Keep pets off the streets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Selma man was attacked by loose dogs last Thursday, ended up in the hospital and is still recuperating from the ordeal.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. brought the matter up at Monday night’s Selma City Council meeting and said more should be done to make sure dogs are kept on their leashes, or behind a fence.

Upon their arrival at the scene of the attack Thursday, police diverted two pit bulls away from the male victim who sustained scratches, bites and puncture wounds.

The victim was transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

An Animal Control officer, with assistance from police, located and confiscated both dogs.

The incident is under investigation.

“The dogs have been put in quarantine, and as part of our policy and procedures, it’s possible the dogs will be put down,” said Police Chief Jimmy Martin. “We put them in quarantine to check for rabies and make sure they’ve got all their proper shots.”

According to Perkins Monday night, the owners have been identified.

We all know pet owners love their animals. But, letting your animals roam freely, then hurt someone is unacceptable.

The city has a leash law that makes it unlawful for a dog to “run at large” within the city limits or the police jurisdiction. According to the Selma City Code, a dog must be confined within a fence, wall or other enclosure; be on a leash, cord or chain not less than 10 feet in length; be confined in a vehicle; or be confined by an electronic animal confinement system such as Invisible Fencing.

According to the city code, “it shall be no defense in any prosecution for a violation of this section that such dog was at large without the knowledge, consent, or permission of the person charged with such violation.”

In other words, ignorance is no defense.

Pet owners should be responsible for their animals. They should take into consideration that even mild-mannered animals can become aggressive. And not everyone is thrilled to run into a big dog – friendly or dangerous – when out walking.