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Focus of anger should be on owners, not the dangerous dogs

Saturday, August 9, 2014
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Focus of anger should be on owners, not the dangerous dogs

I feel like I have to write with a different perspective on the so-called “dangerous dog” issue that has been discussed over the last few weeks. I ask that everyone not jump on the hysteria band wagon until the issue is fully reviewed and considered.

When you go back and read the recent articles and editorials, it is the dogs that are ultimately taking the brunt of the anger and frustration. What should be the focus of our outrage and solutions are the irresponsible dog owners. When a dog owner does not properly house, train and care for their dog, they should be punished and if necessary, not be allowed to own a dog any longer. The dog is a reflection of its owner. My sorrow does go out to any victims of these irresponsible owners and everyone has a right to feel safe in their surroundings.

When there is an incident with a dog causing a bite or serious injury, the penalty should be on the owner. The dog should be removed, evaluated and if possible be placed with a new owner who can properly train, and rehabilitate the dog correcting the previous owner’s poor training and lack of control. In most cases it is not the dogs fault.

Euthanasia should only be reserved for the most severe cases after evaluation by trained professionals and attempts at rehabilitation have failed. Evidence to support that approach is the successful rehabilitation of many of the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring.

I worry about some of the options I have read about in the paper to punish and control so-called dangerous dogs and protect the community. Some possible legislation that has been proposed as a possibility in the paper recently involves identifying streets or blocks in neighborhoods where a suspected dangerous dog lives or where a dog with a bite history lives and posting it on a website like the sex offenders.

I think that it is very irresponsible and adds to the hysteria. If you are going to list the location, be specific with owners address and name. By not being specific, it casts suspicion on all dogs in that neighborhood or street no matter how well behaved. Also, how are you going to classify a dangerous dog? It can’t be opinion; it has to be based on facts and specific incidents that were thoroughly investigated. It can’t be because the dog barks at a mailman or stranger approaching the house, it can’t be because a dog growls when getting a shot at the vet, it has to be real and measurable.

Dogs are like people and have different personalities and temperaments. We can’t say keep all the happy go lucky dogs and get rid of the others (sad, neurotic, shy, skittish, etc). When working to protect people and keep everyone safe, while doing what is best for all our dogs, we need to use common sense and most importantly hold the irresponsible owners responsible.

In regard to dog breeds, any breed can be dangerous if not properly raised, trained and cared for. Some Labrador retrievers have been responsible for causing a death. Yet, no one would say that Labs should be banned. The owner was responsible for the dog’s behavior.

I have two mixed breed dogs and have had several mixed breeds since childhood from many different breed types and sizes. I used to be afraid of German shepherds, until I owned one and learned how loyal and loving they are. I used to be afraid of “pit bulls,” until I had several friends who owned them and learned that they are some of the nicest most well behaved lovable dogs I have ever met. It all goes back to the owner.

Please I urge anyone advocating for better dog control and safety to put your focus squarely on the owners. Impose financial penalties and ownership restrictions on irresponsible dog owners. The owner does not get a second chance in severe situations. Dangerous and poorly behaved untrained dogs are the victims of dangerous, uncaring and irresponsible owners.

The dogs need to be removed and placed with knowledgeable foster trainers to rehabilitate if possible and place the dog in a better environment with appropriate supervision.

Nancy delPrado

Schenectady

Focus of anger should be on owners, not the dangerous dogs

I feel like I have to write with a different perspective on the so-called “dangerous dog” issue that has been discussed over the last few weeks. I ask that everyone not jump on the hysteria band wagon until the issue is fully reviewed and considered.

When you go back and read the recent articles and editorials, it is the dogs that are ultimately taking the brunt of the anger and frustration. What should be the focus of our outrage and solutions are the irresponsible dog owners. When a dog owner does not properly house, train and care for their dog, they should be punished and if necessary, not be allowed to own a dog any longer. The dog is a reflection of its owner. My sorrow does go out to any victims of these irresponsible owners and everyone has a right to feel safe in their surroundings.

When there is an incident with a dog causing a bite or serious injury, the penalty should be on the owner. The dog should be removed, evaluated and if possible be placed with a new owner who can properly train, and rehabilitate the dog correcting the previous owner’s poor training and lack of control. In most cases it is not the dogs fault.

Euthanasia should only be reserved for the most severe cases after evaluation by trained professionals and attempts at rehabilitation have failed. Evidence to support that approach is the successful rehabilitation of many of the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring.

I worry about some of the options I have read about in the paper to punish and control so-called dangerous dogs and protect the community. Some possible legislation that has been proposed as a possibility in the paper recently involves identifying streets or blocks in neighborhoods where a suspected dangerous dog lives or where a dog with a bite history lives and posting it on a website like the sex offenders.

I think that it is very irresponsible and adds to the hysteria. If you are going to list the location, be specific with owners address and name. By not being specific, it casts suspicion on all dogs in that neighborhood or street no matter how well behaved. Also, how are you going to classify a dangerous dog? It can’t be opinion; it has to be based on facts and specific incidents that were thoroughly investigated. It can’t be because the dog barks at a mailman or stranger approaching the house, it can’t be because a dog growls when getting a shot at the vet, it has to be real and measurable.

Dogs are like people and have different personalities and temperaments. We can’t say keep all the happy go lucky dogs and get rid of the others (sad, neurotic, shy, skittish, etc). When working to protect people and keep everyone safe, while doing what is best for all our dogs, we need to use common sense and most importantly hold the irresponsible owners responsible.

In regard to dog breeds, any breed can be dangerous if not properly raised, trained and cared for. Some Labrador retrievers have been responsible for causing a death. Yet, no one would say that Labs should be banned. The owner was responsible for the dog’s behavior.

I have two mixed breed dogs and have had several mixed breeds since childhood from many different breed types and sizes. I used to be afraid of German shepherds, until I owned one and learned how loyal and loving they are. I used to be afraid of “pit bulls,” until I had several friends who owned them and learned that they are some of the nicest most well behaved lovable dogs I have ever met. It all goes back to the owner.

Please I urge anyone advocating for better dog control and safety to put your focus squarely on the owners. Impose financial penalties and ownership restrictions on irresponsible dog owners. The owner does not get a second chance in severe situations. Dangerous and poorly behaved untrained dogs are the victims of dangerous, uncaring and irresponsible owners.

The dogs need to be removed and placed with knowledgeable foster trainers to rehabilitate if possible and place the dog in a better environment with appropriate supervision.

Nancy delPrado

Schenectady

 

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