In my area of central California coyotes recently attacked two small dogs that were romping around. Both dogs survived. The attack took part in a public park of some sort. The reaction of the rangers (How I hate this semi-heroic designation for cops in green uniforms!) :
We are going to enforce leash laws more strictly. The attack would not have happened if the dogs had been on leash.
Why not regulate coyote behavior while you are it? You might add to the list of forbidden things on the signs posted everywhere:
Coyote attacks on dogs not allowed.
Somewhere in the depths of the bloated California bureaucracy there might even be a subsidized artist to design a cute symbol signifying the same thing, for coyotes who can’t read. While we are at it, why not a sign in Spanish also?
There is another approach to all this: Dogs like to run around. In fact, most of them need to run around to be healthy. Dogs who run are happier than dogs who don’t.
Coyotes will eat anything, small dogs when they get a chance. It makes them happy. Dog owners know this. They are morally responsible for their dogs. They are the ones to decide what’s the greatest risk for their pet: unhappiness and a constricted life vs the risk of a very rare wild animal attack.
Besides, dog owners can arm themselves to defend their pets, with a stick, with red pepper spray, or with a handgun. Remember that the Bill of Rights guarantees their right to do so.
Back off, public employees! It’s not your responsibility to mother dog owners or any other category of citizens.
I know, if you act soberly and follow my advice, a dog or two will end up in the jaws of coyotes eventually. So, what’s your point?
This is not a small thing. Even giants begin life as babies. Despotism likewise starts small. It’s easier to strangle tyranny in the cradle than when it’s fully grown.
Besides, facts matter. If all dogs ran free in public parks, the probability of a dog being killed by a wild animal would remain much smaller than the probability of my dying in a car accident while traveling to some stupid entertainment or other.
The moral of the story: You create government agencies; they will find something to do. The problem is not laziness but incrustation and meddling. Bureaucratic laziness would be a lesser evil. Life is sweeter with inefficiency than with constant interference by zealous officials. I am sorry to say it but the reduction of government staff due to the current California budget crisis will turn out to be a blessing.
PS In my progressive town of Santa Cruz, the epitome of left-wing love of liberty, it’s illegal to carry bedding in public. (That’s according to the local newspaper, the Sentinel.)