Letter to the Editor

Owner is responsible for what pet does

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Editor:

They say never do anything in anger, so I have waited two weeks to write this letter.

In April of this year my husband heard a commotion behind our bait shop. Art, my husband, could hear dogs barking, our cat screaming in pain. There were two boxer dogs shredding the old 17-year-old cat. Art kicked one dog and it turned on him, Art screamed at me to get a gun -- I ran inside and grabbed the pellet gun, should and wish I'd grabbed the 357 magnum) and Art did shoot one dog. That dog ran and luckily the other followed.

We made a police report and the officer and me combed the neighborhood but we could not find the dogs and are deciding what action to take against the owners.

Our vet bill was over a hundred dollars to save the cat. We were lucky the vet felt sorry for us. This was in April --

Then two weeks ago on July 15 the old cat was lying under the grape arbor, his favorite spot, and again he was attacked -- this time we couldn't get there in time and the cat was killed. My anger is still raging over. In the nine years I have lived here at 328 S. Tower, I've called the animal control officer over and over about dogs running loose.

There was an incident several months ago involving a pit bull that threatened me, my husband, my friend, the Nevada police and a Cottey girl just trying to get into her car, luckily for her the policeman saved her. This dog would climb over his fence whenever it saw outside -- ask the four or five policemen it tried to attack and the animal control officer Ben Douglas. While the proceedings against the dog were in process, several weeks, we carried a loaded pistol to protect ourselves in our own yard. I could not even go to the street for our mail! The dog was eventually deemed dangerous and removed -- but for weeks we were the ones held hostage. Imagine not being able to walk out to the shop or garage unless you carried a gun to protect yourself.

When we moved here in August 2003, we had two of our pet rabbits killed when dogs shredded the wire to get to them. Just a month ago three blocks away dogs killed a pen of chickens. Three weeks ago I was behind the garage watering tomato plants -- I came around a corner headed to the bait shop when a cream colored lab blocked my way. The dog started growling -- I was backing up swinging the water bucket -- I backed clear up to a flower patch with a rock border. I picked up the biggest rock I could and slammed that dog in the head. Lucky for me the dog ran. By the way look up on the Internet how many people and other animals dogs kill or main every year! How many bites go unreported.

I work hard to have my home -- to keep it looking nice -- but it seems it isn't safe to enjoy it due to dogs running loose.

There is another issue. How many of your readers live close to barking dogs? I mean dogs that bark, bark, bark, bark, everytime you are in your yard -- even when you try to escape indoors! We have a lovely gazebo my father-in-law built here, but on another day this year after two hours of barking from dogs (four) 20 feet away my family gave up trying to enjoy the gazebo and came inside. My den is less than 20 feet from the fence between my yard and the neighbors. So when we turn on the TV in there, it starts the dogs up. If you think it isn't maddening, have someone near go yip, yip, yip, for five minutes -- just do it and you'll see how horrible it is. How would you like to listen to hour after hour of barking when you are working in your yard. Even when we come inside again, just have someone follow you around going yip, yip, yip for any length of time. It has been a year for us.

The Nevada Police and the animal control officer have been great in trying to help us and thank God the city prosecutor did get the dangerous dog off the street. However, here we are now with the constant barking.

It seems that people just will not be responsible for their animals. I hope that new fines and laws can help in controlling a problem hat is getting out of hand.

Ask the people who along with me have had animals killed, or injured. Ask people who like me are constantly living with non-stop barking dogs 20 feet away.

Lest anyone think I hate dogs -- not so. I've had dogs all my life -- we had to put to sleep our German shepherd in 2005 due to a snakebite.

I love dogs, but I hate it when people allow their dogs to attack, kill, tear up , and threaten people.

I hate it when owners show no responsibility for their dogs. I hope the city council will enforce laws and fines to help control this problem.

I would like to thank Ben Douglas and the Nevada Police Department, who do the best they can with the laws on the books.


Linda K. Sewell