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home : opinions :   November 20, 2014

6/25/2013 12:23:00 PM
Letters to the editor: Dog owners need to take responsibility walk their pets

I was delighted to hear about the dog park to be included in the new Rotary Park plans. My joy was short lived however, when I saw the article in Wednesday’s paper reporting council members who think this long overdue dog park is a good excuse to pass a city ordinance banning dogs from entering La Salle city parks.
Time spent off leash at a dog park provides exercise and an opportunity to socialize with other canines, but is no substitute for taking your dog for walks. Walking with their human on a leash should be done daily and provides variety and discipline that improves the pet’s behavior and temperament. A dog that is walked regularly is less aggressive toward humans and other dogs and less destructive to property than a dog bored out of her mind because she is tied to a tree just long enough to take a bathroom break.
It is hard enough to take a dog for a walk in this city. The lack of residential sidewalks and the condition of many existing ones means half the journey is done dodging traffic in the street. It is also impossible to enjoy spending much time with your dog at a dog park. The only dog park currently existing provides no shade for human or animal, and no easy access to water. Baking in the sun while your dog wrestles with his dog buddies offers none of the pleasant recreation found on walking trails and sidewalks and parks.
Most dog owners pick up after their pets and train them to behave in public. Why should they be penalized because of a few irresponsible owners? Rather than ban dogs, make it easier to be a responsible owner. Post notices clearly stating the rules of behavior. Provide trash bins and complimentary waste disposal bags next to a warning that failure to pick up incurs a healthy fine. Raise the fine, and by all means enforce that law when broken. But don’t enact a punitive, prohibitive law that prevents people and man’s best friends from enjoying our city parks.
If you do, then what next? Should we ban squirrels, rabbits, and birds? There was a possum in our back yard the other day, and I’ve seen raccoons within city limits, too. They also defecate in parks and I don’t see anyone taking the responsibly of picking up after them.
Debra R. Borys, 
La Salle

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous61314

There are worse things than dog urinating in the park it's the cats that leave their mess in the sand or wood chips in the play areas for kids. Plus all the other wild animals that wander through the parks that you don't see.
I agree about the 15-20 foot lead at least some of these people are out walking their pet and getting some exercise.

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: METALWORKER

Do you, Ms Borys, feel that walking your pet on a 15 to 20 foot lead and letting your pet urinate in some ones front yard and scratch grass and dirt up is a respons. act?
Do you feel that walking your pet into a park and letting it urinate where ever it pleases, doing so where young children wrestle and frolic is a respons. act? You are just one of several hundred who walk their dog trough the alley behind bi home on your way to Ninth Street Park.
The smell from dog urin and droppings is horendous on a hot summer day. Childre live along that alley and ride bikes and skate in it.
You should be very proud od yourself. I pick up four or five plastic bags with dog droppings in them almost every week.
A city ord. regulating lead lenght and heavy fines for letting your mutt roam on privet property would be more than welcome, but I will believe it when I see it. METALWORKER

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