Your Dog's Papers (and your money), Please.

Jason McNew
Under Pennsylvania Law, animal control officers can carry firearms and have powers of arrest. Here in Adams County, PA (seat of Gettysburg and the battle fields), The Evening Sun reports that local dog law enforcement "will be knocking on doors across Adams County in the second canvass this year to make sure all dogs are vaccinated, licensed and safe".

The article further explains: "The maximum fine per violation of the licensing and rabies requirements is $300, in addition to possible court costs."


Using the Law of Averages, one might surmise that a certain percentage of the citizens are going to be in violation of PA dog laws. What to do? Hunt them down and issue a fine for three-hundred bucks. Sounds an awful lot like stepping up traffic enforcement to drum up revenue. The purpose of traffic laws is for public safety, and the purpose of animal laws is animal welfare. The purpose of laws is not to replenish government coffers, even if tax revues are way down.


There is also the little problem of the 4th Amendment:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Since we can no longer place the Ten Commandments on our county courthouses, can we at least put up a copy of the Bill of Rights?

Under Pennsylvania Law, animal control officers can carry firearms and have powers of arrest. Here in Adams County, PA (seat of Gettysburg and the battle fields), The Evening Sun reports that local dog law enforcement "will be knocking on doors across Adams County in the second canvass this year to make sure all dogs are vaccinated, licensed and safe".

The article further explains: "The maximum fine per violation of the licensing and rabies requirements is $300, in addition to possible court costs."


Using the Law of Averages, one might surmise that a certain percentage of the citizens are going to be in violation of PA dog laws. What to do? Hunt them down and issue a fine for three-hundred bucks. Sounds an awful lot like stepping up traffic enforcement to drum up revenue. The purpose of traffic laws is for public safety, and the purpose of animal laws is animal welfare. The purpose of laws is not to replenish government coffers, even if tax revues are way down.


There is also the little problem of the 4th Amendment:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Since we can no longer place the Ten Commandments on our county courthouses, can we at least put up a copy of the Bill of Rights?