ANIMAL CARE AND REGULATION MEETING Ė August 12, 2002
CHAIR: We do have audience participation. Looks like youíre just in time Mr. Bartko, if you would like to come forward and introduce yourself?
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, sure.
CHAIR: State your name for the record.
MR. BARTKO: Doug Bartko. I have my own pharmacy out in Wasilla and Iím also a recreational musher. I was just going to go ahead and pass these out. These are some of my proposals for an alternative pathway for mushers to get their kennel license.
CHAIR: Do you want to give them to us, please?
MR. BARTKO: Yeah sure Iíll go ahead and pass these out. Iíve got the regular forms. Letís see thereís something called -- Iíll explain it in a minute -- but thereís something called a pre-registration application and then thereís kennel registration, the actual kennel registration, and then the proposal on what the kennel license wouldÖ..
COMMISSIONER: I received a copy of this.
MR. BARTKO: Oh, okay. Yeah.
COMMISSIONER: The copy you sent to the attorney before we (Indiscernible).
MR. BARTKO: Oh, okay. And then these are (Indiscernible) some more. Yeah, actually my letter explains it. It took a while to get these forms printed out, that was the complex part. Once you had them in place, you know, just the systemÖ..
COMMISSIONER: Excuse me. Could I ask you to read your letter?
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, sure. You bet. And then Iíll give, let me see, copies to everybody here. Just read the letter into the record, I suppose? Hereís some more, and this was copied too oh I donít know if that is important, I canítÖ..
COMMISSIONER: Excuse me. If thereís no objection, I would like to extend the customary 3-minute time to Mr. Bartko unless anyone has an objection since heís our only audience participation? Is there objection?
CHAIR: Go ahead Mr. Bartko. Customarily itís three minutes but weíre all extending your time.
MR. BARTKO: Okay. I can speed read here. This was sent to the borough attorney I guess on July 28th. And then, Dear Mr. Gatti: Enclosed please find three forms which represent new proposals to help the Mat-Su mushers obtain a kennel license. They represent another pathway, besides the present pathway, for mushers to obtain a kennel license. I believe these new forms would help the Mat-Su borough save money and bring more mushers into the kennel license system. These forms would have to be signed by licensed veterinarians from the State of Alaska. The kennel inspection could be done by the veterinarian or a trained employee or employees from that clinic.
The three forms are kennel license, the kennel registration application, and a kennel pre-registration application. The pre-registration is for new mushers or even veteran mushers who are not quite ready for the full kennel inspection but want to show proof of rabies vaccination. And these completed forms would be on file at the appropriate veterinary clinic within the Mat-Su borough.
Then I just requested that if he could please put these new proposals into a form that we could present to the borough assembly for discussion and then I gave my work number which is 373-7675 or home which is 745-3467. Then I sent a carbon copy to Bruce Bush and I think heís the borough assembly representative from my district out in Lazy Mountain.
But Iíll probably go over the pre-registration and itís pretty self-explanatory. Itís probably similar to what the borough presently uses for the mushers just in a kennel inspection. But some new features would be that to request the mushers e-mail or some mushers have an operator or handler that might have an e-mail. And then the proposal would be that these would be on file at the veterinary clinic. And then also I think thereís various musher web pages, thereís a really nice one that I use quite a bit out Knik, itís just www.knik.org and you could post these up there. If a musher gets ready for a kennel license, you could just pull it off the Internet and get a printout and have it all ready when you needed it. And that just basically shows if a dog has a chip number or a tattoo number, breed, the name, sex, if itís neutered, maybe a rabies tag number, the date that it expires and then the vet clinic that did the rabies shots.
And then the other one Ė pre-registration would be mostly for, like I had mentioned in the letter, either a veteran musher or a new musher that just hasnít had maybe all his dog houses built or anything but he wants to make sure that all the dogs are current and especially if he was an Iditarod musher some of this mid-distance races now are requiring at least a rabies shot and I think they have to have Parvo shots with Corona coverage. And then something that came up, itís actually itís a good Ė Iíd really like to encourage the mushers to have at least this because itís for their own protection. I just ran into something this year where I was at work and someone came to our house just to visit my brother for a second and one of my dogs got lose and maybe gave a bite on these people and they were quite upset and fortunately he had had his rabies shots but something simple as that Iíd never would have dreamed that -- specifically the chances of something like that happening are like one in ten million. But it can happen. And then maybe even at races a dog might nip somebody and as long as the musher has documentation and theyíre covered why I donít think thereíll be a problem. Thatís the pre-registration.
Then the actual registration is pretty much the same format as far as basic information for the musher, or the operator, and again we could have this posted on any various web sites. You know the veterinarianís signature. And on this one the main things that are new would be a check for worms or lice. Thatís kind of a problem in the valley that Iíve seen. And especially the lice can Ė I didnít realize, but they can really suck a lot of energy out of the dogs and so if they can. And basically I think itís pretty easy to keep on top of, although sometimes if youíre not watching for it itís just a powder on them with these, I donít know what they call it at the feed supply store itís just a barnyard powder of some kind, and that seems to help pretty well. I just got some Ė they have some spray, itís a spray that you can spray on the dog too to cover them.
And then the other thing that, on the end there, is the body weight number. And I donít Ė youíd have to maybe check with the vets but I think thereís a numbering system, maybe itís one to ten or something and I think most of the sled dogs should be at, Iím just guess four or five I donít know for sure, but the person thatís doing the check could put that number in there. Then if everything is fine and up to snuff then they go ahead and get the kennel license which would be on file at the veterinarian and that just lists, it specifically for mushers is why I like it. And the system that the borough has now I think would be, from my experience going through it, I just have the impression that mushers should have their own system like this but if you have a, like a kennel of German Shepherds or St. Bernardís or something like that and youíre selling puppies thatíd be fine. And then if the mushers want to use the borough system, Iím sure they would be welcome too. But Iíd sure like to see this new system in place for the mushers. And I think with the ease of the mushers in contact with their veterinarians to have the vet go to their kennel and do the inspection, Iím pretty sure itíd bring more mushers in the system.
COMMISSIONER: May I ask you a question?
MR. BARTKO: Yeah.
COMMISSIONER: Do you feel that the mushers will be willing to pay the expense of a vet call, the vet inspection, and all that as opposed to the free (indiscernible).
MR. BARTKO: Yeah. Well like I say if they want to use the borough system that would be fine. From what I can tell I think some of the mushers could combine. If some of the mushers have a veterinarian coming out to their place anyway to give shots or take a look at a dog, they can combine it with that and maybe -- whatever, you know, itís a free enterprise thing whatever the vets or whatever is, you know, they think the cost would be itís just a free market economics. And theyíd, you know, some mushers could get together maybe and 3 or 4 kennels, 4 or 5, and have a vet come out to cut the costs.
CHAIR: Does anyone have questions for Mr. Bartko? Commissioner?
COMMISSIONER: My first one is, this complying with Title 24. In Title 24 if you have five or more animals you have to have the borough kennel license. With this the borough would have no idea who had the kennel. Maybe if it does get put into play there could be something on here where a copy does get sent to the borough so that there is something shown that this particular musher has their kennel license.
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, I suppose that would be fine. Sure. Uh-huh (affirmative).
COMMISSIONER: And all of the dogs and cats in the borough need to be registered with the borough and I think you would need to put something on here for some sort of borough registration number.
MR. BARTKO: Oh I see.
COMMISSIONER: You know, and then I think that was the only concern that I had.
MR. BARTKO: Iíve talked to some mushers and thereís been different systems in place with the borough and I think why theyíd like to at least have it on file with a veterinarian because I think the last time there was a switch all the data got lost and mushers that use that system they had no back up or confirmation that their dogs were licensed or anything so, you know, I think as far as rabies shots on file I would -- I donít know for sure, but I think maybe at least 80 % of them are on file with the vet clinics anyway.
COMMISSIONER: Well I really think this would be a good idea if we could get the vets to go along with it. I mean Iím not saying itís a bad idea, but theyíre definitely going to need a copy of it.
MR. BARTKO: Right.
COMMISSIONER: With the shelter and then they still have to comply with their borough registration.
MR. BARTKO: And I donít know, Iíve seen sort why I put in my letter that the veterinarian assistants or somebody that works at that clinic. There seems to be two systems. I mean Iíve worked with veterinarians that theyíre mobile. They go out to the clinics and theyíve got their vet tech there with them and itís a nice system. This would be fine with them. And then some of the other clinics say they donít like to do a lot of visiting of kennels so but they could train their vet techs or even the gals that do the billing, you know, this would be an, I think an excellent opportunity for the gals that are involved with billing and scheduling to go out and do the preliminary inspection for the vet if thereís no major problems he could just sign it off.
COMMISSIONER: Well excuse me I think thereís more to a kennel inspection by the Animal Care and Regulations than just Ė I mean I thought that was my understanding. I think they check the doghouses to make sure everybody has a shelter and I think thereís a few more things that they do. I could be wrong. Does anybody know? Do you know John what they do?
COMMISSIONER: (Indiscernible) havenít been out there in a while.
COMMISSIONER: They do. They go out. They check the overall health of the animal, they check for housing, there are, you know, theyíre not real strict requirements but there are requirements for the housing and just the overall health of the dogs and that they have their rabies vaccinations and that itís clean and a healthy environment.
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, I think that the gals that work in the vet clinic, I mean, theyíre, you know, if there are three or four of them that wanted to get involved with this theyíre right there with the veterinarians they can be trained and I donít think it would be difficult for them. The thing that I noticed was this body weight thing that some of the animal control people were just really having a lot of problems with. You know, some of the dogs that are out there running a lot Ė if the animal control people might say well heís skinny, you know, in fact itís all muscle or itís just a little more complex than just taking a brief look at the dog and a lot of it can be corrected. The body weight really easy. It might be that the mushers need to alter their feeding schedule just a tiny bit and that can make a big world of difference. But the feeding schedule is pretty complex andÖ..
COMMISSIONER: Excuse me, I guess I wanted to know would this be instead of the borough inspection or along with the borough inspection, or would there be no animal control officers involved in this, the veterinarian would just inspect it and send something to the borough and say this one looks fine, hereís all their rabies, hereís the thing, is that how you envision it?
MR. BARTKO: Right, yeah. Uh-huh.
MR. BARTKO: Now the mushers could use this system with the veterinarian or they can use the regular system thatís in place.
CHAIR: Weíve got just a couple more minutes. So Iíd like to have everybody address Mr. Bartko that has questions (indiscernible).
COMMISSIONER: I have a question. You did a pretty thorough job on your registration form but you missed out Ė I was just wondering why you left out the shots, other than Rabies, like Distemper and Parvo and Corona and Bordetella.
MR. BARTKO: I donít think itís required for the kennel license.
COMMISSIONER: No, it isnít. But neither are worms or lice.
MR. BARTKO: Oh, right. Yeah.
COMMISSIONER: So. How do you intend to make this thorough you would probably add that in. Itís just a suggestion.
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, I can Ė it was pretty tough to get everything on this form but I could run that by the printers and see if they could have a slot there for rabies and Parvo/Distemper. Yeah, Iím sure.
COMMISSIONER: Well I think the vets -- when you show this to a veterinarian theyíre going to ask you about the Distemper and Corona and the other shots. Theyíre going to be interested in that.
MR. BARTKO: Yeah.
CHAIR: More questions. Commissioner?
COMMISSIONER: Have you proposed this idea to the mushing community?
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, a little bit. Some. I just had these printed up and I Xeroxed some off and Iíve dropped some off in the Knik areas. I could have it posted, maybe not the kennel license itself but these two, the pre-registration and the actual registration, on various web pages for the mushers to take a look at.
COMMISSIONER: Iíd really be interested in the input from the mushing community.
COMMISSIONER: I think thatís going to be critical is the input from the mushers, mushing community, and the other would be Iíd ask have you made any contact with the veterinary services to see if theyíre interested in having their people go out to do this type of stuff?
MR. BARTKO: Right, I can send copies to all the clinics. Iíll go ahead and do that.
CHAIR: Well hopefully youíll come back and tell us what the Ė give us some maybe supporting document from the mushing community or they can contact the board or Mr. Caroll (ph).
MR. BARTKO: Yeah. Okay.
CHAIR: Iíd also like to have our own Animal Control Care and Regulation officers take a look at it because they deal with this every day.
MR. BARTKO: Sure.
COMMISSIONER: And I wanted to bring this to the board before I took it down to that next level to see what your direction would be if you were to want our staff to look at it and make recommendations.
CHAIR: Is everyone comfortable with that? To ask Mr. Carroll (ph) to Ė so we could go to staff and get some recommendations and maybe, Mr. Bartko, you could put this out, and put it on web pages and ask for comments.
MR. BARTKO: Okay.
CHAIR: Iíd be interested in seeing written comments.
MR. BARTKO: Yeah, I will do that. And I think long term this would probably save the borough money if the Ė which would probably be a positive thing as far as the borough assembly looking at it. I donít know what the finances are but you know thatís always a plus.
CHAIR: Thank you very much. Youíve gone to a lot of work and effort and itís appreciated.
MR. BARTKO: Okay. You get.
CHAIR: Thanks for coming down.
MR. BARTKO: Okay. Thank you. Bye now.
CHAIR: Thank you.