Do you want your neighbors to have a say on what you keep at your home?
Kenai Mayor Pat Porter is proposing just that. Your neighbors could "vote" on whether you can have four or more dogs by demanding a hearing on whether you can get a kennel license to keep them.
Dogs, cats, horses and other domestic animals in Alaska are private property belonging to their owners. People have a right to own and enjoy their property as long as they do so in a responsible, lawful manner. That right should not be abridged by the personal likes or dislikes of their neighbors.
If the Kenai City Council goes along with this, what is next? An ordinance giving neighbors the right to demand a hearing on whether you can park more than three cars in your yard, or tune your snowmachine or put out that tacky pink flamingo you love so much but they detest?
This is not just a dog issue. The real issue is upholding our right to own and enjoy our property without having to ask permission from others. The job of government is to provide for an orderly society while respecting the rights of the individual. When a government gives some private citizens the right to tell other private citizens how they must live, it has failed to do its job.
Our city council will consider Substitute Ordinance 2268-2007 on Wednesday night. I hope the council can see what poor public policy this proposal is and what a dangerous precedent it will create. If they see that, they should oppose it.
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