Friday, May 16, 2014

Ruh Roh!

Jake:  Licensed and good to go

In addition to chasing moose and bears when they trespass on our little somewhat urban community, Animal Welfare (not to be confused with "control") Officer Carol Hepburn also tracks all the dogs in town.  All 1,400.

May 31 is the deadline for license renewal and this year is shaping up to be the the worst as about 700 dog owners have not taken the responsibility to do their civic duty and keep Fido legitimate.  The cost is only $5, but come June 1 the late fee escalates the total cost to $30.

Yes, that's a steep late fee.

Proof of rabies vaccination is the only requirement, which is of course a public safety concern.  And if your dog ever gets lost and is recovered the license can be traced back to home sweet home.

Carol even reports that she oftentimes delivers the wayward dog back to its home.


Yokal said...

Dear Amherst,

I am an adult, why do I need permission to get a dog, I am an adult?

Based on recent tales out of belchertown, you are better off never registering your dog. If you do and forget to renew or perhaps decide you are an adult and thus don't have to register, they will come and find you, perhaps even do a nightime gun loaded raid on your home. If you do not register and take care of your dog, no one will ever know it is not registered.

Plus their are private registries and microchipping now, no need for this old system anymore. The private sector has taken care of dog tracking.

It is not about the money, it is about having to ask permission as an adult. It certainly can still be illegal to abuse the dog and you can still have to take responsibility (say if it bites a nice neighbor).

If figure if your neighbor does not have to register her 1 year old human with town officials, I won't register my animals. Please, please, please do not tell me that parents have to register their children in Amherst. Let me guess, it will be debated at the next town meeting.

Click my name/url - it is a letter E.B. White wrote on this silly issue. If it does not work, google it, E.B. White was making fun of these controlling town folks before most here were born.

Anonymous said...

Just another way to pad some pockets with a paltry pence.

Why aren't cats registered? Or birds? Or shoes?

Anonymous said...

what's up with the major bust at amherst dental last nite, with about a dozen special task force cops searching the cemetary? any news organizations left?

Anonymous said...

I'd go for a bylaw requiring owners to clean up after their cats. I'm sick of my neighbors 5 outdoor cats poopin in my garden. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...


I'll bite, what happened in Belchertown that should make us avoid dog registration?

Dr. Ed said...

"...Animal Control Officer Carol Hepburn..."

If I'm not mistaken, Carol Hepburn requested her title be changed to Animal Welfare Officer -- and memory is that is what she talked the town into painting on the side of the vehicle issued to her.

As I understand it, she wanted to make it clear that she is concerned about the well-being of animals and not just "controlling" them -- and that actually is the attitude you want of someone in her position.

I respect competence and hard work, from everything I've seen & heard, Amherst is damn lucky to have her. I say that neither knowing nor caring what her political & social views are -- I respect the fact she does her job and does it well.

Having said that, I do believe the archaic annual dog license requirement to be rather asinine -- along with exempting cats from both the license & rabies vaccination mandates.

Cats now roam the way dogs did in the 19th Century, cats now irritate/disturb neighbors the way dogs once did, and it is cats that are more likely to encounter a rabid animal. We don't have rabid dogs the way we once did -- the rabies vectors are other small mammals such as racoons.

Cats can be -- and should be vaccinated! Stephen King's Cujo may be the nightmare, but reality is an animal with teeth & claws which is walking around your house and around your children while they sleep - you really don't want that animal being rabid...

After the first shot, rabies vaccinations are now good for three years -- why can't the license be good for the same number of years? And what rational reason do we have for exempting cats?

DaveMB said...

The reference is to this incident:

Yokal's implication, I think, is that if you register your dog you can get in trouble for not renewing, while if you never register at all your chances of being found out are minimal.

Anonymous said...

"My kids and I suffer from PTSD"


Anonymous said...

Some says pff to a community member that from my perspective haf her home invaded, her kids kidnapped....a violent reaction to her not playing a permission slip game designed to give people that don't have skills some kind of job (processing theses useless permission slips)

Is this the same community that spends more than a sentence on a phrase written on a wall somewhere by a child can accept that the state is apparently attacking community members, that likely have PTSD because there was NO ONE they could call, NO ONE that would help them, NO ONE that would dare go up against the state as they attack her family over a dog license. There is so little support for this woman that has likely had this portion of her and her kids lives ruined, people even say pff and likely will tolerate the police that did the action not being locked up or punished in any way.

Do you feel safe knowing they can blow in your door any time over petty paperwork, unpaid bills....a complaint from a neighbor, an incompetent town employee just doing their job....? I don't.

Dr. Ed said...

"Do you feel safe knowing they can blow in your door any time over petty paperwork, unpaid bills....a complaint from a neighbor, an incompetent town employee just doing their job"

It's worse than that -- they can outright kill you with total impunity -- the First Circuit said it's OK.

I think the Federal District Judge had it right: "...a woman who survived the Holocaust only to die at the hands of the Lynn Police."