Thursday, January 12, 2012

Interesting Debate over Mandatory Micro Chipping vs. Mandatory Licensing

Earlier this week, I met with a fellow Canine Welfare Activist and responsible dog ownership enthusiast on how effective mandatory licensing would be. A proponent of mandatory pet licensing, he felt by if our county ordinances were revised to require every pet owner to have a license for ownership of their pets, we would be able to hold those that are irresponsible by means of abuse, neglect, backyard breeders, hoarders etc... more accountable for their actions. Pet Licensing is a local county ordinance where by every pet is licensed with the County. The pet parent files this license annually for a nominal fee such as $7/year or $15 per year. Just like your dog's rabies tags, your pet would be required to wear the license tag on its collar as proof of current licensure. In some Counties, this ordinance allows Animal Control Officers to go into the homes of pet parents in some cases announced and in other cases unannounced, to ensure the dogs are living in proper conditions, and the owners maintain proper vaccinations on their pets as well as supply proper nutrition and water. As an opponent of the pet licensing law, I feel that this violates the majority of those who do practice responsible pet ownership, by spaying and neutering their pets, vaccinating, providing proper medical care, shelter, and overall care. This ordinance does not really target those that contribute to the over population of dogs whether they are breeders, hoarders, dog fighters, or people who feel pets are disposable (they are moving, dog is too old now, change of heart, no time etc). In addition, I feel, a tag can be easily removed and dog left to roam streets and we will still not be able to track down who the pet belonged to. I proposed a Mandatory Micro Chipping Law. This law would requite all pets to be microchipped and all microchips to be registered. Pet shops, back yard breeds and online pet sellers would be required to micro chip and register their pet at time of sale. This is no big deal for those that do practice responsibly such as shelters, rescues and responsible pet parents, because we will do anything for the safety of our dog and to ensure if found, we will get them back. Mandatory Micro chipping will hold those irresponsible accountable, because they can not hide and nor can they abandon their dogs to the streets as an easy way to get rid of them. We know who these people are, and we can more appropriately deal with them. Side note: While doing my MBA, my business law professor told us, for every man made law there is a man made loop hole... and I am sure the worst of them will find a way to get through this also... I have worked in rescue and shelters for too long to not have the worst thought come to mind (which I will not share). But, never-the-less they can be held accountable. In either case, the laws following these, such as the following should be revised first: 1. Dogs are property. This needs to be revised. 2. Animal Cruelty crimes need to be defined with great strength and stronger penalties, to cover abandonment of a pet for any reason, from a minimal fee to maximum penalty. People will think twice about getting a dog, and if they don't then, they will when tracked through the dog's microchip. 3. Tail docking and ear clipping should be made illegal, even for those in the Dog Show World, unless for medical purposes in which case the more appropriate term should be amputation, with a very clear definition. I found this to be a very interesting conversation, and wanted to share it with our readers to learn from them and their thoughts regarding these two issues. In an ideal world, we would be able to ban a lot more, but where would you start?

1 comment:

Kerri said...

I debated with myself on where I would start with this proposal, because at first I leaned toward stronger consequences for animal cruelty in order to be prepared for the microchip identified violators.

I changed my mind after thinking this through. I would begin to lobby for mandatory microchip. Once that was passed, I would use the statistics from the volume of violators identified to lobby for stronger consequences. Third, I would tackle the ear clipping/tail docking practices.