While the nation has spent the past year indicating its general pleasure with Obamacare, especially the insurance mandate, Texas Legislator Ruth Jones McClendon has been thinking up new forms of insurance to force you to buy, and this time even Fido isn’t immune. Jones McClendon has proposed making “Dog Insurance ” mandatory for all owners of male, unneutered dogs weighing 20 or more pounds. The insurance would cover any damage your dog does to another person or property while off its leash.
I’m all about personal responsibility, and anybody who gets attacked by a dog or has their property damaged should be compensated by the dogs owner, but mandatory canine insurance is a step down the Road to Serfdom I’m not willing to take. It should be up to the dog owner to decide whether he wants to take the risk that his dog will cause a substantial amount of damage. While Jones McClendon wants to protect people from large dogs, her proposal would do just the opposite. Dog owners, knowing that they are insured against any wrong doing their dog does, will take less care to ensure that Rex is a good boy.
Jones McClendon has offered zero statistical evidence that large dogs are a menace to society, relying only upon an anecdote from within her district. The size of dogs that the law will apply to was chosen arbitrarily, showing that this law was not fully thought through. Jones McClendon claims that “this does not in any way penalize dogs, or prevent people from enjoying the benefits of dog ownership.” Unfortunately for dog, her well intentioned rhetoric does not hold true. Because owning a large dog will necessitate purchasing insurance, fewer large dogs will be adopted, leaving more of them to sit in shelters, and potentially be put down. While the benefits of being a dog owner would not be reduced, the costs would increase, decreasing the enjoyment one gets from owning a dog.
Fortunately, backlash against the proposed law has already emerged. The US Sportsman’s alliance has called it “ridiculous.” I would like to add my two cents to that criticism, so put me down for calling the proposed law “absurd.” Friends of mine know me as quite the connoisseur of throwback jerseys, so I’ll take it upon myself to send Ms. Jones McClendon a Michael Vick Falcons jersey.