SACRAMENTO, CA – A new driving law being proposed in California has senior citizens, animal lovers, AARP, and PETA rallying at the state capitol. The new law, which would ban animals from being allowed to remain loose inside of a moving vehicle, was quietly pushed through the process and is in its final stages of passing but California AARP got wind of the quick moving bill and has circled the wagons to stop it. “We’re very concerned about the passing of this bill,” said California AARP representative Miles Downy. “It will not only affect senior citizens and animal lovers in California but we’re afraid it will spread faster than an STD from a World War II soldier and the entire nation will adopt this new law.”
The incident that caused this California legal firestorm was a routine traffic stop in Yuba City. A police officer pulled over 64-year-old Earnest Bartlett after he failed to stop at a four-way stop. While waiting for the driver’s license and registration, Mr. Bartlett’s Pug dog "Rufus" snipped at Officer Delgado’s hand. The dog, unfortunately, broke skin and the 64-year-old dog owner was sited for failing to stop and for assaulting a police officer. Animal control was called and in a series of quick movements, both dog and owner were looking out through divider bars of law enforcement vehicles.
The police report states that while being questioned about his failure to stop, Earnest Bartlett’s dog was resting on his lap and was not properly contained inside the moving vehicle. The Delgado incident quickly spread throughout the precinct and within days the Sutter County District Attorney’s office was lobbying politicians to pass a new law that would prohibit animals sitting on passenger’s laps and roaming free inside of a moving car. Politicians, of course, acted quickly to help protect law enforcement personnel and the proposed law was taking a red eye flight to the top.
“We have every right to have an animal in our car,” Miles Downy continued, “and drivers are responsible enough to ensure that the lap dog is not interfering with our ability drive safely. This is starting to look like another cell phone driving law but it’s not just affecting the driver, it’s affecting the animals and that’s why we got PETA involved. Making animal owners kennel up their animals in the car while driving is cruel punishment. We have a lot of people on our side and we’ll make sure this law doesn’t pass.”
While the Sutter County District Attorney’s office had no comment regarding this story, Maria Jurgenson, a spokesperson for the Yuba City Police Department, did state, “We are committed to protecting law enforcement officials and citizens from random acts of aggression or distractibility that can be caused by an animal inside of a moving car. This is why we fully support the proposed law. I think people need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. What if a teenager had a dog in her lap, the dog starting wagging his tail in the driver’s face, and the driver accidently crashed into a retirement home? You better believe action would be taken after that!”
In the mean time, protests will continue outside the state capitol until law makers acknowledge that animals also have Freedom of Choice and that they are choosing to roam free inside a moving vehicle.