Roney’s Rant: Schenectady – Doggone crazy!
Posted by: KC Orcutt
Published on: May 14th, 2012 at 9:00 AM
While the Supreme Court considers whether it’s Constitutional for the Federal Government to require us all to purchase health insurance, Schenectady is considering an insurance mandate of its own.
For your Dog!
That’s right. After a couple of highly publicized attacks, city officials believe requiring almost every dog owner to have liability insurance is now necessary.
I say “almost” every owner. While the proposal includes ALL breeds, if your pooch is under 20-pounds you’re exempt. I guess the magical cut-off on whether a dog can inflict damage is its weight, which doesn’t really make much sense – an angry poodle could inflict more damage than a passive golden retriever. (A weight cut-off is a bit like charging the obese more at an “all-you-can-eat” buffet – Thin people can pound down food too!)
If this goes through, the average homeowner, or renter, could be looking at extra 200-bucks a year, just for the privilege of owning a dog in Schenectady.
It’s really just another case of punishing the many for the sins of the few, or the one.
The main attack that led to this proposal involves one Jasmine Tirado, a pet “owner” who represents the epitome of irresponsibility. THREE of her dogs, running loose at night, confronted Shirleen Lucas, a local woman who was just walking down the street.
The dogs, in an unprovoked, vicious attack, left Lucas with nearly 200 stitches and parts of her ears chewed off.
Nasty stuff. Lucas is truly lucky to be alive.
It’s not the first time Tirado was in trouble for her vicious canines either. She was a cited a year before for not controlling her “pets.” That case got “lost” somewhere, deep in the bowels of bureaucracy.
Tirado’s punishment for the vicious attack on Lucas? Her dogs were euthanized (no brainer) and she was sent to jail for a month! That’s right, her dogs almost killed someone and this tool gets…one…single…month! And check this out – she was so (not) concerned about the outcome of her case, she showed up to court sporting an Elmo T-shirt!
So is the city’s response to the “problem” – requiring Doggy Insurance.
Here’s the deal. It’s not the responsible pet owners who are the problem. It’s people like Jasmine Tirado, people who have no regard for the law, licensing requirements, or any insurance mandate.
The only people who end up complying with the mandate will be the responsible, NOT the irresponsible.
People with truly dangerous dogs could care less about the law.
Instead of looking at pushing for the max in this case, or considering an increase in penalties in all cases of “attempted murder by dog”, the city targets the responsible pet owner, many of whom are already paying the highest taxes in the Capitol Region – some of the highest in the country!
It’s also a city facing a 5-million-dollar deficit, not to mention an extensive history of problems with the School District and Police Department.
Suffice to say, bang for the buck is NOT what residents are getting in the once mighty Electric City.
Also, instead of zapping private dog owners with higher insurance costs, why not worry more about the driving skills of city employees? After nearly 100 accidents last year the city had to raise its deductible to $25,000 or face a $1.5 million rate increase! Holy…
(Is this Dog Insurance flim-flam part of an effort by the city to get lower rates?)
If this Doggy Mandate is approved it’s just another reason for people to NOT want to live there.
STOP CHASING PEOPLE AWAY!!!
Nah, not yet.
Al Roney is a full-time Talk Show host. You can catch him on-air weekday afternoons on AM TALK 1300 from 2 – 6. On-line at talk1300.com. He’s lived in the Capital Region most of his life, has a wife, 2 kids, a dog, a cat, and a couple of parakeets. He also thinks it’s okay to bust on Schenectady because it’s his old home town.