A call for a new rule for dogs
September 7, 2009
Hi! Enclosed is my payment for the $100 ticket I received for having my dog, Angelina, off her leash for a portion of our run along the Rio Grande trail. I have spoken to John Armstrong about the rules before and respect that he was doing his job.
I agree with the overall message that is being communicated. People who are out with dogs need to accept responsibility. Over the past 20 years, the enforcement of the policy has taken on a militant, unpleasant nature that is very punishing to responsible dog owners. What I want to propose is moving to a system that is fair and respectful to all of us. I strongly believe Pitkin County needs to adopt a policy similar to Boulder’s Voice and Sight control system. This still allows for the owner to be responsible for his dog and is fair to all involved: dog owners, non-dog owners and dogs.
No system will resolve all conflicts. I have witnessed more incidents from dogs on leashes than off. A leashed dog can unexpectedly lunge out and trip someone walking or biking. I find dogs more aggressive on leash. They often socialize quite nicely when allowed to greet other dogs on their own terms.
I believe the Boulder policy is more respectful to the majority of people who do take their responsibilities to heart. When you appeal to people with a system that allows for some trust and responsibility in the owners, you receive a spirit of happy cooperation, rather than resentment for a system that is harsh and inflexible to the majority of responsible dog owners. The voice/sight control system also encourages dog owners to participate in active dog training in order to have the privilege of walking their dogs off leash. That alone is a gift for all involved!
How can we make this happen?
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