Meter Reader Spies

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010

L.A. is going to be more aggressive in fining unlicensed dog owners. The way they will do it? Government electricity meter readers have been spying on L.A. citizens for years, keeping a database of those who have dogs and those who don't. It's quite unclear what this has to do with reading and reporting a wattage number off of a house for the billing of electrical use. All the city council has done is allow Animal Services access to the database from Water and Power.

The [L.A.] City Council voted Tuesday to have two departments share information in order to track down people who haven't licensed their pets...

The Department of Animal Services has eight full-time people whose job is to find and license dogs. The Department of Water and Power keeps a meter-reader database of homes with dogs. The council ordered the departments to coordinate to find the pooches...

Licenses cost $15 for a sterilized dog and $100 for an unaltered pet... Getting all dogs licensed would mean at least an additional $3.6 million in fees to the city.

Cash-strapped LA going after unlicensed dogs, The Associated Press, February 24, 2010, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100224/aponreus/usdog_licenses.