Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dogs and Junkyards and Laws (Oh my!)

I'd like to thank my neighbors for going out of their way to look out for me and my family. Some have even to provide our street with its very own A-1 guard dogs. I appreciate the thought, but "Bruiser" (as I like to call the largest one) growled at me in a most unfriendly way yesterday while I was walking to my mailbox with my infant daughter. "Brownie" (as I like to call the large, brown one) also has a habit of defecating on my front lawn. I did recently discover the home to which "Brownie" belongs, so my husband and I decided to gather up the feces and return it to the owner. I've even considered that it might be good etiquette to attach a short note saying, "Your dog misplaced this in our yard. We thought you might want it back." Bottom line: It might be time for" Brownie" and "Bruiser" to stay at home.

I may not have to wait long for my situation to be remedied. "Bruiser" was recently spotted prancing down my street proudly displaying a freshly killed chicken in his mouth.

For that reason, I can empathise with residents of Mobile County, who are trying to pass a bill to control stray animals (and junkyards) in unincorporated parts of the county. St. Clair County tried to do something similar last year, but was unsuccessful. Many people argued that the law violated "home rule," but when you are unincorporated into city limits, the county is your home rule.

I agree that some breeders feel that a five-dog limit will hurt them, but that can be easily remedied by having a "certified breeder" exception written into the language.

I'm not much a fan of government policing of what you do on your own property, but when your dog roams, it's no longer on your property. It is on someone else's property, and it can cause quite a bit of damage and personal injury. Your right to do whatever you want ends when someone else's right to freely and safely walk around on his own property begins.

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