Representation Without Taxation
The Washington Court of Appeals overruled the King County Superior yesterday. The Superior Court had wrongly held that “vicious” pets were considered guilty until proven innocent. The Court of Appeals correctly said the County has the burden of proof when claiming that a pet is “vicious” and demanding that it must be removed from the County
Despite my reputation as a dog hater, the ruling makes sense to me. Three Cheers to the Court of Appeals.
However, it’s this kind of language from the ruling that drives me crazy.
In recognizing “that the bond between pet and owner often runs deep and that many people consider pets part of the family,” the court held that, “an agency seeking to enforce a removal order must prove both the violation and the remedy it has imposed by a preponderance of the evidence.”
If dogs are “part of the family,” maybe dog owners should be paying extra taxes for the sidewalks and parks and … legal rights they enjoy.
Dog licenses cost $20 a year. That money helps pay for the City’s Seattle Animal Shelter, which provides a range of pet services. However, it does not help pay for things like dog parks (which cost about $88,000 a year), or dog clean up …200 pounds of poop a day at those parks…, or sidewalks, or to medical attention for dog bites. It also doesn’t come close to covering the $2 million budget of the Seattle Animal Shelter.
Moreover, the City reports that only about 30,000 (out of the 125,000) dog owners have licenses, ie, even bother to pay the $20.