(Dec. 3, 2008) -- According to a news release (and as LBReport.com has separately reported), the Animal Care Services Bureau will be working with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control to update license records through city-wide door-to-door canvassing, over the next six months.
Needless to say, this is a great stride toward enforcing the license law, but even more than that -- it will ensure that owners of unlicensed dogs will be compelled to have their companions vaccinated against Rabies. There is also the hope that when pet-ownership incurs financial requirements, the dogs will be valued more than just disposable items.
An added advantage to licensing is the considerable ease with which lost, strayed-from-home animals will be re-united with their families. Microchipping is still the best form of identification but the license tag is also a passport home.
There is a problem with this worthwhile and much-needed plan. During the day, people are at work and there is no one to answer the door. The officers will undoubtedly leave notices on doors but it has been a sad fact that the owners who should license their companions (and that can be just about anybody who is irresponsible) usually tear up or throw away the notices and do not respond. Their attitude is usually (and I heard this voiced countless times), "that's just another stupid law and no one can tell me what to do."
Unless the ACSB is willing and can afford to do the door-to-door canvassing in the evening when the owners are at home, the present method will not bring about much change and this is unfortunate. Having said that, other than such evening canvassing and possibly paying overtime, I can not offer a better and more effective solution. Nevertheless, this is certainly better than nothing.
Even in the lobbies of veterinary hospitals, I have heard remarks from owners who do responsibly vaccinate their companions appropriately, objections such as "this is an intrusion on my constitutional rights."
Owners do not have to go in person to the Long Beach ACSB office to get a license. You can get the application for the license online. All you need to do is mail a copy of the dog's Rabies Certificate, a Certificate of Sterility -- always copies, never let the originals out of your hand -- and the fee ($19 for an altered dog, or $91 for an unaltered one) with your check, and you will receive the license tag in the mail. That's the best deal you'll get to comply with the law and your pet safe and properly identified.
Dear Readers: I have read through the US Constitution twice, from beginning to end and that is no small feat, I assure you, yet I did not find anything remotely resembling or dealing with local laws and health issues pertaining to pets.
So please, ACSB: if at all possible, do the canvassing when there is a pretty good chance that the licensing scofflaws are found at home and can be reasoned with. Then this plan will work more effectively.
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