Lawbreaking dog owners could soon be sent to pet school

Friday, June 12, 2009 at 12:00am

Davidson County residents cited for animal offenses could soon be required to attend a pet owner school, if a bill on the June 16 Metro Council agenda is adopted.

The animal offender school would tag a $65 charge to any other fines handed down to pet owners by Metro’s Environmental Court, a division of the county’s General Sessions Court.

“Honestly some folks do not understand basic animal care,” said the bill’s sponsor, District 8 Councilwoman Karen Bennett. “This would cover animal offenses along with abuse issues.”

The bill is written to cover offenses like the licensing of dogs, cruelty to animals and dogs running at large.

Bennett said her discussions with environmental court officers showed that some dog owners who are cited simply need to be educated in order to prevent future offenses.

Metro Animal Control officers will run the school and attendance will be mandatory, should the court decide it is appropriate for offenders.

Already the bill has passed first and second reading and is anticipated to be adopted by Council next week.

11 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 6/12/09 at 4:59

Just another inventive way to part citizens from their money.

The government has become the enemy. They are waging economic war against us.

By: Alphadog7 on 6/12/09 at 6:43

What a great idea. Idgaf, this is not a tax, this is a way to deal with violators, and the violators foot the bill themselves. That would be a good thing not a bad thing. (Coming from a fiscal conservative)

In my opinion, Tennessee has several ways it lags behind other states, due to lack of education and enforcement. Many of these things are fixed but it will take time to get better. We have some of the worst drivers of anywhere in the country, and we don't take care of our animals. I am glad these things are changing, even if slowly.

By: sidneyames on 6/12/09 at 6:50

Well, we send animal owners to school now. BUT the fricking people who have babies that can't raise them, ie, feed them, get them shots, keep their barking down and keep them out of trouble are being given a pass. I say, Parenting Classes for everyone who thinks they want to have a baby and they can pay for it, not the state. My dog barks some during the day. DUH! He's just talking. But at night by 9:30 p.m. I put him inside and then back out at 6:30 a.m. He's in a 6' tall by 60' x 30' dog run, with a 2 story dog house, plenty of water, lots of shade. Do I have to go to doggie school because he barks a few times a day" Alphadog, quote the several lways we are "lagging" behind other states. The worst drivers in the country move to Tennessee and that's why our drivers are so bad. And the majority of animal owners take care of their pets. So why don't you just move to one of those states that you hold in such high esteem? In the meantime, let's get our children under control crime wise, baby wise and education wise.

By: sidneyames on 6/12/09 at 7:21

and speak for your self when you say "we don't take care of our animals". Look at any vet's office on any given day and it's packed with animal lovers. Plus, I for one spend thousands on my 4 adopted pets. So please, stop trying to legislate everyone's life.

By: vscott519 on 6/12/09 at 8:19

I think it should be required if you are cited for animal issues. I agree most owners are fine, and won't be included in this. The one's who aren't may benefit from the class and stop repeating the same mistakes.

Then again, manditory classes for parenting isn't a bad idea either.

See, I hate government involvement in my life just as much as the next quy, so I act accordingly. But there are a carload of folks out there who can't, won't or never should be parents or pet owners. Why let the children and animals suffer for the ignorance of the parents?

By: Jeremiah_29-7 on 6/12/09 at 8:22

This sounds like a great idea. Too many dog owners put them out on a short chain, in all crazy kinds of weather, without enough food or water.

By: skybolt on 6/12/09 at 9:20

Yes, Jeremiah, we have a situation in our neighborhood right now that begs for citation! An absentee homeowner (he comes by a few times a week - presumably to feed and water the dog) has his large dog in a pen that is much too small. Probably 4 feet wide by maybe 6 feet long. Leaves him there ALL the time, even when he is at the house. That pet owner needs some education about what it means to be a pet owner!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/12/09 at 11:16

I think this is a great idea!

By: gratefulted on 6/12/09 at 12:48

I was bitten recently by a dog out of its fence. If I wanted a dog in my yard, I would get one, or several, as is the case in my neighborhood. MAKE THEM PAY!!!!!

By: sidneyames on 6/12/09 at 2:47

OK, you have a pet problem. Then just call Nashville Animal Control at 862-7928; file a complaint against the owner of the dog. If you don't know the owner and it's a stray dog posing a threat, then tell them and they come right away. It worked for me. But remember when you're filing a complaint, you have to go and testify. I did. My neighbor was not minding his dog. I politely requested 5 or 6 times for him to contain is dog from running loose and barking. He refused. I filed with the Animal (or environmental court) and we had to go to court. He was court ordered to restrain his dog with proper shelter and fencing (according to codes); he got a fine also. The judge said "next time I see you here, the dog goes out of the county". The guy was not mad at me. He even told the judge "She's right; I haven't been keeping the dog up". So I don't want more mansie-pansie laws to send people to school. Unless it's for parenting for all the loose kids breaking the law, killing people, robbing people and wreaking havoc. The more laws we get, the bigger government. OH, I thought ya'll didn't like big gov-ment!

By: dustypup on 6/13/09 at 10:11

This really gripes me. I have a very small Pom that is 14 yrs old and blind, gentle as a baby. He follows me everywhere I go. A few times he managed to sneak off from me when I would be in my garage or outback hanging clothes. I live on a short street full of busy body neighbors. I have gotten very ugly comments from a few of them when my dog would get "out" for a few minutes. He was blamed for eating flowers out of one neighbor's flower garden. He has never eaten a flower in his life. He was accused of Digging up huge holes in another yard, funny, he has never even dug a hole to bury a bone. He was accused of pooping in the neighbor's yard across the street. I went to "clean it up" after this neighbor showed her butt with me..only to find Poop the size a St Bernard would have left. It would have KILLED my 7 lb dog. Proof in the poop it was not him, yet I cleaned it to pacify the neighbor. The same "Good neighbors" all have animals. The one across the street has 3 big dogs and at one time or other all have broken out of the fence and ran the street. No big deal to anyone on the street. Neighbor next door has at least 5 cats and 9 Beagles that bark all night so bad I cannot even sleep in my own bedroom as it is next to their back yard..Again NO big deal according to the neighbor..dogs bark. I see the dang cats out all of the time, her's and another couple of people's cats on this street. I park in my garage, but others have no choice but to park in the drive. Cat paw prints are always all over the auto's and windshields, Cats poop all over the place just like a dog will do and they will Spray to mark territory. That spray is awful and will ruin your yard furniture if they hit it. I know..I has happened to me. Point is, I get sick of Dogs taking the bad rap all of the time and the ones with the stinking cats, you never hear anything about. I am highly allergic to CATS and I can't stand to look at them. I have been hosptialized 2 times in my life due to a CAT and it's dander, and one of them leaping on me when I was checking my mailbox, throwing me into respirtory failure. I hope CAT owners have to take the classes too..and why is there NO LEASH LAW for CATS? They are just as big of a problem as a dog.