How waterproof is your doghouse?
By Hookemharry

Posted: February 19, 2004

The city council in a town in Ohio recently brought a whole new meaning to the definition of a doghouse. And for all you hunting dog owners out there, you might want to take note and draw up some new construction plans for your duck and pheasant fetcher.

According to a story out of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Olmstead Falls’ city council passed a law requiring waterproof protection for pooches who have to live outside the family home. This one-of-a-kind doghouse law was approved before a standing room-only crowd of people just last week.

The law doesn’t stop there.

It requires dog owners to provide waterproof doghouses which are lined with bedding that resists dampness. The doghouses also have to be equipped with self-closing doors or flaps.

The doghouse law all started when a local women left her golden retriever tied up outside because of her child’s allergy. Neighbors kept making complaints to the police, until a woman decided to take the dog out of the yard. That woman was then charged with felony theft. The dog then was returned to its family, but now has a doghouse, straw, and a heated waterbowl. No word was reported in the story whether or not the felony charge has been dropped.

I know what you are thinking! What kind of law does Missoula have for shelter for dogs left outside?

“If they are outside, a shelter must be provided”, says Missoula Animal Control Attendant Elaine Sehnert. Some Missoula residents in the past have reportedly tried to convince the authorities that a tree should be adequate for shelter for their dog. That doesn’t qualify.

“The animal must have a shelter that is big enough to get in and turn around in,” adds Sehnert. “In the summer, our main concern for the dog is it has shade so a covered porch would be sufficient for example.”

Sehnert says they try to use a little common sense when they follow up on complaints that they receive throughout the year.

Does Sehnert foresee a waterproof doghouse requirement being put into law in Missoula anytime soon?

“I don’t know about that, but animal owners must provide food, water, shelter and medical care if they expect to legally own a dog,” concluded Sehnert.

FISHING DERBY: Ice fishing should be pretty good this Saturday on Lake Frances. The Valier volunteer fire department is holding its annual fishing derby Saturday, Feb. 21.

“Fishing has been pretty good for northern pike and perch,” says Trina Hitchcock from the One Stop Conoco in Valier. In fact, a report came out of the lake that a 3-pound perch was caught recently.

Hitchcock, however, didn’t have any other information on the potential new state record fish. If true, the yellow perch would have eclipsed the old record held by Vernon Schmid. Schmid caught a yellow perch that weighed 2.37 pounds out of Ashley Lake in 1988.

The derby will pay cash prizes for the top three largest northern pike and also pay a cash prize for the heaviest combination of three perch. “The ice has been good with around 24 inches reported around most of the lake,” says Hitchcock.

Tickets are $10 per person for more information call 279-3600. Hitchcock says they expect 400 to participate.

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