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Story Last modified at 11:43 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dogs need to be controlled for neighborhood's safety

I have the cutest little 8-pound toy mix that I rescued from the pound and we love to take walks. He is my pal. But lately taking walks in our neighborhood is like walking through a minefield. Loose dogs regularly appear sometimes threatening, and sometimes playful. But large dogs of any breed can be a threat to an innocent pedestrian no matter how sweet the owner envisions him/her to be. I have scars from a dog attack some years back that remind me of that every day.

People sometimes get a mean-looking breed or over-sized dog because they hope to ward off trespassers. If you bought a dog because it is intimidating then you have a large responsibility. The problem can be that if you do not provide adequate attention, restraint and training for your pit bull or wolf-husky, or lab or other large dog, you could be creating a hazard for others.

Birchwood Loop has had its history of roaming dog packs and loose dog intimidation. Today it can be frightening to walk the Loop. Owners don't have adequate control. I have been forced in the past few weeks to either call the police or call animal control. No person should have to be afraid to walk in their own neighborhood because of such negligence.

We have a responsibility as dog owners to provide for our four-legged friends and that also means adequate restraint, training and attention. In 22 years of raising and sharing my life with dogs I have never had a complaint. My plea to all dog owners is please provide better for them; fix your fences, secure your dog and make sure they don't become the cause of terror.

– Diane E Benson


This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, April 28, 2011.