Unleashed Dogs

Dear Editor,

I am surprised by the amount of dog owners –both local and visiting– that do not carry a leash with them for their furry companions and allow them to wander freely unattended, especially in public areas, including the beaches.

I understand that we place a lot of trust in our animals. We consider them a part of the family, but we put far too much belief that they won’t hurt another creature. We need to remember that dogs are pack animals and can act aggressively towards others without prior provoking.

I have been regularly informed that “My dog is very friendly!” when their dog wanders up to mine, who I make an effort to keep on a leash when I know there are animals or people nearby. I don’t think these individuals take the time to consider that perhaps my dog is on a leash because they may not be friendly. I don’t want to risk the safety of my dog or anyone else’s animal because of their naivety.

We need to also consider that there are other human beings who are uncomfortable with dogs and to children many dogs can appear terrifyingly enormous. Having a strange dog that they have either never encountered or don’t know very well creates a stressful situation that could be easily avoided if the owners took responsibility and kept their dog on a leash in public areas. It isn’t funny to see someone react in fear to a dog or interrupt their day with a dog dashing through their outdoor activities.

It’s not my intention to put a damper on anyone’s day or holiday if they are visiting the island with their dog(s) with this letter, because we are very lucky to live in such a beautiful open space, but people need to take more consideration when it comes to their dogs; both for their own enjoyment and for the comfort of those around them.

– A Local Resident (Name & Address supplied)

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