"Go to the Commune and pay SFr 90 annual dog tax" is one of the annoying items on my "to do" list. I find the tax unfair, considering cat owners get off scot-free. It reminds me of the US tax on wine but not beer. Americans don't tax beer as much as wine, because beer is, supposedly, a working man's drink. Isn't wine better for you and has anyone talked to a construction worker in Montpellier about this? Don't get me going on this subject...I feel slightly better paying my dog tax knowing that the Commune actually uses the money to supply us, dog owners, with green "robidog" boxes or dispensers of little plastic bags for picking up after one's pet. So, at least the money isn't wasted on new highways.
This brings me to another topic: dog ownership laws.
Did you know that if you are a dog owner, you are required to have your dog implanted with a microchip and registered with the Animal Identity Service (ANIS) database in Bern?
Also, did you know that if you plan on acquiring a dog, you must take a four-hour theory class on the obligations and costs of dog ownership? Topics include rabies, worming, vaccinations and other legal requirements in Switzerland.
No wonder Switzerland is often called the "rule-loving" and the "Nanny State." On this subject, one Daily Mail reader on this dog law had me laughing: "Sounds like a damned good idea to me - now all we need is something similar for would-be parents, then perhaps in the future, we would read of fewer incidents of child abuse, neglect, delinquency, animal cruelty and violent disorder."
In addition, most cantons require all dog owners regardless of past dog ownership to participate in practical dog training classes. I think going to these classes is a good idea, because I went to such classes with my Schnauzer-mix Bismarck when he was young, and I would go again. It's money well spent.
- comes when I call (unless he's chasing a cat)
- heels off a leash (better off than on)
- waits for me (unless same cat is around)
- is friendly to other dogs (unless he's attacked by a nasty Jack Russel Terrier)
- loves people (he's weary of small children who pull his tail)