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Filed under: Humor, Preparation & Readiness, RVing & the Legal System, Taking Along the Family Pet, Traveling Tips, Uncategorized

Making Ugly Faces at Dogs is Not Permitted

June 22, 2011 by · 3 Comments 


Minnesota! Now, who wouldn’t want to live there? Where men are men and women are good looking and all the children are above average… (Thanks to Garrison Keilor and his Lake Wobegon for that). Natural beauty, support for culture and education, good jobs that let hard-working people hold their heads up high, and friendly laws that protect the innocent and scare the dickens out of miscreants… These, I think, are good measures for judging where we might want to live… As are its laws, which I believe are an important measure as to how well they protect the innocent, the trustworthy, the loyal and the brave — our pets.

Did you know that in Oklahoma it is against the law to make ugly faces at a dog? And in Normal, Ohio “It is against the law to make any faces at dogs, ugly or not.”

Given that many RV’ers are pet lovers and take their animals with them from state to state, they should care about what laws a state may have concerning pets. And as most people are law-abiding citizens, it makes sense that they would want pet laws enforced to the fullest extent of the law, right? Well, at least those laws that are fair and actually protect our pet friends, right? And they all do — that is protect our pets — right? Well let’s just take a closer look. Many states have laws, still in the books, that pertain to dogs and, it turns out, to many other animals: 

Dogs deserve to be treated with respect, don’t they? Well, it seems that they aren’t always. Back in Oklahoma, “Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.” What? Dogs need a permit to hang around together? Do the dogs know that hanging around together is illegal? Shouldn’t this law be worded so that the owners of three of more dogs needs a permit? Doesn’t one of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes say, “You might be a redneck if your porch collapses and kills more than 3, or is it 6, dogs?”

By the way, dogs should be aware that in Paulding, Ohio, “A policeman may bite a dog to quiet him.” I’m not at all certain that a bite would quiet my dog — just the opposite. 

As for biting, in Toledo, Ohio, “Throwing a snake at anyone is illegal.” And I say thank God for that. 

And so dogs aren’t the only critters mentioned in state’s laws: It is also illegal in Oklahoma to “give liquor to a fish.” There’s nothing worse than a drunk fish. And, although not a fish, whale hunting is strictly forbidden throughout the entire state (Although where in Oklahoma one would find a whale to hunt is a bit puzzling).

Some animal laws do make good sense. For example, in Blythe, California, a person must own two cows in order to legally wear cowboy boots in public. Now that’s a great law! I’ll bet that most cowboy boot wearers never get any closer to a cow than the milk they pour on their Cheerios in the morning.

In Zion, California it’s illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets. A good, sensible law, right? We’ve probably all seen that famous painting depicting a group of dogs sitting around a table drinking, smoking cigars and playing cards. See? Give them cigars and they’ll start gambling! And then it’s right down the slippery slope to perdition! As for imbibing in alcohol, Chicago, Illinois states that, “It is illegal to give a dog whiskey,” although they don’t mention beer or wine…

Indiana looks out for our simian friends by declaring that, “Monkey’s are forbidden to smoke cigarettes in South Bend.” (As are people in most places)

Did you know that in Tennessee, “It is legal to gather and consume roadkill.” (And many of us know all about going hunting with your pick-up; now don’t we?) Also in the Volunteer State, “the definition of “dumb animal” includes every living creature.” (Were they including mankind by error… or by design?)

Keeping track of what our dogs are up to has led to some interesting laws. Such as in Belvedere, Illinois, where a city council order reads: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.” Another sensible law; I think; since some owners I’ve met don’t have the good sense of a stump… 

Of course, people can get carried away with trying to control the activities of their pets. But have no fear! Someone has come up with a law to protect pet dogs: In Anchorage, Alaska, “No one may tie their pet dog to the roof of a car.” The ordinance doesn’t state whether the car has to be moving or not. 

As for protecting animals from being used as hats, in Minnesota, “A person may not cross state lines with a (real) duck atop his head” and “Citizens may not enter Wisconsin with a chicken on their head.” I think that these laws may have been a clever way to cut back on bird smuggling, but they also eliminate the problem of feathers in your hair. Which is very unsightly… 

The good people of Denver, Colorado have acted to protect the rights of their dogs with the following law: “The dog catcher must notify dogs of impounding by posting, for three consecutive days, a notice on a tree in the city park and along a public road running through said park.” I’m sure that the dogs would appreciate the warning, since it wouldn’t be fair to have dog catchers sneaking up on them, now would it?

 Of course, laws meant to protect one (person/being/animal) might also impinge on another’s freedom: In Sterling, Colorado, “Cats may not run loose without having been fit with a taillight.” Affixing said taillight to said tail might be a helluva problem, though, IMHO…

Well, getting back to laws that may impinge on the rights of dogs, I question the fairness of Hartford, Connecticut’s intentions when decreeing: “You may not educate dogs.” Chicago is even more explicit in decreeing that, “It is illegal to take a French Poodle to the Opera (I didn’t even know that French poodles liked Opera).

But surely we all support South Bethany, Delaware’s law that, “All persons must carry a bag with them at all times when they walk their dog in case said dog “poops”, or risk a $100 fine. Hooray to that, I say. 

And yet, on a similar subject and, although I support the general idea, I couldn’t find out whether the following Floridian restriction applied to man or beast, or both: “You may not fart in a public place after 6 PM.” And in Port Arthur, Texas, “Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator.” Galesburg, Ohio narrows the problem down with, “No person may keep a smelly dog.” 

In summation, after careful research and consideration I might just exclaim, “OHHH, BOY!” But that would be illegal in Jonesboro, Florida. 

*  *  * 

I thank the following resources and refer you there for your further edification:

Till Next Time,

The Traveler


3 Responses to “Making Ugly Faces at Dogs is Not Permitted”
  1. Bob says:

    The quote is “Where the women are strong, and the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average”

  2. Traveler8343 says:

    Hmm, never fear Bob, I’ve fired my research assistant and hired a new one. Just kidding. I thought that I knew that quote well enough not to go check it. Once again, my 66 year-old brain has failed me. I’m spending way too much time on my quantum physics work… LOL

    Thanks for setting me straight.


  3. Liviu says:

    Hoax after hoax…
    If these were true, then we would have references (as in numbers of laws and dates) to the real law system (federal, state level etc.), wouldn’t we?… So we could actually cross check them, I mean… so we could confirm they were real, not hoax :D

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