Exotic Animal Tragedy Spurs Activism
In a tragic incident that horrified animal lovers around the globe, 49 rare and beautiful exotic animals were gunned down by law enforcement officers after they were released from their cages by their owner, an Ohio man previously convicted of animal cruelty. The man was found dead on the secluded rural property, apparently a suicide.
Ohio is one of only about 10 states in the county that don’t regulate private ownership of wild animals. This horrific incident underscores the importance of such regulation. The killing of 18 rare Bengal tigers deemed threats to public safety was especially heart-breaking, and numerous humane agencies and animal conservation groups are newly determined to lobby for laws that prohibit the purchase/sale of exotic animals in Ohio and throughout the nation.
Director of Barketing Named for Mendocino
Most Bay Area dog lovers already know that Mendocino County is a great dog-friendly travel destination. Now the area has an official canine mascot, Hairy Putter, recently named “Director of Barketing” for the local tourism bureau. The cute Cairn Terrier’s new job is to woo visitors to Northern California, where pet-friendly lodging establishments, restaurants, and tourist attractions abound. He has been featured on TV, in print, and at public events too numerous to mention.
Research shows that pet travel is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry in the U.S. and that 3/4 of pet owners like to bring their dogs along when they travel.
To get better acquainted with Hairy Putter visit his blog at www.hairysblog.com.
In mid October, Mark Weiner, District 8 Representative on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, introduced a measure that would regulate commercial dogwalkers who utilize public properties, including parks, in San Francisco. If it is voted into law, they would be required to obtain permits, receive specialized training, and adhere to specific safety practices.
One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is the limit it would place on the number of dogs being walked by any person to seven at a time. Fees would be charged for the required training, initial registration, and annual renewals.
Many other specific requirements are spelled out in the legislation, which would become effective in April 2012 if ratified. The city’s public animal agency, San Francisco Animal Care & Control, would be charged with administering and enforcing the new rules.
Weiner emphasized the valuable service dogwalkers provide in a city where an estimated 1/3 of households include dogs, and where dogs are said to outnumber children. He said his legislation was intended to promote and improve the profession, not vilify it.
The following quote appeared in an sfgate.com article on the subject: “This service must be carried out in a professional manner that respects city property and the other users of that property,” said Wiener, stepping into politically treacherous territory. “There are many responsible and professional dog walkers in San Francisco, and we need to ensure that the few irresponsible dog walkers don’t give the many good ones a bad name.”
Stay tuned to local media outlets for plenty of conflicting views on Weiner’s proposal.