Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bend Over, Dallas Dog Owners

Received today from the RPOA (Responsible Pet Owners' Alliance):

Martin Kralik has given RPOA permission to forward his message below to our subscribers. Dallas Democracy in action -- NOT! Those of you who've experienced the same treatment elsewhere can empathize. Permission to crosspost.

What was supposed to happen:

* 144 speakers - some for and some opposed - were supposed to be given 3 minutes each to speak to the city council before the vote on the new animal ordinances. Also, a majority of 19 more speakers, listed regarding the animal ordinance, were supposed to be given 3 minutes each to speak after the vote. I have the lists.

What actually happened:

* Upon seeing the council chambers full of passionate people, Mayor Leppert
decided to limit each side to 15 minutes total (that's five 3-minute speeches) and said those 'against' should go first. He gave us 2 minutes to organize since the agenda-sequence-of-speakers, at that point, was thrown out. This gave the other side 'for the ordinances' 15+ minutes to organize. Speakers who had worked long and hard to shoehorn their speeches into 2-3 minutes in reality only got 30 seconds to one minute to make their point. Then, any others who had not spoken were given 30 seconds to say something limited to one point. Those speaking for the ordinance were routinely given more time before they were cut off.

* Then each council member spoke:

1. Elba Garcia, of course nattered on the longest about how all were in agreement that they had to do something now and they must pass the ordinances.

2. Rasansky -he's totally for the ordinances - saying the 'Breeders' had to step up and pay.

3. Leppert blindly followed Elba

4. Neumann said he was for it but asked the city Secretary to define the plan of implementation i.e., pass the ordinance and then define the plan. yeah that makes sense???

5. Kadane pointed out they had no plan and didn't know the cost - they should continue the nite raids and get the loose dogs off the street but hold off and re-analyze/define a better set of ordinances after more research.

6. Caraway and his constituents want the loose dogs off the streets now.

7. Ron Natinsky - Questioned Forest Turner (Animal Control) at length about how did they arrive at 360,000+/- dogs in Dallas, 50,000+/- of which are licensed now, leaving how many of the roughly 310,000 are loose roaming dogs?, and how many are pets? They have no idea. Specifically if Dallas covers roughly 385 square miles, distributing the 310,000 across 385 square miles would be roughly 800 - almost 1000 dogs per square mile (simple math). He asked Forest whether he saw anything close to 800 animals when they recently went on their nite raid to catch loose dogs. They caught 22 and 40 or so got away - No where near 800 seen. GOOD ARGUMENT! Ron suggested since they don't know what they are doing, that they pass the 'tether/vicious' dog amendments and throw out the mandatory sterilization/limits/breeder registration till later. After Ron passed out an adjusted ordinance to the members with these changes made, Elba complained about being given only 3 minutes to consider the changes and refused to even look at it - so much for working together as a real council.

8. The adjusted ordinance from Natinsky was quickly rejected by a majority vote.

9. Back to the new ordinances(whatever version they had today) - final vote was Kadane, Natinsky and Angela Hunt voted against, and the rest voted to pass the new ordinances.

I am outraged at how easily the mayor, knowing full well how passionate people were about this, threw us under the bus and went on with his agenda.

My speech - 2 minutes long - which I did not get a chance to make, follows -
* My name is Martin Kralik and I've lived in Preston Hollow in north Dallas for 23 years. I'm a law abiding citizen. I have been a responsible pet owner all my life, and I'm involved in rescue.

* I'm trying to stay in Dallas but you will drive me out with these new ordinances, for which I was given NO representation on the Shelter Committee.

* Why have there been NO REAL public hearings on this? Why are there NO responsible pet owners on the animal commission? The entire Dallas community of some of the most reputable breeders in the nation, and very knowledgeable fanciers and members of dog owners' organizations who call Dallas home, has been shut out and ignored by your animal commission.

* The proposed ordinances ignore the main problems (as stated by several council members) of roaming aggressive loose animals, and an underfunded Animal Control Department i.e. 8 trucks to cover 385 square miles and many unfilled staff vacancies???

* Beside ignoring the main problem of loose animals, the new ordinances mandate that I be subjected to UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES in my home.

* I think it is outrageous that Dallas wants to TAX/PUNISH me with fees/taxes/fines/procedures because the city is not willing to enforce existing laws on the relatively few irresponsible people who actually cause the loose dog problems.

* Many City Council members and your animal committee chairman admit all these mandatory sterilization/limits/registration/micro chipping procedures will NOT correct the Dallas loose animal problem.

* Regarding the problem of Dallas' overcrowded animal shelters, many states including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Connecticut have a huge pet shortage and are importing thousands of dogs from many states to supply adoptable pets. You could empty the Dallas shelter and start over! Has anyone even checked this out??? The answer is no, and it reflects the mismanagement of the shelter program.

* I urge you to reject these ordinances and give representation to the vast community of responsible pet owners in creating equitable solutions to Dallas' animal problems.

I still go back to there have been NO REAL public hearings on this.

I think a large part of the Dallas dog/cat community has no idea that now if they want an intact animal for any reason, the registration/breeders license they are required by law to buy, authorizes the city to conduct unannounced unconstitutional searches and seizures IN YOUR HOME. (How will this work with the Castle Doctrine?)

Where can we go from here?
I'm ready to fight.
Martin Kralik
Dallas resident

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