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Letter: Off-leash dogs can be a hazard and deter some from enjoying the outdoors

To the Editor: I had the unfortunate experience of having my dog attacked by an off-leash dog while we were out for a walk earlier this year. I shared my experience on Facebook.
loose dog

To the Editor:

I had the unfortunate experience of having my dog attacked by an off-leash dog while we were out for a walk earlier this year. I shared my experience on Facebook. Since then countless people have shared similar experiences with me, whereby they or their dog was attacked or aggressively approached by an off leash dog in Thompson. It seems clear that this is a significant problem in our community.  

To those people who let their dogs run loose or walk them off-leash I ask that you consider the following:

1. It is against the law. The only off-leash area in Thompson is the dog park. The Millennium Trail is not an off-leash area.

2.  No matter how sweet a family pet your dog might be, there is always a first time. The lady whose dog attacked ours was shocked that her dog was capable of such behaviour. This is a story we have  heard over and over. Most people are not jerks who would knowingly let a dog run loose that they believed capable of harming another dog or person. Yet it happens. Animals can be unpredictable and the predator-prey instinct can unexpectedly take over.

3. Many people are scared of dogs. Many people have had scary experiences (like ours) with loose dogs that have made them wary of loose dogs. We have had many people tell us that they are scared to go for walks or walk their dogs in Thompson because of the frequency with which they encounter loose dogs. This is a particular problem on the Millenium Trail. This is a trail meant for everyone. It is not an off-leash area yet many residents feel they cannot enjoy these beautiful trails because of those letting their dogs run loose.  

Willard Holmen

Thompson