27 May 2006

Register Canines (and Handguns), Says the Left

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Walter Olson (at Overlawyered) links Steve Bodio on simply astonishing new forms of pet ownership regulation adopted, at the behest of a sinister new alliance of NIMBY liberals and Animal Rights activist groups.

In the case of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Steve Bodio quotes the following membership alert received from a dog group he belongs to:

City Councilor Sally Mayer is again proposing sweeping changes that would drastically limit fanciers’ ability to breed and own dogs, while doing little to address the city’s problems with irresponsible ownership. The proposal is currently set for a vote at the May 1st city council meeting. Fanciers are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held in the Council Chambers on the basement level of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center building at One Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque. The meeting beings at 5pm.

“The proposal, known as the HEART ordinance (Humane and Ethical Animal Regulations and Treatment), contains draconian regulations, oppressive fees, and allows the government unfettered access to animal owner’s homes and personal information. Worse, the measure was put forth based on “findings” that were established without any studies being conducted and without any input from responsible dog owners and breeders.

“The measure’s restrictive provisions include:

* An annual $150 permit for each unaltered dog or cat over six months old.

* A $150 litter permit, which expires six months after the date of issue. Breeders would be limited to four litters per year.

* A limit of four dogs and two cats per household (or six cats) unless residents purchase a $50 multiple companion animal site permit.

* Allows one adjoining property owner to petition for the revocation of a multiple companion animal site permit. (I will come back to this one)

* Prohibits anyone with an intact animal permit from having a multiple companion animal site permit. [WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??]

* Requirements that owners microchip or tattoo their dogs and cats.

* Prohibiting crating of dogs outdoors and tethering for more than 1 hour per day.

* Mandates owners provide “environmental enrichment” defined as “toys and other safe products.that will stimulate mental, physical and grooming activities.”

* Requires any animal that is picked up by animal control to be spayed/neutered, even if the owner has an intact animal permit and immediately reclaims the animal.

“In applying for any permit, dog owners would be forced to comply with a long list of provisions, including submitting to property and record-keeping inspections.

“The proposal would also put severe restrictions on animal service businesses such as dog groomers and doggie daycares. Of interest to all dog owners, these businesses would be required to provide a list of all their clients and their contact information to the city. Generally the government must get a subpoena from a judge for client lists and company records.

“It is critical that local fanciers immediately contact Albuquerque’s city officials and convey their strong opposition to this ordinance. Area purebred dog owners, including members of the Rio Grande Kennel Club, are working to oppose the ordinance and to support fair and reasonable animal control legislation that does not penalize responsible owners and breeders. However, more help is urgently needed!

“What You Can Do:
AKC encourages dog owners to contact their city council member and express your opposition. To find out who represents you on the Albuquerque City Council tp://www.cabq.gov/council/ccmaps.html. It is extremely important that council members hear from their constituents!

“For more information, contact:

Patte Klecan
Rio Grande Kennel Club”

IT PASSED.

As Steve reports in the same posting, he had already run into the same thing in Bozeman, Montana.

And Los Angeles, he also reports in another posting, has passed a draconian dog ordinance:

Los Angeles County has passed an ordinance that requires all dogs to be sterilized and microchipped, effective June 3, 2006. It applies only to those dogs kept in unincorporated areas, but cities such as Los Angeles are being urged to enact similar requirements. Should the cities follow suit, 10 million people will be soon be so regulated, more than the population in *forty-four* states. Dogs may be exempt from this requirement if they are registered with an approved registry and are either titled, entered in an approved competition annually, or owned by an individual belonging to a dog club with *enforced breeding restrictions*. Animal rightists are currently fighting to further tighten these exemptions’ details. Required intact licenses for breedable dogs cost $60 per year; altered ones cost $20. Litters must be reported to the county, as must every puppy buyer’s identity. Additional requirements and penalties of this sterilize and track program may be found at http://animalcontrol.co.la.ca.us/html/Main1.htm. LA County says it’s hiring additional animal control officers to go door to door to enforce this anti-breeder ordinance.

And Chicago is proposing the same thing, says the Sun-Times:

Owners of Chicago’s estimated 600,000 dogs would be required to microchip their pets, limit tethering, pay stiff fines for letting them roam free and choose between neutering and sharply higher license fees, under a sweeping crackdown proposed by an influential alderman.

Grooming, boarding and doggie day-care facilities would be licensed and subject to strict operating standards under the legislative package championed by License Committee Chairman Eugene Schulter (47th).

A lifelong dog lover whose deceased Irish terriers Kerry and Conner were “part of the family,” Schulter said he’s driven by a desire to “create a safer and better environment” for Chicago’s dogs.

This alliance between the Aninal Rights extremist groups and conventional liberal politicians to microchip, sterilize and regulate out of existence the family dog is cause for real alarm. What if, for reasons of your own, you wanted to breed your mixed breed animal? What if you raise dogs, as Steve Bodio does, from an exotic foreign breed, not yet recognized by the AKC?

Steve Bodio identified one Sportsman’s Group trying to fight them on this: the Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance.

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