit by cars, injured in other ways.

The deal is, you're supposed to be protecting your dog, not vice versa. People need to learn that and hold on to it.

Becky

This is a really good piece, Brent. I wish you would try getting something like this published in the Star, as Opinion, so you aren't limited to word numbers.

There is a lot in this piece for the GUP (general uninformed public) to consider and realize.

MichelleD

If AC would quit seizing and killing for minor infractions and make an effort to get dogs back into their homes, shelter will go down and space will be freed up to intake dogs/cats from TRUELY problem owners and get them adopted - NOT killed. If AC spends their time on serious issues - not seizing dogs out of their backyards because they have balls, the problem with dangerous animals will go down. If AC focuses on working WITH the public instead of against them, the public (rescues/volunteers) will help supplement, if not fully staff the adoption center.

The focus is trending heavily towards death and punishment...seizing and killing non-dangerous dogs works AGAINST public safety - I'm not seeing much balance in our two major cities.

Lindsay

The police around here do absolutely nothing about animal calls. That could mean they are actually spending their time doing what they think is more important or it could mean so many of their calls related to dogs are bogus.

Either way, banning a breed is not going to solve the issue, like you said. Untrained or unpredictable dogs running loose are going to cause problems no matter what. Even a well-trained dog will sometimes do things it shouldn't do like chase after a cat. You just never know with dogs.

linskykitty

KCMO AC can't or won't do anything about loose dogs...A few months ago, we were driving home and saw two dogs with collars but no tags trotting along side by side near our house. They didn't look like strays, they looked like a couple of dogs that had probably escaped from a yard. AC pulled up, I thought to get the dogs. The dogs kept heading south toward 39th st, and the AC officer was still sitting in his truck. We pulled up and asked if he was going to do anything about the dogs--I was concerned they were already far from their homes and getting further away with every passing moment. He said he wasn't here for them, he was here to respond to a call at the house accross the street. I didn't see any dog outside, or hear any noise inside, surly he could have taken a minute to pick up these dogs before he went to this call that didn't seem urgent...We followed the dogs south of 39th on Warwick, I got out and approached; they were extremely friendly, but I had a passenger in my backseat who was afraid of dogs so I couldn't pick them up myself. I petted them for awhile and they took off to do more exploring. I looked down the street and the AC guy was still parked there, and these dogs were now long gone. It was just one of multiple failures on the part of AC that I had dealt with and was infuriated about.

Brent

LK, it's probably fortunate for the dogs they didn't end up picked up by AC. They could have been tagged and microchipped and STILL risked being euthanized at the shelter.

linskykitty

Which is too bad, because when a family loses a dog, it seems that they would have a better chance of being reunited with it if it were dropped off or picked up by a shelter or some public facility. When my sister's dog ran away, she finally found it after diligently checking at all the shelters, every day. But an individual who found the dog held on to it for a couple days, not looking for the owner, and was nowhere near her house where she would have put up flyers. The guy turned it into Indy AC, and my sister lives in Raytown. If AC was proactive with pet owners and the community, it should be a place where lost dogs can safely stay until the owners find the dog.

printed paper cups

such a shame when animals pay the proce for the foolishness of humans. Thanks for the post.

attacks

in reality we the human are more abusive than animals especially dog, sometimes we commit mistakes and hurt our animals for our own simple arrogance.

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