21 Jun 2013

Who don’t hear should feel

Once more, after debate on the Dog Control Bill has barely finished, dog lovers are ‘up in arms’ over the ‘flawed’ legislation and are (as I see it) bumping their gums. Take this:

Firstly, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a dangerous dog breed. How dogs are trained makes them who they are because the pitbulls I interact with are the most playful dogs I know and even tolerate toddlers pulling at their tails and ears, without aggressive reactions. They obviously would run and hide but definitely would never hurt the child or the owners.

People just hear a story and think it applies to all others of that kind. When­ever a person is attacked, does anyone even wonder why that dog attacked that person? Did that person do something to aggravate the dog? No one even cares. People are just acting out of fear and are overreacting.

Every time the government tries to pass a bill or an act to fine people for simply owning a so-called dangerous dog, people have immediately destroyed or abandoned their dogs. The number of times this has happened, you would think the government would learn. Please consider the effects of your to-be fines. Some people sadly don’t think their dogs are worth that much and some just cannot afford it so this is just the easier option. Maybe providing a free place for the animals you now make unwanted would aid in this.

Any dog that is accustomed to being fed on time, etc, when left to fend for themselves will become aggressive and territorial, no matter the breed. Their survival instinct kicks in. Any abandoned dog will be a danger to society when abandoned.

By the way, walking through any rural area, I find myself fending off packs of pothounds, not pitbulls, not rottweilers, etc. I think pothounds are more of a threat to me and my life than any other dog. The owners of all dogs need to be responsible.

A better idea may be to limit breeding of dogs on the whole as nowadays, people think it is an easy way to make money. Give some incentives to responsible owners to spay and neuter. This Govern­ment needs to break this backward mentality that spaying and neutering is wrong and will make the animal unhappy. Tell owners they can only breed with a licence and give strict criteria for this licence. Show people how to be responsible. Don’t just punish right off.

This bill is either poorly thought out or the Government just does not care how it would affect the poorer people in society. This appears to be the Dangerous Dog Bill, just renamed. It is the same concept. This bill, like others before, is a culture shock for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. People will react drastically. There will be a lot of strays. And these dogs do not deserve this.

Please, I urge you, start off small. Start with spaying. You may not enact the change you want immediately, but you will start by making owners responsible and then you can bring in the insurance, etc.

By the way, while this issue is important, I believe the Government should also focus a lot more on upda­ting and increasing the penalties for rape and sexual assault, child and spouse abuse, etc. The penalties for these offences are laughable at best. People are just getting away with no real consequence in committing crimes that I think victims can never recover from.

India Rose

Or this:

IT is clear to all and sundry that the people who make up “this Government” are as clueless as they come.  This is evident upon examination of the penalties suggested in the latest Dangerous Dog Bill.

The AG, in his wisdom, was then quoted as saying that “some dogs have a demonstrated propensity to become violent, aggressive and attack.”

Mr AG, in case you may have missed the meeting,  men, women, and in some cases school-age children, have similar “propensities’’. And they kill and injure much more often than “dangerous” dogs. 

Rudy Chato Paul Sr

Trinidadians are typically lawless; they 'break' laws whenever and wherever they can with little fear of consequences because police and other authorities in Trinidad are ordinarily lazy and ineffective. But once a Trini goes 'foreign' and they know there are consequences to their actions/inactions, they toe the line most willingly. Fact!

Legislation to compel observance of laws and rules in controlling/safeguarding dogs has long been overdue. Dog lovers may not see it this way, but while each dog lover keeps carping on how his/her dogs are 'safe', the reality is that dogs have a mind of their own, an under-developed mind compared to humans. Therefore we cannot predict with any degree of certainty a dog's behaviour. Hence we see that supposedly 'safe' or previously safe dogs running amok and causing grievous injuries and death. Case in point, the dogs of Steve Ferguson.

It is time dogs owners take steps to protect the public and keep their dogs confined to their own secure premises. The Dog Control Bill is legislation designed to make sure that owners have premises that are inspected to ensure the safety of both dogs, and public. It puts the onus or responsibility on the dogs’ owners, which is where it should justifiably rest.

Insurance will take away from 'men of straw' and allow compensation to victims who are left scarred, emotionally and physically.

If dog owners feel these are too punitive, then I fear they may be too immature to be allowed to own dogs. Same for those who are unwilling to meet these reasonable demands. Who don’t hear should feel.