Friday, November 02, 2007

Animals in government - still

Congrats to Ronnie Dahl and 13ABC for their story last night on Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and his dog, Scout.

I first wrote about Carty bringing his dog to work in December, where I said it wasn't appropriate and then questioned who took care of the dog's necessary breaks. I wrote about it again in August after the mayor left the dog in a hot car parked in a handicapped spot.

At that time, I said:

But I have to wonder just what's gotten into the mayor that he thinks it's professional or acceptable to have his pet accompany him everywhere he goes, especially when his barking disrupts the activity. Scout's barking, that is...

(Which is not to even get into the subject of who walks Scout or takes him outside to do his business during working hours, as it's been reported numerous times that it isn't the mayor.)

Is Carty so insecure that he must have Scout with him in all his activities? Is Scout supposed to provide some type of calming therapy for Carty? If so, it's not working.

And if Scout is so dependent upon human interaction that the excuse for bringing him to Government Center and press events is that he needs the constant contact, perhaps Carty should have thought about a different selection when looking for a pet.

Scout is technically, an assistance dog. While he cannot actually work as an assistance dog because of arthritis, he is certified as such. But is an assistance dog that is a pet and not 'assisting' allowed in 1 Government Center, a state-owned facility? 13ABC finally received a written answer:

"We wanted to know who he is assisting. The mayor's spokesperson Brian Schwartz said, "He's not assisting anybody. He's with the mayor. He's the mayor's pet and companion."

According to a statement from the department which oversees operations of One Government Center for the state of Ohio: "The Ohio building authority has a policy prohibiting pets being brought into any of our facilities by tenants. An exception to this policy is made for an employee of any of our tenants requiring an animal to provide 'medical assistance'."

Since Carty won't talk with us directly, we put our questions to the mayor's mouthpiece. We asked, "Does he have a medical condition to have Scout?" Schwartz said, "The mayor has no medical reason that requires an assistance dog."
...
But we've learned, in September, building management sent Mayor Finkbeiner a letter saying: "I need documentation indicating that a health-care professional has prescribed for you to have a 'therapy dog' as part of a treatment plan." We asked Schwartz what type of treatment plan the mayor needs. He replied, "I'm not familiar with that document.""

But as I speculated back in August, this isn't about what Carty needs, it's about what Scout needs, as Ms. Dahl found:

"If you're still confused as to why the mayor takes his dog to work, so are we, but it might have more to do with the dog's health than the mayor's. Brian Schwartz said, "The mayor brings him to work everyday first and foremost for Scout's well-being because that's the way he's been brought up, that's the way he's been taught to think. And for Scout's well-being, he has to be with the mayor the majority of the time in his day.""

See? Scout's well-being is the reason the mayor brings the dog to work - and that's not good enough for me. Let me repeat what I said previously: if Scout is so dependent upon human interaction that the excuse for bringing him to Government Center and press events is that he needs the constant contact, perhaps Carty should have thought about a different selection when looking for a pet.

Additionally, Mayor, stop using public employees to take care of your pet. Those people are paid for by my tax dollars and those dollars aren't for them to walk your dog or clean up after him when he's had an accident.

Your job is not conducive to keeping a pet and it's extremely unprofessional as well as inconsiderate of those with allergies. If your pet can't be left at home, put him in doggy day care, there are lots of places who perform this type of service and, unlike some of your other policies, this will actually be something that will help local businesses.

But whatever you do, stop bringing the dog to work with you.

3 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

All we can say about this situation is the same thing that Mel Brooks said in his History of the World, Part I:

"... it's good to be the King"

Hooda Thunkit said...

I'd much prefer a dethroned king myself...

This "Charlatan" is thumbing his nose at us and getting a good chuckle out of doing it.

Carleton S. Finkbeiner, a.k.a. "His Arrogance. . ."

Neighborhood Concerns said...

And it is good as King to have a person who speaks what he is told to speak;

:"I refered to this code
Submitted by neighborhood co... on Mon, 2007-08-06 10:26.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/955.011 and Mr, Schwartz responded: “NC, go on quoting the city code and the ORC. It doesn’t matter. Scout is coming to One Government Center every day if you like it or not.”

In the code is:
"(3) “Assistance dog” means a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog that has been trained by a nonprofit special agency.

(4) “Guide dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a blind person.

(5) “Hearing dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a deaf or hearing-impaired person.

(6) “Service dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a mobility impaired person."

"Has been trained." Scout did not complete the program, so is Scout an assistance dog?

Per our PIO it does make any difference and nothing will change."

http://swampbubbles.com/13abc_catches_carty_parking_in_handicap_spot_lef..."

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