So I was watching something on my local channel about some proposed changes to the City bylaws regarding pets/owners. One proposal was to fine people $350 if they were out walking their dogs but did not have a 'doody bag' with them to clean up after their animal.
Sorry but I find that ridiculous. I've stepped in dog poo. Just last week I went out to shovel my front walk and found a GIANT pile of steaming fresh crap laying there, I hate it. I rode my bike through a particularly unsavoury pile of it in the fall (UGH!) but I still would not expect people to be fined for not carrying a BAG with them. What if they did have one but already used it, threw it out, and were heading home? My dog is 13.5 years old and has a very distinct potty pattern. I only bring 2 bags with me for that very reason and I throw them out as soon as I see a garbage can. Now what - am I supposed to carry two bags of poo with me in my son's stroller, or make my older kids carry it around, so we can prove to a passing bylaw officer that we came prepared? I think that is ludicrous. And it is not going to stop people from letting their dogs crap on the ground. They could just shove a bag in their pocket and keep it there forever, and let their dog doodie all over the place. Meanwhile, some poor unsuspecting person could get nailed with a $350 fine even if their dog has never poo'd in the park, or if they have always cleaned up after their pet. I think it's insane.
They are also deciding about putting up the license fee - but doesn't that ONLY hurt the people who actual follow that bylaw and register their pets every year or so? It certainly does not get money from people who do not license their animals.
And they are talking of a cut-off of dogs or cats, I believe setting the limit at 3. What if a person currently has 4 pets, well taken care of, licensed, registered, all their shots, clean up after them etc ---- do they have to give one of their beloved pets away if this bylaw gets approved??? I just don't understand that.
Recently a home was found to have over 100 animals inside - is that why they are discussing this bylaw? So they are going to punish people who have 4 or 5 pets? I don't get it.
I have a big piece of cat poo on my back step, I noticed earlier. I don't have a cat. So it's one of my neighbour's pets most likely. I hate that too. I don't let my dog wander around and crap on people's property - but I still don't feel like supporting bylaw changes like this. I much more prefer to let my dog out when I see a cat in our yard ;) That works well too but it appears that the cold weather my old ancient dog doesn't like is letting the cats back in. But whatever - I live near other people so I can expect a little bit of interference. I live in a city - how can I expect that every single other person around her act perfectly? I don't... I wish they did lol, but I am not going to wander around all day making sure no one's pet poops on my lawn. I just clean it up and think 'one day I will move OUT of the city'. I would not want some old guy walking his 15 yr old dog in the park to end up with a $350 fine for not carrying a stupid BAGGIE.
I almost always run out of bags before I get home - so am I supposed to start carrying 5? 10?
The SPCA had a representative at this council meeting expressing their concern because they felt it would cause them to get buried under more animals - especially the limit on pets.
There was also a 'concerned citizen' there who said something very interesting. She said that this is slowly chopping away at the Rights of residents here. That this started out as a vicious dog bylaw but is GROWING into including all pet owners. Gee doesn't that sound familiar?
Give them an inch, and they will take a mile? You can apply this concept to just about any program out there. Just change the key words from pets/baggies to drivers/licenses, children/nutrition, smokers/smoking bans and the story is the same. It always starts out as something that seems Good for the General Public and then expands step by step until you can't even remember how the hell you got to this point.
Dogs poop - let's fine people who's animals are seen taking a dump... okay.... but then they don't catch many (I rarely see the bylaw officer around my park right now) so let's expand it to Fine People for not carrying around a little plastic baggie. Surely that will gross some more cash!
Let's stop smokers from bothering fellow restaurant goers .... okay.... well that wasn't quite good enough so let's take a few more steps until suddenly no one can smoke in any establishment, not even outside on the patio and while we're at it, let's not allow ciggies to be shown to the public so we will cover them up. Maybe people will forget they can't smoke if they can't see the packages.
Kids are not eating well enough. Let's start teaching them about the Canada Food Guide in schools. Let's increase their activity... okay... that's not good enough so let's just do a secret vote in the Board Room and whap the schools with the new rule that NOTHING that is not on the Canada Food Guide list can be served in the schools, or at school parties, and the teacher's can't pack it in their lunches either. Next prediction from me - parents will be asked not to send anything 'not approved' cos that already happens at my daycare. It will spread to schools eventually, watch this space.
Drivers - must have your license with you at all times now. Or you could get fined. Even if we just happen to stop you for no reason, if you cannot produce your license immediately, you will get a ticket. Who cares if you just jumped in your car to grab the kids from school, who cares if you have already been paying your license and registration fees faithfully for the past 40 years - you don't have it with you today so you have to pay up. Now.
And if you walk down to the corner with your old blind diabetic dog just to give her some exercise for a few minutes, but you forget her poo bag - we will fine you $350. I don't care that she didn't actually even crunch on someone's lawn, we are still going to fine you.
Oh and I should add what our fab mayor said at the end.... he talked about how a boy in Saskatchewan was killed recently . He said 'that dog belonged to somebody'.
First of all I heard it was a pack of wild dogs, but regardless - what does a young boy tragically losing his life have to do with a $350 fine for lacking a poo-bag or increased license fees have to do with it? Honestly Norm... sorry but that was the silliest thing I have heard yet.
What I also noticed is that the couple of older aldermen are more open to listening to things like this and tend to table the ideas for further thought or outright say there are several things WRONG - but the younger ones tend to just let it all happen.