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Wait, Now the Cops Can Fine You For Putting Up Posters of Your Lost Dog?

A man looking for his Rottweiler learns that his signs on utility poles will mean fines and jail time. What?!

Michael Leaverton  |  Jul 26th 2013

On the Fourth of July, Shawn Slater’s dog, a Rottweiler, got spooked by some fireworks and escaped from her yard through a hole in the fence, according to a story by The three-year-old dog named Nanna is a certified medical alert and therapy dog. Unfortunately, the dog lost her tags in the escape.

Slater suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, and his dog helps him manage anxiety and seizures.

“With Nanna, I didn’t take any medication at all,” Slater told “I was two years clean off all those drugs. I didn’t have problems. I didn’t even have to take her everywhere I went. I’m finally employed again.”

Needless to say, the disappearance of Nanna was a serious blow to Slater. He and his friends quickly got to work, posting flyers throughout the city.

Then, the police called him. Slater hoped for good news. Instead, Slater said the person told him that if he were to post another sign, he’d get “a $250 fine and a day in jail per sign.”


Well, it appears that Slater and his friends put the signs on some utility poles, which is illegal. You know what utility poles are — they’re those poles that you put signs on, the poles that people have been putting signs on since people put up the poles in the first place. You can tell what a utility pole is because it has utilities on the top and signs on the bottom, in most cities.

Not so in Marysville, Washington, where you’ll get a day in jail per sign.

What a crazy law.

Evidently, the top brass thinks so, too. They’re downplaying the call, saying that it was a “courtesy call” from the “department’s senior volunteers,” and that they are currently “reviewing with our volunteers the precise message we want to provide to our community members to be certain that we accomplish our goal of educating.”

Translation: They told their senior volunteers to stop brining the hammer down on regular people who post signs on utility poles.

Just the same, the police did not go so far as to say it was OK to post signs, so if you live in Marysville and have a lost dog, or need a bassist for your band, or would like to make some extra cash babysitting this summer, don’t post a sign on a utility pole. That goes for you people teaching yoga, too.

We understand that many cities have laws to keep people from posting “nuisance signage” on utility poles, but a lost-dog sign?

“It’s my family and it’s my sanity I just want back,” Slater said.

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