Friday, June 29, 2007

Canine Bling: Fighting dogs gaining in hip hop status

The Sun Times reports that dog fighting among athletes and rap stars in on the rise. Even Madison Avenue has embraced the culture in ads and apparel. America has never had a discussion about the reprehensible blood sport of dog fighting quite like the one that's going on right now. Although 48 states call it a felony, dog fighting is undergoing a resurgence, transformed from a once largely rural and illicit sport into a fashionable pastime with a certain outlaw cache in many urban neighborhoods. Embraced by street gangs starting in the late 1980s, who were drawn to it for their own sport then discovered it could be a profitable enterprise, the new world of dog fighting ranges from highly organized, well-attended matches featuring tens of thousands of dollars in betting pools and prize money to impromptu bouts on street corners and in playgrounds. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that as many as 40,000 people participate in dog fighting either as spectators, organizers or breeders of dogs, and tens of thousands of dogs are bred for the ring. Magazines and Internet sites openly sell training gear and display the "Cajun Rules," an intricate, 19-point system for adjudicating dog fights. Videos depicting dog fights are available for sale online, including recently at, according to a suit filed against the retailer by the Humane Society. One reason for the growing popularity of dog fighting is that it seems to have come into vogue among professional athletes and entertainers, whose attentions have given the brutal pastime a certain street cred. In 2005, National Basketball Association player Qyntel Woods pleaded guilty to animal abuse charges after abandoning a pit bull that had wounds consistent with dog fighting. That same year, former NFL running back LeShon Johnson pleaded guilty to possessing fight dogs and encouraging dogfights. And Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, when asked about Vick, expressed an attitude that appears all too common among pro athletes: "It's his property; it's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it." Rap music also glorifies the blood sport. The rapper DMX, who appears with a snarling pit bull on the cover of his album "Year of the Dog Again," has sung: "Place your bets/You can imagine what the bloodline is like," and "All my pups is crazy, 'cause off the leash/They can eat, stand a match for three hours at least." Madison Avenue has been quick to seize on such attitudes to instill a certain street cred in its own advertising. In 2003, the clothing company Nike, which has endorsement deals with numerous top athletes including Vick, released a gritty-looking TV ad dubbed "The Battle" which featured a brief glimpse of a growling pit bull and Rottweiler about to face off. A Nike representative denied that the ad encouraged dog fighting, but explained, "People have to understand the youth culture we cater to. Our market is the urban, edgy, hip-hop culture." But the scariest revelation is yet to come. That culture has reached down to schoolchildren, who increasingly seem to think that two dogs at each others' throats is cool. A survey of schoolchildren by the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago in 2001 found that 20 percent had witnessed a dogfight. Earlier this year, Los Angeles police arrested a 13-year-old boy who had organized a dog fight in an alley. Have you ever noticed that the majority of african american children, when inquiring about a dog, ask if it's a Pit Bull or Rottweiler? The story finishes: But stepped-up police work and prosecutions are only part of the solution. We are in danger of raising a generation of kids who view animal abuse as a sport, and it is up to responsible adults to change that way of thinking. Well said, but I would go even further. We are raising a generation of kids who have no respect for life at any level, be it their peers, animals or adults. Responsible adults do raise their kids to respect others. It's the irresponsible adults that allow their kids to get caught up in street culture. That's a tougher nut to crack. Full story here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

City licensing: one week later

After 9 calls to a myriad of Chicago departments, I have finally learned that I must attend court. There is no mail in option for failure to display a city dog license. Here are the different organizations I had to go through to get this simple answer. 311-two times Administraticve hearings-2 times Animal Care and Control-1 time 24th district Chicago Police-1 time Chicago Department of Revenue-1 time City Clerk-1 time I was informed that it takes approximately two weeks for the ticket to enter into the system. Once that has happened, I can come to the court and have my hearing at a time conveniant for me. Out of morbid curiousity, I looked up some of the violations that do allow mail in of fines. CTA ordinance violations Drinking in public Biking on the Sidewalk Skateboards, Rollerblades or pushcarts on a roadway Placing advertising matter on vehicles Solicitation or selling on a public way without a license Glass containers in public parks, beaches and playlots Lack of charitable solicitation permit Violation of park district codes Violation of operation restrcitions of marine vessels including dangerous or reckless operation. Creating wakes within 150 ft of shoreline, bouys or swimming areas Now I don't want to be a pain and I believe licensing is important. But is failing to display your city dog license more serious than some of the infractions above? Do you mean I can be operating a boat in such a way that is dangerous to life and limb and get out of my court date and a dog owner who has failed to purchase a license must appear in court? What's wrong with this picture? In the meantime, my check to the city has still not been cashed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A lesson of love, diversity and a little persistence

If you haven't figure it out by now, I am a vintage cartoon fanatic. Here is a classic, I must share. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. The Dot and the Line: a lesson in lower mathematics

Does anybody really know what fine it is? Does anyone really care?

Fine? There's a fine? Who told you there's a fine? It's not my fine? I don't know nuthtin about no fine Miss Margot!! City license crackdown: Day 2 Blogging is such a magical way to vent your woes and come out a cleaner, saner person. I wonder why it took me so long to start? You just release your troubles out into the blogosphere, sleep a deep untroubled sleep and wake up to find a quarter under your pillow, a fixed disposal, the grass greener on your side of the fence and overseas bank employees wanting to share unclaimed wealth with you; confidentially of course! Today, I woke up and realized I don't need to fight city hall. With no tangible evidence, I have a better likelihood of someone clean and attractive sitting next to me on the el than getting out of this fine. That being sorted, I proceeded to determine how much I owed the city and wash my hands of the whole thing. The ticket directs you to call 311 with questions regarding your ticket. I called 311 to request information on the fine. The operator had no idea and transferred me to the Department of Administrative Hearings. Once again the operator had no clue but was kind enough to transfer me to Animal Care and Control. For those who don't know, Animal Care and Control is responsible for enforcing all animal related municipal code ordinances. The young lady who answered the phone, listened to me for less than 5 seconds before she went into a tirade. "What do you want me to do about it? I can't get you out of no ticket! You just have to pay yo fine!" For the first time in my life, I had to ask and operator to please shut up and let me finish! Once I was successful in quieting her, I explained that I had every intention of paying the fine if someone would simply tell me how much it was. Her response was "Now how am I supposed to know that?!" rather than "Can you hold please while I see if I can get that information for you?" I thanked her, rather sarcastically, for her time and hung up. Once again I call 311. I explain to the operator that I have been channeled between 311, Administrative Hearings and Animal Care and Control to no avail. She also says she has no idea what the fine is. I told her that I simply want to pay my ticket, as good citizens do. I cannot take time off to appear in court, yet if my fine is not post dated within seven days of the citation, I must appear in court. Finally I reminded her that 311 is a helpline and I need her help. She then asked if I had called the Police Department. I told her no and she transferred me to the 24th district office. Officer Jamie answered the phone. I explained my dilemma and he asked if I could hold. When he asked if I needed to know the fine for my dog, I said "I need to know the fine for my dogszzz(emphasizing plurality.) After a long stretch of time, he returned to the line and said he heard it was $25. Now I don't know about you, but the answer wasn't emphatic enough to gain my confidence. I asked for his name and badge number and there was a long pause. Before he could respond, I added that I wanted to make sure I had every i dotted and t crossed. If I was mailing in a fine, that could potentially be inaccurate, I wanted to add a letter explaining the hoops I had to go through to get the information and where the final figure came from. He gave me his name and badge number. Once again, Chicago puts the cart before the horse. Ticketing citizens without any thought to fines, or for that matter, better use of it's men in blue.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chicago dog owners be warned: get your city license immediately

I posted last week that the Chicago Police bike officers were threatening to ticket dog owners without a license in our parks. As of today, they have branched out onto our streets. No more than 30 minutes ago, I was walking up Morse Avenue, between Glenwood and Greenview, with my dogs Macy, Bailey, Sydney and my client's dog Siris. Siris's dad is in Isreal and he is staying with me for a month. Three Chicago police officers, on bikes, asked me to stop. They asked me if I was a dog walker and I explained to them that three of the dogs were mine and one belonged to a friend, who was out of town. I knew where they were going with this, so I informed them that the dogs had been very recently vaccinated for rabies. I explained that I had sent in the paperwork for their city tags, but to date had not gotten the tags. The officers wrote a citation and told me that I could present my receipt to the court and escape the fine. Well there is one small problem. When I went the vet for the dog's vaccinations, I was not automatically given the applications...I had to request them. I was given the exact same application I have recieved in years past. Guess what...No receipt! Ony this years updated application has a tear off receipt. Even if there was a receipt, I mailed the form in with my check for $60. So who would fill out the receipt, besides me? So we're back at square one. Do you trust my word or do you want to take me to court? Clearly, the latter was the preferred method. So, I either have to anti up the fine or inconveniance my clients and loose wages by making a 2:30 p.m. hearing downtown on August 2nd to contest the charges. Not a possibility!!!! Even if I did appear in court, I have no physical evidence to prove I mailed my applications prior to issuance of the citation. Oh and one more thing: violation of municiple code 7-12-14 does not have penalties listed on the ticket, so I have no inkling as to what I owe in fines. Nor can I decipher whether I can mail in my payment, which I only have 7 days to do, or whether I must appear in court. Siris, by the way, got off without a citation. Now to avoid further violations I must contact his owner in Isreal, have his vet fax his rabies certification and go to city hall to get a tag for this dog as well. All this and Tom is moving to Tennesse in another month or so. GRRRRR!!! Immediately after receiving the citation, I stopped at Morse Market to pick up some food. I was examining the ticket in the parking lot to see if I could find the fine amount. A patron walked out of the store and asked me what I had been ticketed for. When I told her, her response was "you've got to be kidding!" She asked me where I received the ticket. I told her we were just a bit north of Soo's liquors. The woman couldn't believe that three bike officers would be more concerned with me and four restrained, calm animals than they would be over the normal group that hangs out in front of Soo's. I must agree!!!! Don't waste another second...get your city license!!!!

It's "Happy Week"

In honor of Happy Week at Rogers Park Bench, I thought it might be fun to revisit one of my favorite cartoons. Enjoy! More silliness:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Should Chicago restaurants allow pets to dine al fresco?

Health Dept. barks at dogs at sidewalk cafes CITY COUNCIL | Warns of danger of parasites, fleas, bacteria June 7, 2007 BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter If Chicago's dog-loving aldermen are determined to let dogs accompany their owners to sidewalk cafes, patrons could be forced to use hand sanitizers and dine with plastic utensils. That's the recommendation of Frances Guichard, director of food protection for the Chicago Department of Public Health. On Wednesday, Guichard painted an unappetizing picture of allowing Fido to dine alfresco. She was testifying before a City Council committee considering whether to allow it now that the Legislature has opened the door. Guichard talked about the danger of the spread of bacteria and parasites if dog hair and saliva got on tables, chairs and silverware. The same could happen if cafe employees touch dogs, then handle food. Cites risk of illnesses "Allowing dogs to dine in outdoor cafes is not the best public health practice and creates a greater risk causing foodborne illness. . . . Dogs do carry parasites, fleas. They also carry bacteria. They lie on the ground . . . They also may have feces on their face," Guichard said. Full story here Blog Notes I must confess, I have reservations with this proposed ordinance, but not for the reasons stated by the health official. Fecal matter? Do a google search on the snack bowl at your local tavern. For that matter, search e coli contamination from restaurant employees and customers who don't wash their hands. How about babies in diapers. Should we ban babies from restaurants? My reservations are based on the unfortunate fact, that many owners will attempt to bring dogs that just aren't suited for an environment with lots of people/children, food, jostling and other dogs. I think this could potentially be a problem and a burden for the restaurant owner, who now must ask patrons with badly behaved dogs to leave.

Holy Cow!!! Viagra for dogs

Who would have thunk? The latest pill for male enhancement now has a new use. I want to see a lot of smiling Pitt Bulls next to a pool, with a poodle holding a dish of ambrosia salad to advertise this. Speaking about erectile disfuntiom, take a look at this video...funny

NFL star linked to international dog fight industry

By Paul Newberry, The Associated Press Through all attempts to cover his tracks — secretive lingo, coded Internet chatter, a move from Pennsylvania to Texas — Thomas Weigner was intently pursued by a vigilant group of animal-loving sleuths. For years, they suspected him of being a bigwig in dogfighting's shady underworld, a breeder and trainer of fearsome canines who willingly would rip each other apart for the amusement of their bloodthirsty masters. But it was hard to get close to Weigner. He made sure his inner circle was limited to family and trusted friends, though he seemed to live a normal life at a well-kept brick home and 24-acre spread in rural east Texas. Then, in the middle of a warm August night, everything came crashing down. No, it wasn't a group of warrant-wielding lawmen who invaded Weigner's sanctuary, looking to find the telltale signs of animal abuse and slap the cuffs on him. These were masked, fatigue-wearing gunmen who burst into the home. They tied everyone up and began rummaging through every nook and cranny, desperate to find the $100,000 in cash that Weigner supposedly collected after one of his top dogs whipped another grand champion. By the time the invaders fled back into the night, Weigner was crumpled on the ground, bleeding to death from a gunshot just above his right knee. Soon, the property was crawling with guys wearing badges. They were revolted at what they found when the sun came up. And they were shocked at just how far the case would lead. "It was very much an eye opener," said Greg Arthur, the sheriff in Liberty County, "as far as the dog fight industry and how big it actually is." Murder has a way of making people talk. When the Liberty County sheriff's office began snooping for leads, they found a road that led in all directions. Pittsburgh. Atlanta. Los Angeles. Dayton, Ohio. Even Ecuador. And they kept hearing one name in particular: Michael Vick. "Ohhhh, yes," said Liberty County sheriff's Capt. Chip Fairchild. "When we were in Dayton, they mentioned it there. In Atlanta and Pittsburgh, too. They all knew about Michael Vick being into it and sinking big dollars into it. We kept hearing that over and over. That wasn't a trail we needed to go down, because there was no indication that he had ever been here or knew our guy (Weigner). But our guy certainly knew people who knew Michael Vick." 'Guard dogs or fighting dogs' For many people, dogfighting wasn't on the radar until Vick, star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, got swept up in it. In April, when investigators raided a Vick-owned home in Surry County, Va., as part of a drug investigation involving a cousin of his, they stumbled upon a clandestine kennel out back. Sixty-six dogs, mostly pit bulls, were seized, along with evidence of an organized fighting operation: treadmills rigged up for training; "break sticks" that are used to pry apart the powerful jaws of fighting animals; blood-soaked carpeting that might have been used in a fighting pit; veterinary medicines for treating wounds; and "rape stands," hideous contraptions used to restrain female pit bulls during the breeding process. Whole story here. Blog Notes I am a southerner. In the 33 years I lived in the south, one didn't hear much about the dog fighting industry. I am not saying that it didn't exist, merely that I rarely heard about it. What you did here about daily was cock fighting Now granted, South Carolina is not rural Mississippi. But I was never aware of the dog fighting industry until I moved to Chicago, where it is deeply rooted in the gang culture here. Two years ago, August on a Saturday,I had my first up close and personal encounter with a bait dog. A bartender from the Top Hat called me to tell me about a man trying to give away a pitt bull puppy. She told me she wanted to take the dog, but something seemed terribly wrong and asked if I would come down and take a look at the animal. I pretended to be interested in taking the dog. Said gentleman, an african american man in his 50's, lead me to his truck. The pitt was in a crate in the back. The gentleman, will be referred to as man going forward, told me he had been with his cousin in Missisippi and had brought the dog back to Chicago. The dog was covered in motor oil, his nails were so long that his feet were splayed, his teeth were clearly not the teeth of a six month pup rather a six year old dog, his ears were rudely and roughly cropped and the dog had scars and sores. The crate was covered in motor oil and feces as was the pot containing water for the dog. I told the man that the dog needed immediate vet attention. He asked for a vet nearby and I directed him. He came back 20 minutes later saying the vet had given the dog a clean bill of health. Knowing that there was no way this man could have made the trip and had the dog examined in that space of time, I told the man I would take the dog. I wrapped the dog in towels and transported him to Broadway Animal Hospital for treatment. The dog would open his mouth, as if in extreme pain, every time he was lifted. Amazingly enough, the dog did not have any complications. Dr. Kaz innoculated the dog, cleaned him and treated his sores. Jerry/Sarge, a patron of the Top Hat who is in the military, took the dog in. The dog was named Grunt. The dog now lives in Wisconsin on a farm. As of the last report, he is very happy and healthy.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

T Mo Bill

I need to put this issue out in the blogosphere, to see if minds clearer than mine can comprehend what I still cannot despite my hour on the phone with a customer service representative. In late April, I noticed that my cell phone was missing. It had been missing for a few hours, but I did not notice it until I needed to make a phone call. By the time I was able to get home and call customer care to report the phone missing, some savvy little Senn High School student had found the phone and downloaded $140 worth of ring tones and games. The customer care rep told me that they had already cut service to the phone because I had exceeded my spending balance. My service is set up to automatically deduct payments from my checking account every month, so I was understandably confused. The representative told me about the $140 dollars of pending charges resulting from the downloads. I objected to paying for these, but was told I was financially obligated as I had not informed them of the missing/stolen phone. I was informed that to restore service, I would need to make a payment. I paid $120 of the $140 dollars this kid racked up on that day. Three days later, my normal payment of 67.45 was deducted from my account. So, in the month of April, T Mobile recieved $187.45. What I actually owed in April, for the month of March, was $72.80, which should have left a credit to my account of 144.65. The customer care rep told me I had a credit at the end of March of 41 dollars. Wait!!! Huh? Now to May. The week before Memorial Day, T Mobile once again cuts off service to my phone. The automated line says I owe a balance of 0 dollars, yet I have exceeded my spending limit. I once again call customer care, to be told there are pending charges for $218. I asked her to look at my bill to see what those pending charges were. I was told that because the new billing cycle had just started, she was unable to see what those charges were. I had a sneaking suspicion that I was being charged twice for those downloads and explained to the rep that I really needed to see what those charges were for. She understood and reversed charges for a week to allow me time to access my bill on line. The following monday, I pulled up my account on line. It showed I owed $80 something dollars only, which would be correct for one months service. Assuming that T Mobile had found and rectified their mistake and knowing that I am set up for auto pay, I made no further payment. The following Saturday, my service is cut off once again for being over my spending limit. On line I am again seeing charges for $218 dollars with an amount due of $177 dollars. Now I can finally access the bill and indeed the bulk of these charges are for the downloads in April. Needing a working phone and not having time to contest these charges, I made the minimum payment requested of $87.00. I was charged another $20 dollars to restore phone service. I called today to contest the restoration fee and the charges. I was told they could not credit the restoration fee as I had exceeded my spending limit. I told them that as I am on auto pay and plunked down $120 of the $140 owed on the downloads, I could not understand why I would continually be exceeding my spending limit. I also reminded them that I had, in good faith, requested a week to look into the pending charges and had been unable to do so. I reminded them that when I went on line to investigate, I saw a balance due of $87. Then I asked for my charges since March. March $67.45 April $57.45 May $78.79 June $218.93 Total: $422.62 Now you pay for the previous month, so in April I paid 67.45 (March) plus and additional $120, which should have left a credit of $144.65. That credit should have covered April and May's balance leaving a credit for $8.71 In May I paid $87.00 to restore service, that should never have been interrupted, again putting me in the credit column for June in the amount of $95.41. This would leave a balance due for June of $123.52, which would be due in July. So why is T Mobile consistently cutting off my phone and charging me to restore service. Why would pending charges for June affect my service in April. To quote Denzel Washington in his role in "Philadelphia", "Can someone please explain this to me, like I am a six year old?"

Mens Health rates top 50 cities for dog

Chicago ranks in at 39, behind New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle. Well at least we ranked better than D.C., Los Angeles and Boston. The criteria was based on the percentage of dog owning households and the percenatge per capita of vets, dog parks, pet shops, daycares and shelters as well as the number of reported cases of heartworm. Full story here

Friday, June 08, 2007

What is love?

This has nothing to do about dogs but so brightened my morning, I had to share. Do yourself a favor and take a look. Special thanks to Tom Mannis at Rogers Park Bench for sharing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Three kitties and a dog continued

Day two of kitties in the house. We are making progress though Syd tries to address the cats like he would a dog or a cow. Lunging in, making his presence known and dominating the situation. Needless to say, the cats want none of that and probably never will. Really at a standstill to figure out what would be best. Sydney is determined to have it his own way and the cats are not comfortable with him. I kept him on leash tonight while in the office. Simba was camped out on my desk wanting no part of him. Bailey continues to be uncurious and unintersted. Not sure if she is thinking been there done that or if she is timing herself out. Only time will tell. Mother and dominant Macy, on the other hand has dealt with the cats beautifully. She is certainly curious, but allows them their space. She also intervenes when the other dogs get too close. Who would have thought that a dog that showed up on my doorstep as a two month old, and had already been through two homes in two days, would be such an amazing dog!!! She never ceases to amaze me!!!!!

Dog adoption day

Dog Adoption Day Dear Neighbors, Bark Place, a recent addition to the Rogers Park retail community, and Windy City Animal Foundation are sponsoring a Dog Adoption Day this Saturday, June 9th from 12:00 - 4:00 PM. Loving dogs needing great homes will be available to meet and greet. Make a minimum donation of $10 to Windy City Animal Foundation while attending the event and you'll receive a coupon good for 50% off a bath, or 50% off one single day of day-care or boarding.* Bark Place, located at 1775 Greenleaf Ave provides pet day-care, boarding, grooming, pet food, supplements, treats, collars, and more. Owner, Anthony Mesok, also a Roger's Park resident, opened the doors to this great facility May 12th and looks forward to exceeding the individual needs and requests of each guest and their human parent(s). To learn more about pet adoption, visit the Windy City Animal Foundation web site at We hope you'll stop by and say, "hello," to Anthony and support this good cause even if you aren't looking to adopt a pet this weekend. Very truly yours, Joe Moore

Three kitties and a dog

My good friend Tom is going to Israel for a month and asked me to watch his dog, Siris, and his three cats, Simba, Lola and Clovis. All of the dogs, except Sydney, knew Siris and Syd and Siris have become fast friends. Syd likes to chew, very gently, on Siris's ears. Weirdly enough, Siris does not object to this behavior. Now I should be clear on this, I am more of a dog person than a cat person. I have had cats in the pas,t but have mild allergies to cats. My dogs are unfamiliar with cat behavior and ways. When Tom asked me if I could take the cats, I told him I could. My intial reaction on how the dogs would react was the following: Macy would take it in stride, Sydney would be curious but friendly and Baily would get a few scratches trying to chase them. The cats and Siris arrived yesterday morning. The cats were obviously stressed, so I set up a gate outside of my office and kept the office door shut until I could be home to supervise. The cats found my linen closet and have camped out there. Last night, while checking email, I allowed the dogs access. Macy behaved as predicted, curious but completely calm. Bailey, on the other hand, avoids the room like the plague. She has timed herself out. Sydney, cannot understand why they will not greet him formally. He was on kitty watch all evening and started again at 4 this morning. He sits in the closet and barks, trying to elicit some kind of greeting. Bless his little cattle dog heart, anything that won't be cordial must be herded. I hope that in the space of a month, the cats will gain some confidence. I am debating whether to keep the gate up or force the cats to interact. My only fear is they will not leave the closet to eat drink and poop, meaning I will be in charge of clean up. Oh lord, this last sentence took 10 minutes to write due to a sneezing fit. How can I be allergic to cat dander and not allergic to dog dander? HMMMMMM!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dog licensing the Chicago way: City officials dog on the job

In the latest example of dumb and dumber do politics, here is a classic blunder in the city's attempt to addresss dog licensing. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
Dog owners have been thumbing their noses at the city’s mandatory dog license for decades. Chicago has roughly 500,000 dogs. It sells only 20,072 licenses despite years of threatened crackdowns.
Did it ever occur to the city that the majority of dog owners merely forget to send in the application? That enabling them to pay the fee and get the tag when their dogs get their shots might be the answer?
Why, then, did the Daley administration quietly impose a five-fold increase in the annual license fee for dogs not spayed or neutered — from $10 to $50?
Good question and why are we not concerned about cats?
“What we want to do is . . . make sure we make every effort to get our animals neutered and spayed so that we don’t have an over-population of dogs. This is a good way to do that,” said License Committee Chairman Eugene Schulter (47th).
Don't cats overpopulate as well? What is preventing pet owners from lying about their pets status to pay the cheaper fee?
Three years ago, then-City Clerk James Laski finally got around to tightening the regulatory leash for unlicensed dogs — by using a computer program to cross-check the city’s short list of licensed dogs against Cook County’s 100,000-plus list of Chicago dogs with rabies shots. Laski mailed 3,130 warning letters. One-third of the dog owners who got them promptly bought licenses — even before fines were levied. But, there was a problem. It takes 10 minutes to process and engrave each metal license. “There weren’t enough people to process the applications. They mailed only a few thousand letters. But, when too many came back, they couldn’t keep up with the volume and the warning letters stopped,” said Jay Rowell, deputy director of the clerk’s office.
Now why are we hand engraving city licenses? They don't have any personal information on the dog. Seems they could be mass produced, couldn't they? If they needed several categories, such as dangerous dog, neutered or non neutered, couldn't they still be mass produced? Did Toddy's budget cuts affect the number of engravers? Are the engravers city employees or is this contract licensed out? Do the engravers make a living wage?
Now, City Clerk Miguel del Valle has introduced an ordinance that would pave the way for dog licenses to be sold on the Internet and for the city to issue a three-year license, in addition to the annual one.
What part of this are you having a hard time with Miguel? Veterinarians should be collecting fees and issueing tags!!!
Rowell said the clerk is also exploring the possibility of shifting to either a sticker to be placed on the back of the rabies tag or to a plastic license. And he’s forming a task force of dog lovers to explore ways to “add value” to the dog license by providing owners with information on dog laws, dog-friendly areas and how to access them.
What is the likelyhood that an adhesive sticker will withstand beach sand, rolling and dog play? Go back to the drawing board!
Kent is promising a licensing crackdown, even before new revenue comes rolling in. She has authority to hire a new inspector to add to her team of three.
So each inspector will be responsible for 125,000 dogs. They'll be as effective as our city's elevator inspectors. The whole embarrassing story here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Do you have your city license?

Starting today, cops along our lakefront parks will be issueing tickets to dog owners who do not have a city of chicago dog license. Applications can be obtained through your local vet. Dogs must be licensed on a yearly basis. The cost for licensing with the city is $5 for a spayed or neutered animal and $50 for a non neutered animal. The increase in cost for non neutered animals just went into effect, in the hopes of encouraging owners to spay or neuter their pets.