Speak­ing out against roam­ing dogs in Cupids

The Compass - - OPINION - — Vicki Kell writes from Cupids, where she has resided for the past five years.

There is a heated de­bate in the Town of Cupids about the health and wel­fare of dogs, even though the An­i­mal Health and Pro­tec­tion Act re­quires that dogs are to be teth­ered.

Re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship en­com­passes feed­ing, train­ing, so­cial­iz­ing, get­ting a dog spayed or neutered, vac­ci­nated, flea treated, groomed, and taken to the vet as needed, in emer­gen­cies as well as, pro­vid­ing shel­ter.

On the neg­a­tive side, some cit­i­zens im­ply roam­ing dogs are a nui­sance, and call sev­eral times to re­port dam­ages to their mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil of Cupids and the RCMP for en­force­ment as­sis­tance.

Dogs left to roam are form­ing a pack with other stray dogs, at­tack­ing dogs and cats that are tied, on their own property. To high­light the se­ri­ous na­ture of this is­sue, a stray dog barged into a home, and broke a cat’s leg, caus­ing this cat to have a front leg am­pu­tated, cost­ing ap­prox­i­mately $2,000; only re­cov­er­able by tak­ing the owner of the dog to small claims court.

In spite of the cat’s suf­fer­ing and dam­age, the at­ti­tude of the dog’s owner was, “cats are a dime a dozen.” The dog owner thought it was lu­di­crous, and did not want to help pay to fix the cat’s leg. The own­ers of the in­jured cat felt their cat was equally as im­por­tant as the stray dog. Al­though, when com­par­ing their de­fence, they knew the law was to tie their dog, but “it is the old New­found­land way” to let the dogs be a “free spirit” and visit oth­ers.

A bea­gle was re­cently hit on the road and killed. The own­ers were cry­ing as they picked up the life­less, bro­ken body and took their dog home to bury. It wasn’t long af­ter the ac­ci­dent hap­pened, they had an­other dog. If their last dog died by be­ing struck by a car, then com­mon sense should tell them, to tie the next dog.

Re­gard­less of com­mon sense and the law, there are still people, want­ing to live the “old New­found­land Way.” The stray dog owner’s be­hav­iour has not changed, even know­ing of dam­ages their dog has caused.

As for log­i­cal and ir­refutable ev­i­dence, it’s point­less hav­ing a dog, if the neigh­bour spends more time with the dog and is more con­cerned about the an­i­mal’s health and wel­fare, than its own owner.

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