An Interesting Idea in Chicago: Licensing Owners, Not Dogs

Respected dog writer Steve Dale reports in Chicago Now that a Chicago alderman has proposed licensing dog owners instead of dogs. "To their credit, the...

 |  Jan 20th 2012  |   54 Contributions


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Er, I hope humans won't actually have to wear the license tags. ;)

Respected dog writer Steve Dale reports in Chicago Now that a Chicago alderman has proposed licensing dog owners instead of dogs.

"To their credit, the Chicago Aldermen seem to understand that one breed (or combination of breeds — such as Pit Bull-looking dogs — whatever that means) aren't the issue — it's irresponsible and reckless dog owners who are the problem."

There's been no discussion to his knowledge of how this change would happen, or what it would entail, but one idea behind it seems to be that owners would know up front that they're accountable for their dogs' actions and well-being. It's a no-brainer to most dog lovers, but definitely not to all.

The aldermen say they know how important it is to keep the fees affordable, so money should not be any more of an issue than it is with licensing dogs.

Dale thinks the idea is brilliant, in part because the city has a better chance of enforcing the licensing. In most communities, the majority of dogs are not licensed. People are generally easier to keep track of than their pets, so the annual fees may be easier to collect when they're directed toward humans. But would those who don't pay now really pay if the law changes? Could there be a sliding scale for those who truly can't afford any more expenses? And would the people who don't care about their dogs' actions really be changed by this?

It's an interesting idea, for sure. I can see arguments on both sides, but I'm going to let you chime in on this. What are the pros and cons, and if you were to be part of the committee that decides what will go into this change in law, what would you want to see included? Mandatory education? Passing a test, as you would for driving a car or hunting? Is that too heavy-handed of the government, or should it have happened long ago? Can't wait to see how you weigh in on this, Dogsters!

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