Weighs in on animal ordinance

To the editor:

By putting restrictions on how many pets an owner can have seems out of control, even over reaching of the local government. When a law abiding, caring pet lover provides all the proper care for his pets and there are no complaints from neighbors about noise, smell or neglect, how can our governing body take away every citizen’s choice and their freedom by restricting their rights by telling them how many pets they can own? Do we really want to go down this path? What’s next? Are our city officials public servants working for us, the people? Or have we elected men who want to exercise and enforce their ‘power and control’ over us? Consider – if a dog takes off from a yard chasing after a squirrel or a rabbit, a responsible owner will take necessary cautionary measures to ensure this does not occur again. Once again, do we truly need an ordinance restricting all law abiding pet owners? If we are trying to appear to be a friendly, welcoming city to attract potential new residents, laws such as this one are going to be a major flaw and huge obstacle to entice these possible residents.

My understanding is this whole out-of-proportion issue about dog ordinance began with one man getting bit by a dog. That reminds me of my own daughter, much younger then, got bit by a dog while making deliveries on her paper route. We handled it at the time by reporting it to the police, they made sure the animal had all the proper vaccinations, we made sure that our daughter was OK and then we all moved on with our lives. Not in a million years would it have occurred to us to be so deranged as to promote an ordinance to cause expense, emotional strain and negative effect on every dog owner in the city. Far wiser would be penalizing the pet owners who do not take proper care of their animals by issuing them extremely stiff fines. It is human nature that people start paying attention when they hurt – and hitting them in their wallets – hard should get their attention and would be a good money maker for the city as well.

Sharka Alstott

Fort Dodge