Doing Special Interests Bidding

As a dog owner and pet lover you would think that this legislation would make me happy.

Utah Senator Gene Davis (D-Salt Lake City) is working with the Humane Society of Utah to sponsor three animal protection bills as this years legislative session begins on Monday. He and others from animal welfare groups gathered at the Humane Society on Sunday to announce the bills.

When I read this article my initial reaction was "ok - but don't we have more important things to worry about.  The economy is still tip-toeing on the edge, education funding still needs to be we really need to be worrying about this?  But then again these bills seem to be pretty benign."  But the more I thought about the bills though - the less benign they appeared.

One will restrict selling puppies on the side of the street or giving kittens away, because they end up, most of the time, abused, neglected, or they end up here at the Humane Society. Theyre (sic) not taken care of, said Davis of a bill to crack down on curbside or parking-lot animal sales. Its a moment of love for a little puppy. And, as they start growing, the problem is people become disinterested in them.

The state....THIS state, home of libertarianism run amok telling people what to do with their property?  Yeah that was mostly tongue in cheek, we all know that libertarianism is of convenience.  All snark aside, if I have a kitten and I choose to give that kitten to someone that I have deemed will provide a decent home, it is no ones business what I do with that property (pets are still legally property).  I can not control what that person does with the property once it becomes theirs.  If I were to sell the animal, I can write a "right of first refusal" codicil into the sales agreement, but that is about it. 

The parking lot animal sales is a phenomenon that I have ONLY seen here in Utah and something I don't get.  As a consumer, I would NEVER buy an animal from there because there is too much unknown about that pet.  But I do understand why this venue may seem preferable to someone.  They might not want a bunch of strangers tramping through their homes to look at puppies.  They might be in a situation where the seller is from Nevada and the buyer from Colorado and they are looking for a drivable half way meeting point.  There are reasons where a parking lot sale may be preferable.  Where I would give a nod in the Humane Society's direction is on those hot summer days - if the dogs/cats have shade and water and supervision, fine, but if the animals are out in the hot sun with no way to get out of it and no water....yeah that would be an issue. But to ban them over all - I think that is something that the property owner should want to control.

Another bill would make tethering a dog outside for more than 10 hours illegal.

Sometimes a young animal will be tied out with a collar, never gets off the chain. The animal grows, the collar gets tighter, and that creates a horrendous situation for the animal, said Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society.

Emphasis mine.  How's this for a sometimes scenario?  SOMETIMES you have a working dog that is an escape artist and can only be outside if it is tethered.  SOMETIMES you need to tether the dog to protect him from a dangerous situation.  SOMETIMES you have no choice but to use a tether as a training tool.  Why in heavens name are we make something illegal because SOMETIMES something happens? 

Regarding the second half of the statement, there are already animal cruelty laws on the books that address that.  These laws are already not enforced.  Why are we spinning our wheels passing yet another unenforced law.

That bill would also allow law enforcement officers to enter a vehicle in which an animal is in distress, if theyre (sic) unable to locate the owner.

If this were a stand alone bill, I might be able to support this but that's about it.

But this is the line that got me going....

Davis goal is to get all three bills before the Legislature this session, in order to ensure all Utahans start treating their animals as members of their families, and not property, Davis said.

Now realize that this is coming from someone who does (I admit it) spoil her pets to an extent.....Pets are property BY LAW.  If Senator Davis wants to change that, then he needs to submit legislation that changes Utah PROPERTY LAW.  After all, property law IS the within the states purview. 

No, these bills are not about making it so that animals are treated more like family and less like property.  It is all about doing the bidding of a special interest group. 


Written by LL.