What a lovely picture of Surrey’s beloved mayor, Dianne Watts, with her own beloved dogs, on the front page of The Leader on April 29.
I am sure Dianne loves her Rottweilers with her heart and soul, as so many people do love their pets. Dogs are rightfully referred to as “man’s best friend.”
I would like to suggest that perhaps before leaving office, Dianne might consider a swan song of something truly good for dogs. I am referring to the ones who are not so privileged as to live with caring humans.
I suggest an enactment of a total tethering ban for dogs on leashes. This may not seem important to the majority of people who love their dogs as a member of the family and would never think of leaving them outdoors 24/7 strapped to a leash that restricts them from moving any further than the radius that a leash allows.
Unfortunately, the truth is that there are people who care very little for their pets, and in Surrey, they are able to legally subject them to a frustrating, depressing and lonely life outdoors alone at the end of a tether.
A partial or time-limited ban, such as Surrey enacted in 2011, is effectively unenforceable because officers can’t tell how long a dog has been chained.
In one case, a chained dog that was reported by a neighbour was subsequently removed by its owner to a dark shed where it was legally kept during the bylaw-imposed “off leash” time. How effective is that?
Other Lower Mainland municipalities, such as New Westminster and Delta, have fully addressed the cruelty of such dog owners by enacting a full tether ban which includes “cruel confinement legislation.”
I implore Mayor Dianne Watts to do something good that all caring residents of Surrey can agree on: Let’s respect dogs who can’t speak for themselves and enact fully protective legislation on their behalf.
Jacqueline Hohmann, Surrey