Dog Owner Etiquette - Letter to the Editor

by Janiece Zablotski of New Lisbon, Wisconsin

With nice weather upon us, dog owners need to remember the laws and etiquette of being a responsible dog owner. People should not have to worry about someone's dog running loose when they are out walking, bike riding or walking their own dogs.

1. All dogs need to be vaccinated, especially for rabies it’s the law.

2. Dogs should have collars on with their rabies tag and their dog license tags.

3. It is illegal to allow your dog to run loose off the property without being on a leash, even in the country.

4. Even if you are out running with your dog it should be on a leash - that's the law.

5. Tying your dog to a tree is just wrong - not only does it leave your dog defenseless to an attack, but if your dog runs hard enough to the end of the lead it could break its neck.

6. It is illegal to put your dog out all night and allow it to bark all night long. Noise ordinances - you will be subject to fines.

7. If you are heartless and tie your dog outside instead of letting it be part of the family - it is the law the dog must have water, food, and shelter at all times.

8. It doesn't matter if you "think" your dog is friendly, a charging dog puts a dog on a leash on the defense. If it feels it needs to protect its owner, it will be your fault for allowing your dog to run loose if it gets attacked.

9. You put drivers in danger by allowing your dog to run loose on the roads.

10. It is perfectly legal for someone who feels threatened by your dog running loose at them to use pepper spray on your dog in order to defend themself.

11. If your dog bites someone and you cannot prove rabies vaccination, most likely your dog will be quarantined and in some cases even put down - depending on the dog’s history. All dog bites have to be reported to the police - again it’s the law.

Just two weeks ago outside of Oklahoma City, a woman was walking her dog when two dogs came out of nowhere and attacked and killed, not only her dog, but her too. The police had to shoot and kill one because they could not get it off the woman. The other dog was hit by a car. We have had people in Mauston and New Lisbon that have been attacked by loose dogs.

It’s the people who say "he's friendly" whose dogs instigate the trouble EVERY TIME!!

No one should have to worry about their safety when out for a walk because of irresponsible dog owners. I board dogs for a living and have talked with many, many dog owners who feel the same way and have had dangerous run-ins with loose dogs. People need to call and complain if they are having a problem with a neighbor’s dog being loose or barking all night. It’s the only way to handle the situation. Take pictures every time you go past and see their dog loose on the road. Keep call- ing ‘til they get tired of paying the fines and/or the dog gets taken away from them.

Janiece Zablotski New Lisbon, Wisconsin