You Must be an ADULT To Walk a Dog! UPDATED!!!

Arrrrroooooo! Readers — This proposed law makes me want to lift a hind leg somewhere in Manassas, Va:

City leaders want to make it a requirement that only responsible adults be the ones walking their dogs.

“At the other end of the leash, there must be an individual who is competent to control the animal,” Manassas Councilmember John Way told NBC Washington’s Craig Melvin.

Way admits this has not been a widespread problem, however one woman recently reported having to jump on the top of a car to escape two stray pit bulls.  Way also ran into a similar problem while walking his small dog down a public street.

That’s the spirit! Cripple an entire culture because of two incidents. Prohibit children from having any responsibility, any role to play in the adult world other than being cute (and victims, of course). One question, Manassas: Will children be allowed to pour their own milk before age 18? Or are the dangers just too great? — L.


I just spoke to John Way, the city council member who is sponsoring this law, and he says that it does NOT specify an age that the dog walker has to be. Only that the walker be competent! So the reporter got it wrong in the story I picked up, and I’m sorry I repeated it here before speaking directly to the councilman. All is a little saner than previously thought! Woof! — L.

Kids and pets: What a dangerous combination!

Outrage of the Week: Pet Shop Owner Fined for Selling Kid a Goldfish

Hi Readers — You read that headline right. Apparently in England it is now illegal to sell a pet to anyone under age 16 who is not accompanied by an adult. (England? Are you feeling okay? Something bump you in the head?) Anyway — this granny did! And she was fined 1000 pounds (about $1500) and given a curfew and forced to wear an “electronic tag.”

Even more unbelievable: It was a sting! The kid — a 14-year-old — was working for the police! And the authorities had targeted this particular shop because on another occasion the granny ostensibly sold a gerbil to a 14-year-old girl with learning disabilities, and there are unsubstantiated reports that the girl unwittingly allowed it to die.

The Free-Range issue here, besides just plain jaw-dropping, head-scratching, don’t-you-have-any-crimes-besides-underage-goldfish-peddling-to-worry-about disbelief? Children and pets go together. I can see where I’d be a little peeved if my sons came home with a hamster one day. (Tickled, too.) But that does not seem like a legal issue so much as a parenting one.  Just another instance of  officially “protecting” us from things we don’t need protection from. If I were a gerbil, I’d go over there and bite some lawmakers. (Hey, I may STILL do that.) — Lenore

Can we keep it, Mommy?