Wednesday, March 12, 2008
$1K Fine for Pink Poodle
The Denver Post reported yesterday on the latest from the city of Boulder, Colorado.
Joy Douglas, owner of Zing Hair Salon at 1100 Spruce St., has received a $1,000 ticket from an animal-control officer for coloring her white poodle, Cici, pink by using organic beet juice.
"We do it to promote awareness of breast cancer," said Douglas, 30, who has owned the large hair salon for three years. "Cici is a conversation piece. Customers come in and ask why the dog is pink. So we tell them about breast-cancer awareness, about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and then we ask for a donation."
Douglas didn't want to guess how many thousands of dollars the dog has raised for breast-cancer awareness nor the value of all the $65 haircuts she's given away free to cancer survivors.
But not everyone who sees Cici is happy, and some customers called the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, whose commissioned officers enforce the city's animal ordinances. One ordinance prohibits the coloring or dyeing of animals, a law that went into effect about five years ago to discourage families from dyeing rabbits and chicks for Easter.
"We've received a number of complaints about the dog," said Lisa Pedersen, director of the humane society. "We've been out to talk with Joy several times. Finally, we gave her a ticket to let the courts decide the issue."
There have got to be better things for the animal control people to be doing than fining people for making their poodles pink. They should be fining the people who reported the poodle--a busybody fine, and it should be $2,000. That would be fair.
"This is a misrepresentation of what animal control is supposed to be," said Douglas, who drives a pink scooter, a pink car and now is looking for a lawyer to represent her and her pink dog. "This doesn't hurt Cici at all. We color her about once a week to keep it bright. She's fine."
Pedersen agreed that the dog appears to be well-cared for, except that she's pink.