Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cost of Walking Your Dog? $75

[The Dogcatcher] I was recently walking my golden retriever Emma, after a particularly "Thursty Thursday" the night before. We were about a half a block away from my house when I came upon a parked animal-control vehicle. Thinking nothing of it, I walked by the four wheeled dog-soul snatcher and returned the friendly wave of the man sitting in the driver's seat. When he rolled down his window and began whistling at me, I realized that indeed he was not waving but summoning me to appear before him.

He asked me where my dog's leash was, to which I responded, “What leash?” During this exchange, my docile Emma sat at my feet, indifferent to her proceedings.

The man (appropriately named Mr. Bumstead) explained that it was illegal to walk my dog without a leash. I explained I lived half a block away and that my dog walks so close to my legs that she rubs her stink on me. My words fell on deaf ears.

When he radioed my name into headquarters and discovered my dog wasn't registered with the state, the real fun began. He launched into a tirade I don't remember—something about baby-eating dogs terrorizing our simple way of life—I'm really not sure, as I zoned out for most of what he was saying. He caught my attention, however, when he handed over a yellow ticket that carried a $75 price tag for what he described as “dog running at large.” Emma...the inbred golden retriever, half a block from my house, heeling obediently at my side, running at large.

When I stopped in to pay my fine at
Animal Services on 3900 South hoping to leave word for Bumstead where he could shove the ticket, a very pleasant woman at the counter told me that there was a citywide crackdown on unleashed dogs, and officers would be ticketing any offenders. So beware, dog owners of Salt Lake City, your brazen disregard for leash laws will go unnoticed no more. (Tom Nelson)


  1. You broke the law. Bumstead was doing his job, and you wanted to tell him where to stick the ticket? So we should feel sorry for you? Grow up, buddy.

  2. Some dog owners think this entire city is one giant off-leash dog park. If the city finally is cracking down, I say congratulations to the SLPD. Keep after it. I'm sick of the piles of dog crap in front of my building every morning and I'm sick of the packs of off-leash dogs on every trail in every canyon in this city.

    If I wiped my snot on some stranger's pants or pooped on your lawn, I'd be in jail.

  3. Many people are afraid of dogs. I see off leash people all the time in Liberty Park. Some are dangerous.

    Keep your dog on a leash and out of my space. Please.

  4. It *is* possible to be a responsible dog owner - unfortunately there are those people that give the rest of us a bad rap. When your dog walks right next to you at all times, can this really be called "dog running at large"?

  5. Thanks for the warning, Tom. I'll pass the word on to Kip, my 11-year-old terrier mutt, whom I walk two blocks around the 'hood each morning, poop bag in hand. He's also given to sitting right at my ankles, but by these standards, he'd be seen as downright vicious, I guess.

  6. it doesn't matter how well-trained your dog is, put your dog on a leash. no sympathy from me.

  7. Yikeso—I didn’t realize that this was such a touchy subject that would elicit such virulent responses—sounds like I’m doing my job! N.B.—I’m not looking for sympathy, just stating the facts. Half a block from my house. Dog heeling obediently. Perhaps…I don’t know…a Warning???? Granted, I learned my lesson—leashes only from now on, but a $75 wake up call seems a tad excessive.
    “But wait!” you might cry. “She wasn’t registered you heartless outlaw sonofabitch!” There was reason for this—Emma, who was “running at large” almost died from spinal meningitis as a puppy, so she couldn’t get a rabies shot (would have killed her), ipso facto not registered. (No sympathy from Bumstead).
    Also, dog crap is not equal to dog not on leash—there is not an inversely related equation that states as there is a decrease of a leash there is an increased disregard for other’s lawns—only real scum bags don’t pick up after their dogs (and I’m only part scum bag). It is possible to carry a little black bag if your dog isn’t on a leash, so the crap on the lawn argument I’m not guilty of.
    PS—Bumstead, not his real name. Real name was waaaaay funnier.

  8. virulent? perhaps it's time to put some of that hyperbole to rest along w/ the 'nazi' comparisons. hope that wasn't too mean to say. i'm sure your dog is well-behaved, but how close you are to your house is neither here nor there. c'mon, dude. this blog post just comes off as really whiny. (sorry)

  9. Although my dog is obedient and a well trained off-leash walker, I reluctantly leash her just for the simple fact that I hate hearing the whining of those "afraid of dogs". I have come to accept this as a responsibility and no longer even think twice about it; however, I would appreciate it if you cat owners out there who allow your sandbox pooping, garden bed peeing pussy to roam freely without regard for your neighbors, would show the same respect and responsibility. It's only fair.

  10. LEASH the F*$&ING DOG!

  11. Fuck you, Molly. Cats are not a threat to anyone unlike dogs. Just the other day a dog killed another dog across the street from my house. Oh, but that dog was so nice and obedient.


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