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City should address issue of off-leash dogs

To the editor:

Regarding the letter headlined “Pepper spray not answer to unleashed dogs” (Oct. 9). While I think this is a large step in self-protection, and dog-protection, I also have to think that the letter-writer must have taken many smaller steps to arrive at such a conclusion.

This woman has dogs, and the Mill River in Northampton is a very nice place to walk them. Why should she go somewhere else because certain dog owners cannot control their dogs?

No matter where you go there are unleashed dogs, so I would think she’s been many places and prefers the river.

Yes, dogs do often feed off of their owners’ emotions, as I’m sure this woman is aware. If she is uncomfortable with an animal that she does not know coming near her and her small dogs, she does not need to go pay someone so she can become comfortable with it. Why don’t owners of unleashed dogs go pay someone to teach them how to properly handle their dogs in public and understand the fear of others about dogs?

Yes, dogs are social creatures and interact with one another, but if a small dog is afraid of a large dog, or the owner simply doesn’t want your dog near them, that is their choice. Be respectful and keep your animal away from others, please.

Unleashed dogs are not the real issue here; it is the owners. If you can maintain complete verbal control over your dog when unleashed, that is fine, if you cannot, keep your dog on a leash.

If the situation were different, and people were running up to her and touching her, would you object to the use of pepper spray, after all other measures had been taken? I seriously doubt it.

Think of it this way: Dogs are conditionally trained. If this woman uses pepper spray once, that dog will never bother her again, problem solved.

I think the city should address this issue. If you can’t kept your dog under control, you need a leash. If you have a problem with your dog being on a leash, get a backyard. Don’t own one? Don’t get a dog.

Kaileen Duffy


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