Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bad dog? Or nailed to the wall for acting normal? Dogs and dog owners feel the squeeze as commonplace dog behaviors lead to castrations, bans, euthanasia What's the deal? Who's calling the shots? One step forward, two steps back in Frostburg, MD--HSUS leads the charge against dogs Dog owners in the college town of Frostburg, Maryland allowed the Humane Society of the United States to write their new animal control ordinance proposal. Hey, at least it ain't breed specific. Right? Wrong. What Frostburg dog owners will learn soon enough. . . Surgical sterilization: HSUS's miracle remedy for all things doggy Frostburg dogs convicted of such basic of dog behaviors as cat chasing, digging up the neighbor's garden, or barking at other dogs from the safety of a fenced yard will get the knife. Those dogs will permanently exit the gene pool, in perfect conformity with HSUS President Wayne Pacelle's master plan to rid the world of domesticated animals. Not that the presence of a complete hormonal system has a documented relationship with such doggy misdemeanors as "damaging property not belonging to the dog's owner." Like slippers and garbage cans. HSUS's kinder, gentler way to animal extinction--one conviction at a time Heads up, owners of targeted breeds, because you and your dogs don't get to slip back into the shadows just because the Frostburg ordinances aren't breed specific. Check with the folks in Louisville, KY. Selective enforcement, in which "pit bulls" and their owners pay the highest possible price for misconduct excused and unprosecuted in other dogs is the norm. Overly broad language, allowing for subjective assessment of what happened and why--like Frostburg's new laws--just makes it easier. Look forward to "humane" breed specific programs aimed at removing gonads from certain dogs living in the homes of certain owners. Kentucky Humane wrote the book on profiling dog owners by zip code. North Little Rock: what? their shit don't stink ? North Little Rock's train wreck set of anti-dog ordinances includes BSL, limit laws, tethering restrictions and more. North Little Rock allows unwarranted searches of private residences, makes dog owners guilty of infractions without allowing them to confront their accusers, discriminates against some owners by giving them fewer property rights than others--and more, so much more. Dude, in North Little Rock they've got a law on how much dog crap can smell. Seriously. It shall be unlawful for any person keeping or harboring dogs to fail to keep the premises where such dogs are kept free from offensive odors to the extent that such odors are disturbing to any person residing within reasonable proximity of such premises. A diligent and systematic effort must be made to eliminate or fill any holes on the premises to avoid said holes from holding water, urine or feces. It shall be unlawful to allow premises where dogs are kept to become unclean by failing to diligently and systematically remove all animal waste from the premises every 72 hours. Mandated poop scooping for every home with a dog, every 72 hours. Whether you've got one Chihuahua on five acres, or seven St. Bernards on a city lot. Oh, and fill in those urine-collecting holes while you're at it, will ya?

"Still, I hope you won't give up barking entirely." The New Yorker magazine got it right. NYC's new nuisance noise laws make it tough for dogs to do what comes natural: bark.

Dog, better get your gun. Audible pet noises are restricted to 10 minutes at a time during the day in New York City, and five minutes at night. After that, hefty fines kick in. The Humane Society of New York is loving it, on the theory that a barking dog is an abused dog. So. . .are we looking at brand new criteria for evidence of cruelty to animals? Audible pet noises? Punishment fits the crime. Unless the "criminal" is your dog. Dogs, and dog owners, increasingly face extreme penalties for minor infractions. Sometimes violations are actually pre-crimes, like the HSUS-supplied ordinance in Frostburg. Its a crime if dogs look like they can get over a fence in Frostburg. Walls closing in for dogs and caring dog owners Understand: I'm not arguing that its okay for dogs to wander loose, dig up gardens, or bark all night. Not at all. But the punishment has to suit the "crime." Increasingly, we're faced with reactionary, anti-dog, anti-dog owners laws, and draconian sanctions for minor infractions. These laws are often sponsored by HSUS and like-minded "humane" organizations. They don't solve problems any more than breed specific laws do. They kill dogs by forcing people who can't comply to relinquish their dogs to shelters. Where the dog dies.

Or they force owners to needlessly sterilize their dogs.

Hey. One generation and out. It works for Wayne Pacelle. Ain't that a scary thought?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Screwing the Pooch. Again. Dog laws strip away civil rights Turn your head and cough, brother. Dog laws are the new back door to demolishing the civil rights and liberties that progressive Democrats love to get teary-eyed and maudlin about.

The icing on the cake? Liberal Dems are in it up to their dainty nostrils.

Is anybody awake there at the DNC?

Tacoma, Washington: Julie Anderson and her continuing war on caring pet owners Well, hell. Nobody ever claimed that Tacoma City Councilmember Julie "having an unaltered animal is no longer a right" Anderson was a quick learner. Julie-the-liberal-Dem was beaten back on last year's plan mandating the surgical sterilization of all Tacoma dogs and cats unless their owners have the money to buy a breeder's permit. Julie doesn't like pet owners When making it really difficult to own an intact dog or cat without plenty of money to pay for the privilege failed, Julie developed a stunning new plan to solve the myth burning issue of "pet overpopulation": let's take pets out of their homes and send them to shelters. That's right. Julie's newest, most modest proposal offers all kinds of artificial thresholds and limitation on pet ownership. All designed to make it harder to own dogs and cats. Julie Anderson apparently subscribes to PETA's "better off dead" theory: killing dogs and cats is morally superior to letting the "wrong" [limited income, young, politically incorrect] people continue to enjoy their company. For example: Three animal control violations in two years, and you can be stripped of your private property. Under the proposal, failure to scoop poop is a violation. Three violations in two years and all of your pets can be taken from you and sent to an underfunded shelter. Where the chances are pretty good that they will die. Under the current Tacoma proposal, kids can't license their pets. You have to be 18 years old to buy a dog license. Why? Julie, why don't you just cut to the chase and require competency in English, an income of $150,000 per year and maybe five acres of fenced woodlands and meadows? Huh? I hear you knocking. "Pit bulls" and no knock searchs We were all supposed to cheer when an appeals court in that most brilliant of blue of states, Massachusetts, found that the mere presence of a "pit bull" was insufficient to justify a no knock search warrant. Give me a break. The decision in Commonwealth v. Santiago leaves the door for no knock searchs based on dog ownership wide open. Shit, the court reasoned that any dog can be a weapon: While we agree with the Commonwealth that a pit bull (or a mutt) may, under the appropriate circumstances, pose a serious enough threat to an officer's safety to justify a no-knock warrant, no such circumstances were present here. There was no information in the affidavit that the defendant might actually use the pit bull as a weapon. Dogs are weapons. And they lurk in 45% of U. S. homes. Why am I not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling from the phrasing in that decision? Maybe its the suggestion that any dog could be used as a justification for a no knock search? Lemme tell ya, I was way happier when no knock searches were illegal and dogs weren't weapons. When dog-hating freaks like Democratic New York City Councilman and ex Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Peter Vallone Jr. rants on about "pit bulls" as "street weapons". . .is he paving the way for no knock search warrants and other civil rights violations against their owners? Vallone pretends he's got a real hard on about graffiti, baggy pants, and "pit bulls". So let's face it. Vallone thinks discriminating against urban youths is a winning political formula. Is race a factor in that Democrat's thinking? Oh, baby. You better believe it. I'm just wondering what its got to do with the Democratic Party. New Rochelle: keeping the undesirables O U T. How? With a dog law. When the entrenched Democratic Party-controlled New Rochelle City Council moved to require a $250 permit, per dog, per year, in order for non-residents to walk a dog in a public park what was the intended effect?

Keep those Bronx dogs and their melanin-rich owners the hell out of New Rochelle.

The City Council wanted to keep New Rochelle safe for the right kind of people. Their kind of people.

Get it straight. This is not about dogs. This is NOT about saving puppies, open spaces for off-leash dogs, or "pet overpopulation." Its not about "pit bulls" or whether microchips cause cancer. The issue is civil rights. Your civil rights, and mine. My Dog Votes. My dog only votes for dog-friendly candidates, and the preservation of civil rights and liberties. He's a sensible dog, and he has his priorities straight. I hope yours does, too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Blackwater, smackwater. "Humane societies" rule the out-of-control paramilitary forces scene. Private contractors prowl backyards, impound, "re-home" and kill pets. Who's watching the store when it comes to "humane law"? Rep. David Price (D-NC) is outraged over Blackwater's activities in Iraq and I'm glad he is. [T]he administration is still falling short of addressing [Price's] concerns that some contractors are able to commit criminal acts with little fear of penalty. . ."The secretary still needs to address the essential question of accountability: How will rogue individuals who commit criminal acts be brought to justice?" Excellent question, Congressman. But you don't need to go as far as Iraq to find private contractors working the public sector over. No place like home: animal law fascism on Main Street, USA Take the experience of upstate New York resident, author, and National Public Radio reporter Daniel Pinkwater. Pinkwater's unpleasant encounter with the employees of a private corporation charged with enforcement of state law began when he left two dogs in a car on a 45 degree day, sunroof open, while he went for a cup of coffee. Uniformed individuals employeed by the Dutchess County S. P. C. A. confronted Pinkwater, asserting that state law prohibits unattended dogs in cars, and even mandates dog houses for all dogs outside for longer than it takes them to pee. But New York State law does no such thing. Legends in their own minds

The Dutchess County SPCA website (which proudly notes that the DCSPCA is "chartered" by the ASPCA) insists that its agents, who are peace officers, enjoy the". . .the same powers as Police Officers."

Uuhhh, let's hope not.

Municipalities across the country routinely outsource animal cruelty law enforcement functions to private service providers. Confiscated animals may be "re-homed" or put down. Their owners may be charged with felonies.

The rules under which these service providers operate are often poorly delineated, and poorly understood--particularly by pet owners and private citizens suddenly confronted by someone who looks just like a cop.

In an on-going case in Putnam County, New York, it appears that an employee of a humane society leveraged her ability to seize and dispose of dogs by "blending" her dual functions as both a humane society president and county sheriff's department employee.

The scandal raises accusations of conflict of interest and serious professional impropriety.

When rogue contractors run amok: Is Agent Orange above the law? ASPCA employees, like those of other humane societies, are accountable to its board of directors. Not the public.

The ASPCA enforces animal cruelty laws (and not animal control ordinances) in the City of New York, and refers to their employees as "humane law enforcement agents". State law governing who may enforce animal cruelty laws recognizes no such category. What recourse do the victims of rogue ASPCA employees have? After veteran ASPCA "humane law enforcement" Agent de la Torre bullied his way into a home without a warrant and illegally seized animals there, what recourse did the pet owners have?

The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board has no jurisdiction.

NYC Police Department's Internal Affairs? Fuhgedaboutit. Is there a "Humane Law Enforcement Grievance Board" anywhere? Nope. Hollywood meets animal cruelty law enforcement: Animal Precinct

The ASPCA's cash cow, the Discovery Channel reality show "Animal Precinct", elevated its agents to the status of movie stars. The New York Times reports:

An officer who left the agency several years ago, John Lopez, said one enforcement problem was that efforts are sometimes tailored for the show, whose crews routinely accompany officers in the field. . .

Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. of Criminal Court ruled that the A.S.P.C.A. officer, John De La Torre, “in an effort to play the starring role,” improperly took the animals after going to the door with a camera crew shooting from the sidewalk. Judge Sciarrino immediately dismissed the charges against the defendants.

And that's it?

Apparently so. The ASPCA, animal rights extremism and federal RICO statutes Feld Entertainment, owner of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus, filed a RICO lawsuit in August naming the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and alleging a pattern of conspiracy and Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations, including bribery, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and mail fraud.

This lawsuit is a direct result of the animal rights extremists' agenda to deny families in the United States entertainment choices like the circus and their ongoing conspiracy to harm Feld Entertainment," stated Stephen Payne, a spokesperson for Feld Entertainment. "The 65-page complaint speaks for itself and documents the RICO violations that Feld Entertainment has alleged. Feld Entertainment looks forward to proving to a jury the magnitude and scope of the defendants' conduct. "Criminal acts, with little fear of penalty." Move over, Blackwater. In many parts of the country, privately employed personnel are searching homes and seizing pets and livestock. Go ahead and choose your state. Depending on where you live, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

What oversight of the activities of such private "humane law" contractors exists? What avenues (other than a high powered and expensive lawsuit) exist for grievances from the public? Transparency in government. No longer a value? Who's in charge of law enforcement policy, anyway? Public servants with direct accountability. . . or the Boards of Directors of private organizations?

Is this any way to run a democracy? I don't think so.