Ambergris Caye, dog licensing, an opposing view

(Another avid reader sent this in today. We should point out that we know this person and he likes to argue. Normally he’s 100% wrong, in this case, however, he brings up some valid points.)

I would ask what is the desired result of registration or licensing of pets? If it is to be a tax to raise money to address the problem of unwanted and stray animals, is that not a problem for the community as a whole? Does not a stray or unhealthy animal pose a threat to all? And if so, is that not a reasonable responsibility of government representing the welfare of the community as a whole and one that should be shared by all? To tax the responsible owner, who is not causing the problem, would seem unfair. To make the assumption that irresponsible owners would license their pets, is questionable.

If, one the other hand, the desired result is to be able to identify the owners of stray pets, would not simply the requirement to have identification on all pets accomplish that. When a stray pet is picked up, the owner could be notified and either given a warning or fine for allowing the animal to run loose. If it is a responsible owner, they would come a get their pet and hopefully be more careful not to allow it to run loose. If the pet continued to be a problem, higher fines or more drastic measures could be taken. If the pet belongs to an irresponsible owner, they might not have identification or even care to retrieve the animal. In either case, that animal should either be found a responsible owner or sent to animal heaven.
Domesticated pets are only part of the problem. Yes, dogs especially are visible and evoke passion and caring when trying to deal with the problem. But, the larger problem involves feral cats, racoons and other pests. The total problem needs to be addressed which should be a consideration for the community as a whole and not just attempting to find a solution to part of the problem by putting an unfair burden on responsible pet owners.

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