Saturday, December 31, 2005

Still More Stupid Dog Owners

There have been plenty of examples of irresponsible dog ownership in the news lately.

This time it's about the leash laws in Millcreek Canyon, east of Salt Lake City. Thanks to widespread disregard for the ordinance, the whole canyon has become a full-time off-leash area. Originally, it was supposed to be only every odd-numbered day when dogs were allowed to run free -- a compromise between the County and dog owners -- but our responsible, animal-loving friends have thumbed their nose at that.

Given the attitude of FIDOS, the "advocacy" group that supposedly "educates" dog owners, it's not hard to see why. They seem to think it's their birthright to let their dogs run free, since all of the other canyons on the east side of the county are designated as watersheds and dogs are prohibited there. I think the dog owners believe if they simply ignore the law, the Forest Service and Salt Lake County will give in.

In my experience in Park City, and as a cross-country skier and hiker, there's an inverse correlation between annual income and responsible pet ownership. You'd never see dogs running free in the working-class neighborhoods of Magna or Kearns because the Sheriff or Animal Control wouldn't hesitate to impound the dog and few people there have the spare money to bail it out. But it seems the upper crust residents of Salt Lake County know they have enough clout to intimidate the County government into doing nothing, which is why there is so little enforcement in Millcreek Canyon.


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