Letters to the Editor

Dogs: Owners should be responsible

Broad View Elementary School is literally going to the dogs. The grounds of the schoolyard are covered with dog excrement. There are approximately 446 children currently enrolled (my child included) at this school and they are all playing in grass used by inconsiderate dog owners as their pets’ toilets. At any given time of day, even while school is IN SESSION, there is a dog being walked on the grounds. I find it unacceptable that dogs have more rights than human children.

As a person, I like dogs. As a parent, I am outraged that dogs are even allowed on school grounds while the school year is in session. The local paper makes a point of printing articles about the “rights” that our spoiled dogs have. I would like to request an article and an investigation as to the health concerns for the HUNDREDS of local children who have to deal with animal feces on a daily basis. As a responsible citizen, I would never consider allowing my children, or my pets, to urinate or defecate on someone else’s property. I demand the same consideration for my children at their school.

If this letter has offended anyone, it will offend the guilty. Tough. It offends me to watch children step over dog excrement in order to use their playground equipment. It sickens me to see entire sports teams taking the time to kick dog feces off their playing fields before they can use them or even put their gear down on the ground.

During school hours, adult aides patrol the school grounds reminding students to watch where they step and sit. I think that is pitiful. I can only imagine how many invisible urine saturated areas are out there. As usual, dog owners will claim that they are very responsible for their pets. But there are piles of proof in the schoolyard that verify a different story.

I would request to anyone walking a dog on school property to remember that you have a dog by choice – and it is YOUR duty to keep its excrement on your own property. Do not use the schools and don’t whine and expect the city to pay for a place for your pet to dump. If you own the animal, you also own the waste from its bowels.

Just because you have your dog on a leash does not give you the right to leave a trail of animal dung in the places that children play. When a person owns a dog, it is the obligation of ownership to provide personal property as grounds for that animal. I would like to implore the city and the school district to deal with this issue by passing whatever statutes are necessary to ban dog walking on school properties.

I would ask all concerned parents to inquire at their own schools about their grounds and to get involved in cleaning them up. I insist that all dog owners take the responsibility that comes with owning a dog while living on an island and stay off of school properties.

Martha J. Mathern

Oak Harbor

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