General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

How is it, that in the "land of the free," you can go to jail for not getting a dog license?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9004points) April 13th, 2009

I have now heard it all.
Once a year, animal control knocks door to door, looking for unlicensed animals. I know someone, who animal control knocked on his door, left a summons, he refused to pay, got pulled over, and got arrested.

When does government get too big and powerful?

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22 Answers

Poser's avatar

Oh that land of the free thing? That was just a slogan to sell timeshares.

Darwin's avatar

Yes, this is the land of the free, but in order to keep it free we all agree to abide by certain laws.

Dog licensing laws are actually public health laws, enacted to be certain folks are getting their dogs vaccinated against zoonotic diseases such as rabies. They are also a means of identifying a dog that has caused injury or illness to a person, and they set limits on animal ownership so you don’t end up with people living with more animals than they can take care of.

I do think that must either be a small town, or one with a lot of animal control employees, because our town is too big for anyone to be able to do that door-to-door thing.

Now if the government was going door-to-door to make sure you only have a certain number of children, that I think would be a bit more government than I would like.

Facade's avatar

all these stupid laws crowd the jails and prisons

crisw's avatar

Somehow, I doubt that not buying a dog license is the only reason that this person got arrested.

MrItty's avatar

You are confusing the word “freedom” with “anarchy”.

“Freedom” does not mean “lawlessness”

tinyfaery's avatar

You don’t get a summons to get you to pay. If you get a summons you MUST answer with the court. If you do not answer, you get arrested.

DrBill's avatar

Around here it is to make sure your pet has had their shots, $5 a year is cheap to insure my neighbor is not harboring a diseased animal

fireside's avatar

Here’s a guy who may lose his house and go into bankruptcy because he walked his dog without a leash. People who break the established rules and then try to fight them run that risk.

In places like the islands around the Philippines, the sun gets so hot that it will bake the paint right off your car, so people just park wherever they can find a spot with shade. It doesn’t matter if you know them or if it is right on your private lawn under the tree where you like to sit.

If you want freedom like that, there are places you can go. Doesn’t really appeal to me though. I’ll stick with regulations and guidelines.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


You’re right. It was a failure to appear in court, not failure to license.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am completely in favor of dog licensing and the policing of it if the manpower is available, although it rarely is. I am however against jailing anyone for such an offence. If a fine is not an appropriate penalty then community service should be the punishment. It is stupid to fill up jails with non-dangerous people. It sounds all too typical that someone like this would end up in jail and a murderer or rapist walks free because of a legal technicality.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It’s not “land of the anarchy” it’s “land of the free”. There are still laws.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


I see your point on the importance of dog licensing and shots. I just read the thread from earlier today which backs up of the importance of it.
When I heard what happened to my friend, I couldnt believe it. But now that it was clarified that it was for a failure to appear in court and not just a failure to get a license, it makes sense why there was a warrant for his arrest.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Society must have laws to keep order. A society devoid of law descends into chaos.

Without law, the strong are free to prey upon the weak. That doesn’t sound like freedom for the weak.

wundayatta's avatar

What is your problem? You think because you are licensed, the dog should be unlicensed? I don’t get it. Dogs are some of the worst drivers I know. In fact, I don’t know a single one who can press the accelerator and steer at the same time. And have you been in a car after a dog has slobbered all over the dash board? I’d rather clean latrines.

No, dogs should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to handle a motor vehicle without a license. Nor should they drive helmetless. It’s bad enough that they can’t get the seatbelt around them (although there are products that can help with that), but when they are thrown out of the car in an accident (and dogs invariable get their cars into accidents), there are so many head injuries sustained, that it isn’t funny.

So buddy, maybe you want to live in a country where dogs can drive without a license. But if this country goes that route, you can sign me up for the first plane outtahere! (As long as it’s not piloted by a dog).

tinyfaery's avatar

Okey dokes there daloon.

wundayatta's avatar

@tinyfaery: don’t tell me you’re disagreeing??? You want to be on the road with unlicensed dogs????

SeventhSense's avatar

Because dogs are the number one cause of 99% of traffic fatalities. If they are not licensed we are all at risk. Don’t even get me started as to what happens after they drink, play poker with the other mutts and get behind the wheel.

SeventhSense's avatar

How soon we forget Toonces.

rooeytoo's avatar

How quickly a reasonably sensible question can disintigrate, but…......... the Toonces clip reminded me of my dog Boomer. She was a Bouvier des Flandres, big hairy beast and she was a true motor head, loved anything with an engine that she could ride on, including my tractor. She would sit on the seat and I would crouch beside her hidden from view and we would mow along the road like that. Cars would stop and people would stare, take pictures, completely amazed at the tractor driving dog. She also loved to ride in the front seat of the jeep when the top was down, she would wear sunglasses and a Snoopy scarf with a General MacArthur hat. She was an amazing dog! Sorry I got carried away!!!

mattbrowne's avatar

Sounds a bit harsh.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Land of the Free does not mean you can behave however you want. You have to abide by laws because the very laws you’re complaining about are set to protect people. You are never going to be totally “free” from laws.

DREW_R's avatar

That is state or local law, not federal law. Not covered by the Constitution so the states have the right to regulate pet owners.

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