OK, I really needed to write a blog post about this because it is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. EVER. I know I am always running into people who allow their dogs to roam free, off-leash, whether if it is on a hiking trail or right in the center of town. I also know that there are some countries where this is not a problem (see my recent post on the dogs of Costa Rica). But here in America, there are way too many factors that can create problems by having your dog off-leash and I respect that leash laws are in place for a reason. When I read stories like this one below, about a poor dog that was killed because another irresponsible and ignorant pet owner let their dog wander off-leash, it really makes my blood boil.
It doesn't matter whether your dog is a Labrador Retriever, a Pomeranian, or a Pit Bull (as in this case, which unnecessarily puts a mark in the "reasons why people have a problem with Pit Bulls" column) - ANY dog can bite or attack if the circumstances are right! A dog can bite out of fear, an extremely high prey-chase drive - there are so many reasons. And in this case, an owner's ignorant mistake was a fatal one. It also doesn't matter how well-trained you think your dog is - dogs make mistakes just like people do and there could always be a circumstance where a dog doesn't make the right choice. Do you want to be held responsible for a bad choice on your dog's part as a result of your laziness and carelessness? In this case, the owner of the dog who attacked Wallace didn't even take responsibility and fled the scene - which means she's still out there to let the same thing happen to another unsuspecting victim.
PLEASE, PLEASE keep your dogs on leash in public, and share this post so others will understand how important it is too. Together we can stop horrible instances like this from happening, but it's all about awareness and understanding what it means to be a responsible dog owner!
Read Wallace's story HERE...
Maria Huntoon, CBCC-KA