LETTERS: Different takes on dog letter

Editor:

Re: Dog issue has many facets, March 27 letters.

Kudos to Gail Forman, who wrote a very reasonable and sensible letter in Wednesday’s paper. Walking dogs on the precious promenade should not be a big deal at any time of the year.

She makes many valid points. Non-aggressive, properly leashed and controlled dogs should be allowed to accompany their owners all year long. Nowhere else are restrictions so aggressively pursued as here.

It has been proven time and again that people (especially seniors) who have dogs or other companion animals are healthier and actually live longer, especially if they are walking their dogs once or twice a day.

Hospitals, nursing homes and hospices recognize the healing and calming effect of dogs as well as their role in preventing loneliness among individuals and seniors.

There is an aggressive, vocal and, at times, misinformed, extremely militant group of people here who are determined to prevent us from experiencing the same benefits of sharing our outdoor facilities with our pets in harmony with all the other taxpayers.

The anti-dog people have even taken pictures of people with their dogs in the parking lot along the promenade, which is not a dog-free zone, posted on their nasty Facebook page. Perhaps we should invade their privacy by taking pictures of them invading others’ privacy.

It really makes me wonder if the nitpicking complainers are all the same group of people who want everything their way. My advice to them is to get a hobby or a pet, keep yourselves busy and let people live in peace.

It seems we have a new, fresh opportunity to realize a better quality of life here on the Peninsula, with a new mayor and council who seem to be listening to our concerns about over-density, restricted building heights, pay parking and even archaic restrictions on our furry friends.

Here’s to a new day, preserving our lifestyle here and maintaining an inclusive, healthy lifestyle for all residents.

J. Gilbert, White Rock

•••

Although the dog issue has many facets, as pointed out by Gail Forman, I trust that no responsible dog owner would let their dog chase birds on the White Rock foreshore, which is part of the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area.

Police and conservation officers can destroy a dog found to be chasing birds, and owners can be fined up to $5,000 under the Wildlife Act. Other comments made by Gail Forman also require correction because they are simply wrong.

Dogs do chase birds with the intent to maim because that is an imperative of their canine evolution. Unfortunately, it is the dog owner that delights in seeing their dog chasing wildlife, with the mistaken belief that it is a harmless and acceptable behaviour. Wildlife harassment by off-leash dogs on White Rock’s foreshore is an ongoing problem that must stop.

Dog-control legislation is enforced throughout the province, and fines are imposed for infractions. Report wildlife harassment to Observe, Record and Report at 1-800-663-9453.

Ron Kistritz, biologist

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