Paging Mister Mxyzptlk: We have your dog.
From the “you just can’t make these things up” department. Who but government could come up with an idea like this? The Washington Post reports that the District of Columbia’s health department, which oversees pet licensing, sent out a letter to pet owners on Wednesday explaining changes in its system.
Most of the changes seem perfectly reasonable: Owners need to show proof of up-to-date rabies and distemper vaccinations, for instance, and the city is combining its dog license and dog park access tags into one.
Then there’s this: ‘Our new system requires a primary breed be entered. If your dog was previously entered as a “Mix,” the pet is now entered as a Xoloitzcuintli (a rare, hairless dog).’…
The letter explains that the breed identifier is ‘used only to help us get the dog home to you if your pet becomes lost.’ But it’s not at all clear how listing a non-Xoloitzcuintli dog as a Xoloitzcuintli….
The Post sought an explanation for the decision from the health department, but spokeswoman Najma Roberts was unable to shed much light on the change. She did allow as how it is “very important that owners take a guess at the dog’s breed.” And presumably a guess at how it’s pronounced. (The transliteration for those curious is “show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee”).
Alan Heymann, a communications executive for the Humane Society of the United States and the owner of Clea, a beagle mix, told reporters he was “a bit taken aback” when he received the letter.
“I laughed,” he said. “My wife laughed. I worked in District government for eight years, and I’ve never seen a letter quite like this.”
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