I don’t hate animals.  My problem is with inconsiderate pet owners.  If you choose to own a pet, then you are responsible for that pet and its behavior.  New Haven High School’s Administration is kind enough to leave the gates to the track open to be utilized by runners and walkers.  My husband and I frequently take advantage of this benefit.  Unfortunately, some pet owners seem to believe the track and surrounding area is a dog park.  Not only is this inaccurate, but the entire area is a pet-free zone as the school is liable for any pet-related accidents.  And by “accidents,” I’m not referring to the treasures these thoughtless pet owners often leave behind on the track for runners/walkers to dodge.

Most recently, we witnessed two fairly large dogs being released onto the tennis courts adjacent the track.  Within moments, the dogs made their way over to the track and were running directly at us.  Not knowing what to expect, my husband and I both braced ourselves to be jumped on, or worse.  I yelled “no” to the dog that was running directly at me which, fortunately, diverted him away from me.  The dogs continued to run out of control for about five minutes until their exhausted owner was finally able to corral them and get them back in her vehicle.

Last summer, while running along the sidewalk on Werling Road, a bike rider with a dog on a leash was quickly coming upon us.  We moved off of the sidewalk into the grass to keep from being run down by the out of control dog, but the dog still jumped on me and nipped my hip.  The owner didn’t even bother to apologize or ask if I was injured.  I still question whether riding a bike with a dog on a leash is a brilliant idea to begin with.

Do these owners even consider that their pets could injure someone?  Imagine what could have happened had an innocent young child been riding their big wheel on that sidewalk or was being pushed in a stroller on the track when these overly excited dogs were running loose?

If you own a pet, please be considerate and keep it on a leash “attached” to your arm when out and about.  New Haven does offer a pet-friendly half-mile course on Werling Road where you can walk your “leashed” pet.  While I also utilize this course, I am not caught completely off guard when I encounter a pet there; however, I still fully expect you to keep your pet restrained and away from me, and further expect you to clean up their waste.

One final comment.  I live in a subdivision where there are many pets and pet owners.  I realize pets need outside time, but so do humans.  I, for one, would much prefer not to listen to your pet’s incessant barking when trying to enjoy the great outdoors.  If you can’t get your dog to stop barking, please take it back in the house or invest in a bark collar and properly train it to curb its barking.

Your kind consideration of your fellow humans is appreciated and expected!

New Haven Citizen

POSTED: 06/24/12 at 8:11 pm. FILED UNDER: Opinions