Letter: Keep dogs on leash

Hello dog lovers of Deep River!

As an avid dog walker, I’m concerned by the number of off-leash dogs that I encounter in town.

I understand that even with our best efforts, sometimes our dogs escape and become loose by accident. It is the people who allow their dogs to be off-leash on purpose in public areas that concern me the most.

In the last two weeks, my dog and I have been accosted twice by off-leash dogs that came barrelling onto the street from people’s yards, where their owners had intentionally let them roam loose.

When I am walking in public, my dog is on-leash and under my control; I can remove her from any potential dangerous situation by pulling her in another direction.

However, we cannot escape off-leash dogs who continue to follow and harass us, which puts us in a very vulnerable position.

Due to her history, my dog is fearful of off-leash dogs and she will react negatively by barking and lunging when approached by an unknown loose dog.

It is scary for me because I do not want her or the other dog to get injured, but there is really nothing I can do when I’m pulling my dog away and the off-leash dog continues to come towards us.

When you make the decision to intentionally allow your dog off leash and out of your control, you are taking responsibility for whatever may happen to me, my dog, or any other person or animal that your dog encounters.

I’m sure I speak for all dog owners when I say that we love our dogs and would never want to cause harm or injury to any other dog or human, so I realize that no one lets their dog loose intending for a fight to occur.

But I really want people to understand that letting your dog loose, regardless of how friendly he may be, can create a very stressful and dangerous situation for other dogs and their owners.

Not only that, but it is actually a town of Deep River bylaw (Bylaw No. 35-2013) that dogs must be on-leash when not on the owner’s premises.

Bottom line is that we all just want to be able to walk our dogs safely.

A simple solution is to keep our canine family members on leash when out in public.

Can we, as dog lovers, make a better effort to do so?

Thank you,

Melinda Blimkie