“It’s ludicrous that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down,” Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said.
Owners who fail to follow the edict will be subject to fines of £500, or about $785.
Paterson said the move will allow all lost, stray or abandoned dogs to be traced back to their owners, ensuring people are held accountable for their animals.
The creation of a database of all dog owners in England will allow also law enforcement officials to track down the owners of dogs seized for aggressive or other bad behavior, The Telegraph reported. But government officials insist the move is aimed primarily at saving dogs.
Paterson said that 110,000 dogs were lost a year and microchipping will speed up the tracing of their owners. Around 6,000 dogs are put down each year, while strays cost the taxpayer and welfare charities £57 million a year.
“I am determined to put an end to this and ease the pressure on charities and councils to find new homes for these dogs,” he said. “Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it’s stolen.”
As of 2016 police officers and local authorities will have the power to check to see if dogs have been fitted with microchips. Owners who have not complied will be given one last chance to do so before fines are issued.
Government officials said dogs won’t be swept up randomly or without cause: “Clearly the police and local authorities will not be seeking out law-abiding responsible owners to check …” a spokesman said.
Paterson said that the microchipping will be free for all dog owners because it is being subsidized by the Dogs Trust charity.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, accountability, animals, british, dogs, england, environment, fines, government, lost, mandate, mandatory, microchip, microchipping, microchips, owen paterson, owners, pets, strays, uk
Doggie seat belts may not always be life savers.
Restraints for traveling dogs in cars have become increasingly popular, and lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a bill mandating them.
But in simulated accidents, the four brands tested didn’t perform well.
“It was just astounding what we saw,” said Lindsey Wolko, who founded the non-profit Center for Pet Safety in 2011 after getting into a car accident while traveling with her dog. The harness failed and her dog Maggie suffered spinal injuries.
The tests applied the same federal motor vehicle safety standards for testing child seats. Using a 55 pound stuffed test dog, Wolko and her team simulated a 30-mile-per-hour collision. You can find video of all four tests here.
In one case the harness allowed too much slack, and the dog crashed into the back of the front seat. In two others, the harnesses snapped, sending the dogs flying through the air. And in a fourth, the harness slid up to the dog’s neck on impact.
“I don’t think that there’s any doubt that those dogs would have been seriously injured, if not fatally injured,” Wolko said.
The manufacturers are not being identified by the center. “Our primary concern is NOT to attack individual manufacturers for selling well-intentioned products. If we share brands at this early stage in our work, we shift the focus away from what is truly needed: measurable, safe standards that manufacturers can follow for the benefit of consumers,” the center says on its website.
Unlike with human restraints, those made for dogs are not tested or regulated by the government and there are no existing safety standards in place.
The American Pet Products Association, in response to Wolko’s findings, released a statement saying, “.. there are an increasing number of reported accidents where a pet distracting the driver is being cited as the cause. A pet restraint that merely limits a pets access and distraction to the driver and limits its motion in the event of an accident is still an improvement over no restraint.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, assembly, cars, center for pet safety, dog, dogs, harnesses, law, legislature, lindsey wolko, mandatory, new jersey, pets, research, restraints, safety, seat belts, seatbelts, study, travel
According to The Guardian, the microchips would contain information about the dog, its breed and contact information for the owner, all of which would be stored on a central database available to the police and the RSPCA.
The move is aimed at making it easier to track and prosecute owners of dangerous dogs, but some question whether owners of dangerous dogs will comply with the measure.
“If we’re not careful we’re going to make things more difficult for legitimate dog owners, and not solve the real problem of dangerous dogs,” said Neil Parish, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on animal welfare. “…It’s not so much the dogs that should be targeted, but the owners who train them to be vicious.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers has called for a strengthening of the terms of the Dangerous Dogs Act after a recent pitbull-type dog attack in east London in March left five officers in hospital.
Since microchipping was introduced in 1989, more than 4 million dogs and cats in the UK have been fitted, the Dogs Trust said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeds, dangerous dogs, data base, dogs, england, mandatory, microchip, microchipping, microchips, pets, uk, united kingdom
When we hear about it, we like to pounce on big dog discrimination before it happens.
So let’s talk about Middletown, New York, where city officials think it would be a good idea to require all renters whose dogs tip the scales at more than 25 pounds to carry liability insurance.
This makes about as much sense as Wausau, Wisconsin’s two-dog limit, our topic Friday.
What fear-mongering, fact-ignoring, bandwagon-jumping city officials need to get through their heads, once and for all, is that it’s not the size of the dog, the breed of the dog, or even the number of dogs that cause dog problems — it’s the dog owner.
Be it “nuisance” or “danger” they are trying to protect us from, that’s who they need to be going after.
Not family’s like the Lecker’s in Wausau, who have four dogs, but bought a house not knowing the town limited households to two, and now face a choice between moving or ditching two dogs.
And not responsible dog-owning renters who, in the case of Middletown, might find themselves paying up to $300 a year to ensure any dog bigger than a breadbox.
Singling out breeds and setting arbitrary weight limits is doggie discrimination, pure and simple. (We’d argue the proposed Middletown law discriminates against renters as well.)
In Middletown, the Common Council is looking at a proposal that would require tenants to get at least $100,000 worth of liability insurance on dogs weighing over 25 pounds, according to the Times Herald-Record.
The proposed law is in response to a rising number of dog bites, city officials said. According to Mayor Joe DeStefano dog bites are covered under most homeowners’ policies, so the law would target only renters. The proposal doesn’t single out any breeds, but city officials have said they are concerned about the rising number of pit bulls in the city.
The city says there were 94 reported dog bites in Middletown over the past three years. Of them, 79 were from “large-breed” dogs, 37 of them from pit bulls or pit bull mixes. It also says two city employees have been attacked by pit bulls in recent months while on the job.
I wonder how many of those pit bulls were really pit bulls, as opposed to a convenient designation. I wonder, in the case of all those ”pit bull mixes,” why what else is in the mix isn’t mentioned. And I wonder, when it comes to those “large-breed” dogs doing the majority of the biting, if the city is referring to all dogs over 25 pounds.
But what I wonder most of all, since the requirement would do nothing to actually address the problem, is what purpose — beyond fattening up insurance companies — it would serve.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, big dogs, big dow owners, city, dangerous, discrimination, dogs, insurance, landlords, laws, liability, mandatory, middletown, new york, nuisance, pets, renters, required, requirement, tenants, wausau, wisconsin
Baillieu outlined his tough new proposals at the Lost Dogs’ Home in North Melbourne last month, calling them “some of the strongest laws ever introduced to protect animals from abuse and neglect.”
They were submitted to the Victorian parliament the next week, and passed last week, according to a press release sent to ohmidog! from his office.
(If only American government entities could move so fast.)
“We are not going to tolerate cruelty to animals,” Baillieu said in October, according to an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald. “As a dog owner, I am appalled by images I have seen of abused and helpless animals.”
The new legislation creates far heavier fines for illegally operating puppy farms — up to $20,000, $30,000 in some cases — and it allows the government to seize the assets of puppy mill operators. Money raised from the sale of confiscated assets would go towards an Animal Welfare Fund.
The law establishes a $1.6 million Animal Welfare Fund that will be used to care for animals, assist animal shelters and educate the community on responsible pet ownership.
Under the new legislation, 10-year bans on pet ownership can be imposed on anyone found guilty of animal cruelty.
The new law — proposed in response to grisly scenes discovered in some Victorian puppy farms where dogs were kept in cages and carcasses left to rot — also make it mandatory for dogs and cats sold in the state to be fitted with a microchip.
“The community has rallied for these changes to the law which will protect animals from abuse and neglect, while ensuring operators of illegal puppy farms are held accountable for the treatment and welfare of animals in their care.”
(Photo: Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu with puppies from the Lost Dogs’ Home. Courtesy of Baillieu’s office.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animal welfare fund, animals, assets, bans, breeders, cats, crack down, dogs, fines, illegal, law, legislation, mandatory, microchips, ownership, parliament, pets, premier, protection, puppy farms, puppy mills, rspca, seize, ted baillieu, victorian
Citing a budget shortfall, Los Angeles animal control officials say they will end a voucher program that enabled residents to get low cost spaying and neutering for their dogs.
The program started last year, when the city voted to require all Los Angeles dogs and cats be neutered or spayed, with the exception of show animals, law enforcement and service dogs, and those deemed too old or sick for the surgery.
L.A. Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks says the agency was compelled by the city to make up a budget shortfall of $414,000. Ending the spay and neuter vouchers will save about $150,000, he said.
Animal welfare advocates, and some city council members, are displeased with the decision to end the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Councilman Dennis Zine’s office said he ”strongly opposes the recent decision made by the department to halt the voucher program” and will move later this week for the council to reinstate the program.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, budget, cats, city, city council, control, dogs, ed boks, los angeles, low cost, low-income, mandatory, neuter, neutering, pets, population, program, shortfall, spay, spaying, sterilization, voucher
Mandatory pet sterilization is back on the table in Chicago, and this time the City Council sponsor says he expects his proposal, revised to lessen the fines, to win approval.
Under the new proposal from Alderman Ed Burke, a third offense for not neutering or spaying a pet before they turn 6 months old would trigger a fine of $100 per month. His earlier proposal called for a $500 fine.
A mandatory spay/neuter law was proposed last summer, and former TV game show host Bob Barker came to Chicago to support it, saying it would cut down on the numbers of stray dogs and cats euthanized each year.
But the Chicago and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Associations opposed the measure, saying decisions about sterilization were best left to pet owners and their veterinarians, according to the Chicago Tribune. The proposal never came to a vote.
The proposal is expected to be voted on at a committee meeting Thursday.
Effective tomorrow, if you own an unaltered dog or cat in Los Angeles, you’re technically an outlaw.
As the website of L.A. Animal Services has been telling citizens – via a digital countdown of the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the city’s spay/neuter law goes into effect Wednesday — time’s almost up.
The Los Angeles City Council approved the measure in February in hopes of stemming the number of unwanted and stray animals in shelters. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3 million to 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters nationwide each year. About 15,000 are euthanized a year in Los Angeles, according to a report by the City Controller
Dogs and cats exempted from the ordinance, according to the Los Angeles Times, include those that are being trained for special activities, have medical excuses, are show dogs or belong to owners aspire for their animals to join the show circuit.
The ordinance also has a lenient grace period, allowing four months before it is enforced. Even then, owners who have been found not to be in compliance have 60 days to alter their pets or pay a $100 fine. A third offense results in a $500 fine.
A report by City Controller Laura Chick said it’s doubtful that L.A. Animal Services will be able to enforce the new law.
“No one is sure how spay and neuter canvassing or enforcement should occur. The department plans to rely primarily on voluntary compliance,” she wrote.
Ed Boks, general manager of L.A. Animal Services, responded by saying his department would enforce the measure “to the fullest extent possible. Owners should not conclude that they can avoid compliance without consequence.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 30th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: california, cats, city controller, dogs, enforcement, fines, grace period, law, los angeles, mandatory, mandatory spay neuter, neuter, news, pets, spay