Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Colorado Needs a Bernese Mountain Dog Mandate

What are we waiting for?

We're only half way through the 2009 session and the legislature still has time to pass a law mandating that every home in Colorado have a Bernese mountain dog mix on the premises, in order to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell a family visiting Aspen last year.

We could just trust that a statewide carbon monoxide detector mandate, approved in the wake of the Aspen tragedy, will be safeguard enough. But why stop there? Detectors can run out of batteries, be incorrectly installed or malfunction. Some people may be such sound sleepers that a high-pitched buzzing won't stir them. Lives are at stake if we don't do more.

It's now been shown that Bernese mountain dogs (or mixes) can save lives.

"A pet's barks and cries alerted the occupants of a Western Slope home to a carbon-monoxide buildup this past weekend, a family says.

Kenai, a 14-year-old Bernese-mountain-dog mix, started "whining and barking" at 4 a.m. Sunday, waking one of three adults sleeping in the basement of the New Castle home, said Kirstin Kraig of Arvada. Kraig and her husband, their two children, five other adults and four dogs were all staying at the home.

That night they had cooked in the oven. Investigators told Kraig that the oven caused the carbon-monoxide leak.

The mountain getaway home didn't have any detectors."

Our next step -- a statewide Bernese mountain dog mandate -- couldn't be more obvious. Requiring that every Coloradan own a Bernese mountain dog is an easy and affordable way to ensure that no one ever dies from carbon monoxide poisoning again. And if not everyone can afford a dog, we can offer subsidies -- what better way to "invest" some of the federal stimulus money heading our way!

Get cracking, legislature. Lives are at stake!

No comments: