Monday, February 13, 2012

Crazy Pet Laws - What Were They Thinking?

By Linda Cole

We hope politicians carefully consider new laws they craft because of the impact it has on us. However, sometimes you have to wonder if these law-makers were of sound mind or sober when it comes to some laws that make absolutely no sense at all. Case in point: the following funny pet laws from different states. You do have to ask, “What the heck were they thinking?”

Sterling, Colorado says if you allow your cat to run around loose at night, she must have tail lights attached to her behind. So some poor cat gets pulled over for having a broken tail light, not wearing a seat belt and has no proof of insurance. And heaven forbid if she made a stop at the local catnip patch!

If you have a cat or dog who likes to relax with their favorite cigar now and then, don't go to Zion, Illinois. It's illegal to let your dog or cat have lit cigars there. I wonder how big of a problem that is in Zion?

In Hartford, Connecticut, it's illegal to educate your dog. I suppose it might be embarrassing to have a dog giving a graduating speech as the valedictorian.

If you make an ugly face at a dog in Oklahoma, watch out. You can be arrested, fined and/or thrown in jail! “So what are you in for?” says one inmate to another. “I made a face at a dog. Got 20 years. It was a really ugly face.”

International Falls, Minnesota must have some mighty big cats in their neck of the woods, and they are apparently pretty mean and feisty as well. They had to pass a law making it illegal for cats to chase dogs up telephone poles. Picture a poor Great Dane shaking on top a telephone pole waiting for the mean old cat that chased him up there to move on.

French Lick Springs, Indiana requires that all black cats wear bells on Friday the 13th. I wonder if this is to alert passersby that there might be a witch hovering just above them on a broomstick… or maybe it's the cat that's the witch?

New Jersey has a law that says cats have to let birds know where they are and must carry a required 3 bells at all times. Why 3 bells? Birds can't hear 2, and 4 bells would be too loud? One bell is enough to teach a cat to be an even stealthier hunter than they are without a bell. Maybe that's why Minnesota cats are so good at chasing dogs up telephone poles. They sneak up on them, which scares the daylights out of dogs.

Barber, North Carolina has some tough pet laws. Cats and dogs are not allowed to fight.

Ventura County, California says cats and dogs can't mate within 1,500 feet of taverns, schools or churches. I wonder who the lucky person is who gets to enforce that law? And if they catch a dog or cat in the act, they will have to produce a permit for their activity or they'll really be in trouble.

Kentucky says if dogs want to fight with each other that is OK, but they can't fight with cats or even bother them.

There will be no midnight serenades by cats in Columbus, Georgia. No cat is allowed to yowl after 9 pm. I wonder if they cut them some slack on the weekends and move that deadline back by an hour for the ones that don't have to go to work the next day?

Reed City, Michigan has outlawed keeping a cat and a bird in the same house. That's what happens when lawmakers spend too much time watching Tweety Bird and Sylvester cartoons.

In Marshalltown, Iowa, you better be very careful if your horse is hungry. Horses are not allowed to eat fire hydrants. Better make sure to give your horse a little EQUIDAE feed before riding into Marshalltown.

A 1936 law in Denver, Colorado requires a dog catcher to post a notice on a tree in the city park and along the road that runs through the park for three consecutive days to inform dogs they can be captured and impounded. Of course any educated dog would see those posters and vacate that park to comply with local law.

Oklahoma has made it harder for canines to peacefully assemble. If dogs plan to gather in groups of three or more on private property, they must first obtain a permit signed by the mayor. Of course, if it's on public land, that's not a problem.

Every state has old laws that are still on the books. I doubt the ones here are enforced, but you have to wonder if they were taken seriously even when they were passed.

‘Funny Faces’ photo by This Year’s Love
‘Cat and Bird’ photo by Dylan Ashe

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. So just who is going to enforce these laws. Those do sound a little crazy. But fun to read. Take care.

  2. I thought it was just us Brits who had crazy laws!! Love the extra sarcasm :)

  3. Those are just crazy!! Did you really have to ask if they were sober or not when they made them?? :)

  4. Being a resident of Minnesota, I can tell you that we do have mountain lions. I don't think any Great Dane worth his salt would want to tangle with one of those. If there was a dog up a telephone pole, he/she probably figured it was the safest place to be.


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