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Speaking out against roaming dogs in Cupids

There is a heated debate in the Town of Cupids about the health and welfare of dogs, even though the Animal Health and Protection Act requires that dogs are to be tethered.

Responsible pet ownership encompasses feeding, training, socializing, getting a dog spayed or neutered, vaccinated, flea treated, groomed, and taken to the vet as needed, in emergencies as well as, providing shelter.

On the negative side, some citizens imply roaming dogs are a nuisance, and call several times to report damages to their municipal council of Cupids and the RCMP for enforcement assistance.

Dogs left to roam are forming a pack with other stray dogs, attacking dogs and cats that are tied, on their own property. To highlight the serious nature of this issue, a stray dog barged into a home, and broke a cat’s leg, causing this cat to have a front leg amputated, costing approximately $2,000; only recoverable by taking the owner of the dog to small claims court.

In spite of the cat’s suffering and damage, the attitude of the dog’s owner was, "cats are a dime a dozen." The dog owner thought it was ludicrous, and did not want to help pay to fix the cat’s leg. The owners of the injured cat felt their cat was equally as important as the stray dog. Although, when comparing their defence, they knew the law was to tie their dog, but "it is the old Newfoundland way" to let the dogs be a "free spirit" and visit others.

A beagle was recently hit on the road and killed. The owners were crying as they picked up the lifeless, broken body and took their dog home to bury. It wasn’t long after the accident happened, they had another dog. If their last dog died by being struck by a car, then common sense should tell them, to tie the next dog.

Regardless of common sense and the law, there are still people, wanting to live the "old Newfoundland Way." The stray dog owner's behaviour has not changed, even knowing of damages their dog has caused.

As for logical and irrefutable evidence, it's pointless having a dog, if the neighbour spends more time with the dog and is more concerned about the animal's health and welfare, than its own owner.

— Vicki Kell writes from Cupids, where she has resided for the past five years.

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