Petitioners say revised dog chip ordinance not good enough

ELY - Critics of a proposed animal control ordinance requiring all dogs to have identifying microchip implants say a revised law isn't much better.

If approved by the Ely City Council, the new ordinance would replace one passed in December that mandates implants for all dogs living within city limits.

Critics of that measure circulated petitions and gathered enough signatures to force a public vote on the issue in September.

While the new proposal would allow continued licensing by traditional dog tags, critics complain tagged and implanted dogs are not treated equally if they are picked up by animal control officers.

Pooches with tags would be implanted at owner expense before being released from the dog pound. The same would go for unlicensed dogs.

''You shouldn't be forced to get a microchip if your dog already has a legal dog tag,'' said Eldora Johnson. ''If you're willing to pay the fine, you should be allowed to pick the dog up and take it home.''

Dogs adopted from the pound also shouldn't be forced to receive the implant, she said.

Under the ordinance, adopted pets would be implanted at taxpayer expense.

''I should have the right to choose my form of identification,'' Johnson said. ''If we're going to be allowed a choice, then everyone should be allowed a choice.''

Johnson does not oppose implanting dogs labeled as vicious or dangerous.

''If your dog bites somebody, or damages their property, it's a different issue,'' she said.

Johnson said the ballot measure will move forward unless the City Council addresses petitioners' concerns.


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