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.


Bekah said...

maybe the animal control people can join the cause for padding telephone poles in case texting-while-walking dog owners mistakenly guide their non-pink dogs into a pole while not paying attention?

SkyePuppy said...

Great idea. But your comment just reminded me about an issue with walking boy dogs (I learned this from Scooter--Abby was a girl). They need to pee on something. So whichever cities in England (or here, if the idea catches on) decide to pad their lampposts, they'd better allocate a budget for lamppost-padding cleaning. Because that padding is going to get nasty in a real hurry.

paw said...

My (rarely occupied) cube is in Boulder County. I've been hanging around that Humane Society for the last couple months. Great people to work with. Nice facility. They're very well-funded. Dogs are brought in from all the neighboring states and they are placed quickly. Boulder likes it dogs. They do a lot of good work there. (Our new puppy is training up very nicely!)

And as I read this article my thoughts were more along of the line that within limits, communities generally set the rules and laws under which they choose to live. And in Boulder - super liberal, enormously successful, hot bed of entrepreneurial activity, magnet for bright and ambitious and successful people, highest-property-values-along-the-front-range Boulder - this kind of law is about what you would expect, and anyone living in that community - let alone operating a business - should fully expect to get busted for any little tweaky thing that they get wrong (Google up "Boulder light trespass" for a real chuckle), especially after being warned. Living and operating a business in Boulder is a completely optional thing. What they have going in that community obviously appeals to a lot of people. Buy in or move along is what some people say. Sage advice. I don't live there.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not defending this. Just sharing some local flavor.

SkyePuppy said...


Thanks for the local flavor. Sounds like my Busybody Fine might go over well.