Santa Ana City Council bites dog owners

The Santa Ana City Council has made official its new dog barking ordinance. It is just awful. According to the O.C. Register, “The new law, adopted late Monday, allows the city to issue citations to the owners of barking dogs without pursuing a criminal case.”

The new law does give “dogs a break when they’re barking to protect their property against possible trespassers, or when someone is teasing or provoking them.” However, the law also allows “enforcement officers” to “write citations based on a signed complaint, without seeing or hearing the offending dog.”

Really? That means a fellow could call in a complaint, “enforcement officers” could show up a half hour after whatever caused the dog to bark has moved on, and you could still end up with a citation.

And what about puppies? Aren’t they given to incessant barking while they get used to their new homes? And don’t some breeds bark more than others?

Thankfully the ordinance does allow for a warning the first time. That is because I showed up to a recent City Council meeting and requested that change to the new law. I wish however that this law had not been passed in the first place. Santa Ana residents now “could face a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.” Wow! Do we punish taggers that harshly? I doubt it.

“The law also sets down minimum requirements for shelter, water and food for dogs. And it requires owners to clean up the mess “in a sanitary manner” when their dog takes a bathroom break on someone else’s property.”

Weren’t those aspects of the new law already in force? I find it hard to believe otherwise.

My take on this new law is that the City managers have found a new way to raise money. Thank God we don’t have an ICE program because I could see people getting deported over this.

I think this issue is going to crop up during the next elections. Particularly if you see the “Usual Suspects” abusing this new law by using it to attack their Mexican neighbors. Doesn’t one of them brag about calling Code Enforcement thousands of times over the last few years?

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.