Among the many accolades bestowed on Durango, I thought one was being a dog-friendly town. The May 21 Herald story regarding ticketing for dogs at large would clearly negate this distinction. The City Council should take a good look at the current law. As it now stands, those playing with their dog in a park or walking on a trail with their pet off-leash would be subject to a fine. Yet we all see people in parks with dogs off-leash retrieving balls, Frisbees, etc.
First, I suggest that a “dog at large” be defined as a dog roaming freely with no owner present. Certainly in heavily used areas such as downtown Durango and on some of our bike and walking trails, dogs should be on leashes (mainly for their own protection). Yes, there is a dog park, but there is inadequate parking, and if everyone had to take dogs there to play, well, no more need be said. Finally, legislating reproductive issues and enacting punitive laws regarding neutering (how about spaying) opens a door to ethical issues that the City Council has no right to enter. As a dog lover, I’d like to contribute $5 to Trisha Wytas. Could the Herald set up a site for others who feel the current law is not just and would like to make a contribution as an act of protest against it?