The county should begin fining people who let their dogs roam off-leash $1,000.
I try to go for walks nightly and there are many runners and children in our neighborhood and I can’t count the number of times dogs have snapped, lurched and barked at myself and others as we went past. Often on my walks, I take my dogs and they are always leashed. Not just because it is the law but for their own safety against loose dogs.
Perhaps even more galling than the canine response in these situations is the human one. Almost without fail, if the owner is even outside, the dog’s owner will look at me with wonder and bewilderment, as if I must have done something wrong to elicit such a mysterious reaction.
You may think your furry friend is cute and harmless, but I’ve got news for you: He or she is almost never quite so well behaved as you think. I wouldn’t stand in the way of a proposal to the fine to $250 — seems like that would still get the point across — but I object to many dog advocates’ apparent belief that leash laws should merely be a suggestion.
Dog owners may say that I, as a pedestrian, should understand their pets’ urge to go out and stretch their legs, too. The key difference is that I have never barked at anyone while I’m out running, even when they’ve deserved it. If your dog has so much energy to burn that they need to run around, maybe you should go walking, too. It would be good for both of you.
I understand that’s not a viable option for everyone, for a variety of reasons, and I agree that if the county is going to crack down on the leash laws, it should also set aside more dog parks. Maybe it could use the new fines to pay for them. But in the meantime, keep the leash on.
Responsible dog owners should care enough about their pet to lease their dogs, fence or tether their dog, make sure they have all shots and regular vet care, etc. These loose dogs running the neighborhoods are a safety hazard to themselves and others. It simply amazes me that instead of doing the right thing for their pets they would rather send children door to door telling everyone “the dog catcher is coming.”
It’s quite simple:
If you dog attacks, bites, or otherwise harms my person or my leashed pets, I will file a complaint to the police and animal control, as well as take necessary legal action.
If your dog presents a serious risk to my well-being, or my leashed pets, I will defend myself.
Now if you truthfully believe that your dog is the “biggest sweetypie who would never bother anyone,” then go right ahead and do what you want. Just be aware that a dog attack resulting from not following a leash law is considered negligence on your part.