Monday, November 10, 2014

Dumb Ass Dog Owners

When I saw the title of this hop I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. As an animal control officer I deal with dumb ass dog owners (DADOs) on a daily basis. (To be fair, there are quite a few dumb ass cat owners as well.) With a little more time -- and a lot more talent -- I could write a book on this stuff! But because stupid people (indirectly) pay my mortgage, I have to be careful what I say. Piss off the wrong person in this overly litigious society and I'm out of a job. So with that in mind here's my disclaimer: All of these stories are true. However, names have been changed and identifying facts have been omitted to protect me.
  • Our ordinance allows dogs off leash in the surf as long as the owner is in the water too. I watched one woman unleash her dog and then stand on the shore while her dog frolicked in the water. When I confronted her she actually told me that she paid $150 for the shoes and there was no way she was going to get them wet. I wrote her a $30 citation. (Yes, one fifth of what she paid for the shoes.) She was so outraged that she wrote a letter to the editor and contested the ticket. In her letter, titled Animal Control Out of Control, she said that she couldn't believe she got a ticket when she "was only 30 feet from the water." (I saved that paper!) She put on quite a show in court too. On cross-examination I asked her "did you write this letter to the editor?" When she indignantly answered yes the judge ruled the newspaper as admissible evidence as well as an admittance of guilt. I won. 
  • A woman call to complain about her neighbors. (I later discovered it was in retaliation because she thought the neighbors had reported her to code enforcement. They hadn't.) As I was talking to the woman on the front porch her Chihuahua came outside and bit me on the ankle. Since the dog had never been to the vet it was impounded and quarantined, and the woman received a citation. All in all it cost this woman over $200 in animal control fees. The code enforcement board also fined her for all the garbage in her yard. You know what they say about Karma.
  • A mangy sharpei mix had been terrorizing a neighborhood. He would chase cars, growl at people, pick fights with other dogs and poop in everybody's lawn. All the complainants said the dog lived in the dilapidated trailer on the corner. When I spoke with the residents, they were just as pleasant as the dog. I was greeted with "F"*** you, bitch, get off our property." Several weeks later I saw the dog running at large and followed it home. I told the residents that I was writing a ticket and asked who owned the dog. One guy spoke up saying "It's my dog, bitch. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to write a ticket to a blind guy?" The answer was yes. I wrote a ticket to a blind guy. He was right, I am a bitch.
There are two nasty women here in the city that remind me of Cinderella's stepsisters. They are that pleasant and attractive. All the neighbors hate them. I've written seven running at large tickets to "Anastasia" because her dog "won't defecate while on leash." She lets it run loose in the park across the street instead. And I've written five running at large tickets to "Drizella" her next door neighbor. She told me that she pays so much in taxes that the park is really an extension of her front yard. By the way, I continue to catch these women because their neighbors call the police station every time the dogs are out! The lesson here: if you're going to intentionally break the rules, don't be ugly to your neighbors.
  • We have a beautiful, controlled-access dog park. To join, people must prove that their dogs have been sterilized and are up to date on shots. The city charges an annual fee to use the park. The money is funneled back into park maintenance and improvements. Several months ago I wrote a $55 ticket to a woman who was letting her dog run off leash in the church lot next to the dog park. Why? Because she didn't want to pay $50 to join the dog park.
  • Last week I was dispatched to a house on Bonehead Boulevard. (Seriously, the entire neighborhood couldn't collectively find their way out of a paper bag.) A woman was terrified of her own dog. Her 9 month old, intact pit bull had suddenly become aggressive and she had no idea why. She led me to a room where the dog was sitting next to a travel crate. Apparently the female dog inside the crate was "not spaded" and "had blood dripping from her coochie." Then the light bulb came on, albeit a 30 watt bulb at best. "Is she in heat? Do you think that's why he's acting weird? Is this normal? Are we going to have to do this every month?!" I took a deep breath. "Yes. Yes. Yes." (I think I use the phrase cock block). "No, dogs only go into heat twice a year." I educated her on hormone-driven behaviors, told her about pet over-population, stressed why she should not let them breed and gave her some information on a low cost spay/neuter program. If she calls me in 6 months to unload a litter of puppies we'll know that she didn't pay attention.
Dumb ass dog owners are probably the most frustrating group of people I deal with. Ignorant owners can be educated. Cruel owners can be prosecuted. DADOs are just annoying. Since bitch-slapping them is illegal and tolerating them is difficult, I'm glad there are forums and blog hops like this to vent. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one trying really really hard not to hit people with my truck. (There are others who want to hit people with a truck, right?)

Want to read about more Dumb Ass Dog Owner Hall of Fame candidates? Hop around below. Thanks to Heart Like a Dog and Tales from the Backroad for hosting this cathartic hop. -- K

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