Our View: Put a leash on it

Craig Editorial Board, July 2009 to September 2009

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative
  • Collin Smith, newspaper representative
  • Kim McMurtrey, community representative
  • Doris Zimmerman, community representative
  • Nancy Hettinger, community representative

When people start carrying pepper spray and avoiding certain streets because of loose dogs, there's a problem.

That's not a hypothetical. That's the reality.

Some residents, including some members of this board, are nervous about walking with their children through the streets of Craig.

They see loose pets everywhere. Many dogs are friendly and only want to walk a little ways with someone.

But it only takes one to attack.

In local resident Dave Grabowski's case, it was actually two dogs, and their bites sent him to the emergency room.

The attack was severe and unprovoked, and the city eventually decided the dogs had to be put down.

The board thinks that was the right decision, as painful as it was for the dogs' owners.

However, we cannot applaud the city for how it handled other matters in the Grabowski attack.

The dogs in question, after having sent one person to the hospital, were allowed to remain at home for another day, until officials reversed their original decision and decided they had to be impounded.

We think that should be a rule of thumb.

When an unprovoked animal attacks someone, it should be impounded immediately.

Which brings us to an unfortunate conclusion: The city has to be more proactive in making sure animal attacks do not happen.

Craig is supposed to have a leash law, but you wouldn't know it walking through any neighborhood in town, or even City Park.

The Craig Police Department needs to start writing tickets for loose dogs.

Of course, the only way for police to take this issue more seriously is if they know the extent of the problem.

Captain Jerry DeLong, of the Police Department, said there have been 12 reported dog attacks in the last year.

That's a relatively low number. To all the people who are upset about loose dogs, you have to take the initiative to report problems when you see them.

City operations are at least partly predicated on statistics, and 12 calls a year doesn't look like a big problem. If people want the city to step up, they have to voice their concerns.

In the end, though, we don't feel law enforcement needs to shoulder all the burden.

As much as the city needs to do more, local dog owners have to stop being irresponsible.

It's ridiculous to think you can let your dog - or dogs in some cases - roam the streets. It doesn't matter how much you liked the movie "Homeward Bound," or what fun adventures you think your pet will have outside the backyard, they cannot be let loose in the city.

Also, part of responsible pet ownership is getting cats and dogs spayed and neutered. Dogs will be dogs, so to speak, and if we're going to cut down on the number of them around town, it makes sense to start at the source.

There are other simple steps, too, such as not buying a new puppy on a whim.

Too often, we hear of people who buy a puppy, get tired of it and then turn it loose.

Invariably, these puppies go on to have puppies of their own, which makes the situation worse.

We should recognize there are as many good pet owners as bad ones, and sometimes, good pets do bad things.

This won't be an easy issue to tackle, much as deciding whether to impound or euthanize someone's pet is a hard decision to make.

But it is unacceptable to have residents who are scared to walk the streets, whether they are afraid of muggers, drunken drivers or being mauled by someone's dog.

Comments

JAHM 4 years, 9 months ago

I think this artical could not have been better written. Straight and to the point.

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als362 4 years, 9 months ago

I am all for giving individuals the right to deal with these stray pets as they wish. If that means killing them, then that is what it means. I bet if some of these so called animal lovers, that allow their pets to run the streets at will knew their pets could possibly be killed for that. They would keep alot better tab on where they are at all times. I for one am tired of every pet in the neighborhood using my yard as a place to do their business, and would relish the chance to do something about it myself. As things are now I can do nothing, except clean up some so called pet lovers mess.

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greeneyedgurl 4 years, 9 months ago

"12 reported dog attacks in the last year"--I'm pretty sure there have been way more reports of loose dogs, he makes it sound as if they've only received 12 calls regarding dogs period. That's half the problem right there and the dispatcher will tell you that the officers are busy with other issues and will get to the less important problems (such as dogs) when they get the time. I watched my child get chased down the street on his way to the bus stop when he was 6 by three big labs, maybe they weren't going to hurt him but they would've knocked him down by their size. After I chased them down and got my child on the bus; I called and never seen a dog catcher or an officer. The dog catcher was recently called by my neighbor for the other neighbor's dog growling at him; the dog catcher told him that dog was too mean to pick up, they've tried before. Neighbor went in the house and got his BB gun to deal with the dog himself. I cannot walk my dogs either because there are too many that run out after my dog. Calling the PD does not help, i know they have more important problems and the dog catcher is a chicken Sh*t, so get your pepper spray or whatever works, you're on your own out there.

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GreyStone 4 years, 9 months ago

"12 dog attack calls a year doesn't look like a big problem." One attack is not acceptable.

For every attack that was reported there may have been three that were not reported, so there must have been at least 36 dog attacks in Craig last year.

What about those dog attacks that were not reported because the attacking dog was generically dispatched by an individual fed up with the dog problem in Craig.

Some individual shot a deer in a Craig residential intersection, why not a dog or two.

If the law can not get a handle on this dog thing, some individual may, with catastrophic results.

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