Be responsible pet owners

To the writer whose dog was attacked on Knox Mountain, this is the 3rd time I have heard about these two particular dogs, and I am certain because the owners never have them on leash and always leave without a care after the incident. A few months ago my dog was attacked by another dog at the Rutland dog park.

 It makes me wonder how many other incidents there have been that have not been reported. I did report my incident to the by-law office, but because the owners took off I had no recourse and was left with a $300 vet bill, thankfully my dog survived.

I am not anti-pitbull at all, one of my family members has one and they always muzzle it when they are out in public (mostly to alleviate others' fears); that family member's pitbull was actually attacked by a lab on Knox a couple of years ago, an off-leash lab and the pitbull was on leash and muzzled. 

What I am is against dog owners who do not take responsibility for their pets and who put their animals in a situation where a problem may occur. There have been so many incidents lately I'm even becoming afraid to walk my dog anywhere since so many dogs have been attacked, injured and killed by dogs who have not been properly controlled. Just because you have your dog on a leash does not mean you can control it. If you weigh 140 lbs and your dog weighs 110 lbs or more, chances are you won't be able to control it if it goes crazy. 

For the safety of all, if there is a chance your dog may be aggressive or if you are unsure, muzzle it, be sure you and the dog have proper training, keep your dog on a proper harness and leash (not one of those free-running leashes, and keep your dog out of situations is it not prepared for. For goodness sake, be considerate of each other, of other dogs and their owners, and don't assume every dog, no matter the size, is friendly. 

To parents, teach your children to always ask before approaching a dog "can I pet your dog", even the friendliest dog can be spooked if approached the wrong way. To those irresponsible owners who don't care if their dog injures or kills another dog, shame on you, your dog could just as easily kill a child. Own up, if you can't control your dog or you can't afford the time or money to properly train you and your dog than you should not have a dog. The fact of having to euthanize a dog because the owner was ignorant is sad for everyone.

Bernice Leduc

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