Over the years, I have read many good letters sent to the Editor and thought it was time to write one myself. Recently there have been issues that have come to the fore and it is evident there are many concerns regarding our "best friends." Such as the finding of a litter of puppies left outside in a wet winter day, ending in euthanasia for one; a number of pets seriously injured and/or killed on the road; reports of citizens being charged, chased, knocked over and/or bitten; dangerous dogs having to be destroyed; not to mention the ongoing number of homeless animals collected and cared for by WAG.
What I am leading to by these examples is the lack of respect and compassion for our pets and the citizens of our community. The above describes the absence of a foundation of basic responsible pet ownership.
First, one should take the time to carefully choose the right pet. This cannot be stressed often enough. Pet ownership brings many necessities; veterinarian care, fresh water and quality food, socialization, exercise and play, training, collar and leash. This is not by any means a complete list. Perhaps the above-mentioned puppy would not have been laid to rest if it had been vaccinated and provided with care and shelter.
The situation of an owner of an attacked dog experiencing the anguish of caring for an injured and dying pet, or a citizen dealing with the emotional and physical scars of being bitten, could have been avoided if the attacking dogs were behaviorally healthy and kept. Leashing, kenneling and containing a pet within a home environment are not forms of cruelty and certainly would have saved the lives of needless road kills.
Identification plays a role in being able to reconnect owner and pet and is especially useful in an emergency. The dog license fee is an affordable type of identification and supports our animal care facility and animal control services.
I trust this explains how important it is that we all do out part as pet owners and citizens. I challenge our community to demonstrate and voice their concerns safely to those who repeatedly ignore the very basics of what it means to responsibly enjoy our community. Those of us at animal control/bylaw will continue our own challenge of increasing awareness through presence, education and enforcement.
Pet Owner and Animal Care and Control Officer
Re: Employee housing problems; Councillor Milners comments
After having read the July 6, 2001 issue of the Pique, I must admit that I was a little taken back with Councillor Milners comments suggesting that perhaps employers should be charged for having more than a certain number of employees. Isnt Whistler based on the service-hospitality industry? In order to provide world class service, the industry needs a much larger staffing pool to draw on in order to provide our visitors with the service and Whistler experience that they dearly pay for and well deserve.