Saturday, March 10, 2007

Responsible dog ownership

On some level, the story of the two-legged dog was heartwarming. Sierra, an Akita or husky mix, was hit by a car and had to have her two left legs amputated. On another level, it shows just how uncaring and irresponsible some dog owners can be.

Sierra was allowed to run loose, hunting "critters" in a nearby field. While running loose one day, she was hit by a car and nearly killed. Her owner, Mike Job, made the decision to try to save her life instead of putting her down, and she seems happy now. However, Job seems to have learned nothing from the accident that crippled and nearly killed his dog. Job continues to be foolish and irresponsible. He continues to neglect his dog and out her life at risk.

You see, Sierra is still allowed to run free.

After the accident that nearly killed her, one would think that Job would have learned his lesson and kept the dog safely confined. No, Sierra does not like to be penned up, but a responsible dog owner would work with his pet to get it used to confinement and work to find alternate solutions. How difficult can it be to keep a two-legged dog confined?

It is irresponsible and dangerous to allow your dog to run free. I have two dogs, Nano and Tera. Last May, Tera managed to get free and wander the neighborhood by herself. She somehow slipped out of her tie-out while she was outside. when I looked out to check on her and realized she was gone, I spent the better part of two hours trying to find her. When I did, I purchased a tie-out rated for dogs up to 250 pounds. That has been more than enough to hold my 30-pound Beagle.

When you own a dog, the animal is your responsibility. Mike Job may be a good owner when it comes to every other aspect of his dog's life, but it is shameful that he has not have learned his lesson after Sierra's severe injuries. In addition, dogs that are allowed to roam free can develop pack behavior and become dangerous. Local animal control authorities should take Sierra away from her neglectful and irresponsible owner. If current statutes do not allow for confiscation of the animal, then the law needs to be changed.