Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Crazy Cat Lady Down the Street Ain't So Crazy Anymore!

Today I took it upon myself to try something different and partake in some investigative journalism, which basically consisted of me asking some contacts a series of questions regarding a rumor I recently heard about.

What was the rumor you ask?

Well, I recently heard something about the City of Hamilton revising it's by-law regarding the number of animals a person can maintain in their living space or home. To my astonishment and semi-disgust, this new proposed amendment would allow any citizen of Hamilton to keep an UNLIMITED number of animals in their home. I am not just talking about dogs, cats and birds either...the subject also included pythons, anacondas and our scary friend the tarantula :S. 

The vote will take place tomorrow (January 25th, 2012), at city hall and will allow pet owners to have an unlimited number of both domestic and exotic pets,with the requirement of licensing for applicable animals.

I snooped around with some contacts within the city to get more information (No Names), and was astonished to find out that the overall opinion on this amendment was positive as city Councillors felt this could bring in more revenue due to licensing fees. I also discovered that this vote was initiated by non other then the various pet stores within the city. They along with a series of animal lovers lobbied the city to consider this vote.

If this motion does in fact pass, that "crazy" cat lady who lives down the lane might not seem so crazy after all. Further investigation has shown me that the requirements around the implementation of this bill state that the owner must provide food, shelter and water for the animals. So, theoretically, I can move into your neighbourhood, raise 10 dogs in my home and as long as food and water are put out, can terrorize you with barks and doggy doo all I want without worry.

I am an advocate for animals, I love them all except for ones that have eight legs and eyes, but I think this is ridiculous!!! The implementation of this by-law would not only open up the possibility for more animal abuse and neglect, but would also increase the risk of annoyance and the potential for great danger in our community. Sudden images of youth and elderly citizens being bitten and or killed by a pack of "local" dogs come to mind. Additionally, the sad recollection of a couple in Florida who awoke to find that their pet boa had escaped during the night, slid its way to their infants crib and strangled it to death.

As unbelievable as this fear may seem, the reality facing animals is that training aside...they are still animals based on instinct and things happen, throw in a larger group of animals and more things happen. Owners who think they are experts can often end up with a giant mess on their hands and the city's as well, when their pets become to much to handle. If a variation of this law was to go into effect, at least cap the amount of animal and require a series of special permits to carry more then a certain type of animal within city limits.

Good Luck with that bub!

Leader of the pack.

What do you think about this law? Is it another example of business (pet stores) laying in bed with the government(municipal) in an attempt to make money for both sides?

If our by-law officers are already strained and overworked with current complaints, do you think this new amendment would make their jobs easier or counter any net gain with the need for more officers on staff?

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