Not to be out done, Westchester County, New York, under County Executive Andrew Spano, took the initiative to establish its very own online dangerous dog registry to publicize the home addresses of dog owners. Westchester Cty. is busy pressuring local municipalities in the county to contribute home addresses to its public listing.Even though state law doesn't require them to do it. So far, they've snared one dog for the Westchester registry. Sex offender, or dog owner. . .what's the diff to vigilantes? In his piece titled "Virginia Bureaucracy is Foaming at the Mouth over Dogs", Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher wonders if there's much of a connection between people whose dogs bite other dogs and sex offenders. But is a registry the right tool for the government to wield against this particular social ill? A sex offenders' registry shines light on something that people try to keep secret -- their disgusting and dangerous criminal records. The problem with dangerous dogs is not finding out where they are, but getting something done about them, and the registry isn't of much help there. Fisher is right, of course. But treating dog owners like sex offenders could have far more serious repercussions. Bad dog, bad dog! Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? In the opinion of John LaFond, a retired University of Missouri law professor and leading expert on sex offenders and the U. S. penal system, online registries are an open invitation to vigilantism but there is no evidence to indicate that they enhance public safety. Vigilantes have used online registries to hunt down, and murder, individuals whose information appeared on them. The killings have provoked debate and criticism, particularly in "progressive" circles. States like Idaho have added a warning to their registry's home page, warning against the use of the information to criminally harass or intimidate. Murder, arson and assault get a free ride. Not owning a dog. So tell me: Is this any way to treat the owners of a dog that bit a cat? Does anyone out there really think its reasonable to treat dog owners like rapists? Why do politicians think its okay to treat our private information like a public commodity? Do drunk drivers have a greater right to privacy than dog owners? How does that work? Nationally, dog owners represent a healthy chunk of the electorate--an estimated 43% of residences include a dog, and in many places that percentage is much, much higher. Why are we permitting
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
The people of the City of New York are mad."We never anticipated anything like this," Councilman Peter Vallone told the Daily News last week. "This is someone from out of state. It's not his fault the animal was loose." Oh, puh-leeze. Something like 40 million people visit the Big Apple each year. Do ya think Pete Georgoutsos is the first one to lose a dog, Councilman? Do you think this was the first time a dog was impounded through no fault of the owner?
Then there's the even lamer reasoning from MissionOrangeWorld--ASPCA just makes shit up "Lisa Weisberg, a senior vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, said she doesn't believe the law applies to Spartacus. "If the person (owner) is just passing through the city for whatever reason, the spay-neutering requirement does not apply," she said. Uhhh, Lisa? The law doesn't say that. There is no "whatever" clause. The Whatever Legal Theory But let me get this straight. . .
According to the ASPCA's deeply orange rhetoric, its imperative--VITAL-- to neuter each and every loose dog because loose dogs are a public safety threat, and they spawn bazillions of puppy-dogs each year.
[Note that in the few hours he was loose, Spartacus didn't harm anyone. In fact, since the--by all reports very friendly--dog was hit with five tranquilizer darts before being brought to the shelter, I'm thinking he didn't have much of an opportunity for romance, either.]
Is "just passing through for whatever reason" a legal concept? Do residents of the City of New York somehow have fewer property rights than people who are "just passing through for whatever reason"?
Maybe Jerseyites have superior legal status for a reason, Ms. Weisberg?
Did Lisa Weisberg make sure that "just passing through" concept is included in the bill that the ASPCA is right this very minute promoting in Albany? NYS Assembly Bill 8032 mandates that every single dog or cat released by a "city" shelter must be surgically sterilized. There's no "whatever" clause. In fact, I don't even see the exceptions for so-called show dogs in the current New York City local law.
Footloose in the Big Apple
I agree that dogs shouldn't run loose on the mean streets of New York, by the way. They might get run over by an ASPCA paddywagon. Heck, they might even . . . wind up on Animal Planet and get blasted by another judge.
And that wouldn't be cool.
Or would it?
Life in a "free" country
Bill O'Reilly said it best: we're supposed to be living in a free country. Dog owners cannot be forced to neuter their dogs because the dog was picked up stray or impounded. Those dogs, and all their little pieces and parts, belong to their owners. New Jersey's Pete Georgoustos is a perfect example of how ridiculous, how useless, and how unfair the NYC law is. Councilman Vallone's Long Hot Summer But since all politics is local, we'll be checking back on NYC Councilman Peter Vallone this fall. Already an infamous pit bull hater and profiler of pit bull owners, how's he going to defend the assault on the personal property of all New Yorkers -- and every once in a while, a Jersey boy -- that he championed, anyway? See ya in September, Councilman Vallone. You're gonna have a little more 'splaining to do.