I was baffled by Mrs Taylor’s letter to the Advertiser, when she advocated dogs should be on leads throughout the Castle grounds and in public places. She didn’t actually say why she thought this should happen and I wonder what threat she feels dogs pose to children?
Dog fouling is another matter and, as a dog owner myself, I completely agree there should be tighter controls. Every owner should clean up after their dog wherever they go, whether it is a park, public footpath or field. It is totally unacceptable to leave dog mess lying around for other people to step in, or cause sickness in livestock through eating contaminated grass.
In my experience, people with dogs that are a possible threat to humans and other dogs usually keep them on a lead. To deprive the vast majority of responsible (council tax paying) owners the pleasure of a walk in the park or any other public place with their dog, playing ball with them and letting their pets run free, seems incredibly draconian.
Inhibiting a dog’s natural instincts to run and play is cruel and for some owners, living in town, the park is the only place they can allow their dog this freedom. Dogs can be a lonely person’s company and pleasure, a great way of keeping fit and provide an endless source of pleasure. I suspect Mrs Taylor has never been a dog owner and so is unaware of the joy they bring.
It shouldn’t have to be a choice between who should be fenced in – children or dogs. Millions of dogs and children live happily together and the children’s lives are all the richer for having a pet dog.