Wednesday, May 24, 2006

AR Win in Albuquerque

I hate to keep harping on this boring but ominous issue-- I'd much prefer to link to weird biology or pontificate on poetry.

But. To once again use that Trotsky quote, substituting "AR" for "war", you may not be interested in AR, but it is interested in you.

This morning, The Lady With the Funny Black Dogs sent this to our Tazi Group:

"[Albuquerque] City Councilor Sally Mayer is again proposing sweeping changes that
would drastically limit fanciers' ability to breed and own dogs, while doing little to address the city's problems with irresponsible ownership. The proposal is currently set for a vote at the May 1st city council meeting. Fanciers are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held in the Council Chambers on the basement level of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center building at One Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque. The meeting beings at 5pm.

"The proposal, known as the HEART ordinance (Humane and Ethical Animal Regulations and Treatment), contains draconian regulations, oppressive fees, and allows the government unfettered access to animal owner's homes and personal information. Worse, the measure was put forth based on "findings" that were established without any studies being conducted and without any input from responsible dog owners and breeders.

"The measure's restrictive provisions include:

* An annual $150 permit for each unaltered dog or cat over six
months old.

* A $150 litter permit, which expires six months after the date
ofissue. Breeders would be limited to four litters per year.

* A limit of four dogs and two cats per household (or six cats)
unless residents purchase a $50 multiple companion animal site

* Allows one adjoining property owner to petition for the
revocation of a multiple companion animal site permit.

(I will come back to this one)

* Prohibits anyone with an intact animal permit from having a
multiple companion animal site permit.

* Requirements that owners microchip or tattoo their dogs and

* Prohibiting crating of dogs outdoors and tethering for more
than 1 hour per day.

* Mandates owners provide "environmental enrichment" defined
as "toys and other safe products.that will stimulate mental, physical and
grooming activities."

* Requires any animal that is picked up by animal control to be
spayed/neutered, even if the owner has an intact animal permit and
immediately reclaims the animal.

"In applying for any permit, dog owners would be forced to comply with
a long list of provisions, including submitting to property and
record-keeping inspections.

"The proposal would also put severe restrictions on animal service
businesses such as dog groomers and doggie daycares. Of interest to
all dog owners, these businesses would be required to provide a list of all
their clients and their contact information to the city. Generally the
government must get a subpoena from a judge for client lists and company

"It is critical that local fanciers immediately contact Albuquerque's
city officials and convey their strong opposition to this ordinance. Area
purebred dog owners, including members of the Rio Grande Kennel Club,
are working to oppose the ordinance and to support fair and reasonable
animal control legislation that does not penalize responsible owners
and breeders. However, more help is urgently needed!

"What You Can Do:
AKC encourages dog owners to contact their city council member and
express your opposition. To find out who represents you on the
Albuquerque City Council It is
extremely important that council members hear from their constituents!

"For more information, contact:

Patte Klecan
Rio Grande Kennel Club"


Anyone who is interested should contact the people above, as the fight is not over.

And why do I care so much?

I met Libby in Montana, and in her last year there, as she prepared Patagonia Mail Order to move to Reno, I spent most of my time there.

What happened is best explained in my reply to the Tazis.

"* Allows one adjoining property owner to petition for the
revocation of a multiple companion animal site permit.

This one is in effect in Bozeman Montana and drove Libby to sell out there (too?) quickly, as we had one fervently dog- hating neighbor. (We won a lawsuit against the city-- a lawyer friend represented us pro bono, and the town spent $27,000 trying to prevail, even sending the case BACK to the Montana Supreme court, who rebuked them!)

So did we win? Not really. A councilman came up to me and said “We lost on the dogs. Next we’re going after the hawk. If we don’t get it we’ll get your pigeons”.

They then made them both illegal in Bozeman by name of species, and also cougars and otters, because a photographer who had one of each also beat them. Then, they made it possible for one adjoining neighbor to block your ownership of any pet. The worst councilwoman suggested having children volunteer to spy on pet owners, and for the maximum of four allowed pets to include individual GOLDFISH.

It is now illegal to bring your dog downtown in Bozeman, or walk your dog off- lead (outside of your own property) anywhere in Gallatin county.

We won’t even go into how the local paper had to print a retraction of a piece they wrote that made Libby seemed deranged, written by the best friend of the neighbor who started the trouble. (The writer also alleged that we had dead animal parts strewn around our property- value- lowering yard-- particularly silly because Libby had won an award for most beautiful yard the year before! That one brought a whole page of outraged letters, some from people we didn’t even know, defending the beauty of her property).

Then there was the cop who couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t just put down one of our dogs...

And the feed store owner who said to me “This USED to be Montana...”

It occurs that some people on the list wonder why I am so vehement about these issues-- that is the story."

They never quit. Be VERY afraid. Oppose them constantly at every level.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just cannot believe what I have just read,this woman should be stuck down from above. I worried about living in the UK, but I think in some small way I am thankful, if only for small mercys.She is one of a small band of people I would like to see sectioned.

Steve Bodio said...

I hate to say it Janet, but me too.

The RURAL west is still pretty good but what if you must live in a town? Three of our "granddogs", all intact, live in Albuquerque. None are owned by rich people, and all are owned by hunters. Who knows if "they" will regard hunters as unqualified?

Anonymous said...

That's some scary shit!

It's as if there are no other fish to fry, like A-holes cooking up meth in their toilets while their kids wallow in their own shit the city is going after people and their dogs, chickens and goldfish and setting up a Stasi-like network to git yer neighbor - blows my frickin' mind! Guess Marty is marketing a demographic who sees AR as more important than real issues - doesn't suprise me a bit.

To think I live a 1/2 mile west of the east boundary of Bernalillio county - they better not act again to try and combine the county and city government or
I'll be in deep shit....

Mary Strachan Scriver said...

I see why Steve has been nudging me to catch up on blog reading, since I spent five years with Multnomah County Animal Control and am good friends with Mike Burgwin, who founded and still tries to shepherd-dog the National Animal Control Association. I wish I could offer something definitive. I WILL be working on a book in the coming months, but I'm not sure it will be helpful.

This is NOT about dogs. If it weren't dogs it would be your kids or abortion or the way you park your car or the color of your house. This is a social dynamics problem, brought on by (I suppose) bad child-raising, fear, tough economics, government by ninnies, and too much TV. Nutty humane societies keep the focus on dogs. It's time for a good exposé of them.

If you are a vulnerable person (different, solitary, non-conforming, engaged in little understood activities) make a study of ways to protect yourself. Sometimes it means seeming harmless, sometimes it means seeming powerful. It generally means putting in a lot of research and committee time and it always means forming coalitions.

Where it's pinching me right now is the village water supply, which is very low. The sentimental and affluent ladies who have captured the town council want fountains, parks, lots of new trees, beautiful yards, etc. If that means drilling new wells, no prob to them. But $$$ for me. I am not greeted sympathetically. There are rumblings about passing a law that all cats must be confined at all times. Etc.

Prairie Mary

Heidi the Hick said...

Mary's right; it really is not about dogs.

What upsets me the most would be the people who call themselves dog owners. Any jerk can get a dog, but then ruin it for the responsible and knowledgeable owners. If everybody had some common sense, would we need all these rules?

The part about animal control neutering pets with a breeding permit is particularly bad. I personally don't believe that every animal should stay intact. There are plenty of unwanted critters already. However, to think that one worthy of breeding could be cut against the owner's wishes!!!

Power corrupts.

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Anonymous said...

Hi, I live in Albuquerque, and about two years ago a "rescue person" decided she wanted my puppies, so she got a friend of hers in Animal Control to come out, terrorize my family, trash my house, and take ALL my dogs. I have been a licensed breeder for over 20 years. I have proof that this was done because of this woman, on official forms. All my dogs were neutered, and sold, and I attended a permit appeal hearing where the animal control officer who led the raid (not the one who hit my 82 year old husband) perjured himself on every count. I had to sign an agreement that I would NEVER sue, in order to get 4 of my dogs back. One almost died from the Animal Control's vet's butchering. All my dogs were sick from being in the pound for two weeks. All my dog friends dropped me. Both of the Albuquerque papers and the TV stations crucified us for a long time, quotes from Animal Control liars, no accurate comment from us. Now people we don't even know recognize and vilify us in public. We had no money for an attorney. I had to go to Metro court, pay fines for lies, and be on criminal probation for a year. I was denied due process of law, as the judge said I would have to face a jury without any legal preparation, or else plead guilty.And this was BEFORE heart passed. I am under therapy for post traumatic shock syndrom, and my dogs should be, too. They are afraid of every noise, not the happy, friendly dogs they were before.
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