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Licensed... to be killed?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Have you ever wondered why you need to get a license or a permit to do something, or to own something? Why do you need a license to get married? To fish? To carry a concealed weapon? I've always felt that it was just another way for the state to generate revenue from the gullible. I may have been wrong in my assessment.
I was sitting down to eat my lunch and read that day's newspaper, when I ran across a story about pit bulls, the city of Denver, and the reason you should never license your dog(s). The headline of the article read, Denver Pit Bull Owners in a Panic Over Ban. The article explains how the city decided that it had enough with pit bulls hurting people, so it banned all pit bull type dogs. The city then proceeded to collect the dogs from their owners. The dogs were taken to be destroyed.
I pose this question to you, dear reader: How did the city know where to go looking for these dogs? Do you suppose the animal control officers had some fancy pit bull tracking device? Or, do you think the officers queried their "Licensed Dogs" database for all the owners of pit bulls? All they would have to do is hit "Print" to start collecting the dogs.
Here's proof. From another article put out by the Associated Press titled Denver to re-examine dangerous dog ordinance:
Since May 9, animal control officers have confiscated about two dozen pit bulls from Denver homes. Earlier this month, the city sent more than 250 letters warning owners to get their pit bulls out of the city.
How did the city (a) know where to look for the pit bulls to confiscate and (b) know who and where to send the 250 plus letters informing the pit bull owners of the newly reenacted ban?
There is a bright-side to this story, though. The above article explains that the director of animal control is looking for an alternative to the outright ban on the pit bulls.

"We will certainly keep enforcing the law, but as time goes on we will be looking at alternatives to improve our dangerous and vicious dog ordinance and come up with a model we can recommend," said Doug Kelley, Denver director of animal control.

Options include requiring a license or permit with strict stipulations for owners on how a pit bull is to be kept; requiring owners to carry liability insurance; and stiff fines for owners whose dogs are caught roaming freely.

I ask you again: Why do you need licenses? They're just an instrument used by the state to track your property and/or activities. The state requires them to make their job of confiscation easier in the future. Don't believe me? Ask any ex-Pit Bull owner in Denver. They'll tell you!


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