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Pretty illegal in pink

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2008

To express your support for breast cancer research, you can get almost anything in pink these days, from ribbons to cell phones and MP3 players. But in the People's Republic of Boulder, a woman faces a $1000 fine because her poodle sports a pink coat for breast cancer awareness:

Cici is a "breast-cancer awareness dog" that's been showing off her pink coat for three years at Zing Salon, 1100 Spruce St., said Joy Douglas, who owns both the salon and the poodle.

"Cici is being stripped of her civic duty," Douglas said. "And I don't plan to take it sitting down."

Officials at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley said Douglas was warned several times before an animal-control officer issued her a ticket on March 1 for violating the city's code, section 6-1-14: "Dyeing fowl and rabbits prohibited."

Douglas said she didn't violate that law because she uses beet juice — and occasionally Kool-Aid — to "stain" Cici's coat. She said she never has used chemicals, and her pooch never has had a reaction to the stain.

Not just any beet juice — organic beet juice, according to the TV news story I saw. This is Boulder, after all. I suspect non-organic beet juice isn't permitted within the city limits. (By the definition of "organic" I learned, all beet juice is organic. But I digress.) 

Never mind that even in Boulder, you can drink beet juice and Kool-Aid (although I wouldn't swear to the latter). The city that eight years ago decided you can't have a pet, only a companion animal, thinks Joy Douglas is a danger to persons of the canine persuasion and a scofflaw:

Lisa Pedersen, chief executive officer of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and the Animal Control and Care department, said her officers received "several calls about the animals" before they wrote the ticket.

Notice the dual role of Pederson. The Humane Society is a private, non-profit, radical animal-rights organization whose membership wants to ban the buying and selling of pets companion animals — for starters. The City of Boulder has made Pederson and some number of other Humane Society staff into city law enforcement officers, complete with uniforms, badges, and police powers (and salaries, I assume). Since it's Boulder, I suppose they don't carry sidearms. But I can't swear to it.

"There were lots of people concerned about the dog," Pedersen said.

Despite Douglas' assertions that she doesn't use chemicals, Pedersen said officers have no guarantee.

Hey, Ms. Pedersen, we have no guarantee that you're not torturing squirrels or poisoning pigeons when no one's looking. And considering the behavior of some other "animal rights" activists, the fact that you run the Humane Society isn't persuasive. Prove the negative, as you're suggesting Joy Douglas must do. 

Fox31's MyFoxColorado is running a poll about this. As of 11 PM Denver time, the results are:

$1000 fine is not enough! Throw the book at her!   4.00%
 This case is a waste of time, taxpayer money.


 This case proves Boulder people are insane.  37.00%
 This case proves Boulder people are NOT insane.  0.50%

Well, apparently most Fox31 viewers are sane. 

NOTE: I'll refrain from commenting on the wisdom or aesthetics of making poodles pink (more pictures of Cici here), but I've seen dogs dressed in "outfits" that were more disturbing. 

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8 Responses to “Pretty illegal in pink”

  1. Rose said

    I’m not an “animal rights” activist, but I do think this is cruel.

  2. aften mortenson said

    the only problem is this person is a sociopath. the breast cancer thing is a total hoax and is completely despicable. it’s funny how everyone can and will use this opportunity to lash out at boulder county, meanwhile, ironically, the community has reason to be concerned. if investigated i think it will be found the dogs were dyed using chemical hair dye and that the “breast cancer dog” facade will equate to perjury.

  3. jed said

    The notion that dyeing your dog’s hair is “cruelty” within the meaning of the law is perposterous, which I suppose explains why it’s apparently the case in Boulder. That the Humane Society is empowered to issue citations is equally troubling.

    But just imagine how much trouble someone up there would be in if they displayed a pink AR in support of breast cancer awareness. (Or a pink Glock, AK, etc.)

  4. rgcombs said

    ”’Rose:”’ What makes you think it’s “cruel”? Do you have even a scintilla of evidence that Cici is harmed in any way? Or even a plausible argument as to how this might be harming her (other than being embarrassing, that is)? Or is this just something you “feel”?

    ”’aften mortenson:”’ Let’s suppose just for a moment that your accusation about “chemical hair dye” turns out to be true — that would be the same “chemical hair dye” that tens of millions of men and women use on themselves (or have a salon use on) them every month, right? Without any cruelty or suffering on anyone’s part.

    In any case, I suggest you think twice before throwing terms like “sociopath,” “hoax,” and “perjury” at someone who isn’t a public figure. Those are slanderous statements unless you can prove their truth — and I suspect you don’t have a shred of evidence for any of them, only your prejudices. Your IP address is recorded when you post on a public forum.

    ”’Jed:”’ I’m sure you can special-order a pink AR from somebody. For a handgun, you can buy the Pink Lady from Charter Arms off the shelf.

  5. aften mortenson said

    your assertations are correct. i don’t take the idea of slander lightly at all; i actually have better things to do than make up negative comments about people and post them on a random forum. your article’s a sharp reply based on the information you’ve been given; i assumed–since you allow commenting–that my opinion, based on my information, would be welcomed. i am simply using this medium to express my depressed outrage regarding this topic.

    of course the law is ridiculous in this application, but it’s very in-line with a lot of the ideals boulder is known for. i somewhat doubt using chemical dyes on dogs is dangerous (i just think it’s stupid). additionally, in reply to your comment, dying animals different colors because humans think it’s ‘cute’ isn’t really analagous to covering your gray. the woman has operated in boulder for three plus years, all the while with pink dogs. do you honestly think *all* of the people who complained, as well as law enforcement, were just bored?

    that being said, i think it will soon become obvious there is a larger issue here. in fact, if you do about ten minutes of research, you’ll find others offering similar (and seemingly grounded) skepticism.

    simply put, anyone who’s been inside that salon within the past three years will know it has not a thing to do with breast cancer. the dog is pink because the salon is pink. it’s a marketing tool, not a donation-raising tactic.

    is this a waste of resources? yes. is the law overstepping here… likely. that alone is not enough to make me snarky, unlike many others. feigning a donation organization and repeatedly using it to try to get out of a $1000 ticket (frivelous or not) is absolutely dispicable by my standards. if she goes into court and uses the term breast-cancer-awareness dog, i hope she’s asked to prove the legitimacy of the donation claims.

    where you got the idea i was prejudiced is unclear to me. i suggest people look around just a bit before accepting spoon-fed truths. maybe when you accuse me of slander and offer my IP to the public, I’ll just say it was in support of multiple sclerosis–then everyone will support me. with hopes that my sarcasm is not taken out of context, my points are that it is my personal opinion that the city is not being overzealous regarding a pink poodle, and that defending one’s self under a cancer donation guise in order to justify ridiculous personal discretions is completely and utterly disgusting.

  6. rgcombs said

    Aften, your opinion is very welcome, but that doesn’t mean I won’t challenge it or say something snarky. πŸ™‚

    “Stupid,” “despicable,” and “ridiculous” are opinions. But when you call someone a sociopath and accuse them of a hoax and perjury, those accusations are potentially libelous (especially when the subject is not a public figure). I didn’t “offer” your IP to the public or to anyone else, I simply warned you.

    The servers that host this blog (like servers everywhere) record your IP and save that information. It’s sitting there on a server in Scotland, and whether I like it or not (in fact, without my even knowing), it will be turned over to anyone with a subpoena (or whatever other justification Blog-City management requires).

    People, remember — unless you take extraordinary precautions to prevent it, every email you send, comment you post, and site you visit can be traced back to you. If you keep that in mind, it’s merely annoying. If you forget it, it could cost you the governorship of New York. πŸ˜‰

  7. aften mortenson said

    point taken.

  8. lucy said

    I caught the gist of this situation in the LA Times….and traced the discussion to this site. Perhaps, we should also ban those doggy hair-doos, as well, while we are spending tax money, time and mental energy on animal cruelty. Pet owners are like parents. I don’t see the law enforcement folks championing the outragous haircuts, clothing, entertainment, ads (you get the idea) that are visited on our equally helpless citizens. If we elevate this discussion to the right of, then the answer to the dilemma is apparent. Coloring one’s dog is nobody’s business unless it is green for St. Patty’s Day, reindeer ears and bells on Xmas, or flag-wraps on July 4…….As for the argument of protecting our beloved pups from toxins, numerous toxins and pollutants that are far more dangerous and prevalent proliferate this world. Commonsense has disappeared into the abyss of pettiness.

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