Sunday, June 10, 2007

Seattle Dog Nazis At It Again

He was moving out of Seattle to his family home in Florida, and taking the dog with him. But he didn't tell Seattle Animal Control, never believing he was supposed to. Now he's nearly $500 poorer — the result of fees and fines that snowballed and eventually were garnisheed from his bank account. What happened in Pendergast's case — the result of a licensing crackdown by Seattle Animal Control

Seattle's animal control is out of control and needs to be reigned in. It is time for the citizens to do something about it. Would you want this happening to you in your city? Would you tolerate this with your dog? Is this what animal control is supposed to be doing? This is absolutely outrageous. Shame on you!


Marjorie said...

Yeah, it's stupid and a waste of time to go after someone who's already left the area, but I just can't muster an ounce of sympathy for irresponsible dog owners. I just can't. He wouldn't be in this predicament if he'd just obeyed the laws like he was supposed to.

In a lifetime of dog ownership, and 30 years training dogs, I've never had a run-in with animal control. Why? Because I obey all dog-related laws, without excuse.

When negligent dog owners get away with breaking the law, it discourages compliance and also makes life difficult for those of us who do obey the law. Society loves nothing more than to lump all dog owners together, law-abiding or not.

Sam Basso said...

Sorry, but I disagree. Re-read the story. He had already moved away from Seattle. I don't think government has the right to require you to tell them when you move and where. He was already in Florida when the renewal came up. We don't need a police state that requires us to register our movements. He was no longer living in Seattle. End of story. They should refund his money with interest.

Marjorie said...

I read the story correctly the first time. It reads:

"Pendergast's story began last September when Animal Control sent a notice to the West Seattle address it had for Pendergast, saying he had failed since 2003 to license his dog, a border collie mix named Cayla."

He owes the fees and fines because he'd failed to license his dog for 3 years (2003-2006), by the time he moved away. (The article doesn’t say exactly when, in 2006, he moved.)

Moving to another jurisdiction isn't a "get out of paying past due fines free" card.

The fees and fines were initially for the delinquent amounts he'd failed to pay during the time he lived there. When those weren’t paid, additional penalties accrued.

Boy, I sure do wish I could not pay my property taxes, then move away and say it doesn't matter anymore. That'd be sweet!

In any event, he's getting what he deserves. Could the city “forgive” the punitive fees, given that he never received the notices…being out of town for a few months, and all? Maybe. But now that he’s again a Seattle resident, I suspect it would set a very bad precedent for other scofflaws. (Just leave town for a few months and your overdue penalties will be absolved.)

Irresponsible dog owners always try to make some excuse or drum up sympathy for their negligence. Even the story tries to deflect the fact that the guy is the architect of his own demise, and twist it into something that suggests the guy’s being fined for not licensing his dog while he lived in Florida, or even that he was supposed to inform animal control of his move. (Talk about irresponsible reporting!!!) That doesn't appear to be even close to what happened, according to the details of the story, though. If he'd just licensed his dog as he was legally required to do, all those years, he wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.

Irresponsible dog owners pretty much get what they deserve, in my books.

Sam Basso said...

Dang, you are correct. I am sorry for posting in a hurry on this stuff!

Marjorie said...

Actually, in a way, I'm kinda glad you misread it because it emphasizes how badly the story was concocted. I don't think you were alone. It seems the entire intent of the report was to create dissension. did I put it in a letter to that newspaper's editor? (fumbling) Oh, here's a snipit:

"I couldn’t be more disappointed the story was made to look like animal control was being overreaching or this was a responsible dog owner being unfairly targeted. They aren’t and he wasn’t."