ELCA Meeting to Feature Lynn’s Dog Officer

Posted on July 13, 2010


Kevin Farnsworth and his wife Kelli will share their considerable experience in animal care and training tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM at the Temple Ahabot Shalom on 151 Ocean Street. Their topic is “Keys to Responsible Pet Ownership.” Come at 6:45 for refreshments and social networking. Farnsworth is Lynn’s only Dog Officer, and he has a lot to deal with. There used to be 3 dog officers for this city in the 1980s.

This timely topic has much to do with the public meeting tonight at 8 at City Hall Council Chambers on a proposed new dog ordinance targeting pitbulls. The ordinance will set a limit to the number of pitbulls a household may have, compel pitbull owners to undergo a more rigorous registration requirement and require that they be on leash at all times or wear a muzzle. This last requirement is already on the books strangely enough.

Now I know it’s not the dog, it’s the owner, and I do not believe in banning any breeds. If this ordinance passes it will do not one lick (pun intended) of good by itself, but must be backed up with increased enforcement and education. However, I think breed specific legislation is warranted in this case. In the wrong hands, pitbulls can be dangerous unpredictable weapons. The good owners will have to suffer for the sins of their ignorant brethren, but I do not think the ordinance imposes an undue burden.

Frankly I won’t mind terribly if this ordinance doesn’t pass. As I said, enforcement of already existing laws and education are the keys to solving this problem. But the ordinance could be a useful tool in promoting and targeting the enforcement and education.