I found this pledge online. It was for a specific breed, but I changed it to fit all dogs in general. I also added my reasons why each of these is important. I have responded due to what I have seen in my life. I think about things deeper than just enforcing an ordinance, because I have been in the animal world for over 25 years. I was a Vet Tech, Animal Rescue Coordinator and now Animal Control Officer. It all falls into the owner’s hands.
1. Thou shalt NEVER trust thy dog not to fight/bite. (Especially intact dogs: Hormones can cause both male and female dogs to act/behave differently.)
2. Thou shalt contain thy dog securely when not supervised by an adult. (Your fence is not going to keep your dog in, if he wants to go. Also gates can get opened by delivery people or kids and not latched back properly. Do not assume your dog will stay.)
3. Thou shalt NEVER leave thy adult dog alone and unsupervised with another small pet. (Many times we see situations of a smaller dog or cat being maimed or killed while the owners are absent.)
4. Thou SHALT keep thy dog socialized with ALL KINDS of people. (This is healthy for your dog at home and helps when your pet has to visit the groomer or vet. Also, what if there is an emergency at your home and someone else has to evacuate your animals? How will your pet react? Will it be saved? )
5. Thy dog wilt NEVER be allowed off-leash in a public place. (Excluding dog parks) This is not only the law for ALL of Campbell County, but also safest and smartest for your dog. If your dog is under control it can’t run away, tear anything up, leave stool somewhere, run into traffic due to fear or curiosity, or jump on people. If you are attacked by another dog you have a handle on your dog to get him loose or keep him from running in fear. People have birds and other small pets that they walk with a stroller or on their shoulder; if someone’s dog went after that pet it would be tragic.
6. Thy dog wilt NEVER be allowed to roam free in thy neighborhood, EVER! (Neighbors have a right to their property: yard, clothes, and other pets should be safe from your dog.)
7. Thou SHALT take thy well trained dog out in public and show him/her off – on leash for good PR! (No one ever calls to complain on the owner doing everything right! I see many owners out walking their dogs daily: on leash, they carry a bag to scoop stool. Their dog may be spayed or neutered or not, but it doesn’t matter, because they are following the laws and in control of their dog.)
8. Thy dog shalt go forth into the world as an ambassador of dog owners. (Even Service dogs have to follow local, state and federal laws. So don’t try to conceal your pet as a service dog when it is not. If it was a true service dog, you would have been taught to follow laws with that dog at all times.)
9. THOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY WRONG DONE BY THY DOGS! (If your dog is hit by a car, you are liable for damage to the car and people inside the car. It would be sad if a fatal crash occurred because of your dog. Dogs end up on expressways and in a ton of different situations that put citizens in harm’s way. There was a rescue lady that recently died, trying to save a loose dog. The relatives where considering suing for “wrongful death” against the dog owner.)
Submitted by: Terri Baker, Animal Control Officer
Dayton Community News