LETTER: Dogs Not Treated Like Man’s Best Friend


I am writing this letter, merely an expression of my experiences.

I am disappointed to see so many dogs run off leash throughout the town of Whitefish, and saddened to personally witness two of them hit by cars on U.S. Highway 93 this past summer.

Let’s see. A family has a woodpile in their backyard which serves as a fence. The woodpile gets low as they use the wood, therefore enabling the dogs jump over it to escape the safety of the yard time and time again. After picking up one of their dogs who was on the side of the road and trying to call the number on the ID tag, I discover that the information given on the tag was outdated.

Frequently people play games or ice skate on the pond in the park. While they are entertaining themselves, their dogs run around the pond, on the trail, throughout the park, and they have no idea where their dogs are or what they are doing.

As I continue my daily walk, I am greeted by a Spaniel who looks like a good meal and warm night’s rest are long overdue.

The cutest Corgi frequently runs on the blind curve on the road.

A most well-mannered handsome Husky followed me walking on the road as I tried to stop cars from hitting him. He ended up inside the dog park. He had no ID tags or a collar. I was worried about him being left unattended there overnight and devoted much of my Saturday making sure he was transported to the safety of temporary care, until the owner could be located.

A chocolate brown dog, with no collar or ID tags, who is skittish, shows up in my yard from time to time.

The golden retriever in my neighborhood is so sweet , but is wandering the intersection daily.

I could go on and on with examples.

Is it that people are too lazy to properly care for their pets, just don’t know better, or lack common sense?

There is a reason why you and your family wear seatbelts inside the passenger cabin, and do not ride in the back of a pickup truck to be catapulted to death in the event of an accident.

While in the dog park, dog owners should be mindful of their dogs actions and behaviors, rather than be involved in other activities. The problem becomes evident when owners become so distracted they don’t know when their dog goes to the bathroom so they fail to clean up after it, or they are totally unaware that their dog may be exhibiting inappropriate or anti-social behavior towards humans or other dogs. Lastly, owners should not give their dogs bones or rawhides while in the park.

Leash laws need to be enforced. The animal community needs to get educated about canine safety, and responsible dog ownership.

Unlike Big Mountain, which is an asset to the community, Whitefish has big animal control issues.

Brett C. Verlen