Letters to the Editor for May 13

When people live in fear, dogs must be leashed

Once again, the Beach has an increasing number of dog owners deciding that they are personally entitled to special exemptions from leash laws.

At any given time, half the dogs you see anywhere south of Queen Street are off leash, outside the legal leash-free area.

The legal leash-free area at this time of year is that massive prime real estate at the foot of Lee.

Letting a dog leash free in any other public area is breaking a very real law.

In the past while, I’ve been attacked three times by off-leash dogs while out along the lake exercising, and have seen a cyclist, a jogger and several power walkers attacked, thankfully with no injuries. Two lovely kind dogs on our street on their leads were attacked and bitten by off-leash dogs along the boardwalk.

All the owners in these cases expressed shock and tried to blame the victims. My dad was a dog professional and I am telling you now, you can never, ever predict 100 per cent of the time what your dog will do to people or other dogs.

I’ve been hearing people say they are afraid to go near the lake because of the dog problem.

We can’t have people driven away from getting in shape because some people choose to break the law.

Perhaps we could start with deterrence: increased fines, prominently posting signs at frequent intervals stating in large print that dogs must be on a lead and, most importantly, the amount of the fine the owner could receive.

The problem areas where signs are urgently needed include all of Kew Gardens, the strips of park south of Kimberley Avenue and the areas south of Al Fresco Lawn, Woodbine Beach and the point at Ashbridges Bay, all of which many dog owners treat as their private leash-free areas. Signage, while not free, could be a worthwhile investment for what it will save the healthcare system in treating dog bites.

If you see a dog owner breaking the law, speak up politely in passing to remind them that their behaviour is not acceptable. You may save a child, a senior or another dog from injury, mauling or worse.

 

Randal Oulton

Wineva Avenue


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4 comments

Seriously Randal? What did these three attacks consist of, a tail wagging dog coming up and trying to lick you on the hand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m opposed to people who allow their dogs to approach others, but your hyperbole does your cause no good – costs to the health care system from treating dog bits? C’mon, you’re just being ridiculous. Maulings? You just sound ridiculous.

She specifically said several dogs were “bitten” – and “maulings” was in relation to what potentially could happen, to people or to other dogs.

Many people are afraid of dogs, and some dog owners are not responsible, and most dogs are not well trained, and some can be unpredictable, even when they have not attacked in past.

I would not take this so lightly.

Well Mr Oulton..AND Mr Graff, maybe there are those with a fear of dogs, but I now fear for my dogs safety with people like you out there. Do you not think the city has better ways to spend their dollars? How about enforcing drinking in public spaces. How about cracking down on drug use and sales in our parks. I would like to see some enforcement on real issues that plague city parks.

It all comes down to common sense and respecting others in the end.

As for drinking in public spaces, it is funny but I go to Cuba and can walk down the street with an open beer, unlike here.

We in Canada (or Ontario, at least) are quick to pass laws for every little thing, but often lax in enforcing laws… even though in Toronto we have a very high ratio of police officers per 100,000 people.

There is the movement to lower speed limits to 30kph but the cops generally do not give out tickets for less than 15kph over the limit and what is the point of having such a low speed limit on every street and even late at night when there are no kids on the street rather than being more selective about high risk areas and times

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