Times Square Otto Rules The Streets

The suburb of Chicago Heights (named after Chicago) is described by as a place where “homes in the community reflect its history. There are areas where preservation districts protect old, turn-of-the-century mansions. Vast blocks of brick Chicago-style bungalows, ranch homes, and tri-levels look as good today as when they were built in the decades following World War II. The city has two new subdivisions of custom-built homes on large lots. “ This describes a nice, leafy area where dogs would be very happy to frolic in the parks. Yet Chicago Heights has a limitation on the number of animals and pets that one can keep in their home. Chicago Heights Law Sec. 6-23. Limitation of animals. (a) No person shall keep or permit more than two (2) dogs to be or remain in or about any single-family residence, building or lot, or more than one (1) dog in any unit of a multifamily residence within the city. (b) No person shall keep or permit more than two (2) cats to be or remain in or about any single-family residence, building or lot, or more than one (1) cat in any unit of a multifamily residence where cats are allowed out of doors. Where cats are not allowed out of doors, no more than four (4) shall be allowed in a single-family residence, building or lot, and no more than two (2) in any unit of a multifamily residence.(c) The limit on the total number of animals, counting dogs and cats, allowed in a single-family residence is four (4), and in a unit of multifamily residence is two (2). (d) Any number in excess of section 6-23(a) through (c) shall be constituted as a kennel and must be licensed, inspected and properly zoned. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 37% of American households own a dog. The average dog per household is 1.7 and 63% own only one dog. The Humane Society reports that 12% of owners, own three or more dogs. So the people who own five dogs or more are few and far between. In comparison we have the metropolis of Chicago where high rise buildings abound and there are not a lot of homes with big backyards for dogs to frolic in. So a proposed (and often shot down) Chicago City ordinance that would limit ownership to five dogs or less would not affect many people at all. Only the few crazy ones who feel they need to possess more than five dogs. The proposed ordinance introduced by Ald. Ray Suarez, (D-31) says, "It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor or otherwise process five or more dogs over the age of four months within any household's residential dwelling unit. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fine not less than $100 or more than $1,000. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate distinct offense." This would be a good way to help balance the city’s budget if the ordinance were passed and enforced! The pet lover’s world is going insane at the thought of limitations! “It is an arbitrary and expensive proposition that will inappropriately punish many responsible owners and foster parents,” said Cynthia Bathurst of the Best Friends Animal Society. “George Cardenas D-12), one of the Alderman backing the ordinance says, “We no longer live in the era of Lassie. We live in the era of Bone Crusher and Killer and the other names people use for dogs nowadays. So we have to have limits.” I grew up owning dogs and think they are cute and cuddly; but they are not human beings. The people who call them family members need psychiatric counseling. The dogs also deserve a better life than being cooped up in a small city apartment with no backyard to gambol in. Since it costs, at a minimum, approximately $1,000/year to feed and provide veterinary care to a dog; five dogs would cost the owner $5,000. If someone can afford to spend that amount of cash on animals, and are not Steve Gates or Michael Bloomberg, their fiscal priorities are all wrong. As usual, I have the answer to this contentious debate. Instead of limiting the number of dogs one can have by an arbitrary number; limit the number of dogs according to the square footage in one’s home. Since that is how the City of Chicago determines how many human beings can live in a space; adapt the code for dogs. If one’s home is 1,000 sq.feet or less, they are allowed one dog. Each additional dog requires another 500 sq. feet of footage. Dogs need room to run and play. A dog limiting ordinance based on the size of one’s home would be equitable to dogs and humans alike. The most important thing to remember is that dogs are not humans and will never be humans. The rights of the humans who have to live next door to a smelly apartment with too many animals should have their rights protected before an animal’s rights. As Snoop has told us, “Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement.” A dog by any other name would still smell like poop. So let us limit the poop.
Read More From Dog Policewoman Kathy Posner Here.....
Photo By: John Martini