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Tag: vote

Maryland county votes down barking fines

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
chains.”

Michigan county nixes barking ordinance

We like this little story out of Van Buren County, Michigan.

The county board has rejected a proposed ordinance that would have allowed ticketing of dog owners if their pets barked, yelped or cried for more than 15 minutes straight between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The ordinance, which also required that dogs be on leashes while outdoors, had been debated for more than two years, with critics calling it an intrusion on their rights. Hunters objected, as did those who use guard dogs. Only one member of the county board voted for it.

But the real reason we like it is for its dateline, for the vote was taken in the county seat – a little town called Paw Paw.

(The town is named after the Paw Paw River, which was named by Native Americans after the paw paw fruit that grew abundantly along the river’s banks.)

In cats vs. dogs debate … dogs rule

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Almost two of every three pet owners prefer dogs, according to an online poll conducted jointly by the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers Asociation.

Of more than 9,000 votes cast, dogs fetched 65 percent of them. The votes in the “pet preference” poll were tallied over eight weeks on the website meetthebreeds.com.

Inspired by the upcoming Meet the Breeds event, the world’s largest showcase of cats and dogs, the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association  joined forces this summer to put an end to the age old debate over whether dogs or cats are more beloved.

While cats outnumber dogs by nearly 13 million among the pet-owning American public, dogs fetched 65% of the vote, with the widest margins of victory in Chicago, Seattle,  and Detroit.

Cats fared slightly better, but still beneath dogs, in Philadelphia, Houston and Baltimore. The city-by-city tallies can be found on the Meet the Breeds website.

Voters were allowed to present their arguments along with their votes. Here are some of them, according to an AKC press release.

CATS:

– Don’t hang all over you wanting attention … they don’t eat disgusting things and then try to lick your face.

– Don’t have to be walked and they don’t bark!

– Are  much easier to live with – with much less work.

Dogs on the other hand “walk around with a smile as man’s best friend and are always there for us.”

And as for a cat’s nine lives, one voter said, “Cats have to have do-over lives because they didn’t figure out how to have fun the first time around.”

Sponsored by PetPartners, Inc. a leading pet healthcare provider, Meet the Breeds will be held October 17 & 18, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The event will showcase 160 AKC registered dog breeds and 41 CFA registered cat breeds in booths individually decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet.

More information and tickets are available at meetthebreeds.com.

Voters to decide whether dogs can use beach

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Whether dogs should get a couple of hours access a day to Willard Beach in Maine will be decided by voters.

South Portland city councilors voted unanimously Monday night to put the issue of dogs on the Nov. 3 ballot as a referendum question, TV station WMTW reports.

The issue has been debated for close to 20 years, and recent changes, after a push by dog owners, opened the beach up to dogs from 7 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

After that, those opposed to dogs on the beach in the summer gathered more than 1,000 signatures, enough to present the issue to city council.

City Council votes to lower leash law fine

Baltimore’s City Council tonight approved lowering the fine for leash law violations from $1,000 to $200 for a first offense.

Subsequent offenses would carry fines of $400 and $600.

A city council committee recommended the changes after a hearing held last week.

The council also voted to lower the fine for failing to clean up dog waste from $1,000 to $200.

Councilman James Kraft said he would try to get Mayor Sheila Dixon to sign the legislation tomorrow.

The higher penalties went into effect in February. Though they were approved by the city council, several members say they voted for them inadvertently while approving broad changes in the city’s dog law.

Complaints about the higher fines surfaced after animal control officers began handing out $1,000 citations in March. At least 35 were issued, but city officials say those citations will revert to the lower fine.

The council also approved giving the Recreation and Parks Department authority to designate leash-free areas and hours at city parks.

Vote now for the “People’s Hero” dog

The Humane Society of the United States has announced the 15 finalists in the Second Annual Dogs of Valor Awards, sponsored by PetPlan Pet Insurance. The awards honor dogs that have exhibited extraordinary courage.

The People’s Hero winner, chosen by online voting (it ends at 5 p.m. today), and the Valor Dog of the Year, chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, will be announced May 17.

Here are the contenders:

Aubrey (Millbury, Mass.) – Led owner from a running trail to a man who was lying unconscious on an overgrown path.

Baby C. (Albuquerque, N.M.) – Found help when owner’s SUV plummeted 20 feet off the side of a mountain and wedged upside down between two trees.

Baby W. (Charleston, W.Va.) – Awakened owner as a fire spread from the garage, eventually causing their car to explode and destroying their home.

Boo (renamed “Hero”) (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) – Barked to get attention and led police to his owner who had been knocked unconscious after falling between two isolated buildings.

Buster (Clarkridge, Ark.) – Alerted owner and led him to his wife who had collapsed and was unable to move after a severe stroke.

Butch (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) – Ran down to the basement, a place he greatly feared, and woke his owner’s son as a fire quickly spread.

Charley (Loganville, Ga.) – Begged to go outside and then led owner several houses down where a man had fallen off a ladder.

D-boy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – Shot three times as he charged towards an armed man who had broken into his home.

Hank (Dublin, Ga.) – Roused his owner and helped him to his feet after a tractor ran over him, causing massive internal injuries.

Jake (Omaha, Neb.) – Pulled a boy to safety when he was swept away and pulled underwater by currents in the Platte River.

Julian (Reading, Pa.) – Barked until he got his owner’s attention, leading the man to find his wife in a diabetic coma.

Laney (Portage, Ind.) – Bit the foot of a boy to wake him and his two friends as fire spread throughout the house.

Piper (Garland, Texas) – Pawed at and roused her owner as she struggled to breathe during an asthma attack.

Tripod (Batesville, Ark.) – Awakened her owners as a fire spread through the home, igniting their bedding.

Tyson (Stuart, Fla.) – Barked and pawed at pool’s surface, alerting owners that their infant nephew was floating in the water.

Their complete stories can be viewed here.

Mass. hysteria: Greyhound racing vote nears

In addition to helping pick the next president, Massachusetts voters tomorrow will be deciding the future of greyhound racing in the state.

Voters will weigh in on a hotly debated ballot measure that, if approved, would make Massachusetts the eighth state to ban live greyhound racing. (Idaho, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington are the others.)

The Boston Globe reported Saturday, in a story that oozed objectivity, that conditions in which greyhounds live — a key factor in the argument to ban the sport — are, well, in the eye of the beholder …

“To one eye, the dogs look cheerful and comfortable. To another, the place might seem like a warehouse. One greyhound appears to stoop his head to fit in the cage; the others seem to have plenty of room to spare.

“The kennel’s owners welcomed a reporter, but no photographer, fearing how the cages might appear in pictures…”

I’m guessing that the cages might appear as they actually are — cameras being devices that record reality and all.

Supporters of the ban say greyhounds spent at least 20 hours a day in their cages.

The Globe article points out that “Like every assertion made in the debate over the ballot question, that contention is feverishly disputed by the other side. Trainers say their dogs get plenty of time outside, though they do have a hard time putting a number to it.”

Backers of the ballot measure believe greyhound racing constitutes animal abuse because of the industry’s excessive breeding practices, the cruel methods by which unwanted dogs are destroyed, the conditions in which many are forced to live and the number of injuries racing leads to.

The Humane Society of the United States believes no amount of reform could make the industry acceptable.

“The racing industry is inherently cruel. Greyhound racing is a form of gaming in which the amount of money a dog generates determines his or her expendability,” it says. “The answer for greyhounds is neither regulation nor adoption of “retired” dogs, but the elimination of the greyhound racing industry.”

Albuquerque dog is registered, won’t vote

An Albuquerque man who gave his dog’s name when he was approached during a voter registration drive at a Wal-Mart two years ago didn’t think “Tuckup Koepke” would actually become a registered voter.

But he did.

Don Pizzolato says he filled out the paperwork with his dog’s name, and a fake birth date and social security number — not expecting he would end up registered to vote in Bernalillo County. A week later though, his dog received a voter registration card in the mail.

Pizzolato’s decision to go public with the story — on the website Duke City Fix – was in response to an op-ed piece in the Sunday Albuquerque Journal in which the county clerk said voter fraud would be “extremely rare.”

“In Tuckup’s case either name, address, Social Security number or species should have raised some sort of flag. Apparently none of this was a problem for the wizards charged with keeping the integrity of the electoral process somewhere north of Richard Daley’s Chicago,” Pizzolato wrote.

“Anyone want to take a guess as to how successful I would be if I repeated the experiment ten times (different pet names, of course).”

Pizzolato said his dog — you can look up Tuckup’s registration (voter, that is) here — isn’t really going to vote.

The county clerk he was attempting to refute, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, was less than amused with it all, and contacted law enforcement authorities after seeing the website contribution. Registration fraud is a fourth-degree felony.

Terrierist act? She registered her dog to vote

Criminal charges were dismissed Monday against a Seattle area woman who registered her dog to vote, according to the Seattle Times.

Jane Balogh, 67, a grandmother and Army veteran had registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix as a voter to protest lax standards for voters to prove their identity and citizenship. She used a utility bill in the dog’s name — Duncan M. MacDonald — as identification.

A King County District Court judge dropped a misdemeanor charge of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, based on Balogh’s completion of the terms of a plea agreement reached in September 2007.

She paid $240 in court costs and completed 10 hours of community service at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

According to the Times, Balogh made no attempt to hide the deception, telling a number of elected officials what she had done and putting a pawprint instead of a signature on an absentee-ballot envelope.

She didn’t try to vote using the dog’s registration.