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From the Gonzo

. . . somewhere near the event horizon.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dangerous dogs

McHenry County is considering a number of options following the serious dog attacks late last year which left several people grievously injured.

After setting up a task force (worst buzz words ever) in November some ideas became more than just ethereal and intangible. The county is seriously considering maintaining a web based dangerous dogs database.

These databases are nothing new, at least in some areas. At least two counties in Florida maintain similar web sites. Seminole and Hillsborough counties (think Tampa) maintain these web sites already, but they seem highly useless.

Hillsborough County Dangerous Dogs Registry
Seminole County Dangerous Dog List

These are the two counties that seem to be cited most in press coverage of the issue in McHenry county. But there are others.

Other online dangerous dog databases

Brevard County (Florida): List of 21 dogs
Charlotte County (Florida): List of 13 dogs
Fairfax County (Virginia): List of dogs 34 dogs

The recommendations for the Web site come amongst other recommendations that include stiffening penalties for both dogs and owners.

Why the website is a stupid idea

Who are we kidding? There are only 15 dogs on the Seminole County registry, McHenry County officials already maintain a list of dangerous dogs, they say there are about 10 dogs on that list. The U.S. Census Bureau says that about 391,000 people live in Seminole county, I find it hard to believe that in a county of almost 400,000 people there are only 15 dangerous dogs. In McHenry county there are almost 300,000 people, and only 10 dangerous dogs? So what's the point?

The dogs involved in the McHenry county attacks were not on any dangerous dog lists and they had no history of aggression or attacks. So in this case the list would have been completely useless.

This list will not be valuable. The problem lies in trying to predict behavior, unless a dog has previously been vicious the list will contain no data on them, just like in the Cary attacks.

Unpet your pets--a return to the way it should be?

I don't even like dogs. They smell, they lick and are way too dependent to deal with.

That being said I find it odd that people keep animals around and then show shock and surprise when these animals turn on them or others. They are animals, I don't care if they are domesticated or not, dogs do not think on the level of humans and if they are properly provoked of course they will attack. It doesn't matter what breed the dog is either, banning specific breeds will never stop all dog attacks. Any time people and animals are put together tragedies are inevitable.

Just like when a certain "entertainer" was dragged off stage by his throat, by a freaking tiger! A tiger! People were surprised at that one too. What in the world is going through people's heads?

Perhaps animals weren't meant to be held in captive bondage. No one ever suggests that though. It's always: "Oh, those poor people who got attacked by animals." That attitude is crap. More like: "Oh, those poor animals that people kept in captivity and servitude for their own enjoyment and need to control something else." Same thing with zoos.

While zoos do some good work concerning preservation of endangered species they are essentially accomplishing the same task as pet ownership on a grander and more wild scale. Zoos wouldn't have any work to do with endangered species if human weren't so damn good at destroying everything around them. Illinois wasn't always a flat land covered in farm fields, so is the price of "progress."

A lot of people fail to appreciate the world around them for what it is, maybe that's why we are always so intent on altering it.

Not good enough, build a bridge. Not good enough, blow out a mountainside. Not good enough, dig up some uranium. Not good enough, how can we kill with this? Never good enough.

Then we express anger, regret and sorrow when we fail to control nature and it's reaction to our disease. Katrina must have been someone's fault right? Wild fires in Texas? Gotta be someone who is responsible.

Why couldn't they stop this? The ubiquitous question. Why?

Why would anyone be able to stop anything. Society expects it almost always, it seems. We dig holes in the unstable Earth below us to extract minerals and wealth and then sit back teary eyed when our holes collapse and explode around us. Is any of this really that surprising? Is any of this really that tragic considering the collective damage we have done and are doing to each other and the world every single day?

A friend of mine once wondered aloud why the people of New Orleans and those in the government tasked with its protection were so terribly surprised that human technology couldn't stop the levees from pouring over onto the city.

"It's f-cking water," he said. "You can't mess with water."

And that is 100 percent correct and not just about water. The physical and biological forces at work in our universe and on our planet are far beyond the control of this civilization's technological power.

So the next time you shed a tear for a trapped miner, victim of an animal attack or a Vegas entertainer dragged off stage by a lion or something think about why you are concerned about them and what you should really be concerned about.

1 Comments:

Blogger Glock21 said...

Societies and social structures often attempt to avoid the cold hard realities of nature.

Natural rules are brutal and downright ghastly. Social constructs that help us trump the unfair and uncaring natural way of things are good things. Seeking to find new ways to avoid natural disasters and epidemics is a good thing. Yearning for a 'natural lifestyle' where rape, murder, and disease run rampant isn't healthy. It is no different than yearning to de-evolve back into cavemen.

Just because some people still aren't smart enough to move away from the base of volcanos, hurricane alley beaches, or port towns that are below sea-level... doesn't mean that society in general is dumb, just many of its members.

1/12/2006 1:30 AM  

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