Animal control bylaw

Section: 
Letter

Further to correspondence with bylaw officer Heather Falconer on Sept. 29, the Huron Kinloss Animal Control bylaw states: “That a dog can be off leash but has to be under that (sic) control of the owner."

 

All breeds of dog take exception to other dogs. When that happens, the owner's vigilance is inconsequential and he/she effectively has no control. Time and again, the fact is dogs fight. Bites, mauling, surgery, crippling disfigurement and euthanasia ensue.

 

The current bylaw may be suitable for farm purposes, but is far too lax for populated residential areas such as Point Clark. Bylaws need to be updated and strengthened to prevent slack and negligent owners from threatening citizens and pets. Beside Pitbulls, many other types of dogs are intentionally bred for aggression and protection; Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Standard Poodles are among the worst offenders.

 

Most animal breeds will attack other animals they don't like or which are natural prey, and they will and do attack people, from infant to senior. No one (adult, child, dog, cat or other pet) is safe with off-leash dogs. Few, if any, can control an animal in attack mode.

 

Point Clark has become a year-round residential area. I am not willing to be a victim of this bylaw nor a victim of irresponsible owners, no matter how apologetic. Negligent owners are usually only sincerely sorry when delivered a lawsuit.

 

This summer the first Doberman encounter was during a neighbour's house party - indoors. The dog owner was not in evidence in the backyard. The homeowners and visiting dog owners may have believed the dog was confined, but it was in no way secure and was more than capable of jumping some low, unsupported fine wire mesh to reach me on my property (not standard chain link fencing). That visiting dog was agitated, running back and forth and barking, not knowing whether I was friend or foe or on its territory or if it should attack to protect its owners. On my driveway, I walked quickly back to the car and drove away to escape for hours.

 

On Sept. 27, a very large unleashed Doberman at my back door cemented the threat. It is very real. No matter what owners believe, I choose not to risk life and limb nor that of my grandchildren, visitors or pets to an unleashed, unknown, unpredictable animal. I do not wish to be a prisoner of my house or car, unable to exercise the right to enjoy the safety of my own property or to walk safely in the community with my small leashed dog.

 

It is the responsibility of Huron Kinloss councillors to take preventive measures to minimize these threats. Half-measure bylaws are worse than none. Don't let a dog attack, minor or lethal, be your legacy.

 

Linda V. Hess, Point Clark