Every day, without fail, whether I really want to or not, I take my buddy Huck for a walk in the woods. He won’t let me take a pass. Truthfully, it’s not an obligation. It’s a privilege. He’s such a good boy. He’s a Basset Hound, about 9 years old, who still has great energy (as long as it’s not too hot).
He is what polite people call “intact;” meaning he has not been neutered. Still has his balls.
Huck is the gentlest soul I’ve ever known. He loves other animals. Huck used to live in perfect harmony with a cat until the cat went to cat heaven. Huck delights in running across other dogs on our walks, whom he never tries to mount. Sometimes, we’ll see deer. He’ll watch them just long enough to make sure I see them, looking up at me with his droopy brown eyes for confirmation. Then it’s back to sniffing the plants and earth.
And kids! He sees little people coming a mile away. Toddlers toddle towards him, hands outstretched, like little Frankensteins. Parents will give me a questioning look. “Oh, yes, he’s very gentle,” I assure. “Go ahead, pet the doggie,” moms will say and Huck will stand docile and content as uncertain little hands bang on his head. Then, just like with the deer, he’s back to nature.
Despite his good health, good energy, his gentle disposition and lack of interest in trying to mount other dogs, the Guilford County Commissioner will be considering a new ordinance at Thursday evening’s meeting that would require me to neuter Huck. He’s fine the way he is, thank you.
The ordinance would apply to all pet owners in the county, except that people who can afford it can pay $200 to get an exemption from the law.
Here is a link to contact information for the Commissioners if you want to tell them what you think. The meeting starts at 5:30 (location and directions)
Here is what I sent them:
I encourage you to oppose the proposed spay and neuter ordinance in its current form. Aside from the problems of how it is to be practically enforced (how is an animal control officer going to determine if a pet has been spayed?), there are two fundamental flaws:
1. It is heavy handed and intrusive.
It is an overbearing and over-reaching government that would tell its citizens they must have surgery performed on their pets.
2. It is grossly unequal and unfair.
Giving people of means an opportunity to buy their way out from this ordinance for $200 creates one set of laws for people of means and another set of laws for the middle class and poor who don’t have an extra $200 at their disposal. It would be shameful if Guilford County went down the path of allowing people to buy exceptions to its laws. That’s downright un-American.
We may all agree that the goal of reducing the unwanted pet population is a good one — but this is the wrong way to go about it.