Reader: Vicious dog ordinance long overdue

Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, February 08, 2008

Thank you to Sterling (borough assembly) representative Grace Merkes for the introduction of an ordinance dealing with the problem of vicious dogs. This is long overdue, and I applaud her efforts to assure public safety. I hope the assembly will act to approve this measure quickly.

Last August my dog and I were attacked, totally without cause or warning, by a pit bull. We were on a well-used public road and my dog was on a leash. Thankfully, because we go daily on back trails, I run with mace, bear spray and a firearm. I discharged mace and followed that with the entire can of bear spray directed into this dog's eyes and it still hung on.

The owner, who finally arrived, managed to drag the dog off temporarily but couldn't maintain control and it attacked again. The owners of the dog never reimbursed the medical bills. (Although three months, and a promise of legal action later, they paid some veterinary costs, which I donated to the new Pit Bull Education Center at the Alaska SPCA in Anchorage.)

That pit bull would have attacked any dog that was going by at that time. Imagine what would have happened if the individual involved didn't have bear spray. Imagine if that person happened to be a child. Imagine that child picking up their own dog to protect it.

There is simply no excuse for anyone, kids, adults or even senior citizens like myself, to be scared to walk, run or bike on the streets where we live for fear of being bitten. In a perfect world, all dog owners would be responsible for their animal's care, training, sterilization and behavior. Unfortunately, many are rude, arrogant, inconsiderate and display about as much responsibility as sock puppets. These are the folks that make vicious dog laws necessary to protect the rest of us.

Nancy K. Wall


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