Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poodle Bitch is Unhappy With the Shenanigans of the Massachusetts Legislature

Poodle Bitch typically attempts to avoid politics. The process is boorish, and tends to reward the worst of human nature (a nature that Poodle Bitch often finds befuddling, even at its best), and writing about the characters involved tends merely to encourage them.

That said, Poodle Bitch was irritated when she read about the Massachusetts legislature's raising of fees for dog registration.

State Republicans are howling mad over yet another tax hike being slipped through the Legislature that would slap an annual $3 state surcharge on municipal licensing fees canine owners pay for their pet pooches.

Sigh. Why must the author of the article insert the cutism "howling" into the paragraph? News of the extra $3 is quite bad enough, given the current state (so Poodle Bitch has heard) of the economy that is "changing lifestyles".

Unfortunately, one of the politicians that is "howling mad" is quoted, and his cutisms gave Poodle Bitch an eyeache:

“We’re trying to collar or neuter these onerous fees and counter the Democrats’ rabid obsession with increases,” said state Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth).

First of all, some advice: Please settle upon one cutism per sentence. "Collar or neuter" sounds like you cannot makeup your mind about what you're trying to say, and you will lose the votes of those who are focused. And trust Poodle Bitch when she tells you that those two terms are most certainly not interchangeable. Second, and more important, if you are attempting to engage the sympathy of dog owners, do not joke about rabidity. As anyone who has seen the film "Old Yeller" will attest, rabidity is not funny.

But state Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) argued the fee is necessary to fund a state spay-and-neutering plan meant to snip the state’s out-of-control problem with strays.

Poodle Bitch certainly appreciates spaying and neutering pets as a way of controlling the population of stray animals. But she wonders why it is that responsible pet owners should have to pay more for that, when they are already paying a fee.

Annual license fees range from $6 a year in Boston for neutered or spayed canines (and $17 for unfixed dogs) to a flat $20 in Plymouth.

Perhaps the state could find something to cut to make up the difference? Poodle Bitch notes that Massachusetts is facing a severe deficit for 2009. She wonders why responsible pet owners should be burdened by problems created by politicians?

[Laurence Pizer, Plymouth town clerk] added that the state surcharge would deter many residents from licensing their dogs - a practice that is already a tough sell.

Now Poodle Bitch is confused. Do some residents not license their dogs? How many do not? Is it against the law to not register dogs? Why isn't the law enforced as it stands? Perhaps if the fees were lowered, more people would register, and the state would bring in more money?

These are questions that could have been addressed, if the author of the article and the politicians involved had spent less time making dog-related cutisms.

Poodle Bitch notes that this is no way to celebrate National Dog Week.

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