To illustrate the arbitrary but perilous nature of occupational licensing enforcement, the Beacon Center in Tennessee opts for three headlines, only one of which is fake:

  • Absurd State Licensing Rules Could Send a Woman to Jail Just for Touching a Horse
  • Dog Who Successfully Detected Cancer in Owner Put Down for Practicing Medicine Without a License
  • Saving Pets Without a Permit: Good Samaritan Arrested After Helping Animals Survive [Hurricane] Florence.

Braden H. Boucek, Beacon’s vice president of legal affairs, writes that “it’s not immediately clear which” one is fake. Why?

By now, these stories are way too common. Someone does something that falls under some obscure licensing scheme and winds up being threatened with serious legal penalties. It doesn’t matter whether the person acted out of compassion, or even without pay. If what they are doing conceivably relates to the practice of a licensed trade – in these instances, veterinary medicine – you can count on aggressive enforcement from licensing boards.

Astute Locker Room readers will remember the story about the “unlicensed pet rescuer” from Wayne County during Hurricane Florence. It is real. Alas.

For those wondering about the other two stories, yes, a certified horse massager who moved to Tennessee could be imprisoned if she tried to practice in that state, which requires her to be a full-on veterinarian instead.

The other story, about the dog who could detect cancer but not do so without a medical license, is the phony (it’s from The Onion).

It’s a shame. I understand he was a good boy, a very good boy, isn’t he, isn’t he, so at least he could have passed a licensing board’s arbitrary good character and moral turpitude requirements.