To the Editor:
Regarding the controversy over pets being allowed or not allowed in stores or other public places, not all pet owners are responsible and not all pets have the same temperament. For that matter, not all humans are clean and well behaved in public either.
I have one small rescue dog who is easily excited. While she is not mean or a threat to anyone, I make the responsible and educated decision to not take her to a public place because it wouldn’t be comfortable for her or me, and her barking would annoy some people.
I also have two other small dogs who are well behaved, completely calm in all situations, and who do very well in public, so I am able to take them more places. All of my pets are vaccinated, clean, and receive regular medical exams and care. They are free of parasites and receive preventive flea, tick, and heartworm medications.
I am working on behavior with my rescue dog. Meanwhile, I will not punish the well-behaved ones by not allowing them to accompany me to public places where appropriate. Once we complete training and our recent rescue dog learns manners, she too will be able to go to more public places. They are all part of our family.
Instead of blaming the animals for their actions or level of cleanliness, consider the owners who are responsible for making sure their pets are clean and well-behaved. Pets are like children. They learn by example and are as clean as you make them.
There are a lot of filthy, rude, and often dangerous humans roaming in public places. Let’s clean up that problem before we begin picking on clean, well-behaved animals.
Pet owners must show greater responsibility and control of their pets. Not all pets belong in public places, but that shouldn’t be a reason to ban all pets from all places.
This is a bigger problem than just whether or not pets should be allowed in public places. The problem is, people obtain pets for free during periods where adoption fees are waived due to overcrowded shelters, but unless you are ready for a long commitment to love, train, and provide medical care for your pet, you really shouldn’t be allowed to have one. The screening process for adoption should be better and pet healthcare, nutrition, and grooming should be mandatory, not optional.