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14 April 2008


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Susan Fox

Amen to that, Christie! Excellent, excellent points across the board! I'm sure most people don't realize the subtext of what is going on with the sea-change in animal sheltering and what the agendas of the various players are. I think I'm going to print this out and keep in hand for reference, if you don't mind.

It sometimes seems that the dead giveaway that it's a hoarding situation is when friends or family say something along the lines of "she really loves animals" or "she meant well, but she just got overwhelmed". We got both of those in the recent coverage of a seizure of 40 (that's right 40) neglected horses up here. Up to their knees in manure and filth, so you can imagine the condition their hooves are in. Criminal charges are being filed, probably because this is the second time the situation has occurred and because the woman was stupid enough to try to hide one of the horses from law enforcement.

Sorry we didn't get to see you up here behind The Redwood Curtain, but Gina says that it's tough to pry you out of the City by the Bay and since it's one of my most favorite cities, too, I can certainly understand why.


Well said. There's a lot of knee-jerking happening on both sides and I'm quite tired of it.

I'm against lot of the overregulation of pets and their owners. However, I'm also a lifelong proponent of animal welfare.

Some days I feel as though I'm walking a tightrope.


It shouldn't have to be a tightrope. It should be common sense.

Unfortunately in the "war" over companion animals, common sense has been mainly kicked to the curb.

When exposes on puppy-mills or hoarders or bad rescues or whatever are done, and then those with an AR agenda yell it needs more laws, I want to pull out my hair because the abuses shown are just that, abuse. And abusive, inhumane treatment of animals is already illegal and existing laws are in place which should shut these folks down NOW.

And when the "we have to stand behind any and all animal keepers, breeders etc..." groups get going and cry foul, well same problem. Abuse and cruelty are still abuse and cruelty and are immoral and illegal. Period.

I don't care if some one keeps one pet or one hundred. HOW they are kept and treated and their quality of life is more important


"And abusive, inhumane treatment of animals is already illegal and existing laws are in place which should shut these folks down NOW."

Sorry but I disagree. Sure there are laws in place but how effective are they? Here in the South animal neglect/abuse laws have no teeth. That is compounded by the fact that so many "officials" - such as the fool in South Carolina - are able to flaunt these weak existing laws. Ineffective abuse/neglect laws need to be eliminated and replaced by effective ones that are enforced for EVERYONE.

Christie Keith

The effectiveness of a law and the enforcement of a law don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

In areas where the laws are weak, they can be brought up to a higher standard.

But in areas where there is no will to enforce them, making more or stricter laws will just piss of a lot of people and reduce will for enforcement, not increase it.

Unless the laws in an area really are substandard when comapred to other similar communities, we need to get out of the headset that everything we think is right or best needs to be a law. It doesn't work.


Then how exactly do you prosecute offenders for abuse/neglect if there isn't a law for it? So we shouldn't have stricter laws for this because we might offend someone? That's what I'm getting from your post.

Christie Keith

We need to determine if the problem is our laws suck, or the will to enforce the laws doesn't exist in the community, local law enforcement, etc.

If the laws are the problem, reform them.

If the enforcement is the problem, then more and stricter laws won't work.


Frankly, I'd like to have stronger laws already on the books and work on the enforcement of them. That can happen if concerned citizens work together.

Christie Keith

So, you'd like stronger laws on the books everywhere, across the board? There are no places that already have laws that are good enough?


Senator Williams from SC did violate a number of existing laws (both county and state) but simply wasn't held accountable. Hopefully that will change when the parties involved receive enough letters from concerned citizens questioning why the Senator was not charged. I've sent mine.


uh Carol: if the existing WEAK laws aren't enforced, what makes you think STRONGER laws would be?

Ann H

Incentive to enforce.

Lobbyists have the incentive to make sure that laws include no parameters to provide legal repercussions. Pablum.

Laws when made should include the incentive (repercussions).

Otherwise, the laws, enforcement and incentive are left chasing their tails.

Isn't that where we are now? Problems with no incentive, no laws that are sufficent to enforce and no solutions and a disenfranchised society?


I personally feel the laws are more than adequate. What's missing is the enforcement.

I find it odd that municipalities consider enforcement of simple leashing, licensing, maintenance and care bylaws to be a very low priority. They do not allocate proper resources, either financial or in terms of personnel, believing it is a waste of money.

Yet, many of these places have no problem with legislating dog owners into second-class status because of the shape of their pets, or mandating invasive surgery with health implications for animals, then actively enforcing those completely useless approaches.

There are systems out there that are universal, fair, enforceable and taxpayer neutral. They don't cost taxpayers a cent, in other words as they are fully funded by pet owners.

Until animal abuse and cruelty along with negligent pet ownership are considered a priority, there will be no improvement.

More laws are definitely not the answer, at least not across the board. Enforcement of existing regs is the key, as shown in places where they have been successful.


I join the others here who are asking…if existing laws are not being enforced, how does one propose that a stronger law will be better enforced?

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