First they went after the drug users, then those who drink and drive, then the gun owners, then tobacco users, then fast food… Now, behold as the Chicago Tribune‘s John Kass totally loses his shit:
You want a dog that weighs more than, say, 15 pounds?
Then you pay $1,000 a year in fees and licenses for the right to own one. The fee could be knocked down to, say, $200 a year if the dog is spayed or neutered and passes temperament and obedience tests at least two times a year under the supervision of state-licensed animal trainers who would certify the animal’s behavior.
A thousand dollars to own a dog? Obedience testing twice a year? And I just checked and the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation doesn’t license animal trainers, so there’s a whole new type of business that can descend into regulatory chaos and protectionism.
This would give police the leverage necessary to immediately confiscate dogs that don’t have the licenses (and shots), and the animals would be immediately destroyed.
Why destroyed? Why not simply allow the owners to pay a fine get the dog licensed? Why hurt the dog because the owner screwed up? This is simply mean-spirited.
If you don’t like it, then move. Or socialize your dog. Most responsible dog owners do this. They walk their dogs outside elementary schools as pups and later as older dogs. The owners carry bits of hot dog in a bag, so kids can pet and feed animals, to establish children as a positive in the dog’s mind.
I’m a 41-year old guy. If I start hanging around elementary schools handing things out to the kids and letting them play with my dog, you don’t think that will attract some kind of law enforcement attention?
But if you want to keep your dogs forever isolated behind back-yard fences or tethered to posts, becoming increasingly aggressive toward children, then you don’t deserve the right to have one within miles of someone else’s kids.
I live in a small condo and don’t own a dog, so maybe I’m missing something, but is Kass really saying that people with large and possibly dangerous dogs are behaving irresponsibly when they keep those dogs restrained in a private place?
I’m at a loss here. Somebody please explain.
If we’re going to be serious about protecting children and dogs, we’ve got to stop the practice of backyard breeding. That’s how most unwanted dogs are created. So if you want to breed dogs, you should pay a much heftier fee, say $3,000 a year, and be registered with a recognized breed club through the American Kennel Club or the International Kennel Club or other legitimate canine organization.
So now Kass wants to outlaw puppies?
At this point, if you’re like me, you’re waiting for the punchline where Kass reveals it’s all just an analogy to gun registration or something. The gun control crowd is always trying to make it harder for individuals to get Federal Firearms Licenses for selling guns out of their private homes—what they call “kitchen FFLs”—so maybe this is a parody of that.
The other explanation is that Kass is a nutcase on this subject. Because if you add $3000 a year to the cost of dog breeding, you’ll drive small home breeders out of business. That will leave only the large puppy mills—not exactly a source of safe, friendly dogs.
But no, he’s not kidding or making an analogy. He just goes on and on:
The idea is to make dog ownership and breeding difficult. There is no 2nd Amendment for dogs. A large dog in a populated area is a social responsibility. And casual ownership is dangerous.
All pups would be tattooed and implanted with a microchip for identification, their hips X-rayed, with temperament testing. Animals without the identification could be immediately seized and put down. Any unlicensed breeder would be slapped with a felony and possible imprisonment.
There’s Kass’s creepy desire to kill dogs again. And I guess just because the United States imprisons a larger proportion of its population than any other country doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put a few more of them away for felony dog breeding.
I assume the ones who will shriek the loudest are those who value animal life over a child’s life. They’re selfish that way.
Oh yeah, that’s why people would oppose such an intrusive, overbearing set of laws. Because we hate the children.
I don’t have a dog in this fight—or a child either—but Kass needs a reality check. For one thing, for people with both children and dogs, the large breeds are usually considered pretty safe because playful children aren’t strong enough to hurt them and provoke an attack. More to the point, it’s immoral to impose punishing costs on all dog owners just because a few of them are negligent.