Folks in Dallas may become a little less likely to befriend a stray dog in need in light of an ordinance passed by the City Council this week.
The council approved an ordinance Wednesday requiring anyone who takes possession of a stray dog to make a reasonable effort to find the dog’s owner, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The rule comes largely as a result of one persistent dog owner, Brad Kirby, who has lobbied City Hall since two of his huskies disappeared two years ago. Kirby found the person he suspected stole them, but police said little could be done because the man told authorities he’d encountered the dogs running loose and gave them away.
The ordinance gives a person who picks up a stray dog 72 hours to:
• Call the phone number listed on the dog’s tags;
• Take the dog to a licensed veterinarian to screen for a microchip, tattoo or other identification and to call the owner if one is identified;
• Call 311 to request that animal services pick up the dog; or
• Deliver the dog to the city’s animal shelter.
A violation – meaning failure to do any of those things — will be punishable by a fine up to $500.
The lone vote against the measure came from council member Vonciel Hill, a former city judge, who said she worries that someone trying to help a stray could end up in trouble.
“I think that this ordinance places an inordinate burden on any person who is trying to have some kindness toward a stray,” she said.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $500, animal congtrol, animals, dallas, deliver, dog, dogs, fine, identification, microchip, news, ohmidog!, ordinance, pets, requirements, shelter, steps, stray, strays, tattoo, texas, veterinarian
Worcester County Commissioners voted down a bill that would have established fines for owners of barking dogs, leading at least one citizen who supported the measure to howl.
Jack Davis, a Bishopville resident, made barking noises as he left the commissioners Tuesday night meeting in Snow Hill — in an attempt to show just how annoying the sound can be, according to DelmarvaNow.com.
“It’s really rough when you retire and you want to sit on your porch and in your yard, and hear dogs barking all day long,” Davis said.
In a 4-3 vote, the commissioners nixed legislation that would have levied fines on dog owners for uncontrolled barking and howling in the Maryland county.
“At what point do you start legislating cats and frogs and everything else?” said Commissioner Virgil Shockley.
Worcester County Animal Control would have been responsible for enforcement of the law, charging owners with a civil infraction, and up to a $500 fine, if their dogs barked for more than an hour.
Of the half-dozen residents who spoke at a public hearing on the issue, all were in favor of the law.
Animal Control Officer Susan Rantz said the county commissioners would be better off looking at the county’s chained dog law. ”I don’t understand how a fine is going to stop the dogs from barking,” Rantz said. ”There are reasons the dogs bark, and I think it’s because they are on
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, barking, commissioners, dog, dogs, fine, fines, hearing, jack davis, law, legislation, maryland, news, nixed, nuisance, ohmidog!, pets, proposed, snow hill, susan rantz, virgil shockley, vote, voted down, worcester county
In a episode nearly as ludicrous as the case of the soiled condominium, an English great-grandmother was threatened with a £50 fine for picking up the wrong dog’s poop.
Pam Robson was accused by Sunderland Council wardens of failing to clean up after Derik, her Labrador, in a field in Houghton-le-Spring in January.
The council said the 60-year-old had picked up droppings that emanated from a different dog, according to the BBC.
How they knew that, I’m not sure, for Sunderland is not one of those jurisdictions that are performing DNA analysis on dog poop — a step that has been proposed at a condominium right here in Baltimore.
The board of the Scarlett Place Condominiums on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is considering a proposal to create a DNA database of its canine residents, then sending offending feces to a lab in an effort to find out exactly who, among their residents, is allowing their dog to poop in its ritzy hallways, and not picking it up.
Yes, everyone should pick up their dog’s waste — but going to such forensic lengths, and fining people for not picking up the right pile, are the actions of obsessive, power hungry control freaks who need to find better causes.
In Robson’s case, she refused to pay the fine and was threatened with court action.
Robson said she had been talking to her daughter on her cell phone when her dog ran off and did it’s doody. Robson walked over, scooped up a pile, and then was approached by two men (because policing poopers is apparently too dangerous a job to do alone).
“He said it was the wrong mess and that he was going to issue me with a fine for £50,” Robson recalled. “I picked up the other mess too and put it in the bag but he said I’d still be fined.”
“It felt like the worst kind of bullying,” she said.
Sunderland City Council, after she complained and asked for a review, later wrote to Robson, saying: “Officers at the time were satisfied that an offence had been committed. However it appears you may have collected faeces belonging to another dog.” In light of that, the note said, the council would not be pursuing the fine.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, bullying, clean up, condominium, council, court, crackdown, dna, dog, dogs, england, feces, fine, fined, labrador, news, ohmidog!, pam robson, pets, picking up, pile, police, poop, scarlett place, scoop, sunderland, waste, wrong
Paul Railton was fined and barred from driving for six months after taking his dog for a walk while sitting behind the wheel of his car.
Prosecutors said he was spotted by a cyclist driving slowly along a country lane in December, holding his dog’s leash through the car window as the animal trotted alongside.
Railton pleaded guilty Monday to not being in proper control of a vehicle, but told the court that “a lot of people exercise their dogs in that manner,” MSNBC reports.
His lawyer said Railton, 23, acknowledged “it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness.”
Railton was ordered by magistrates in Consett, northeast England, to pay a fine of about $100. He also received three penalty points on his driver’s license, leading to him being barred from driving for six months.
Several British newspapers reported that Railton was involved in an attempted murder case last year (drive-by shooting?), but that the case was dismissed because of police misconduct.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alongside, banned, barred, car, dog, dog walking, dogs, driver, driving, england, fine, laziness, lazy, lazy brit, leash, news, paul railton, road, street, walk, walking
A police dog handler in the UK has been found guilty of animal cruelty for leaving two German shepherds to die in the back of his car on one of the hottest days of last year.
Mark Johnson, of the Nottinghamshire police, was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a fine. The judge called it “an extremely difficult case” which reflected poorly on the force’s attitude to officers with mental health problems.
Prosecutors said the animals – Jay-Jay and Jet – died in “excruciating pain” after Johnson forgot he had not taken them out of his vehicle on June 30. The dogs died – possibly within 20 minutes of being left in the car– from heatstroke, The Guardian reported
Johnson, 39, said he was severely depressed and was suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder when he left the dogs in the car. He said his illness had caused him to forget that the animals were still in the car as he sat down to do paperwork at Nottinghamshire police’s headquarters.
District judge Tim Devas described the dogs’ deaths as “sad and regrettable”, but criticized the police department for failing to help an officer struggling with depression.
“I feel a police officer has been let down … (T)his is a dreadful error of judgment brought about by an illness way before it happened and PC Johnson should have been given more help … I cannot believe that in the 21st century, depression and men crying is so abhorrent to an institution that nothing can be done about it,” he said.
An assistant chief constable of the Nottinghamshire police said dog handlers must now take their animals directly to kennels on arrival at work and that a system was being piloted alerting handlers to temperature changes inside vehicles.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, car, changes, deaths, depressed, dog, fine, fined, german shepherds, guilty, handler, heat, heat stroke, jay jay, jet, mark johnson, mental health, news, nottinghamshire, police, policies, policy, trial, vehicle
An off-duty Chicago police officer shot and killed a neighbor’s German shepherd Monday, claiming the dog was preparing to attack her.
The officer said she was walking her dog, described as pug, when the neighbor’s dog escaped from the backyard, attacked her dog and then threatened her.
When police arrived after the shooting, they issued a ticket to the owner of the dead dog for not having a license.
“Like killing my dog wasn’t enough?” the neighbor, Laura Bravo, said.
The shooting happened as Bravo’s three children were heading to school. They let their dog, Malachi, out into the backyard, heard gunfire, and then saw the dog bleeding on the sidewalk.
After the Chicago Sun-Times inquired whether the officer had a license for her dog, the department checked and discovered she didn’t, a police spokesman said. The unidentified officer, a female who has been with the department about three years, was then issued one as well.
The tickets carry a fine of up to $500.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, chicago, dog, dogs, fine, german shepherd, killed, laura bravo, license, licensed, licenses, malachi, off duty, officer, pets, police, shot, threatened, ticket, tickets
Derbe “Skip” Eckhart, former operator of Pennsylvania’s Almost Heaven Kennel, faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty in Lehigh County Court yesterday to animal cruelty and multiple dog law violations.
Eckhart also faces fines of up to $7,500 under a plea agreement reached with the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office.
The kennel in Upper Milford Township was shut down in June.
Eckhart pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, three counts of violating a cease and desist order and failing to remove 216 dogs from the kennel after the period to appeal his denied operating license expired, the Allentown Morning Call reported.
Prosecutor Jay Jenkins said that under the agreement, Eckhart does not intend to be involved in any other kennel, but would like to keep some of his personal animals and continue working as a groomer at a Fogelsville business.
Judge Robert L. Steinberg will determine that, and Eckhart’s sentence, at a Nov. 16 hearing.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, almost heaven, animal cruelty, court, derbe, dog law, dogs, eckhart, fine, hearing, kennel, lehigh county, license, pennsylvania, plea, sentence, upper milford township
Repulsive as they are, posters showing a small girl consuming a brown substance while seated in the grass next to a pile of dog poop seem to be working, according to officials in Torbay, England.
Torbay Council launched the controversial campaign at the end of April, according to the BBC.
Since then, the amount of dog waste not cleaned up has dropped by half
That’s according to Councillor Dave Butt — (please hold your sophomoric giggling until the end of the story) — a cabinet member for community services. He said there were more than 400 ”incidents” in April, but only 185 in June. (Apparently Torbay conducts a monthly census of dog droppings.)
Butt said there had been no complaints about the posters, which are six feet high and contain an image in which a young child at a playground appears to be eating dog feces
The posters were displayed in local bus shelters and dog mess offenders were warned about the penalty which is a fine of up to £1,000.
Butt told BBC News: “The poster was rather unpleasant, but helped drive the message home very forcibly. “We did not have any complaints, but we did have people ringing us to say it was about time and they were pleased we went in so hard.”
Plans call for campaign to continue, with the message being spread to schools and community groups.
“We are not against dog owners, we are against people that ignore safety and health issues,” Butt said.
Torbay, a popular tourist destination, is located on the Lyme Bay in western England in an area known as the English Riviera.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisement, announcement, bbc, britain, butt, campaign, child, counil, dog, dog poop, dogs, eating, england, feces, fine, penalty, playground, poster, resort, scoop, taste, torbay, tourism, uk, waste
Baltimore’s $1,000 fine for letting a dog of its leash is, effectively, a thing of the past — if even that.
A city council committee yesterday — saying the amended penalty was passed by mistake — approved lowering the fine to $200 on a first offense, and promised that, for all 35 of the $1,000 tickets issued between the beginning of April and May 8, violators will have to pay no more than $200.
The new three-tiered fine — $200 for first offense, $400 for a second, $600 for a third — still requires approval by the full council, but little opposition is expected.
In opening the hearing, at which more than a dozen dog owners testified, Council Member James Kraft said, “This fine, very frankly … was a mistake. We were amending provisions of the law that were dealing with cruelty to animals and we increased penalties because some of these penalties were very old penalties. They weren’t acting as deterrents.
“Inadvertently, because that section had a lot of other provisions in it, that thousand dollar fine went across a much broader spectrum than we knew.”
Upon learning of what they had done, Kraft said, the council took steps to ask that the fine not be levied against violators.
Nevertheless, 35 $1,000 citations were handed out by the city’s office of Animal Control, with support from the police department — 23 of them since April 28.
“For those who have said that maybe this was a fundraising measure on behalf of the city, please be advised it clearly was not,” Kraft said.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amended, baltimore, bulletin, city, city council, committee, dog, dogs, ed reisinger, fine, fines, hours, james kraft, law, leash free, mayor sheila dixon, mount vernon park, news, off-leash, ohmidog!, one thousand dollars, parks, patterson park, penalties, penalty, poop, public hearing, recreation and parks, reduced, riverside park, scoop, unleashed, waste, william cole, wyman park
Compare this picture with the one in our earlier entry and you get some idea of how taking your dog to the park in Baltimore city differs from a lot of other places, including just across the border in Anne Arundel County.
Anne Arundel County has four parks (not counting the town of Bowie’s) and two dog beaches that welcome well-behaved unleashed dogs.
We spent some time at the dog beach in Pasadena (Downs Park) Sunday, partly to beat the heat, partly because we don’t feel too comfortable or welcome in our own Baltimore city park since the city imposed $1,000 fines for leash law violations.
Other than the privately built and funded Canton Dog Park — not really big enough for a big dog to get his run on — the city of Baltimore has no dog parks, no place for dogs to run freely and get the exercise they need, though work is underway to open the first city-built one at Latrobe Park in Locust Point.
Maybe tomorrow’s city council hearing will get things moving. Until then, there’s always Anne Arundel. Here’s where unleashed dogs are allowed there:
Downs Park - Dog Beach only
8311 John Downs Loop
Pasadena, Maryland 21122
Quiet Waters Park - Dog Park and Dog Beach
600 Quiet Waters Park Road
Annapolis, MD 21403
Bell Branch Park
2400 Davidsonville Road
618 Broadneck Road
Maryland City Park
565 Brockbridge Road
Posted by John Woestendiek April 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annapolis, anne arundel county, baltimore, beach, city, council, dog beach, dog parks, downs park, excercise, fine, leash free, leash law, parks, pasadena, quiet waters, unleashed