Letter: There should be more done to enforce leash laws
The city of Fargo should take the problem of unleashed dogs more seriously. I would like to see steeper fines and enforcement for not following leash laws. Approximately 4.5 million people bitten by dogs per year, resulting in over 300,000 visits to the ER. Many people are impacted by irresponsible dog owners and we can proactively do something about it.
A good percentage of people who walk their dogs have experienced incidents from an unleashed dog. As much as you proclaim that your Foo Foo is the sweetest dog in the world, I have tended to puncture wounds that indicate otherwise.
I could give examples, but many of dog owners, parents or walkers can give similar examples of feeling threatened or attacked because of an unleashed dog. It is nearly always the owners' fault when a dog is not under control. If you let your dog run around without a leash and a person or animal gets hurt, it is the owners' fault. It is simply negligence.
Even if your dog is the nicest dog in the world, it doesn't mean mine is. Fortunately, my 150-pound giant puppy is super-friendly, but you don't know that. I should be able to bring a protective dog for a walk without engaging you or your dog.
Any confrontation, injury or problem is the fault of the unleashed dog's owner. I, or my dog, didn't ask to be put in a situation where we had to deal with you. My dog is under my control. If you willingly just let your dog out and something happens, it is negligence. I wonder if insurance covers gross negligence? I don't know why anybody would even want to risk that.
Taking unleashed dog laws more seriously could help reduce injuries, the burden on the health care system, and the legal system. (Yes, people can lose everything because of dog bites.) Mostly, it would encourage responsible dog ownership in lieu of irresponsible dog ownership.
I get it. Many around here grew up with just letting their dog outside. So did I. I also wasn't put in a car seat and I probably drank out of an asbestos bottle. Just because that is how it used to be done doesn't mean it is how we should do it now. There are many cities where it just wouldn't be thought of to let your dog out without being leashed and it should be like that in Fargo. If you want country laws, I think you should move to the country.
I don't feel the city takes this problem seriously enough. I have called in people for letting their dogs run around and it just doesn't seem to be taken seriously. Cops are busy people, but this isn't really a small problem. This is a problem that many law-abiding dog owners and people encounter. Every neighborhood has this problem. Many people just think it is fine to let their dogs run free, and we should proactively discourage that.
Myhre lives in Fargo.