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Front Page » August 25, 2009 » Opinion » Staff column: Dog days bring outlandish canine laws
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Staff column: Dog days bring outlandish canine laws


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

At least once or twice a year I need to write some kind of column about man's best friend, because as many people know, I am a dog lover. While I raise Siberian Huskys, I love all kinds of dogs, or at least the ones that don't bite me.

Because of my love for these four legged creatures, and some of my fellow workers here at the paper, we have a very dog friendly atmosphere in our office. While I don't bring any of my dogs in very often, some that work here have their partners come in quite frequently. Our classified manager has a dog named Kelly, a little Australian Shepherd that is a big regular here, in fact a fixture. Then there is Yeager, one of our part time reporter's dogs, a little black guy who lays in the middle of the floor waiting to be loved. Our production manager has Skipper, a half Maltese, half Chinese Crested Powderpuff who comes in and stirs things up once in awhile. One of our sales associates has Bella, a small white Westie, who runs around and makes everyone smile. Finally, one of our mail room associates has a yellow Labrador named Lucy who comes in and has to see everyone with that big tail winding around like a pitchers arm in the second inning of a game.

Sometimes I get questions from people who come in.

"Don't you have rules about animals in your office" they say with disdain. The looks on their faces show they don't like dogs much. I just tell them if we are going to be kid friendly (which we are) we are going to be dog friendly too.

I am not sure what our resident office cat, Sunny, the Sun Advocate cat thinks of all these canines, but she seems to take it in stride. It really is her office afterall, and she usually stays above any fray that goes on.

These questions about rules brings up some real thoughts on how often people make laws for things they don't like, regardless of how others feel. In fact we have institutionalized animal rules across the nation so much that in some communities some really stupid laws are on the books. Here are some I recently found that I thought our readers might like to know about.

•Throughout California, it is illegal for animals to have sex near a tavern, school or church. I am hoping they have a great education program for animals, to warn them of this important restriction. Oh, wait, California is broke..maybe they don't have the money. Gee I wonder why?

•In Arvada, Colo. if your pet strays away from you, and the pound picks him up, you'd better pick it up as fast as you can. No, this isn't to protect your pet; the law says if the pooch isn't claimed within 24 hours the owner can be put to death. This certainly gives a whole new meaning to putting down an animal.

•In Denver, Colo. the dog catcher must post a notice on a tree in the city park (where the dog can see it), three days in advance, warning the dog that he is coming after it. All I can say is that they must have a pretty good dog education system along the Front Range.

•In Oklahoma it is a jail able offence to make an ugly face at a dog. I knew about this law when my wife and I drove through Oklahoma last spring so I just kept my eyes on the road and didn't look at the scenery, in fear that with the face I was born with I might get arrested if I happened to spot a pooch on the side of the interstate.

•In Illinois it is illegal to give a dog (or a cat for that matter) a lighted cigar. However you can give them cigarettes. You are also prohibited from giving them whiskey or other strong drinks. So if you are driving through Illinois and you see a dog hanging around a convenience store, don't make eye contact. They might ask you to buy something illegal for them.

•In Belvedere, Calif. a dog must keep it's master on a leash at all times. Hey if one of my dogs will give me a donut I would be happy to heel.

•Barber, N.C. forbids fighting between cats and dogs. I'm sure when one of these disputes takes place, and the police are called in it is called a catastrophic dogmestic disturbance.

•And of course, being in Utah there has to be one of these stupid laws in our state. And even more appropriate is the fact that it is a statute in happy valley. In Provo, dogs actually have a curfew, just like minors.

Wouldn't want Fido scaring any of those Cougars after dark.

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August 25, 2009
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