This week's letter comes from Gene Seigal who keeps the dog licensing debate well-stoked with this missive on tiered licensing. Thanks for the humorous take Gene. You can pick up your winner's prize, a pound of Strictly Organic Coffee, at our office, 704 NW Georgia.As a dog lover and owner, I was immediately drawn to the Letter of the Week regarding dog / owner rights and licensing tiers. While I would like to agree with the writer's, as the Source puts it - "out of the box thinking," there are just too many flaws with this concept to take it seriously:
Who determines what tier a dog belongs in? Will it be some sort of government testing? Who will administer the tests? Will it be government employees or outsourced to certified dog trainers? Either way, it would likely open the door to new costly government bureaucracy. Maybe a DMV type structure could be devised to have the certified dog trainers administer the tests. First you step outside to have the certified dog trainer determine the proper licensing tier. Next it will be back into the building - fill out some forms, then have the dog and owner get their picture taken together, (a means to prevent fraud). A license could then be issued. It must be kept in the dog / dog owner's possession at all times.
Who will enforce the licensing laws? Isn't there already a shortage of personnel to enforce the current regulations? Maybe we should take a few more police officers off the streets for this purpose. After all, which is more important - keeping some meth addled punk from breaking into your house, (perhaps to steal your dog), or assuring that you and your dog are behaving within the confines of your tier. Perhaps some type of field test could be devised, something similar to a roadside sobriety test (of course, you can't be tested without probable cause).
What really bothers me about this approach is that it reeks of social engineering - a formalized class system for dogs and their owners. At least now all dogs and their owners are treated equally. All that is asked is that you follow some fairly simple rules and regulations - license the dog (with a single tier system), keep it at home or on a leash unless you are in a designated off-leash area. Our government officials deserve kudos for their recent efforts to provide more off leash areas. I bet they are open to additional input.
Now don't even get me started on the next step toward dog / dog owner social engineering - government mandated dog / dog owner GPS instead of a dog license!
Gene Seigal, Bend