Janet’s little five point plan

from the Global Maritimes website

Well said, Annette!     With so many logical arguments FOR Anti Tethering Legislation, how is it that we are still waiting?   Will the ‘new’ and as yet unpublished regulations contain any meaningful measures?   Will we see actual Anti Tethering built into the Act?

Probably not!   Why would I say that when there is such a strong groundswell of support at the grassroots level for Anti Tethering Legislation?

The answer is simple!   Money!    In today’s fiscal climate of cutbacks, odds of seeing any additional funding for enforcement are about as likely as that of the proverbial snowball, eh?   Even worse, last week’s  debacle in Detroit served as a very dramatic warning to all governments at all levels!   If they were not cautious before, odds are they will be now!

So how can we make sure that animals in this province do not get the short end of the stick?   If there really is nothing left in the kitty for enforcement, how can we hope to see Anti Tethering Legislation from any party we elect?

There is no substitute for country wisdom when one is seeking a sensible answer!    Not to be mean .. but some of the suggestions I have seen from ‘citified folk’ on social networking sites lend new definition to the word silly!

In these fiscally frugal times … it is unrealistic to handcuff the society by putting two or three or four hour time limits for tethering in these regulations!     If the society had to struggle for the 100 k needed for its basic day-to-day operations, where on earth would they ever find funding for investigators to monitor whether someone let the dog out … and for how long ?

By the same token, it is simply is not realistic to include specific temperature ranges!     Granted that the weather would be easy to prove .. but who is going to pay an investigator to monitor HOW LONG the dog was out?   Bear in mind that the people writing the regulations work for the people controlling the purse strings, eh?

Clearly the lunatic fringe is alive and well … judging by the comments on shared Anti tethering stories!    My personal favourite was the well-meaning soul who thought that it would be fine for shaggy doggies like Bullet to be tethered 24/7  … and that laws were really only needed to protect short-haired dogs like Beagles and Amstafs!

Worst of all is the idea that if the house is built well enough .. if the leash is long enough … and if there is food and water and shade …. that THEN it is acceptable to sentence a dog to life on the end of a chain!    Let me be perfectly clear here … to put anything about housing or leash lengths in the regulations completely defeats the purpose of Anti Tethering.   As one dear friend of mine put it, that is instead providing a lesson in How to Legally Chain Your Dog 24/7 in Nova Scotia!

Does that mean nothing can be done?   Of course not!    I have my own little five point plan to offer.   It is not everything that is needed .. but it would be something solid that could be built on.   Even better, it would not do more harm than good by offering legal loopholes.   Best of all of course it would not create a fiscal burden for all of my fellow tax paying and voting animal lovers!

Janet’s Five Point Plan

1.  Timing … no tethering or penning after hours.   Most municipalities have ” quiet hours” when people aren’t allowed to run chainsaws, heavy equipment, etc.    The municipalities or counties can fine the person and most dog bylaws have an escalating level already built-in.     For instance here in kings county i believe that after hours is from 10 pm until seven or eight am!  This also avoids opposition from the people who tether their dogs out while they go to work.    No one would have to monitor to see how long the dog was tied out … if the dog was tied out during those hours it would automatically be an offence

2.   No tethering within 500 feet of a school.   This drives home the fact that tethering 24/7 represents a serious public safety concern for our children

3.    People cited for any dog related offence must attended mandatory obedience training 

4.   Pet owners must produce vet records or provide their clinic name and permission to check  upon request for society inspectors if there is any question about the pet’s well-being.   Inspectors should not need to waste time getting a warrant!    Anyone can stick a bowl of water and food out when the inspector comes but you can’t fake that

5.   Make leaving a dog in a car unattended an offence.   Period.   With an escalating series of fines … ie 1000 for first time… 5000 for second and lifetime ban on pets for third offences     That one should be a popular sell

What time is it?   This late in the game we know we will not get the whole enchilada!   If that was going to happen, Bill 55 would have included at least some of the suggestions from People for Dogs!     RIght here, right now , it is simply time for those writing these regs to take sensible first steps that will help … and that will not do more harm than good!

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