Regarding Miami Beach City Code “Animals” ordinance R5C and R5D in section 10-17 (CERTAIN TECHNIQUES AND DEVICES PROHIBITED: ENFORCEMENT: PENALTIES) and 10-18 (REQUIREMENTS FOR SALES OF DOGS AND CATS; DEFINITIONS; PERMITTED SOURCES; CERTIFICATE OF SOURCE; PENALTIES).
This is a great start but leaves much to be desired. A more proactive stance would have been appreciated. For years, countries have banned shock collars and variations euphemistically referred to as: vibrate collar, static collar, pager collar, tingle collar, tickle collar, E collar, recall collar, electric collar, positive reinforcement collar, stimulation collar or remote training collar. Companies continually change the name in order to abdicate the law for their bottom line, profits. Therefore the wording of 10-17 (a) “Commercially available static correction devices used for training and containment of dogs are not subject to the prohibitions in this section”, leaves a giant loophole larger than the new Port of Miami Tunnel bored under the Biscayne Bay. As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and behaviorist, I see no reason why this should be exempt. With no regulation and zero barriers to entry, dog trainers are some of the most prevalent abusers of animals.
Learning Shouldn’t Hurt
Inflicting pain on another is morally repugnant and reprehensible. Any device that works by physically delivering an electrical current to your dog must be included in this ordinance. They are all inhumane and were designed to inflict pain and work on the same pain principle or they would be moot. Further, there are many more efficient, ethical and moral ways to achieve behavior change. These devices destroy relationships and dogs die as an outcome of pet parents’ and dog trainers’ ignorance and animal abuse.
Ask yourself this question: would you subject your 2-year-old child to a method of “teaching” or a piece of equipment designed to deliver pain in order to affect behavior change on another? I would hope you answered no. Then please do not do it to another sentient being.
Pain is Measured in Degrees Not Kind
When laws begin slicing and dicing words the greater point and purpose is obfuscated. We are talking about degrees of pain, not kind. All devices that are designed and work on the premise of pain deliverance should be included in the ban, not excluded. Yes, even the readily available, widely sold and cheap prong collars and choke chains, should be banned. They yank and crank at and damage the most vulnerable and sensitive soft part of a dogs’ neck. Although they may be seemingly benign and innocuous-looking, they too, do not teach anything other than inflicting pain via punishment. Why would a dog pull and get injured using a choke chain or prong collar? Because the parent has not responsibly taught the dog to walk calmly by their side and to not pull on the leash through positive reinforcement dog training and a loose leash walking protocol. If pet parents would put education, ethology and dog training high on their priority list, on par with medical attention, feeding, and enrichment, there would be no need to default to pain delivering devices and a lot fewer dog bites and re-homing would occur. Miami Dade kills over 20,000 dogs every year!! Being a pet parent is a privilege, not a right!
This begs the question, why include some unnecessary pain devices and exclude others? Anyone? Bueller? I am as dumbfounded as you.
For unnecessary and cruel devices, it doesn’t matter if companies package them with pictures of pretty rainbows, smiling families and name them “Bunny Tickle Joy Training Collars”, paint them pink, and spray perfume on them. It doesn’t hide the fact that they still are designed to deliver unnecessary pain and abuse.
Force and Pain are the Punishment of Another for One’s Lack of Teaching Skills and Education
Many questions remain and this will be a working article changing as the data changes. Some other questions are: Who is the ARO (animal resource officer), who is training this officer, what are their qualifications and background and contact details to report a crime. How is the police force going to be notified of this new ordinance and the details?
Update: The animal resource officer (ARO) is, Mariana Jomarron, at 305.673.7000, ext 3705.
Just as I would consult a qualified, board-certified doctor before an operation, I would hope the city would consult with national animal experts certified in dog training and dog behavior, when putting together intelligent legislation.