Loose dogs and unacceptable risks

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Recently, a child in Natuashish was attacked by a dog. The child was hospitalized with facial injuries. Not only will this child carry some physical scars for a while but there will no doubt be some emotional scars as well. The reason the incident happened was the dog was roaming free. The animal was put to death after the incident — but was it the animal’s fault?

I live on the Northeast Avalon in a picturesque bustling town called Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. My property tax rate is close to the highest on the Avalon, I am not connected to town water or sewer and the pavement on my street has more potholes and cracks than Kellogg’s has cornflakes. The town cannot afford an on-duty animal control officer, but in a few years I will have access to a $25-million town recreational facility.

My neighbour is a golden Labrador retriever and she has two other neighbourhood friends who regularly visit her. Together they roam town streets almost daily. They bark at joggers, watch over the Canada Post mailboxes as people gather their mail, they run out in front of vehicle traffic and they delightfully leave deposits on lawns throughout the neighbourhood. The dogs cannot read, they are unaware of town bylaws and they are nothing more than innocent creatures of habit. Unfortunately, though, as we have recently learned, the innocent creatures sometimes do the unexpected.

As was the case in Natuashish, when the unexpected happens the innocent suffers. As was the case in Natuashish, the innocents are almost always a small child and the animal.

A child will get mauled and a dog will get put down because of two irresponsible acts. One is the morally dysfunctional idiotic act of the dog owners allowing the dog to roam free, and the other is the uncaring callous and negligence of town officials that is evident from the lack of enforcement of town laws.

As is evidenced by their actions, the humans that call my neighbour their pet could care less about the safety of the dog or children that live and play in the neighbourhood. The town council and town officials are so wrapped up in finding and spending $25 million in tax dollars that they don’t even see or smell the doggie-doo on their shoes. I hope it never happens, but when the doggie-doo becomes mixed with a child’s blood, they may try and hide their culpability. But it will be too late.

I hope that if and when the day comes and the news story will be about a child in this town, that there will be punishment for the real criminals and not just the innocents.

Harvey Jarvis

Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

Organizations: Kellogg, Canada Post

Geographic location: Natuashish, Northeast Avalon, Portugal Cove

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Recent comments

  • Harvey
    March 22, 2013 - 16:44

    Bill? Fortunately for me I haven't ever been in a situation where I had to move to, and live in Edmonton. You have obviously though and I offer my sincere condollences because even with its few deficiencies the place I do live in is far superior to Edmonton. However, the place I do live might be just as inhospitable if people didnt take pride in their community here and try to correct obvious deficiencies. If you would care to help, maybe you can call the mayor of our fair community (coincidentially his name is the same as yours) and remind him of the child that was maulled by a roaming dog in Calgary just last year?

  • Bill
    March 22, 2013 - 13:51

    Thats so true Shirley, but this guy seems to be unhappy with everything around him. Councils change all the time but people's stupidity remain. This guy should try living in Edmonton where no residential streets are ever plowed and the property tax is just as outragious and yes we have potholes too....

  • Shirley
    March 22, 2013 - 07:48

    LOL.Good one David! However, there is no need for anyone to move. Council elections are only a few months away and hopefully the current "big boy's club" will get a transfusion of some badly needed new blood or at least some shock treatment to wake them from their nap

  • Bill
    March 22, 2013 - 02:30

    Sounds like you live in a third world country my man. You should move.

  • david
    March 21, 2013 - 12:18

    Pit bulls and rottweilers..."innocent creatures of habit". Wake up.

  • Craig
    March 21, 2013 - 08:25

    I totally agree. Our society is big on punishing wrong-dooers but in these cases the obvious culprits are always ignored. Even after their negligence and obvious flagrant violation of laws cause injury, the real culprits (law enforcement and dog owners) still prance through town with their noses in the air.