Dogs, like children, are the product of their environment – most especially reflective of the guidance or lack thereof of those adults in their lives.
Just like adults are responsible for their minor children, dog owners must be held responsible for the behaviour of their dependent animals.
Why should a dog be killed by the city when she was only doing what she was taught by her owner?
The owners of dogs behaving dangerously should be held financially responsible for their retraining with accredited dog trainers. If the dog has injured someone, the owner should be charged with assault with a weapon, the weapon being a dog taught to fight or be aggressive. The owner should be held financially responsible for any cost to people or other animals from their animal’s behaviour.
Any medical or veterinary costs incurred by the aggressive act of an animal should be extracted from the owner of the animal. Animals behaving aggressively should be removed from the owner and retrained at the owner’s expense.
In terms of prevention it would be great if humane education became a part of the primary curriculum in B.C. schools, something animal advocates have been pushing for decades now.
Public education should centre around animals as family members, respecting their needs, treating them kindly and socializing them well with other animals and people
It should be socially unacceptable to own an animal for defence purposes, or to guard a lot or to guard a house or grow-op. This kind of animal mis-use leads to a population of unsocialized animals who are difficult to place when their days at work are done.
Bylaws can go a long way to improve the lot of dogs and other animals in our midst. But they must not make things worse for animals.
Needed are free or low-cost spay and neuter programs. To limit the population of a particular species increases their worth, their level of care and therefore their status in the community.
Surrey cats for example, are desperately in need of this kind of program made available throughout the city and through outreach to marginalized and low-income communities. There are currently 35,000 homeless cats in Surrey, a disgraceful commentary on our community’s disregard for their welfare.
Research on cat licensing has been shown to have an adverse effect on cat homelessness.
Owners prefer to leave their cats to their fate rather than pay a fine if picked up by animal control. This is in contrast to dog licensing, which increases the chance a dog will be reunited with their owner.
Spay and neuter bylaws similarly do not reduce the number of homeless animals. Owners prefer to leave unaltered animals to their fate rather than pay a fine if in violation of a bylaw. Free or low-cost spay and neuter services combined with public education does reduce numbers of homeless animals.
No-kill programs are the way to go. No-kill shelters, no- or low-cost spaying and neutering, and public education have been proven to reduce animal control costs in the long run, including trap/neuter/release programs for feral cats (resulting in reduction in population over time and better animal health). They are also the best-practices in animal welfare.
There are no animal problems, only problems with humans in understanding and coexisting with animals.
Muzzle the pit bull issue
There is a simple solution to stop the constant reporting of pit bull dog incidents in the news, once and for all. The solution is to put a muzzle on all pit bulls when they are out in public parks.
My dog has passed on, but when I used to take her to the public park, there was a pit bull at the park that had a muzzle on it. This pit bull had a great time playing with all of the dogs as the pit bull was now playing instead of fighting.
Pit bull dogs are taking a lot of blame these days, but a lot of the blame is due to the pit bull owners themselves in the way that they are raising their pets.
The muzzle can also be used on other dog breeds that seem to have a problem with other dogs around them.
The emphasis to put this solution into action is the full responsibility of the animals’ owners. It’s just plain common sense.
Protect the public
Yes, the owner should be charged when his/her dog bites someone.
Yes, the dog should be punished once it has bitten someone. There is a great likelihood it will bite again.
The public has to be protected against irresponsible owners and dangerous dogs.