Owners, be responsible for animals

Published 12:02 am Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recently in the downtown Natchez area, dogs have been attacking and killing cats. Some people have witnessed the act, and have been able to describe the dogs. The attacks seem to take place early morning and have been devastating to cat owners.

I don’t own a cat myself, but I feel if I did, that I’d keep my cat inside. It, however, is not against the law to have a cat unattended.

Cat owners, it would be nice of you to consider your neighbors should you have an outside cat. Sometimes their litter boxes become your neighbors flower beds. I think most people are OK with it, including myself, but please have respect for those who aren’t. Most of the time, cats are harmless, but it can become sad when they multiply … for then they divide, for most of them are put down, or left to roam the streets in search of food.

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I feel the leash law should be enforced. That would mean that a dog doesn’t have the privilege of roaming the neighborhood unattended at any time; night or day. I feel it is the duty of the owner to accept responsibility for their dogs.

It is very dangerous for a dog to roam the streets with cars rushing up and down; their drivers unaware of them as they dart in front of the car. Remember, a dog’s mentality is about that of a 2-year-old child. Surely you wouldn’t let your 2-year-old child run loose.

Also, I feel that your neighbor, who doesn’t necessarily want a dog, should not have to “scoop the poop” of someone else’s.

I feel sorry for the dog that is running loose. A dog’s nature is to chase a cat, and unfortunately when they kill one, they like the game, and repeat it over and over. Sometimes it can make him become more aggressive, and then he becomes a danger to small dogs as well as children. I fault the owner for allowing this to happen.

I feel that we, as a community, need to enforce the leash law, and fine the owners who fail to be responsible for their actions. After the second offense, I feel the fine should be doubled.

I feel that all dogs, young or old, Chihuahua or pit bull, three months old or 13 years, come under the leash law. Regardless of who owns the dog, be it the mayor, the mailman, or myself, we should all be fined when disobeying the leash law. It is not fair to fine one individual while allowing another to slide. Everyone should be treated equally.

I love all animals, and I feel if anyone knows me, he knows that for a fact. I “scoop” exercise, and love my dogs. I want what’s best for them, as well as my neighbors. Let’s work together and obey the leash law. Also, please spay and neuter your animals. It is your responsibility as a pet owner.

Always be a responsible dog or cat owner. They deserve to be loved and protected, not turned loose and neglected.

Hats off to Lisa Freeman, the animal control person. She has her hands full, and is doing a thankless job. I feel that she needs help at this time to enforce a law that has been neglected far too long.

Many thanks to the City of Natchez for standing behind the leash law.

Working together, we can make this a better place to live, for the people, and their pets as well.

Agatha Weeks is a Natchez resident and dog owner.