Natinsky's Law, the Silver Lining and Why History Matters

NatinskysLawNatinsky’s Law. A friend cringes every time I call it that. But that’s what it is. It’s the result of a City Council representative’s desire to stop hearing one resident’s continued criticism of the City for not doing enough to help him recover his dogs – dogs that were allegedly stolen out of his un-fenced front yard where they spent time, unattended, un-tethered and unleashed. So, despite the fact that theft is already a violation of the law, and despite the Animal Shelter Commission’s reluctance to add yet another unnecessary, unenforceable ordinance to the books, Councilman Ron Natinsky introduced his own ordinance at a full City Council meeting with no notice to the Commission and no public hearing. Surprise! Natinsky’s law aka Section 7-4.4 of the Dallas City Code.

Pets are property under the law, so if your pet is ever stolen, you need to call 911 and file a police report. Posting online is unlikely to convince the thief to return the pet (unless you’re a pet store and you alert the media). Asking animal services to help – sure, it’s a good idea to file a Lost report to be sure all your bases are covered – but only after you call the police.

The councilman has long been gone from the City Council, but the ordinance remains. It has had little or no success reducing pet theft, but it does have a silver lining: Animal advocates have found it a useful tool to combat the irrational idea that every loose pet has been dumped and needs to be rehomed, and to encourage people who find a pet to at least make an effort to find the owners.  #Politics #ThinkLostNotStray #HistoryMatters



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