Tag Archives: dogs

Regulation Roundup

Here’s a fresh batch of regulatory bloopers:

  • In Michigan, it is legal to kill ducks during hunting season, but not to scare them.
  • In Pateros, Washington, it is illegal for dogs to be nuisances.
  • Massage parlors are illegal in well-named Horneytown, North Carolina.
  • In Salem, West Virginia, it is illegal to eat candy if you’re going to church in the next 90 minutes.
  • In Maine, it is illegal to walk on any street with untied shoelaces.
  • In New Britain, Connecticut, fire trucks on their way to a fire may not go faster than 25 mph.
  • In Brooklyn, New York, it is against the law for horses to sleep in bathtubs.
  • In South Dakota, it is illegal to fall asleep inside a cheese factory.

Regulation of the Day 184: Picking up Dog Poop

A Vienna, Austria man was recently jailed for not picking up after his Great Danes. Having solved Vienna’s other problems, the city council recently passed new dog poop regulations. These include government-employed “Waste Watchers.” According to the Austrian Times, these “work from six a.m. to 11 o’clock at night handing out fines of up to 2,000 Euros for breaches in the law on dumping of waste and fouling of walkways.”

The 52-year old man was fined €1,380. When he told a court he could not afford the fine, he was jailed for two days.

As part of its new dog poop initiative, the government installed plastic bag dispensers throughout the city. Dog owners are required to use the bags to clean up after their dogs and place the final product in government-provided waste bins.

The offending man pleaded that his two Great Danes are simply too much for the plastic bags to handle. Great Danes can weigh as much as 200 pounds, and are prolific eaters.

The man should think about providing his own bags if the city’s aren’t up to the job. It is less than courteous for him to just leave the mess on the sidewalk. But a fine of up to €2,000 and possible jail time? That’s overkill.

Regulation of the Day 118: Unlicensed Dogs

In Los Angeles, it is illegal to own a dog without a license. The city government employees eight people whose full-time job is to make sure that people are complying. But they aren’t doing a very good job of it; roughly two thirds of Los Angeles’ dog population is unlicensed.

This epidemic of unlicensed dogs is easily the most pressing issue facing America’s second-largest city. Packs of wild, unlicensed dogs roam the streets at night. People are scared to go out after dark. An entire city huddles in fear.

Or not. Maybe unlicensed dogs don’t really matter. Most places do just fine without dog licensing regulations. So why is the city government clamping down on enforcement all of a sudden?

The answer is simple: money. LA is looking at a $400 million budget deficit this year. At $15 per license, the city estimates it will make $3.6 million from full compliance. Hopefully it will spend somewhat less than that getting there.

Los Angeles is hardly the only city having revenue troubles. One wonders what other obscure regulations are being used for money grabs across the country.