June 23, 2010
BERKELEY – A coalition of dog rights groups has proposed a mandatory leash law for cats after an alleged Manx attack put a 41-year-old woman in the hospital.
“Leash laws for dogs have been in place for decades while cats are allowed to roam dangerously free,” read the coalition’s statement. “This policy has been a time-bomb that has unfortunately, and tragically gone off. We call for parity in the treatment of domestic animals.”
The new law targets cats but would require any domestic animal to be treated under a universal law regardless of species. That would mean leashes for cats and homeowner’s associations allowed to restrict more aggressive breeds like Siamese.
“I support it wholeheartedly,” said Berkeley resident Juanita Simon. “I am not a speciesist. We need equal protection for all animals.”
However cat organizations have been taken off guard and feel the Manx attack has been exaggerated. The Feline Freedom Foundation hastily issued a response saying, “the so-called Manx attack was nothing more than a slight scratch after a poorly-delivered head scratch. While the woman was hospitalized, the reasons were to treat a broken bone suffered after the attack occurred, not as a direct result of the scratch.”
Still the dog coalition stresses that we must not wait for a more serious event before we act.