Archive for September 17, 2009

Kern County – NO Exceptions in Dog Licensing

KGET News reports a story of dog spies animal control officers run amok.

A Bakersfield woman says she has been hounded by county animal control officers to license her dog. Funny thing is, the pooch officials were so concerned about is a stuffed animal.

Dottie Elkin lives by herself in a quaint home in south Bakersfield. For the past few months the 83-year old says she’s hated getting the mail, due to letters she’s receiving from the Kern County Animal Control Department.

“I told them I do not have a dog, it’s a stuffed dog,” Elkin said.

That’s right, Elkin has a stuff [sic] “guard dog” named Wolf, keeping watch at her front door. For the last six months she’s been getting letters from animal control asking her to license the dog or face a $200 fine.

Apparently animal control officers were cruising local neighborhoods trolling for revenue searching for unlicensed dogs when they spied Wolf sitting in Elkin’s doorway.  In classic bureaucratic style, they immediately started sending letters threatening to fine her if she didn’t license the dog immediately.  And they continued to send these letter for six months – even after she informed them that they had made what they now refer to as a “legitimate mistake”.

Video of the story is posted on MSNBCHow in doG’s name did these morons get close enough to the “dog” to see that it wasn’t wearing tags without noticing it was a freaking stuffed dog!!!   Apparently Kern County officials have a very different understanding of the word “legitimate” than I do…

September 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm 3 comments

Heavy Metals Detected in Dog Toys

Several news sources today reported on recent testing conducted by Washington Toxics Coalition that found elevated concentrations of potentially toxic metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury in a quarter of the pet products they tested.

The government has not set any standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products.  Some researchers use recommended levels for children as a substitute because pets and small children crawl around on the floor and put products into their mouth potentially exposing them to higher levels of surface contaminants.  Standards for these metals set by ASTM F963-07: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety are 90 ppm for lead, 75 ppm for cadmium and 60 ppm for mercury in children’s products.   

The Washington Toxics Coalition’s press release states:

  • 25% of the 400 pet products tested had detectable levels of lead.
  • 7% of all pet products tested had lead levels greater than 300 ppm – the current Consumer Product Safety Commission standard for lead in children’s products.
  • Nearly half of pet collars had detectable levels of lead; with more than one quarter exceeding 300 ppm.
  • Nearly half of tennis balls tested had detectable levels of lead. Tennis balls intended for pets were more likely to contain lead, while the sports tennis balls tested did not contain lead.

The results can be found on the user-friendly website: You can look up products by manufacturer, brand, or product type.

September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm 2 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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September 2009