Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Would you like a dog with that house?

Thinking more on the dog limit issue, I've realized that one logical step to take past the limit would be to require everyone to have one dog. In this way, the dogs would be spaced out evenly, and no one could complain because all would be guilty. If one dog barks at a siren, all the dogs will howl across the entire city in waves, and it will be hard to tell where it begins and ends.

I say this after showing property in Alta Loma and discovering that all the neighbors had one dog, all of whom gathered behind his or her fence to bark at us. No one could say that anyone in particular was guilty of lowering property values (one of the worries expressed by the apparently lone Citizen for Companion Animal Limits), so I can only imagine that having one dog in each yard would force people to concentrate on other issues, such as whether or not the kids at the closest school require a police presence at dismissal time.

In fact, when escrow closes, the pound should show up at the door with a free puppy as a house-warming gift. What parent could say "no" in front of their delighted children? Just so long as animal control finds out ahead of time that the buyers don't already have a dog (which should have had a license application made out long before, along with photo, microchip number, and pawprint checked against a centralized dog bureau of investigation list for a past history of unscooped poop and raucous siren howling.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Further thoughts on the issue of limiting dogs and cats

After attending the committee meeting and hearing the bizarre one-woman show that goes by the name of Citizens for Companion Animal Limits, I have more than a few thoughts based on 2 pages of notes.

1) What will be the cost of limiting the number of licensed dogs?
First, there will be a decrease in income as people who would license all of their dogs will have to stop at 4, and those who never licensed theirs before probably won't start up in order to take up the slack. Secondly, there will be an increase in the cost of tracking those dogs that have been licensed to make sure that they haven't been replaced at death by another animal. Moreover, the brilliant suggestion of requiring owners to put a microchip in their licensed animals would entail paying personnel to check that dogs are really who their owners claim to be. Now, would that happen yearly and at the pound (less expensive for the city but a traffic nightmare for owners who would have to get off work to go in at a centrally appointed hour, not to mention the liability involved in gathering a lot of dogs together for a riot) or at homes (wow, that would be quite a gas bill for the city, plus they'd have to get everyone to make appointments)? Anyway, it's not even a question of cost here but of multiple costs that go on and on.

2) If the city is then paying so much attention to dogs who are licensed, will there be any time left to look for abused animals?
Good question. Considering the amount of time that would be needed for doggie roll call, I can't imagine anyone would have time to go after those who don't have licenses, much less those who are mistreating dogs. At any rate, the limit on dog numbers will create a new class of criminals--people who would license their dogs but can't because they've exceeded the limit. And by chasing after them, the real problem of suffering animals will be overlooked.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dogs and Cats: A question of quality, not quantity

It's happening again--they're having another meeting to discuss limits on dogs and cats that Riverside pet owners can have. The group who's pushing for this has managed to come up with a mostly positive-sounding name: Citizens for Companion Animal Limits. But they seem to be missing the point: it shouldn't be a question of limiting the number of animals that all residents can have but rather about the quality of care that any person gives his or her animal(s). Let's face it, there are plenty of people who shouldn't have even one dog, cat, turtle, goldfish, let alone a child.

The reason we have so many dogs (all licensed-- except for the newest acquisition, who's getting a license next week--fixed, and current on shots) is because we've had to pick up the pieces after someone else made a mistake. Having managed to find the majority of owners of the dogs who've ended up at our house, we're lucky only to have 6 at the moment whose previous owners never showed up, gave up their animals, or had them taken away from them. It isn't easy having so many different personalities and types. We watch "Dog Whisperer" a lot for tips, brush, feed, bathe, walk, pick up after them, and we plan our schedules around their and our child's care. Also, the vet bills are astronomical. Just keeping their flea meds and heart worm medication up puts a serious hole in our budget. The commission from the 2nd house I ever sold went entirely to pay for doggie boot camp for our Dalmatian rescue (I have a special place in my heart for people who abandon Dalmatians--they need extra forgiveness for their--the humans', that is--rotten behavior). Another commission I earned once went entirely to diagnose a dog's rare blood disease (atypical hemolytic anemia) and finally to have her put down when chemotherapy couldn't save her.

So we're not the kind of people who keep unfixed animals and then end up living in filth and squalor. Our dogs mostly stay indoors (dogs actually prefer to sleep a lot, so this keeps them happy and generally quiet), so they're not barking day and night.

One very special characteristic of the city of Riverside is that there's long been a live-and-let-live attitude here about home owners and their pets. While I can understand the desire to get irresponsible pet owners under control, the way to do so is by observing who takes care of their animals and addressing such cases in an appropriate manner rather than by making a blanket (and blind) judgement that imposes a random number.

So show up tomorrow and be counted. I have a feeling that someone snuck this issue onto the agenda because no one seems to know about it!

PE notice about meeting on dog limits