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Unfair Leash Law

by Gayle Haarr


Cats & Dogs --

I want to know why there is a leash law for dogs, but there is no leash law for cats. It is not that I think all dogs in the world should be able to run around wild and free by any means. I'm simply saying that it seems a little crazy that cats can roam free, and not even a well trained dog with an owner walking next to it can go down the street without a leash. It's not like cats are smarter creatures or less likely to cause problems in the street. Cats can't tell when a car is coming, they can't read street signs, and they can't figure out that they should stay out of other people's yards. Maybe it has just been my bad experiences, but these free cats are becoming a giant nuisance to me lately.

I went home to my parents house for a few days earlier this month and I was awakened by a cat fight. When I say cat fight, I'm not referring to any of the women in the neighborhood, I'm talking about two cats. These annoying little fur balls decided to brawl right out in front of our house in the middle of the street. Let me tell you when cats fight, it is anything but quiet. My sister and I were awake for close to 2 hours listening to hissing, scratching, and meowing from 3 to 5 am. There is not a person alive who could convince me that these two cats should not have been locked up in their owners' homes.

Next, a woman had the audacity to yell at me in my own yard because she said my dog, Ulff, was barking viscously at her cat, Muffy or Buffy or whatever. Her unleashed cat was just cruising the neighborhood and coincidentally was in my yard at that moment. I say coincidentally because the woman only happened to notice her cat because of the commotion and noise Ulff was causing. She was just out on a walk , not looking for her precious four legged friend when she spotted her kitty.

Yeah, my leashed dog was barking and jumping at her cat. But her wonderful Muffy, or whatever she calls it, has a habit of walking through the yard and sitting on the sidewalk out of Ulff's reach almost every day. That cat teases my dog every time it drops by for a visit. Personally, I really didn't care too much about this woman's cat because she obviously doesn't care much either. That cat has almost been hit by more cars that you can imagine. In my opinion, if she really cared about protecting her pet from the cars and the viscous dogs of the world, she would keep it in the house.

In addition, cats kill birds, mice, rats, and pretty much any other small creatures that moves. I don't really have a problem with that until the animal carcass is in my yard or on the sidewalk. Since I got the dog, I have to worry that she is sniffing out the remains of these dead animals because someone left their cat outdoors all day. I don't see the cat owners of the world following their cats around scooping up the dead animal remains and disposing of them properly. Personally, I'm less offended by a pile of dog dung than I am from a dead animal sprawled out all over a sidewalk. Plus, that dead animal carries more diseases than any pile of poop I've ever seen. That dead animal will make another dog or cat pretty sick if it eats it. The vet told me that after a dog has all of its shots the main reason that it comes back to the vet is because it is sick from eating a dead animal that has been left behind.

Cat owners just let their cats out to wander the streets for days at a time, and they don't worry about the problems they are causing. They just open the door and wait for their cat to return at its leisure. They don't even have a clue as to where their cats has gone or when it will be back. To me this seems a little odd and unfair that they do not have to take responsibility for their cat the way I and everybody else has to for their dog.

Also, there is a gentleman who lives down the street. He has a very well behaved Golden Retriever, Reilly. Reilly is the rare type of dog that does not require a leash. He never wanders more than a few feet from his owner. He stops at the end of the sidewalk until he gets permission to cross the street. On top of all that, the owner picks up the dog droppings every time the dog goes. This dog doesn't bother anybody. It doesn't even stop for other dogs. But animal control stopped him the other day and told him that his dog needed to be on a leash. They would not leave the area until it was securely leashed. Then they continued to tell him that the dog needed to be leashed at all times, unless it is in a fenced in area or on private property belonging to him.

Let a dog loose in a park and see how long it takes until you have the police, park patrol, or somebody running around yelling and screaming about this leash law for dogs. Again I don't disagree with the leash law because dogs running around free all over the place will cause problems and create messes. But why should a well trained dog with a responsible owner need to be on a leash? Also, if there is a leash law for dogs there should be one for cats too.

When not walking the dog (all the time), Gayle enjoys the Summer weather. She is, however, very mad at the weather in Rochester right now. Apparently we have had a rather rainy Summer so far, and she is gonna hold her breath until it stops.


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