Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

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

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

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