Pocatello, Idaho mayor pushing for vicious dog registry-

Story in the Idaho Statesman. AP

Tagged with:
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

6 Responses to Just a reality check for those who worry about being eaten by wolves

  1. Salle says:

    Interesting. Pocatello has bad issues with its animal control system in the first place, having had personal experience with them in the past and dealing with Ms. Anderson… I had reviewed their ordinance in the past and not only found it lacking but improperly produced and even then, poorly enforced. It often comes down to who your friends in the city offices are as to how each individual case is handled…

    And I had to challenge Mayor Chase on the dog ordinance as well. In fact, I had to endure over a year of being ignored until I challenged Chase, in person, with photos of a terrible violation and asked him if he would tolerate such conditions if it were his home involved in such a manner concerning neighbors’ neglected animals disrupting his home-life. I was still ignored until I informed him and all officials down the line that I was including them in a lawsuit I intended to file against the neighbor. Suddenly a remedy had been implemented within 24 hours of my notice to sue.

    An ugly experience that I’m not likely to forget.

    I feel badly for Ms. Anderson and her injuries, I have had mixed results with her as an animal control officer, some good some unsatisfactory. On a personal level, I liked her and feel she was being coerced or over-ruled in some of the above fiasco I had to deal with.

  2. JimT says:

    They would get farther in addressing this issue with ordinances focused on socialization and training rather than merely keeping track of dogs ruined by humans. Some people simply should be be allowed to have a dog, and until we fundamentally change the legal status of companion animals from being in the same category as a lawnmower, humans will be free to abuse and neglect and turn dogs into bad actors. At least the mayor gets it….humans cause bad dogs to exist.

  3. Salle says:

    Actually, having had to deal with this mayor first hand, I would imaging that he only “gets it” to the degree that there is probably a sound and costly lawsuit behind his motivation.

    If Ms. Anderson is still recovering from her wounds, it had to be pretty bad in the fist place. I have spoken to her many times and she would show me minor bites she received from handling animals on different occasions, some that I would have been upset about. She is well aware of the lack of reasonable ordinance, it wasn’t developed properly in the first place and is incoherent and contradictory, if you actually read it you’d see, she is probably suing… and she should.

  4. monty says:

    Agree w/above remarks. But i decided, about a decade ago, that I am not going to be a victum and for years, when I hike and run, I always carry pepper spray. About 5 years ago, I sprayed a large vicious dog that was intent on chewing my leg off. Pepper spray is a great non-lethal way to prevent such occurances & not turn into a victum.

  5. Jimt says:

    People need to be held accountable for their negligence and abuse in the way they treat their dogs if they don’t proactively act in the best interests of the animals–feed, train, house them properly, get them medical care, protect them, prevent them from being problems in the human world. Unfortunately, the usual remedy in the typical dog ordinance is a minor fine, and death of the dog. So, this same human, lacking any incentive to change, goes out, gets another dog, and the problem is perpetuated. IF Pocatello wants to take a serious run at this kind of problem, have someone look up the City of Berkeley’s ordinances and read them and look at the language and the approach. Now, I certainly don’t expect folks in Idaho to adopt the law verbatim..LOL…but the principles of responsible and compassionate dog ownership and treatment should be at the heart of the ordinance. There is a wonderful book called Culture Clash by an ASCPA person in SF, as well as being a certified canine behaviorist, whose name is Jean Donaldson. She has written other great books, but this one addresses the reasons for aggression and the best ways to halt the problem. Very interesting perspectives on just how difficult it is to be a dog in a human world unless you are taught the accepted behaviors for co-existing in that world. Worth a read. You can find it..and other great dog related books…at http://www.dogwise.com

    For too many folks, the notion of dogs as merely private property leads to these kinds of encounters with badly socialized dogs, or the abuse and neglect cycle. How many times do you hear from these folks “Its MY dog, and I can damn well do with it whatever I want.”. Sigh.

  6. Salle says:

    “For too many folks, the notion of dogs as merely private property leads to these kinds of encounters with badly socialized dogs, or the abuse and neglect cycle. How many times do you hear from these folks “Its MY dog, and I can damn well do with it whatever I want.”. Sigh.”

    Agreed. I think that this type of dog owner, at least those I have encountered, come from the part of society that is not in control of “their” own lives and feel powerless to gain that personal power opt for power over the less empowered, like a dog. They can “own” them and, therefore, have control over the life of that being without recourse for their inability to properly care for and take appropriate responsibility for that being.

    It’s kind of like the ranching industry’s vocal component, they like to claim that the cattle are their property and must be compensated for any loss of that property ~ even when they don’t take responsibility for the proper care of that property. A personal control issue it seems.

    (Oddly, in New England ~ up into the late 1970’s or mid 80’s ~ children were considered “property” having no personal rights to protect them from abusive parents/guardians who considered them tax deductions and indentured servants/slaves. My parents functioned under that perception… which was the legal situation awarded them for going forth and multiplying in mass quantities without resources to properly care for this property. I was a child slave and was given no more consideration than that of an abused dog. Somehow I came this conclusion about people who “own” their dogs from comparing these inhumane conditions and their prevalence under legal protection in our society.)


December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey