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Editorial: Loose dogs

Posted: June 14, 2018 12:46 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2018 1:00 a.m.

For many people, life without a dog or two around isn’t much of a life. After all, our furry, four-footed friends add so much to our lives. In fact, they are often considered members of the family and, as such, we strive to make sure they are healthy and happy.

While vaccinations, flea and tick treatments, parasite prevention and regular check-ups with the veterinarian are a given as far as responsible pet ownership goes, one area some people may not realize is just as important is supervision. More specifically, times have changed and it’s not a good idea to allow a dog to roam unsupervised. Gone are the days when one could let the dog out and forget about it, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn’t roam very far or, if they did, everyone in the neighborhood would know them and take care of them.

One major factor people don’t often realize is the fact that an unsupervised, free-roaming dog can easily get into trouble. Two or three or more dogs running around together can and often do revert to a pack mentality -- and that can lead to real trouble.

Over the years, we have occasionally heard reports about packs of dogs killing other animals -- smaller dogs, cats, even livestock. This was happening earlier this year in a rural neighborhood near Elgin. Most recently, it happened in someone’s yard, right in the middle of a residential neighborhood in downtown Camden, when several loose dogs reportedly killed a full grown doe and her two fawns. Nobody seems to know if the dogs were feral strays or loose locals, but the point is that they were roaming free and unsupervised.

Folks, that’s very bad for everyone. Please, for everyone’s safety -- including the dogs’ -- do not let your dogs roam free. While one should absolutely never tether or chain a dog, please, if you leave them outside, make sure they are in a secure, fenced yard.  If you’re out with your dog or dogs, walk them on a leash or make sure they are under your absolute voice control.

It’s that important.

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