Letter to the Editor

Don't penalize pets

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dear Editor,

After reading the article about the police stating that they are going to start ticketing dog owners when their pet is off their private property without a leash on, I was a little disappointed.

As a pet lover in general, I own two large dogs, who love to go to the park to play catch, Frisbee, or take a dip in the ponds. We frequent Kelley Park and Barnett Park. I obviously have to take my dogs off their leashes to do this.

My dogs are well behaved and obedient to our commands, they don't wander away or run at people uncontrollably.  As their owner, that is my responsibility to teach them, watch over them -- I understand that if an owner takes their dogs and doesn't watch them or the dog is uncontrollable -- but to the rest of the owners and pets it seems that this is too strict of a punishment.

It is taking away a reward and bonding experience for the pets. Not every citizen in McCook has a big back yard or a yard at all if living in an apartment.

Dogs need to run and play and have fun, it should be up to the owner to be responsible when they go to the park. I think that there are two things that could happen, 1. Leave it up to the pet owners to be responsible and if something happens like already stated in that article, then the owner should be fined and the injured could take it further if it was an intentional incident. Or, 2., The city can fence off a part of Kelley or Barnett Park and make it into a dog park. The bigger cities have these in every park.

It is a good way for the dogs to play and socialize. If you take your pet there, then it is at your own discretion and the city can't be held liable for incidents.

I just don't think that the whole city should be penalized or punished for incidents with irresponsible pet owners.

Tara Cole


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