Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bad Dog Owners Take Charge in Albemarle

Albemarle County barking dog owners scored a resounding victory over those with a love of peace and quiet the other night. The Board of Supervisors said "no" to an ordinance that would have warned owners of dogs barking for more than 30 minutes at a time, then taken their dog away after that.

It was an ordinance of enormous good sense, attempting to regulate a selfish, arrogant, thoughtless, irresponsible type of dog owner who has no more business owning a dog than I have owning a cape buffalo.

Their argument is that dogs bark, that they all live in the country and that if you choose to live in the country you have to accept anything they throw at you. Damn civilization. Damn simple courtesy. Damn you if you complain.

People in this country have the same rights, regardless of where they live and that includes the right to be free of this kind of incessant noise, almost always caused by dogs that need attention from owners who are absent, ignorant, careless, stupid or simply boorish. Dogs are social animals and if they are left alone, they bark. If they are tied up, they bark. If they are ignored by their owners, they bark.

One of those opposed to the Albemarle County ordinance brought up the fact that her dogs were bought to protect goats that had been killed by roaming dogs. Sheep dogs are totally unacceptable if they bark. Barking is bred out of them. If they bark as puppies, their breeders put them to sleep. Barking scares sheep. And it annoys the hell out of people like me.

Responsible owners' dogs don't bark for 30 minutes at a time (or all day, as the dog of a neighbor of mine did until I sicced the cops on him) unless there is a very real and present threat to life and property. Guard dogs are trained to do that. Just sticking a dog outside and saying he is a "guard dog" is a simple case of piled high bullshit. Guard are trained to bite, not to piss off the neighborhood.

I like dogs. I especially like dogs that are trained, that behave and that act domesticated. Anybody who has a dog that is none of those, needs not to have the dog. At the least, we need to be protected from these people and their out of control animals.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, Dan, but I disagree with your statements about sheep dogs being unacceptable if they bark. You probably didn't know that I raised Shetland Sheepdogs for quite some time before I traded for sportier, smaller dogs. They are the "barkiest" dogs you can get, and bred that way to be wary of strangers because they were so valuable they were stolen. You may be confusing the practice of debarking puppies (which I abhore) with putting barking puppies to sleep. One of my show dogs was debarked in this method although she still made quite a bit of noise.

    When these very intelligent dogs worked or were focused on a job, they were more quiet. But in the US, they rarely get to do what they were bred for - herd sheep. Too often they are attained for their beauty and owners find out too late that they have super energetic dogs that easily get bored, and bark. Boy! Do they bark!

    I fault dog owners completely for barking dogs. No person should be subjected to a dog barking through the night. The dog is barking because there is something it needs that it is not getting. When you get a pet, responsibility comes with it.