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OPINION - The Passive Dog Owner

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   I’m not sure there need to be limits on how many dogs and cats you can own – although Wausau does have limits. (It's three cats / two dogs per address.)

I’m certain there needs to be more to stop irresponsible pet owners. The latest case is last weekend. A pit bull was chained in the shared backyard of a duplex in Wausau. A 7-year-old girl is playing in her own backyard, and she’s warned to keep her distance from the dog.

Well, a child that age can’t judge how much run a dog has on an 8-foot leash… and the dog bites her. She had to be rushed to Wausau Aspirus Hospital for her injuries.

Here’s a case where the dog owner did everything wrong. Leaving a dog chained and unattended in the backyard isn’t right – it’s the typical absentee pet-owner behavior that lead to barking, uncontrollable, maladjusted animals. Leaving your dog in a yard that’s shared with others children is completely irresponsible. The yard belongs to the little girl too – why should parts of it be off-limits to her because the neighbor’s dog happens to be outside? And, of course, this is the type of dog owner whose animal isn’t licensed, and there’s no proof that their pet has its shots.

The mindset is wrong. Everyone else has to beware of their dog; let the public take notice. The owners have nothing to do with what happens.

If you think Wausau’s pet limit ordinance is heavy-handed, you may be right. But this is what happens when a city has too many irresponsible pet owners, and Wausau does.

Chris Conley