The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, ordered the Department of Agriculture to suspend its plan to identify and document every animal in the U.S. The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was to have beenfully implemented by June 9, 2009. It is now on hold indefinitely. The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit. Opponents believe it would lead to more government regulation and less personal freedom. NAIS was never legitimized by Congress. USDA just proceeded to shove it down an unwilling publics throat. Several state cattlemens associations have also accused USDA of registering premises without the consent of the owners, helping themselves to states agriculture databases and harassing young 4-H kids. These groups have formally requested leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to stop NAIS and hold oversight hearings on USDAs movements. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed suit July 14, 2008, inthe same federal district court (with the same judge presiding that suspended NAIS in June) to stop USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to cease and desist any further implementation of NAIS. The suit also charges USDA has never published NAIS rules, a violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act, has never performed an Environmental Impact Statement or Assessment and is in violation of religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Increasingly, federal and state bureaucracies are blatantly trying toforce unpalatable programs on citizens without bothering to follow the laws. This victory should be a reminder to the higher-ups that this is a nation of citizens, not subjects.
STATES - IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Mongomery - (8/6/08) - With one of the nation's weakest laws against cockfighting - which in Alabama has a maximum punishment of a $50 fine - the state attorney general is pushing to strengthen the law with prison sentences. Attorney General Troy King said he and the Humane Society of the United States will encourage the Legislature in February to make the law more severe. "Animal fighting is a horribly cruel practice and anyone who participates in it should pay a price for their crime," King said at a news conference Wednesday at the Statehouse.
Mindy Gilbert, the society's Alabama director, said the society rates Alabama's cockfighting law as the nation's weakest because the $50 fine is the maximum punishment. That fine hasn't been increased since the law was passed in 1896. Despite that, at least Alabama has such a law - the practice is still legal in Louisiana, which will become the last state in the country to outlaw cockfighting on Aug. 15. It has been illegal since last year to gamble on cockfights in Louisiana.
King said he would like to make the cockfighting law similar to Alabama's dogfighting law, which provides up to 10 years in prison for people who organize and attend dogfights. Gilbert said the society ranks that law as one of the nation's third toughest. During the news conference, the society announced that it will provide $5,000 rewards for information that leads to arrests and convictions for illegal animal fighting.
Scottsboro - (8/7/08) - City Attorney Steve Kennamer said at Scottsboro's city council work session Monday (8/4/08) that he has drafted up a proposal to make changes in the current animal ordinance. The council is expected to vote on the proposal at next week's regular meeting. Kennamer said he drafted the proposal after meeting with council members Josephine Smith and Matthew Hodges and Police Chief Ralph Dawe, a committee formed by Council President Keith Smith back in May. Josephine Smith first brought it to the council's attention that several residents were complaining about dogs running wild in neighborhoods. A dog in a commercial area or hunting will not be required to be on a leash as long as it remains under verbal control, Kennamer said. Kennamer said another change in the ordinance will require pet owners to obtain a tag or license for their pets so many days after the pet has had its rabies shots."There are minor changes throughout the ordinance," Kennamer added.
Pima County - (8/6/08) - An investigation is underway after three dogs died in the hands of Pima County Animal Care. Animal Control was responding to a residence on the East Side Saturday, after getting calls for dogs on the loose. Once at the home, animal control decided to take five dogs into custody, citing welfare concerns. After talking to the owner at the scene, they decided to give the dogs back. When animal control employees opened a van, to let three of the dogs out, they were dead. It's a day Cynthia Matthews and her family won't soon forget.
Three of her dogs, including a foster dog and two of her own, died in a Pima Animal Care Van. Pima Animal Care officials say they've turned the investigation over to the Tucson Police Department.
Tucson - (8/5/08) - Humane Society Seminar - The Humane Society of Southern Arizona will hold a seminar to inform residents about state and local laws regarding animals on Friday, September 26. “Animal Law For Laypeople” will educate pet owners about little-known laws, explain how a case is investigated, tried and prosecuted, and explain how pets can be protected from harm. According to the Humane Society, lack of knowledge often leads to a violation of a law. Examples include the fact that it’s illegal to chain a dog in your backyard in Tucson and Pima County, and that you are required to remove animal waste from your backyard every 24 hours. The seminar costs $10 with pre-registration required, and will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Companions for Life Center at 3456 East Kleindale Road. More information is available at the link.
Greenwood - (8/5/08) - The Greenwood City Council tabled indefinitely a controversial proposed animal control ordinance Monday, choosing instead to schedule a study meeting on the issue for next week.The study meeting will be 6 p.m. Aug. 11 in City Hall, Mayor Kenneth Edwards said. It will include the Council, City Attorney Mike Hamby, two area veterinarians and possibly a woman who was mauled by a pit bull last week on Denver Street, Edwards said. To an audience member who asked if it would be a public meeting, the mayor said yes. Meeting attendance Monday was standing room only, with attendees spilling out of the council chamber into the lobby area. Opposition at the meeting included dismay at the draft-proposed limit of four dogs and/or cats per household; disagreement with the proposed livestock prohibitions within city limits; the banning only of pit bull breeds and dismay at the detailed requirements for pet care.Some news coverage took the process out of context, Edwards insisted.“We don’t care how many animals you have. If the Humane Society doesn’t care, we don’t care. We don’t care if you have chickens in your yard,” Edwards said.Edwards said the city would start over from scratch at the study meeting.
Little Rock - (8/5/08) - Support is strong among legislators for making cruelty against animals a felony in Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe said Friday. Beebe made the comment on his monthly call-in radio program "As the Governor" on the Arkansas Radio Network. A caller to the program urged Beebe to "start a fire" under legislators to get a felony animal cruelty law passed in 2009. Two bills that would have made some acts against animals a felony failed in the Legislature in 2007."I'm not sure it's going to be necessary this time to build a fire under them," Beebe said. "I think the pressure is mounting to the point that there is a greater degree of support in the Legislature."Beebe did not site a specific measure he would support, but he predicted that some type of animal cruelty legislation will become law. State Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel have said they are working separately on animal cruelty measures for next year's legislative session.
Malvern - (8/11/08) - A public hearing was held Aug. 11 at the City Hall Courtroom to discuss the proposed banning of pit bulldogs from the Malvern city limits. The hearing was called to order by Mayor Steve Northcutt. Concerned citizens had five minutes to discuss the ordinance.After the citizens were all allowed to speak, a short question and answer session was allowed for the Aldermen. Alderman C.E. West asked the Pit Bull owners if they were willing to take out $100,000 libility insurance on their Pit Bulls. The response from the owners present was that once again, there was the issue of targeting Pit Bull dogs and not all vicious dogs, such as Rottweilers and Doberman Pinchers. Gay Birch stated, “We can pass all the laws we want but they need to be enforced. We need to enforce the ones that we already have and maybe we won’t need the new one.” After everyone had a chance to speak, Northcutt allowed each speaker the option to speak for one additional minute. Northcutt stated that he would appoint a committee consisting of the Council members and of volunteers to address this issue.
AB1634 -The new AB 1634, which makes spayed and neutered pets the status quo, with no exceptions, no due process and no protection from harassing neighbors or vindictive civil servants, was amended yesterday without addressing the state’s Department of Finance objections that the increase in shelter population and shelter killing forced spay-neuter laws bring would cost the state money. If you’re a California resident, call and fax your state Senator today to tell him or her that you don’t want more pets to die, and especially not on your tab. Forced spay-neuter regulations have increased shelter populations and shelter killings everywhere they’ve been tried, as people who can’t afford either spay-neuter or fines dump their animals and get new ones from people who ignore the law or are outside the jurisdiction — or are exempted, as in the case of ”licensed breeders” — a/k/a puppy mills — and their Internet or retail outlets. Instead, we get more legislation that kills more pets, at tax payer expense. And, as a bonus, we lay the groundwork for the destruction of our heritage breeds and allow the government one more area of control over our lives, by making them the decision-makers for what should be an informed decision by a pet-owner after a discussion with a veterinarian.
Call. Fax. This is bad public policy. Speak up and stop it. 8/18/08 (Monday) UPDATE: Today's Senate Floor Session is in recess until 2pm. The Democrats are currently in caucus. At the opening of today's session, Sen. Perata informed us that because there are a number of members that are delayed in transit, measures at this time would be "on call." Prior to the recess, the Senate Floor Session was on File Item #328 followed by three Senate Resolutions (taken up by Wyland). AB1634 is File Item #340 today.
AB2999 - (8/5/08) -A bill sponsored by Marin Assemblyman Jared Huffman and now signed into law aims to put a halt to roadkill dumping grounds such as those discovered in Sausalito and other parts of the Bay Area last fall. In violation of the California Department of Transportation's own policy, some road crew members disposed of carcasses in remote sites apparently to save time rather than drive to a rendering plant or an animal shelter. Under AB 2999 - which was signed into law last week by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - Caltrans must:
- Develop procedures for the removal and disposal of animal carcasses.
- Notify owners of domestic animals that are killed on the roadway.
- Dispose of animal carcasses more than 150 feet away from waterways or drainage ways.
- Keep a record of disposal sites.
"We are pleased with this," said Huffman, D-San Rafael, chairman of the Assembly's Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. "It mandates the proper handling and prevents the dumping we saw." In Sausalito, a site near Rodeo Avenue that was used for deer that had been hit and killed on Highway 101 was discovered last October. About 20 to 25 carcasses were at the site in various states of decay. The practice raised anger from Huffman and others who termed the sites rogue "pet cemeteries" and voiced concern about the pathogens and disease that can come from rotting carcasses dumped near creeks or other waterways. Caltrans had guidelines for dealing with dead animals, but Huffman said they were ignored for years in some instances.
Kern County - (8/15/08) - Kern County is struggling to deal with people who keep large numbers of animals on their rural county land. Debate about solutions will start Wednesday (8/20/08) at a meeting of the Kern County Animal Control Commission. Without constant diligence and care, animals living in rescue shelters, kennels and breeding operations can suffer from illness, injury, starvation and death. County Resource Management Director David Price III said the county’s relaxed enforcement stance isn’t cutting it. Price has drafted an ordinance that would require operators of commercial and non-commercial “animal facilities” to obtain a permit and submit to annual inspections. Permit holders would be exempt from individual dog licensing. But it would give animal control officers the right to inspect the operation once a year — or if there is a complaint of improper behavior against the operator. “Who knows how many more are out there, that’s what keeps me awake at night,” Price said. The ordinance also outlines fees for redeeming animals from Kern County Animal Control. The fees are sharply higher if the animals have not been spayed or neutered. Commissioners will struggle with the issues in the new ordinance, revise it and send it to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
Manteca - (8/15/08) - The Manteca City Council may no longer assume pit bull owners will act responsible. That's why on Monday (8/18/08) they are entertaining a municipal ordinance that would make spaying and neutering of pit bull breeds mandatory in the City of Manteca with one exception - for breeding under strict conditions that require a city issued permit. The result is an exhaustive eight-page ordinance that lays out how the city can demand the neutering and spaying of pit bulls that are within the city limits. California law prohibits local ordinances from placing a ban on specific breeds. It does, though, allow breeds to be regulated including requiring them to be spayed and neutered. Highlights include:
San Francisco - (8/8/08) - San Francisco supervisors will decide next month whether to turn the city's zoo into a facility for rescued animals, a move that could cost the public park its accreditation, after a supervisors' committee decided today to send the matter to the full board.
The action to move the measure forward was praised by animal-welfare advocates who have long pushed for more oversight of the San Francisco Zoo. But zoo officials warned that the legislation would stymie their fundraising abilities and all but kill the institution. Supervisor Chris Daly proposed the measure six months after a tiger escaped from its compound at the zoo Dec. 25. Daly and Supervisor Tom Ammiano voted to move the measure forward, without recommendation, while Supervisor Bevan Dufty opposed the move. The measure would make animal welfare a priority at the zoo, and require that any future acquisitions be rescued animals, including those that were abused or those confiscated by law enforcement authorities after being illegally owned or imported. It also would bar the zoo from acquiring new animals "unless the needs of all animals currently at the zoo have been met," and would create an oversight body that reports to the Board of Supervisors. Some breeding programs for endangered animals would be allowed to continue. Thursday's action after a three-hour debate came three weeks after another contentious hearing that ended with commitments from both sides - zoo officials and city leaders, who oppose the legislation, and advocates who helped draft the measure - to work toward a compromise. On Thursday, Deniz Bolbol of In Defense of Animals, an animal rights group, called the committee's vote "a good first step." Zoo officials and many volunteers have been outspoken in their opposition to the legislation, pointing out that 100 of the facility's more than 700 animals were rescued from various situations and warning that passage of the measure could cause the zoo to lose its accreditation from the powerful Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Santa Barbara - (8/7/08) - Spay/Neuter Panel Planned - Finding volunteers to sit on a Spay/Neuter Task Force in Santa Barbara has hit a slight snag, but soon will be implemented.
“It was the Gap fire,” said William Boyer, County Communications Director. The board of supervisors issued a call for volunteers to serve on a newly created Spay/Neuter Task Force, with an original deadline of July 25. The Gap Fire interfered with the deadline, so now the supervisors are just beginning to evaluate the applicants, Boyer said. A decision on who will be appointed is expected sometime in September, Boyer said. The 11-member task force will help address the problem of pet overpopulation. Those selected will be empanelled for three to five months and will meet on a biweekly basis. Members will meet in various parts of the county, and will also tour animal shelters. Its mission is to draft an ordinance on pet overpopulation and present it to the supervisors for consideration.
Benton - (8/9/08) - Benton is proposing the city adopt the same language as in the county ordinance regarding differential licensing.
Brevard County - (8/9/08) - Cats are getting spayed and neutered by the dozen in Brevard County. A Space Coast group, pushing Brevard Animal Services to make its shelters no-kill, said this is the first step. This fall, volunteers will take their no-kill proposal to the county.
Ft. Pierce - (8/5/08) - Commissioners will move forward with a proposal that cracks down on pet owners who don't spay or neuter their animals. The commission will hear from the public at a meeting in September. Pet owners in city limits currently pay $15 a year for a license if their animal is not spayed or neutered. That fee would increase to $75 if the plan is approved.
Owners whose pets are spayed or neutered would pay $10 annually or a one time $25 fee that's good for the lifetime of the animal. St. Lucie County adopted the tougher licensing laws last year. Commissioners hope the fees will encourage pet owners to get their animals spayed or neutered and reduce the population of unwanted pets. Money raised from the fees funds the free spaying and neutering services offered by the St. Lucie County Humane Society. UPDATE: (8/9/08) -Last week, Fort Pierce Mayor Bob Benton, who has been advocating the licensing program in the city for the past year, got the go-ahead to conduct a public hearing on the program, probably in September. Critics — and there likely will be many — will claim the licensing program is just another attempt by the city to raise revenue following the passage of Amendment 1 earlier this year. However, discussion began long before passage of that tax reduction measure. It's just more government intrusion in personal decisions, some critics may claim. But, those personal decisions by irresponsible pet owners are costing other taxpayers a lot of money. As Fort Pierce moves toward adoption of the new program, Port St. Lucie should, also, to make the program truly countywide.
Land O'Lakes - (8/8/08) - Land O'Lakes, Florida - Raymond Griggs got his companion Ginger, a Shar-Pei Hound, after a heart attack eight years ago. But Griggs admits Ginger accidentally got out recently and barked at a man with a dog on the sidewalk. He heard it was the Suncoast Meadows Homeowner's Association President. "And he didn't like it and that's what started the whole problem," said Griggs. In an e-mail to the homeowner's association property manager, Griggs apologized for the incident. She wrote back, please make sure your dog doesn't get out without a leash in the future. But then four days later, the property manager sent Griggs a letter ordering him to remove the dangerous dog from his home within 48 hours.
Homeowners Association President Gil Livingstone refused an on-camera interview but says the 48-hour notice was a mistake. So Griggs will get another letter saying he has two weeks to make sure it doesn't happen again. But as both Griggs and the homeowner's association president gave us different accounts of the confrontation with a barking dog, we wondered, is it a case of mistaken identity? Pasco County Animal Services is also looking into the matter.
Madeira Beach - (8/9/08) - Many municipalities in Pinellas County limit the number of household cats or dogs, but commissioners here want to take this beach city off that list.
"People do not understand why there have to be restrictions on the number of animals in their homes," Commissioner Sarah Nichols said at Tuesday's workshop session. Currently, the city prohibits residents from having more than four dogs or four cats. Unincorporated Pinellas County, Belleair Beach, Belleair Shore, Indian Shores, Seminole and Treasure Island do not limit the number of cats and dogs that can be kept in a home. Other cities south of Ulmerton either have specific restrictions or limit the number of pets through kennel regulations.
Nichols said this creates a hardship for families. She said the city could eliminate the restrictions on pets and still keep all other safety, noise and nuisance rules governing dogs and cats.
Nichols told the commission that Pinellas County Animal Control euthanizes most animals in its care. "I think it is a pretty neat idea. People should be able to have as many pets as they want," Mayor Pat Shontz said. But some residents were not so enthralled. In the end, the commission directed its attorney to draft a revised ordinance removing the restriction on the number of pets in residential areas. The commission will have to vote twice on the issue before it can go into effect. No date was set for those votes.
Limit Restrictions at a glance:
Palm Beach - (8/9/08) - Volunteer patrol workers will soon help Palm Beach County's animal control department enforce laws designed to reduce the number of unwanted pets killed at the county's shelter. The uniformed volunteers will be responsible for educating the public on the county's new spay-and-neuter regulations. They also will report animal-cruelty cases to the department and respond to minor complaints, such as dogs running loose. The "citizens animal patrol" is modeled after neighborhood watch programs at local police departments. Volunteers will have limited power but will be authorized to issue warnings to residents with unlicensed pets. County commissioners approved the program in January as part of the controversial spay-and-neuter regulations. The rules require owners who have not spayed or neutered their dogs and cats to pay higher licensing fees and say hobby breeders must get a county permit.
Volunteers will go through a weeklong training course and will spend about 40 hours riding along with an animal control officer. The program will cost the county little. Volunteers will drive their own cars and will get used uniforms. The only expense will be the cost of embroidering a logo on the uniforms.
Tarpon Springs - (8/9/08) - A group of business entrepreneurs inspired the city to look into relaxing restrictions in a city ordinance regulating dog boarding. Attorney Michael Kouskoutis told city commissioners it is unfair that the current ordinance only permits veterinarians to board pets overnight. Dog day care business owners should also be given that right under conditional use permits, he said. Danielle and Matt Steingraber and Mike Murray raised the issue. They want to offer overnight boarding in a proposed dog day care business at 1011 E. Lemon St., in the highway business district. Danielle Steingraber said a dog day care without overnight boarding would not be economical feasible. Interim City Manager Mark LeCouris voiced fears about noise complaints that might emanate from a business boarding pets overnight near residential neighborhoods. There is no reason veterinarians should be given the exclusive right to board dogs, especially when there is a great need for this service during tropical storms, Kouskoutis said. Planner Renae Vincent said she would research the request and report to the city commission as soon as she can.
Dublin - Laurens County - (8/1/08) - If your dog or cat roams and does not have tags and proof of rabies vaccinations, you could be cited. The Laurens County Commissioners decided in a workshop Thursday (7/31/08) night to ramp up enforcement of the county's leash law and state required rabies vaccinations. We're encouraging everybody if you haven't gotten your dog's tags and vaccination - please do so, said Bryan Rogers, County Administrator. If the owner can be identified, they'll be ticketed.Rogers said the Dublin City Council has requested the county crack down on animals at large. Both Dublin and East Dublin municipalities have contracted with the county for animal control management. We looked at a lot of statistical information, Rogers said of the workshop, we saw that 90 percent of the animal control calls the county received comes from Dublin or East Dublin. So we're going to focus on those statistical areas. Stray dogs that are not fenced in, or dogs and cats that are roaming will be picked up.The next Laurens County Commission meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug 5th at the County Commission boardroom, located in the courthouse annex at 101 N. Jefferson in Dublin.
Fannin County - (8/6/08) - A new animal control ordinance for Fannin County was still not available for review online Thursday (8/7/08) morning, as Commission Chairman Howell Bruce Jr., said it would be. The extensive ordinance covers duties of the animal control officer, nuisance animals, impounding of animals, immunizations and sterilizations, and a wide range of other animal control topics. Public hearings are being scheduled to allow citizens to comment on all the rules. As of press time, the recommendations from the K9 Care Fannin committee remained posted on the county's website and the draft of the ordinance itself was not available. Residents can request a copy of the proposed ordinance in person at the Fannin County Board of Commissioners office. There is also a section on the county's website where the public can leave comments for the board of commissioners on the issue. The first of three public hearings is scheduled for 5 p.m., Aug. 12, just prior to the board of commissioners regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. A copy of the draft ordinance, obtained by hand from the board of commissioners, shows changes that were recommended by the K9 Care Fannin committee and other changes the committee never discussed. The first change of note can be found in the first section of the draft ordinance in which the ordinance states definitions for the rest of the ordinance. At press time, Commission Chairman Howell Bruce Jr. had not responded to multiple requests for comment on both the proposed ordinance or the confusion as to when the hearing would be held. You can read the contents of the draft ordinance here.
Homerville - (8/15/08) - Mean or not, the city of Homerville is considering an ordinance to ban pit bulls from the city limits. Homerville City Manager Albert Thornton says the city council is only discussing options as of now."We decided we'd look at it, see what needs to be done and at a future date, we'd make a decision on where to change the existing ordinance or to draw up a new ordinance." City Council will meet again on Thursday (8/21/08) to discuss the issue, but no action will be taken.
Kauai - (8/7/08) - The Kaua‘i County Council Parks and Recreation Committee on Wednesday again deferred three bills that would allow leashed dogs on the Eastside multi-use path, toughen the animal nuisance laws and create a new dog park.But the committee’s chair, Councilman Tim Bynum, said the bills found some footing and will likely pass out of committee to the council floor at the next meeting. “I see an end in sight,” he said yesterday.Council members agreed to take up the proposed legislation as the first business item at 9 a.m., Aug. 20, at the Historic County Building, according to interim Council Chair Jay Furfaro.Furfaro, who is an ex officio committee member, said at the next meeting they are expected to merge the proposed amendments to the bills into one cohesive piece.Interim Mayor Bill “Kaipo” Asing, who introduced the proposed ordinance to create a new dog park when he served as council chair, presented a compromise package to the council that he said was “fair and reasonable.”
Cass County - (8/8/08) - The Cass County Board approved a resolution to control dangerous dogs. The document says any stray dog deemed dangerous under the Illinois Animal Control Act will cost the owner $500. Repeat offenders can pay up to $1,500. The board hopes this will help cut down on the amount of strays. The ordinance took effect August 1.
Springfield - (8/4/08) - The price of letting dogs run loose in Springfield is about to go up, two aldermen say. An ordinance introduced at Monday’s meeting of the Springfield City Council public affairs and safety committee would increase fines from $100 to $200 for a first violation of the city’s animal-control code. A second violation would bring a $400 fine, and any further offenses would cost $800.Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards and Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney said they want to hit irresponsible dog owners in the pocketbook and prevent dog bites. However, paperwork presented to the committee by the city’s legal department isn’t clear on exactly what would be covered by the steeper fines.
Anderson - (8/17/08) - After months of work, the Animal Control Commission presented its revised ordinances regarding animals to the Anderson City Council on Thursday (8/14/08)night. The ordinance passed only one reading, witAfter months of work, the Animal Control Commission presented its revised ordinances regarding animals to the Anderson City Council on Thursday night. The 12 pages of amendments and additions recreates the Animal Control Commission, renames the animal shelter to Animal Care and Control, and increases fees for licenses, adoptions and surrenders at the city facility. It also elaborates on animal cruelty and adds fines for multiple offenses that result in impounding the animal. The ordinance must pass three readings to become part of city codes.
Sigourney - Keokuk County - (8/5/08) - In recent months, the Sigourney City Council, Keokuk County Public Health and area law enforcement officials have faced some difficult decisions as numerous dog bite incidents have surfaced in the County. Every pet (dog, cat, etc.) owner has a responsibility to ensure their pet does not cause a nuisance to others. This means that as pet owners, certain laws must be complied with; most of these are straightforward and are in place to ensure people and pets live happily and safely within the community. The Code of Iowa 351 outlines the ground rules for counties, cities, public health and law enforcement to follow with regards to pet ownership. In Code section 351.38, pet owner duties are defined with regard to bites. It shall be the duty of the owner of any dog, cat or other animal which has bitten or attacked a person or any person having knowledge of such bite or attack to report this act to a local health or law enforcement official. The main duty for the Keokuk County Board of Health is to protect the community. Pursuant to Iowa Code, the KC Board of Health is obligated to ascertain vaccination status for any animal reported and/or to ensure the vaccinations (rabies) are current (owner financially responsible), which may include confinement when a bite has occurred (skin is broken due to bite). The City of Sigourney has taken the Iowa Code and expounded upon it in the City of Sigourney Ordinance IV, Chapter 1: Animal Control (available at the City Clerk's office). The "At Large Prohibited" ordinance takes the state code a step further by defining the term "at large" to mean: "any licensed or unlicensed animal found off the premises of the owner and not under the control of a competent person, restrained within a motor vehicle, housed in a veterinary hospital or kennel, on a leash or "at heel" beside a competent person and obedient to that person's command."Sigourney City Ordinances also go into detail about dangerous animals and keeping vicious animals. 4-1-9 Keeping a Vicious Animal states: a vicious animal is deemed so when it shall have attacked or bitten any person (without provocation), or when the propensity to attack or bite persons shall exist and such propensity is known or ought reasonably be known to the owner thereof. There is also a lengthy definition of Pit Bull Dogs, which is prohibited within the corporate city limits of Sigourney. According to Sigourney Police Chief, Allan Glandon, after an animal is deemed vicious and ordered to be removed from the city limits, the Keokuk County Sheriff's Department is notified as well as the Keota Police Department. As per Iowa Code, medical, veterinary, law enforcement officials as well as residents of Keokuk County are obligated to report pet (dog) bites to ensure the safety of the victim. Local officials also encourage parents to caution young children on approaching unknown pets to avoid a bite or attack. Many pet owners believe their pet couldn't or wouldn't bite, but recent unprovoked dog bites in Keokuk County prove any animal is capable.
Spencer - (8/2/08) - A full agenda will greet the Spencer City Council when it meets for the first of two regularly scheduled council sessions in the month of August beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday night in council chambers at City Hall. Among one of the more discussed items publicly, the Vicious Animals Ordinance which will be a focus on the council again on Monday. The ordinance gives a detailed definition of a "vicious animal." The ordinance also lists certain breed specific dogs that would meet the definition of a vicious animal. They are as follows: A Staffordshire Terrier breed, American Pit-bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breeds of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit-bull Terrier, or American Staffordshire. The ordinance also clarifies when an animal may be destroyed. During the first filing there was lengthy discussion on removing the reference to breed specific dogs. If the council so desires, modifications to the ordinance can still be made.
Monday's (8/4/08) meeting would constitute the second filing of the ordinance. UPDATE: (8/16/08) - The Spencer City Council will consider a more defined ordinance to deal with vicious dogs as part of its 6:30 p.m. meeting Monday (8/18/08) in council chambers. But committee work suggests specific breeds won't be singled out in the ordinance language. "The Public Safety Committee met on this item on August 12, and determined that the ordinance should remain intact with the exception of removing any reference to a specific breed of dog," said Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen."For the most part, the ordinance gives a detailed definition of a vicious animal. The ordinance also clarifies when an animal may be destroyed. The Public Safety Committee is recommending that the reference to breed specific dogs be removed from the proposed ordinance and that the third and final filing of the ordinance be adopted."
Bowling Green - (8/15/08) - Bowling Green’s city Web site has been updated to specify that both cats and dogs within the city limits must have license tags issued by the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society. Mike Grubbs, Citizen Information and Assistance director, said the changes were made within 24 hours of hearing about the discrepancy. Previously, various portions of the site were unclear as to whether all pet animals or just dogs had to be licensed. Dog and cat licenses are valid for one year, starting July 1, and are only available at the humane society. They cost $10 for pets that have been spayed or neutered, and $40 for those that have not.
Hammond - (8/7/08) - Nearly 200 cats and dogs at an animal shelter in Hammond, La., were euthanized after a viral outbreak, officials said. On Monday, the cats and dogs at the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter were showing symptoms that included vomiting and bloody diarrhea, according to parish officials. An area veterinarian examined the animals and determined that half of them appeared to be infected. The veterinarian recommended that all cats and dogs be put down and that the shelter be completely cleaned, sanitized, and closed for several days to follow, parish officials said. Parish President Gordon Burgess consulted with a second veterinarian, as well as the State Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and it was determined that the original veterinarian’s plan would be followed. “While the parish is certainly disappointed that this course of action had to be carried out resulting in the euthanasia of over 170 animals, it must also be clearly pointed out that Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control is primarily a population control and abuse investigation agency, not a rescue organization,” according to a statement released Thursday by the parish.
The parish is conducting an internal investigation to determine if there were any shelter policy violations that may have led to the outbreak. Two kennel staff members have publicly announced their resignations. The facility remains under quarantine. Shelter staff could not be reached for comment
Allen Park - (8/6/08) - UPDATE - City officials, considering outlawing pit bulls, reviewed Melvindale's similar ordinance and heard form people on both sides of the issue Tuesday (8/5/08) night. Approximately two dozen residents and pit bull owners from other municipalties attended the city council's Legal Affairs Commmittee meeting that lasted almost an hour and a half. Among those who addressed the group were city councilwoman Beverly Kelley. Allen Park may opt to restrict loose dogs in general, rather than pit bulls -- and pit bull mixes.
Wyandotte/Redford - (8/9/08) - An uptick in violent dog attacks in some Wayne County communities has officials taking action, enacting stricter regulations for dogs deemed vicious and their owners. Allen Park has formed a committee to study a pit bull ban; Wyandotte and Redford Township are set to take up ordinances this week. On Monday, (8/11/08) Wyandotte's City Council will look at requiring owners of pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers and pit bull mixed breeds to leash, muzzle and microchip the dogs or face up to $500 in civil fines. If the new proposal moves forward, current owners will have 60 days to comply. Requirements include notification to the city animal shelter or police if the animal escapes, attacks or has died. Redford Police Chief John Buck said his township also is dealing with a recent surge in attacks -- six in June alone. Now officials intend to approve Tuesday (8/12/08) - an ordinance that will require owners to obtain liability insurance, keep dogs confined in secure pens and in some cases obtain special $100 licenses for dogs deemed vicious, Buck said.
(8/10/08) - Minnesota animal welfare rights groups say they are continuing the fight for tighter regulation of the state’s numerous puppy and kitten mills through new legislation, despite some hesitation from lawmakers and large-scale breeders. Last year, Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley, and Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced the bill, known as the “breeder bill,” which would require state inspections, licensing requirements and standards of care. The bill didn’t pass in 2007 or 2008, but Betzold hopes to reintroduce it again in the upcoming legislative session. Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies and kittens in the United States, according to the Second Chance Animal Rescue organization. The bill’s regulations have made it an unpopular choice among breeders, who fear government interference and overly strict guidelines, Betzold said. But the only way to get rid of the bad breeders is to have standards that apply to all of them, he said. “I would think good breeders would welcome that, if we could get rid of bad breeders through inspections,” he said. “It would give consumers confidence about the animals they are purchasing.”
Minneapolis - (8/9/08) - As urban agriculture booms in the Twin Cities area, Minneapolis residents are pressing their city to let them expand their backyard farms beyond chickens to bees and hoofed animals. "Why [these animals] can exist on one side of [Hwy.] 280 and not on the other is beyond me," said Willcutt, assistant manager at the Mill City Farmers Market.
Willcutt is an urban agriculture activist who raises chickens on Nicollet Island. But his Nigerian Dwarf goat, Vera, is in exile at a farm outside the city. St. Paul issues permits for hoofed animals and beehives, with the written consent of 75 percent of neighbors within 150 feet. But not Minneapolis. Hoofed animals there require special permits that can last no longer than 21 days and cost from $50 to $150, depending on the type of event. And don't even think about bees. Honeybee keeping is singled out for prohibition in the city code.
Minnetonka - (8/8/08) - After considering confining off-leash dogs to an enclosed dog park, it now looks as if the city will continue to allow canines to roam free in natural areas under their owners' voice command. But they will probably have to wear a "pet in the park" license.
The license is one part of a revised park ordinance scheduled for approval by the Minnetonka Park Board in October. Board members heard the proposal Wednesday and indicated they don't want to let a few irresponsible dog owners spoil privileges for everyone.
Calhoun County - (8/5/08) - Four Calhoun County mayors gathered in Bruce last week to rekindle an old practice of regular meetings to share ideas, problems, and possible solutions. Bruce Mayor Robert Edward Oakley, Calhoun City Mayor J.R. Denton, Vardaman Mayor James Casey, and Derma Mayor Dock Gabbert met last Friday in Bruce where they exchanged thoughts on issues such as dog ordinances, property maintenance regulations and various other economic development related issues.“It was an exhibit in great spirit and positive countywide attitude in regards to improving our county,” Bruce Mayor Robert Edward Oakley said. “It was an opportunity for us to talk about a lot of things and see how we could work together on some issues.”Vardaman Mayor James Casey said the mayor meeting was “extremely informative.”“It was an extremely good meeting,” Casey said. “It was nice to sit down and discuss common problems and new ideas – possible solutions I haven’t thought of.”“We’re going to try and get on the same page with property and dog ordinances,” Calhoun City Mayor J.R. Denton said. “We want to come together and support the county’s effort in putting together a vicious dog ordinance and see how else we can help one another.”“We talked about everything from zoning to bulldogs,” Derma Mayor Dock Gabbert said.
Greenwood - LeFlore County - (8/6/08) - Greenwood should adopt a tough ordinance restricting pit bulls and Rottweilers to prevent their migration into the city limits, Leflore County Humane Society's president said Tuesday. Leflore County's ordinance does not take place in municipalities. All they're going to do is start bringing them into the city, said Aubrey Whittington, president of the Leflore County Humane Society at Tuesday's (8/4/08) meeting of the Greenwood City Council. Unless we make it difficult for someone who is not responsible to have these dogs, it's going to get worse.The Leflore County Board of Supervisors passed the restriction on pit bulls July 28, and Whittington said it is a good starting point. The city has an ordinance against vicious animals, but it doesn't specifically name pit bulls or Rottweilers, she said. Council President David Jordan said the council would act quickly on amending the city's ordinances to cover pit bulls and Rottweilers.
St. Louis - (8/5/08) - State legislators who have proposed tighter exotic animal laws in the past expect they'll work for reforms in the wake of two tiger attacks this week in Missouri.
State Senator Tom Dempsey of St. Charles and State Representative Mike Sutherland of Warrenton both have tried unsuccessfully to strengthen exotic animal laws in Missouri. They call it unfortunate that two tiger-related tragedies should bring the issue to the forefront.
Grand Island/Hall County - (8/9/08) - Add Hall County to the growing number of Nebraska communities considering some sort of limits on pit bull dogs. Hall County officials have not used the word "ban" regarding pit bulls, but do say they want the animals regulated in some way. The Hall County Supervisors plan to take up the issue at their next meeting after consulting lawyers.
Minden - (8/8/08) - The city council has defined what it means to be a "pit bull" in Minden. City clerk and treasurer Dick Young said Thursday that an earlier city ordinance had banned dogs with some pit bull in their family backgrounds. But he says it was tough to determine the exact percentage in a particular dog. The new ordinance defines pit bulls as any of the dogs "commonly referred to" as pit bull dog, the American pit bull terrier and American Staffordshire terrier. Young also says visitors can bring their pit bulls to town but for only a maximum of 7 days. And the dogs must be leashed. The ordinance goes into effect next week. In June, the city of Osceola banned pit bulls along with seven other breeds.
Omaha - (8/5/08) - UPDATE - A local animal advocacy group calls a pit bull ban a "dangerous dog ordinance." The American Pit Bull Rescue Association spoke out Friday, asking Omaha to take its time before considering a pit bull ordinance. The group brought out a pit bull owner and pit bull named Sammy to show how properly trained pit bulls behave. It says the city should hold more public meetings during the next two months before even considering a ban. City leaders say they've already heard the group's concerns and have already planned to meet at least one more time before a committee makes any recommendations. Committee members say several options are on the table including a ban or a law aimed at dog owners, but it could be several weeks before it makes a decision. UPDATE: (8/15/08) - Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey delivered a detailed amendment list to Omaha's dog ordinance Friday morning. In the proposed amendments:
The Nebraska Humane Society has the authority to designate dogs as "dangerous" based on their behavior. Dangerous, in this case, includes any animal that inflicts injury on a human; any animal that injures another domestic animal; any animal that chases or approaches a person on the streets, sidewalks or public ground in a menacing fashion; and any animal with a known disposition to attack when unprovoked. A mandatory spaying or neutering and microchip identification is required upon a dog's designation as dangerous.
Required classes. Owners of dangerous dogs must attend a responsible pet ownership class within 90 days of a designation.
Leash and muzzle requirement for pit bulls. It is illegal for any person to permit a pit bull out doors unless confined in a securely fenced yard or unless the animal is under the control of a person 19 or older, restrained securely by a leash and properly muzzled.
A pit bull is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentina, Presa Canario or Cane Corso, or any dog displaying the majority of the physical traits of any one of those breeds.
Omaha - (8/1/08) - Why is it that when one pit bull attack occurs, an attacking epidemic sweeps the nation? Is there something in the dog food? Are irresponsible owners simultaneously agitating their dogs? Or is the media to blame for sensationalizing the attacks? As a member of the media, I have no answers. But I do have some suggestions for this ridiculous wave of dog crime.In the past month, the Omaha-metro area has seen numerous attacks, the most serious being an attack on a 15-month-old who lost part of her scalp from a pit bull's bite. Now an Omaha committee is exploring possible restrictions on the breed. The City of Omaha already has dangerous-animal and menacing-behavior laws, which allow individual animals to be labeled dangerous, or even euthanized, if they attack without provocation or have been trained to fight.While this looks good on paper, is this approach really solving anything? Clearly not. And the reason why is, like so many other problems in the world, the real issue behind the pit bull attacks is being swept under the rug. And the real issue, of course, is the owners.
Argyle - (8/15/08) — After hearing public comments at a meeting on Wednesday evening, the Town Board unanimously voted that it was in the best interest of the public to pass a dog control law effective within the town of Argyle. Dog control officer Ed Holland agreed that having a leash law would help him take action when incidents occur. The law states that all dogs must be restrained by a leash or be under the full control of the owner whenever they are on public property.A dog will be in violation of the law if it continually makes noise for 10 minutes, causes property damage, repeatedly defecates or urinates or otherwise creates a nuisance.The law also states that a dog 4 months old or older must wear a valid dog license tag and rabies tag while off the owner’s property, whether or not it is restrained by a leash. A violation of the law would result in a $25 fine for a first offense, a $50 fine for a second offense and a $250 fine for a third offense, or a term of imprisonment not to exceed five days. The law will take effect 20 days after being adopted by the Town Board and after its filing with the Secretary of State.
Herkimer - (8/14/08) - The village of Herkimer has a new, stricter animal control law which includes harsher penalties for repeat dog-at-large offenders.The law had a last minute update before the board voted in the new law at Tuesday’s Herkimer Village Board of Trustees meeting. Initially the law called for a $10 redemption fee to claim a lost animal, but Trustee Tina Cirelli thought the charge should increase for repeat offenders after talking to village animal control officer Jim Hawkins. Now a first offense redemption fee is $25, the second is $50 and the third is $100. Penalties for the first offense is a civil penalty of $100. The second offense within a two year period is $150 and the third offense within a two year period is $250. The law restricts the number of animals to no more than five dogs or cats combined, six months of age and older, to be kept on any single premise, regardless of the number of owners. It also contains sections regarding other animals besides dogs and cats, such as ferrets, iguanas, livestock animals and prohibits wild animals from being kept as pets. Other sections include leash and pooper scooper ordinances, both of which are required. The law took effect immediately.
Nyack - (8/10/08) - Recently, notices have been posted along the riverfront at Memorial Park concerning the dogs who play there "off leash" in the morning. An old village ordinance has been brought up, saying all dogs have to be leashed on Nyack streets, etc. Not to play with semantics, but the riverfront is not the "street." We do not want to break the law, but Nyack, which is a dog-friendly town, provides no public space for our dogs to run around. Where can we take them? Dogs need socialization and exercise the way humans do. Therefore, we propose a substantial dog run be built at Memorial Park. The fence that is alongside the tennis court can be expanded. Fencing will not be costly, the area around there is muddy but can be seeded. We propose a dog run that will be open daily.
8/10/08 - Citing increasing complaints from landowners, game department officials in Virginia and North Carolina have been looking at ways to regulate the use of dogs by hunters. Virginia initiated its "Hunting with Hounds: A Way Forward" study that has incorporated various stakeholders who have identified problems and made proposals. At the heart of the debate is a conflict between hunters who use dogs and landowners who don't want hunters or dogs on their property. Virginia has released preliminary recommendations and a report. Next are a series of public hearings. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is expected to act on several proposals in November. Using dogs to help hunters track deer, raccoon, bear and other animals is a longtime tradition in the South. But many states, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, have instituted strict rules governing the practice. North Carolina game officials are studying rules adopted in other states in an effort to come up with their own solutions. "We're hearing more and more complaints. So we have to do something about it," said Wes Seegars, chairman of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Board of Commissioners. North Carolina officials are considering a special license for each hunting dog and forbidding dogs on land where hunters and dogs do not have permission to be. If a dog is captured on such property, the hunter would be fined $250 for each violating animal. Continued violations could result in termination of hunting licenses.
Clayton - (8/6/08) - While Clayton is the first city in Johnston County to ban tethering, anti-tethering ordinances are part of a growing tend. Durham County Commissioners will consider outlawing the practice next month, while animal rights advocates are pushing for a similar law in Orange County. In Clayton, Bridges said the city will work to educate pet owners before enforcing the new law. “We want to be sure to have the opportunity to let residents become familiar with the ordinance and give them time to comply,” he added. According to Councilman Alex Harding, Clayton's anti-tethering ordinance doesn't take effect until early October. While penalties for violating the rules are still being decided, Harding said at the minimum, anyone caught tethering a dog will receive a fine.
Durham - (8/6/08) - Durham County commissioners will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 on a proposed ordinance to ban the tethering of dogs. For more than two years, animal advocates and the county have discussed implementing such a law, based on the premise that chaining or otherwise tethering animals outside is cruel and inhumane and that the practice contributes to constant barking and even causes dogs to become overly aggressive. At a work session Monday, commissioners scheduled the public hearing for the end of the month, to be held in the commissioners' chambers at 200 E. Main St. A draft of the ordinance prepared by the county's Animal Control Advisory Committee will be available for public comment. If necessary, commissioners could hold a second public hearing in September, just before the board votes on the final proposed ordinance. If commissioners approve the new law, it would go into effect after a 15-month education campaign by the county. The ordinance would be enforced by the county's animal control department in the entire county, including inside the Durham city limits.
Fayetteville - (8/1/08) - Cumberland County officials are trying to decide how many dogs are too many for county residents. The legal limit is three dogs per household. But that rule was challenged when a man violated the limit by taking in two dogs from his son, who is serving in Iraq. When Cumberland County officials found out he had five dogs living at his home, they told him he was over the limit. No one seemed to mind until a neighbor filed a noise complaint. A Cumberland County spokesperson said the issue is being worked on right now. A recommendation will be made to a planning board and then to commissioners. The Cumberland County planning director said they may make a recommendation of six dogs per household. UPDATE: (8/3/08) - County officials decided Friday to recommend using temporary permits for cases where someone violates the dog ordinance by keeping pets for a friend or family member. County planners met with county attorneys Friday afternoon to discuss changes to the ordinance, which allows residents to own no more than three dogs. “What we’re going to recommend is a temporary permitting approach,” Planning Director Tom Lloyd said.
Friday’s meeting was the first step for temporary permits to become an official county rule.
The recommendation must next be approved by county management. After that, it moves forward to the planning board. If that board approves it, the county Board of Commissioners has the final say.
Harnett - (8/2/08) - Now that the towns of Angier, Coats, Erwin and Lillington have approved a Municipal Animal Control Ordinance for the transition of animal control services to the county, the ordinance is up for a public hearing and a vote at Monday (8/4/08) morning's Harnett County Commissioners meeting. The ordinance, which will provide for one Animal Control Officer to patrol the four towns, makes it unlawful for any person to keep more than three dogs and three cats within town limits. Dogs and cats less than four months old are exempt from the ruling. Assistant County Manager Tony Wilder said the ordinance was typical for most municipalities and that numerous other ordinances were consulted in preparing the county's plan. "What we're doing," he continued, "is trying to work together with the towns to try to make (the ordinance) work for everybody." UPDATE: (8/5/08) - Harnett County Board of Commissioners - With Vice Chairwoman Beatrice Bailey Hill absent, the board Monday approved by a 4-0 vote a municipal animal control ordinance that will be used only in the towns and extraterritorial jurisdictions of Angier, Coats, Erwin and Lillington. Why it matters: The ordinance provides and defines authority of Harnett County Animal Control within those four towns. “It just lets us take charge,” Tino Medina, supervisor of the animal control department, said after the meeting. “We will be able to go in those towns and enforce the laws.” According to the ordinance, animal control will have “charge of protecting citizens of those towns from rabies transmitted by unconfined, uncontrolled or un-immunized animals, to regulate animals that may be a nuisance, to insure that all animals are treated in a humane manner, and in the promotion of responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.” Under the new regulations, it will be unlawful to hunt, trap or kill any animal within the territorial limits of the towns. Trapping may be done only with permission from the Harnett County Animal Control Department. What they said: “The towns had leash laws but no way to enforce them,” Assistant County Manager Tony Wilder told the board. “Police officers will still be involved.” The police in the four municipalities will make first contact and issue warnings when necessary, Wilder said.
Morton County - (8/5/08) - I attended the planning and zoning commission and two county commission meetings in Morton County concerning a proposed feedlot. Since it involved animal agriculture, it was of interest to me, as a rancher and feedlot owner. I also am vice president of the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, board member of Burleigh County Farm Bureau, active in R-CALF USA and the United States Cattlemen's Association. I would like to recognize all the people who are members of each commission for the public service they do. The decision they made was not an easy one, the room was full of people and emotions on both sides. The decision made was much bigger than one feedlot in one county in North Dakota. With activists from the East and West coasts wreaking havoc on animal agriculture, a decision made in the heartland was an important one. I believe the decision made in Mandan approving animal agriculture in an area zoned agricultural was the right decision.
Cleveland - (8/6/08) - The State of Ohio labels pit bulls as "vicious" and requires pit bull owners to carry $100,000 in liability insurance, securely constrain the dog when on-property and to use a chain-link leash when off-property. Many Ohio cities add to the state restrictions such as Toledo, which limits each household to one pit bull and Cincinnati, which bans new pit bulls. The City of Cleveland also adds to state restrictions by requiring pit bull owners to secure the dog in a 6 foot pen with a roof, microchip or tattoo the animal, wear a muzzle when off-property and limits ownership to people 18 years and older. Unfortunately for pit bulls, many of their owners do not abide by the rules. Authorities then confiscate the dogs and often euthanize them. If pit bull owners followed the law, hundreds of pit bulls would not be impounded and killed. In the meantime, the Cleveland dog warden is busy picking up non-compliant pit bulls.
Granville - (8/8/08) - Village Council agreed to pay part of the cost of preventing the multiplication of a colony of feral cats. The council voted Wednesday to spend up to $750 -- half the estimated cost of spaying and neutering 20 to 30 stray cats that live on South Main Street near the Granville Milling Co. Jean Hoyt, who is organizing an effort to control that cat population, said she fears the colony might multiply if action isn't taken quickly. Once the cats are spayed and neutered, Hoyt said, the colony gradually will die out. Feral cats often are victims of disease and have short lives, she said.
Lucas County - (8/8/08) - A group of animal rights activists is gathering signatures to get a number of things changed including firing Dog Warden Tom Skeldon. The group is called 4 Lucas County Pets. Members are not happy with the warden's office. Their web site describes who members are and what they want including a public education campaign to make people better pet owners with a low cost spay and neuter program and better access to the animal shelter by all local rescue groups. The organization says it's tired of paying the highest registration fees in the state. The group also strongly opposes the vicious dog ordinance focusing on pitbulls championed by Dog Warden Tom Skeldon. Members feel vicious dogs should be defined by their actions rather than their breed. The group has established an online petition on its web site.
Douglas County - (8/8/08) - Douglas County commissioners on Wednesday (8/6/08) tabled a proposal to raise the cost of licensing dogs. Commissioners Doug Robertson, Marilyn Kittelman and Joe Laurance said they wanted the opportunity to discuss the matter more fully before deciding whether to charge more than the current fees of $6 for a dog that has been spayed or neutered and $25 for an unaltered dog. A public workshop will be announced at a later date. At a hearing two weeks ago, sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Marshall, who oversees the county’s animal control program, presented a proposal asking to raise fees for licensing — required by law for all dogs — to $9 and $30. An increase is needed, he said, to keep the county’s spay and neuter program afloat.
Beaver - (8/9/08) - If you’re walking your dog on Monday, you might want to make sure Fido is properly licensed because there’s a good chance that the officials who enforce the state’s dog laws will be checking.The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which is part of the state Department of Agriculture, will visit some of Beaver County’s larger towns as part of an annual sweep to make sure the dogs are properly licensed and have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.While that aspect of the bureau’s activities is probably the most visible, there is plenty of other stuff to do through the year for the bureau’s employees. It is also responsible for licensing and inspecting dog kennels across the state, and its officials are in the midst of ensuring that an updated version of state laws governing dogs makes it way through the Legislature. Residents of Ambridge, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Freedom and Rochester may notice state dog wardens on Monday, as they stroll through each town, knocking on doors or checking dogs they meet on the street. Beaver County Treasurer Connie Javens, whose office is responsible for issuing dog licenses in the county, said wardens perform the sweeps here once a year. West said the bureau tries to do the sweeps in each county once a year. They’re important, because revenue from the license sales is one big source of the bureau’s income.
Berks County - (8/15/08) - The recent shootings of 80 dogs at a pair of kennels near Kutztown in Berks County is shining the spotlight on proposed legislation (HB2525) to reform Pennsylvania's dog laws. Governor Ed Rendell is planning to to address the proposed reforms at the Schuylkill River Dog Park in Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon. (8/16/08). He'll be joined by Sue West, director of the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. Representative Tom Caltagirone, (D) Reading, is a sponsor of House Bill 2525. He says it would allow only veterinarians to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels and make it illegal for anyone who is not a veterinarian to perform practices like debarking, ear and tail cropping, cesarean births.
Robinson - (8/6/08) - Robinson commissioners don't want residents keeping cougars or wolves as pets. But what about snakes? Frogs? Piranhas? Falcons? "We may have a problem here," Dan Tallon, commissioners' chairman, said Monday night after hearing that a proposed ordinance would prohibit carnivorous wild animals. "It sounds like that definition would include snakes, and people do have snakes as pets." Township Manager Rich Charnovich said the ordinance was written to address concerns about crowing roosters and dogs that are overly aggressive or bark too much. The section on carnivores was intended to address large, dangerous predators. "But if we pass this with this language in there, we'll have every snake owner in the township down here complaining," Mr. Tallon said. "I think we ought to get it right before we approve it so we don't end up going back and amending it later," Mr. Shiwarski said.
After the meeting, he said he thinks the best solution is to let pet owners apply for waivers if they want to own wild carnivores. But the commissioners were not swayed. "Fix it," Mr. Tallon said. And when Mr. Charnovich asked what the commissioners wanted it to say, he repeated, "Fix it."
Cheraw - (8/7/08) - The Cheraw Town Council held a special meeting during briefing on July 30 to review the town’s Animal Control Ordinance to determine if any amendments were necessary. Town Administrator Bill Taylor presented a comparison of animal control ordinances in Cheraw and the city of Mauldin.One issue the town is looking at is the leash law. Cheraw’s ordinance currently allows a 10-foot leash. Mauldin has an ordinance of an eight-foot leash.
Mayor Scott Hunter and Town Administrator Bill Taylor recommended that the council review the current ordinances and suggest any amendments necessary. An update was to be brought to the table on Aug. 6. No decisions will be made until council has completed it reviews. The current Animal Control Ordinances include topics as follows: Duties of the animal control officer, restraint and confinement, concealment of pets, displaying animals, limitation of the number of animals, animal care, registration of animals, keeping of reptiles or dangerous wild animals, squirrels and songbirds protected, dead animals, transporting of animals, vicious animals, restraint of guard dogs, animal wastes prohibited in certain areas, noisy pets prohibited, condition of animal pens, impoundment of nuisance animals, redemption of impounded animals, rabies control, animal cruelty, animal nuisance, penalties, dogs prohibited in parks, animal bites and quarantine. Cheraw Home Page w/Council emails can be found here. UPDATE: (8/15/08) - During Tuesday’s meeting a public hearing was held regarding proposed changes to the town’s animal control ordinance. The animal control ordinance changes are as follows:* Removing the “Strict Voice Command” and the length of a leash is reduced from 10-foot to eight-foot.* Limitation of the number of animals and the age limit is reduced from one year to not being older than six months.* Squirrels and songbirds-the word “song” is being removed thus resulting in all birds being protected in the corporate limits.* Impounding of animals-removes the section that states:After seven days or sold by the animal control officer at acost covering all impoundment fees and penalty charges, and Including that after that same period the animal will betransported to the county animal shelter for adoption of disposal.* The redemption of impounded animals - Owners reclaiming an impounded animal will have to pay $8 per each day the pet is left in the shelter. In addition, the owner will now pay a $25 fee for the first redemption in the one calendar year, and $50 for any second or subsequent redemptions of the same animal within the year. If the animal is picked up without a rabies tag in addition to the $20 assessment, the owner will now be required to pay to have the animal vaccinated and will be issued an appropriate certificate that the pet owner has paid the fee, and will be honored by the local veterinarian.* Complaints and animal nuisances - Individual who suspects someone’s animal is being a nuisance, will now be allowed to report that information to the animal control officer, in addition to remaining anonymous.* The increase of penalty fees for anyone who violates the animal control ordinance now ranges from $200-$500, which is now the standard under state law.
Lebanon - (8/6/08) - Lebanon City Council postponed hearing an amendment to the city code which would have defined two levels of dangerous dogs and set requirements for the control of such animals as well as consequences for owners who do not comply.
EL Paso - (8/9/08) - Call it animal politics. El Paso is once again getting serious about no-kill animal shelters. El Paso's Animal Services held a seminar at the Main Library Downtown on Thursday to educate the community about what exactly needs to be done to get this mission accomplished. Case studies were presented from other communities that have tried to implement a no-kill policy, along with a presentation by UTEP officials. The no-kill initiative would end the killing of homeless pets by increasing the adoption demand for shelter animals and reducing the number of unwanted animals through proactive spay and neuter programs.
Officials said approximately 18,000 animals are euthanized each year in El Paso and that's a number they'd like to see decrease. But this isn't the first time the city has put forth this idea.
"In December 1999, the city passed a resolution to make El Paso a no-kill community, however, the planning wasn't laid out," said Carla Alvarado, a Health Education Specialist with El Paso's Public Health Department.
Houston - (8/9/08) - When Kent Robertson clears out his desk at the director's office of the city animal shelter, he will leave behind many who depended on him, including the city's tireless animal welfare volunteers — people like Sherry Nassar, a longtime volunteer and animal rescue activist. But the most bereft will be the tens of thousands of abandoned or mistreated animals that Houston produces in wildly increasing numbers. It's critical that city officials seize this moment to hire the best replacement, using the best advice available. Many concerned for animals, though, think he might have been frustrated by the low budget and relentlessly irresponsible behavior that have made Houstonians' treatment of domestic animals a national embarrassment. Robertson's goal had been to transform the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care into a no-kill shelter. He warned the job wouldn't be done overnight. Now that Houston has an unexpected opening at BARC — and an animal welfare crisis on its hands — the Health and Human Services Department needs to make the search part of the solution. First, it should launch a nationwide search to fill the job. And though it will have to pay this time, the city ought to invite Winograd to make an assessment. The new BARC director must be an adept lobbyist. He or she has got to know how to make private donors write checks and will also have to lobby fiercely for a statewide ban on unregulated sales of pets.
Mapleton - (8/10/08) - A proposed pit bull ordinance may go before the Mapleton City Council within a month. Mapleton city manager Bob Bradshaw said a proposal will likely be put before the City Council for a vote in early September, or possibly late August. The proposal would include the same fencing requirement as in Springville, plus a roof for the animal's enclosure. Pit bull owners would need $100,000 in liability coverage for their dogs.
Murray - (8/15/08) - It isn't always the breed of the dog that determines its behavior. It's often the owner. Animal advocates say teaching dogs to be "good citizens" isn't that hard to do.
Advocates staged a demonstration Thursday partly in response to a proposed ordinance in Sandy that would have placed restrictions on certain dog breeds. The ordinance was not approved. The demonstration included three pit bulls who had recently earned the "Canine Good Citizenship" certification from the American Kennel Club
Orem - (8/10/08) - Orem is looking at a number of possibilities, including breed-specific regulations for pit bulls, or tougher laws for dogs in general. City manager Jim Reams said no decisions have been made about when or if any proposed ordinance will go before the City Council. "We've been looking at it. We have not decided if there will be a course of action yet," Reams said. Orem city officials have received dozens of e-mails, but most of them have been from people who live outside of Orem, and even outside Utah, who oppose laws targeting pit bulls.
Provo - (8/10/08) - Provo city staffs is studying the issue of pitbulls and working on potential ordinances. Provo's Municipal Council has spent much of the year considering a proposal that would regulate all dogs that are considered vicious. The proposal being considered would create classifications that describe dogs as "at risk" or "dangerous." If approved, the proposal would require owners of at-risk dogs -- those that menace or threaten people -- to keep their dogs fenced while at home and on a four-foot leash while on a walk. Owners would have to implant microchips in their dogs and provide a photo of the animal to the Provo Police Department.
Dogs that injure people would be considered dangerous, and owners could be required to muzzle them while in public, or even turn them over to animal control authorities to be euthanized.
"At least one of the concerns that's been raised about the proposed ordinance is maybe our existing laws are adequate, and so one thing we're going to do is evaluate the enforcement of the existing laws to see if there's anything we should be doing differently with the laws that we have," said Provo city spokeswoman Helen Anderson.
(8/10/08) - Citing increasing complaints from landowners, game department officials in Virginia and North Carolina have been looking at ways to regulate the use of dogs by hunters. Virginia initiated its "Hunting with Hounds: A Way Forward" study that has incorporated various stakeholders who have identified problems and made proposals. At the heart of the debate is a conflict between hunters who use dogs and landowners who don't want hunters or dogs on their property. Virginia has released preliminary recommendations and a report. Next are a series of public hearings. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is expected to act on several proposals in November. "The stakeholders committee has done a fantastic job of identifying all the issues involved," said Bob Duncan, director of Virginia's game department. Using dogs to help hunters track deer, raccoon, bear and other animals is a longtime tradition in the South. But many states, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, have instituted strict rules governing the practice. North Carolina game officials are studying rules adopted in other states in an effort to come up with their own solutions. North Carolina officials are considering a special license for each hunting dog and forbidding dogs on land where hunters and dogs do not have permission to be. If a dog is captured on such property, the hunter would be fined $250 for each violating animal. Continued violations could result in termination of hunting licenses.
Virginia will hold a public hearing for southeastern Virginia hunters and landowners Sept. 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at King's Fork High School, 351 King's Fork Road, in Suffolk.
Norfolk - (8/14/08) - PETA has learned that Wesa-A-Geh-Ya--the exotic-animal menagerie in Warren County where a man was mauled by a tiger earlier this month--plans to relocate all of its remaining animals. In response, PETA has sent an urgent appeal to the Warren County Commission and Sheriff Kevin T. Harrison. The group is urging the officials to ensure that the animals do not further contribute to the overpopulation of exotic animals in the U.S. In order to prevent future maulings and deaths, PETA is asking Warren County to mandate that all the animals be spayed or neutered before they are sent to other menageries or roadside zoos. The group has offered to foot the bill for the surgeries. "More tigers are kept captive in the U.S. than remain in their native habitat," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Breeding for greed has resulted in an overpopulation crisis among captive big cats, leading to the sort of abuse and neglect that these animals have suffered at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya." (see also under EXOTIC NEWS)
Fairmont - Marion County - (8/7/08) - The county commission passed a vicious dog ordinance, Wednesday (8/7/08) morning, following a public meeting on the subject. Commissioners say the ordinance is modeled after similar regulations already on the books. It requires owners to restrain their dogs and to provide notice to the public. It also enforces strict penalties for not complying. Commissioners say the ordinance is a way to protect the public. Commissioners say the ordinance does not target any one specific breed of dog. It goes into effect immediately.
Lewis County - (8/2/08) - A proposed Lewis County ordinance would essentially make a dog's bark worse than its bite. If passed, owners whose dogs create a public nuisance by barking could be fined up to $500 and could spend as much as 90 days in jail. Magistrate Dan Moody, who forwarded the proposal to the County Commission, said dogs who bite can cost the owner a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. "We're going to work with these people," Moody said. "We're not just going to take their dogs and put them in jail. First, we are going to talk to them, tell them there has been complaints. We are going to give them all the options in the world to stop it."
Moody said there has been a number of complaints to the magistrate court regarding constantly barking dogs. The proposed ordinance states that at least two different people must make a complaint in writing to law enforcement officers against the same owner before the authorities will investigate the matter. If the nuisance is determined to be in violation of the ordinance, the owner could be fined up to $500 and jailed for 10 days on a first conviction. A second conviction would result in fines between $100 and $500 and up to 90 days behind bars. Probation of up to one year could also be levied. Commissioner Sam Hicks said he believes the law would create more problems than it could solve. Commissioners also expressed concerns that the proposal could lead to neighbors using the ordinance to harass those living nearby they do not like or to complain about those legally operating kennels. "I think you could see a lot of misuse of that ordinance," Queen said.
New Haven - (8/7/08) - New Haven Town Council met Monday (8/4/08) evening at 7:00 at Town Hall to discuss, among other business, a proposed Animal Ordinance which included the banning of Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. mayor tabled a proposed ordinance until further notice after asking the council if they believed the ordinance should be voted on as it was originally proposed. Four of the Five members agreed it should be reviewed and probable changes made. There were six town residents in attendance, two were there in regard to the Dog Ordinance, one opposing and one favoring. Information provided by Jodi Preis, who attended the meeting and stayed afterward to discuss the proposed "ban" with council. They were very receptive and will keep in touch with Jodi. Thank you, Jodi ! (no link available)
Cheyenne - (8/5/08) - Cheyenne Frontier Days officials met with members of an animal rights group to hear its concerns that certain events at the rodeo are cruel to participating animals.
While nothing definitive came of the meeting Wednesday evening, Frontier Days officials said they are looking into one of the group’s concerns. Both sides described the meeting as cordial.
SHARK, or Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, advocates banning steer roping from rodeo and wants Frontier Days to change its calf roping event by eliminating so-called jerk-downs, in which a calf is pulled straight back when roped around the neck by a rider on horseback.
The Illinois-based activist group earlier this year presented videos showing horses being shocked with hand-held devices to make them buck at the Cheyenne rodeo. Frontier Days banned the use of the devices before this year’s rodeo, and SHARK officials said they saw no horse shocking over the nine-day rodeo in late July. Mike Kobliska, an investigator with SHARK, said both sides listened to the other’s positions and arguments.
OTHER COUNTRIES OF INTEREST
Queensland - (8/5/08) - FOUR Queensland councils will trial mandatory desexing of dogs and cats in a bid to reduce the tens of thousands of stray pets put down each year. Queensland and the Northern Territory were the only jurisdictions without compulsory registration and identification of cats and dogs. Should all pet dogs and cats be desexed? Have your say
Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Townsville and Logan councils will each receive $380,000 for the initiative and a new code of practice for pet shops is being developed.
"In addition to trialling different methods of encouraging identification and desexing, they will also collect baseline data to monitor the numbers of levels of animals being euthanased," Mr Pitt said. Moreton Bay Deputy Mayor Greg Chippendale said 3000 dogs and cats were dumped at its pounds each year, which was why he backed mandatory de-sexing, except for animals owned by breeders. Logan City Council impounds more than 3500 animals each year. Brisbane City Council would not release its pound figures and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman refused to comment. Opposition leader Shayne Sutton said the killing of stray animals was a big issue.
"No one wants to see the large numbers of cats and dogs put down every year and we should be doing all we can to reverse it," she said.
S. E. QUEENSLAND - Calls for a ban on pet dogs - (8/6/08) - A report has found south-east Queensland's koala population could vanish within 20 years, sparking calls for a ban on pet dogs.
The survey by consultants GHD for the Environmental Protection Agency and Moreton Bay Regional Council showed the urban koala population in that area had declined 46 per cent over the past six years. The State Government has announced a task force to recommend drastic measures to Cabinet within four weeks. Those measures could include banning dogs in new residential areas, phasing out dog ownership in existing residential areas, and mandating koala-friendly fences for homes. Premier Anna Bligh said today tougher action was needed immediately. "I understand that there will be a big debate about some of these issues, but I'm not going to stand by and watch the koala population of south-east Queensland simply dwindle into oblivion," Ms Bligh said. "These are icon species - the koala is one of the great symbols of our country." Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) executive director Greg Hallam said preservation of koala habitat, rather than controlling dogs, was a better solution to south-east Queensland's dwindling koala population. Mr Hallam said dog ownership was a complex issue involving their role as companions, protectors and other factors. "Dogs are an issue up to a point, but the bigger issue is that we're taking away the koalas' habitat," he told AAP.
Riyadh - (8/1/08) - As reported in the Chicago Tribune, A prohibition went into effect on Wednesday (7/30/08) that bans selling cats and dogs and walking dogs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This was decided because men and women often use their dogs as an excuse to strike up a conversation. In this strict Islamic country, they want to keep the human sexes apart. Violators will get their dogs confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the religious police, tasked with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code. "If a man is caught with a pet, the pet will be immediately confiscated and the man will be forced to sign a document pledging not to repeat the act," al-Othman told the Al-Hayat newspaper. "If he does, he will be referred to authorities." The ban does not address women. According to the article, part of the reason for the new rule is to curb the corrupting Western influence of pet ownership and fast food. So what will now happen to all the dogs in Saudia Arabia that need regular exercise and socialization? UPDATE:
The prohibition might not have much of an effect in Riyadh. It's rare to see anyone in the capital walking a dog — much less carrying a cat in public — despite authorities' claims of flirtatious young men luring girls with their pets in malls. The religious police patrol streets and malls throughout the kingdom, ensuring unmarried men and women do not mix, confronting women they say are not properly covered or urging men to go to prayers. They also often make attempts to plug the few holes that innovations can cause in the strict gender segregation. In 2004, for example, they tried to ban cameras on cell phones, fearing that men and women would exchange pictures of each other, though the prohibition was revoked. There was no word on whether commission authorities intend to expand the dog and cat ban beyond the capital.
The prohibition could be more of an attempt to curb the owning of pets, which conservative Saudis view as a sign of corrupting Western influence, like the fast food, shorts, jeans and pop music that have become more common in the kingdom. Although it has never been common to own pets in the Arab world, it's becoming increasingly fashionable among the upper class in Saudi Arabia and other countries such as Egypt. In Islamic tradition, dogs are shunned as unclean and dangerous, though they are kept for hunting and guarding. In large cities around the Middle East, stray dogs are considered pests. The ban on cats is more puzzling, because there's no similar disdain for them in Islamic tradition. A number of traditional stories of the Prophet Muhammad show him encouraging people to treat cats well.
Within weeks, Spain is likely to go beyond laws that protect animals and be the first country to give rights to nonhumans, specifically great apes – gorillas, chimps, bonobos, and orangutans. If other governments follow, a line between mankind and animals will be crossed. Will such an action be a step up for humans? Not if it diminishes the essence of what is a right.
The possibility of such a risk is why a parliamentary panel in Spain recommends only a few rights for these species that are close to humans in evolution and that can display certain humanlike behavior. Spain's proposed law might help bolster rules on humane treatment of animals. Its action would elevate great apes in captivity to more than property. They would have standing in court, much as children or unconscious patients do. They could be given a guardian or lawyer. The law would grant apes a right to life. No human could kill them except in self-defense. They would have a right to be free of abuse. They couldn't be used in medical experiments, circuses, movies, and TV commercials. And so forth. To grant only a few rights to only a few animals is to go down a slippery slope of moral relativism. If some animals are treated in law like humans, that gives ammunition to some humans who see some types of humans as animals. History shows – in the Holocaust and in African slavery – how that ends. Because rights are unique and absolute to humans – who have the potential to grasp their meaning – they are a protection to humans. At the least, Spain's action may help ignite a useful debate on the origins and uses of rights. Even as it weighs this law on ape rights, Spain is not moving to ban the cruel sport of bullfighting or the run of the bulls at Pamplona. There's a lesson in that: Let human rights remain in the human realm while mankind works on improving its treatment of animals.
Bull Breed Discrimination is Clogging up Rescue System
The plethora of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and type dogs currently in local authority holding kennels is placing a strain on the rehoming system in general. There also seems to be reluctance by some rehoming agencies to take these dogs after they have completed their seven days with local councils. The popularity of the breed has resulted in some stray dog holding kennels having exclusive areas of their kennel lines being turned over to almost 100% Staffordshire occupation now. What must be asked however is if the dogs are so popular, why are so many being seized as stray dogs by councils and not being reclaimed by their owners? One senior kennel worker with a managerial role who has worked at a major holding kennels for several years has become disillusioned with the amount of SBT dogs coming into the kennels and claims that many of these dogs will never have an opportunity to be re-homed. It is felt that instead of moving forward with animal welfare we are moving back to the bad old days of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The kennels that home many dogs through a number of major league as well as smaller sized rescues see many non-SBT types getting a place with a rehoming agency whilst the SBT’s are left languishing in kennels which is not good for the dogs in the long term as many will agree.
Haverigg Beach - (8/15/08) - A campaign has been launched to clean up after pets on Haverigg beach. The beach comes under the jurisdiction of Copeland Borough Council. Open spaces manager for the borough council, Tony Magean, said: “On the enforcement side of things the act currently in place only allows us to enforce laws in town centres and not on the beach. “The laws currently in place are under the Dog Fouling Act. “However, the council is reviewing a Dog Control Order. Once this is agreed, following consultation across the area, the Dog Control Order will enable the enforcement of beaches. “We are hoping to introduce the order in the next four and five months. This will replace the Dog Fouling Act.”
South Tyneside - (8/16/08) - Council chiefs have launched a consultation exercise to seek views on the introduction of new legislation. If given the go-ahead the changes would include a new order for owners to keep dogs on leads at all cemeteries in South Tyneside and in South Shields' South Marine Park. In addition, an order would be introduced requiring people in control of a dog to immediately remove dog mess. It is proposed that a new Fixed Penalty Notice of £80 for an offence of dog fouling be brought in. That amount would be reduced to £50 if paid within a specified number of days.At a series of consultation roadshows over the summer the public has been invited to share their views on the proposed changes.A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: "It is intended that these new laws will replace existing legislation. The current laws are outdated, confusing and complicated as different rules apply to different areas."The laws do not reflect the cleaner society we live in. The new legislation allows the council to determine specific land to which each dog control order will apply. Essentially this will make the law of dog control much clearer, easier to understand and applicable to a wider area."The moves come as a result of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. This enables the council to implement five offences for those in control of a dog.The final consultation roadshow is to staged for East Shields residents at St Margaret's Church at The Nook on Thursday, August 21, from 10.30am to 6pm, but people have until the end of October to express their views on the changes.
Ferrets, like most other less conventional pets, may be subject to a range of laws regulating the ownership of exotic animals. Although it's legal to keep ferrets in most places, there are a few exceptions, such as New York City and California. But David Gaines, director of the legislative and legal affairs committee for the American Ferret Association, says in recent years most places have made the pets legal."Minneapolis and Dallas have recently legalized them," he says. "I'm not aware of any major municipalities that have gone in the other direction." But animals are subject to a patchwork of laws at more local levels that which may not always be consistent with one another. For example, ferrets are legal in Salt Lake County, but that's overridden by a law that prohibits them in Salt Lake City. So you need to check carefully before acquiring a ferret, or before moving if you have one.
Norfolk - (8/14/08) - PETA has learned that Wesa-A-Geh-Ya--the exotic-animal menagerie in Warren County where a man was mauled by a tiger earlier this month--plans to relocate all of its remaining animals. In response, PETA has sent an urgent appeal to the Warren County Commission and Sheriff Kevin T. Harrison. The group is urging the officials to ensure that the animals do not further contribute to the overpopulation of exotic animals in the U.S. In order to prevent future maulings and deaths, PETA is asking Warren County to mandate that all the animals be spayed or neutered before they are sent to other menageries or roadside zoos. The group has offered to foot the bill for the surgeries. "More tigers are kept captive in the U.S. than remain in their native habitat," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Breeding for greed has resulted in an overpopulation crisis among captive big cats, leading to the sort of abuse and neglect that these animals have suffered at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya."
This Month's Stupid Award....
Identity of Montauk Monster is Finally Revealed
Despite the UK's leading breed identification experts getting into a heated exchange over whether the animal dubbed the Montauk Monster was a Pit Bull or not, it turns out it wasn't even a dog.
It was a Raccoon.
So - all you so called "Pit bull ID experts" - there you have it. If YOU can't determine what a pit bull is, how can you continue to "ban" or "restrict" something that you don't even know what it is ?????
UK pit bull ID experts - and all those "experts" from elsewhere - ain't what they're cracked up to be.
Looks like you'll be busy putting restrictions on raccoons now, er..... PitCoons.