What about the snakes in the grasswho let their pets roam free? | SummitDaily.com
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What about the snakes in the grasswho let their pets roam free?

Dave Weissman
Silverthorne

Regarding all the venomous indignation over the cat shot in Dillon Valley, where am I missing the criticism of the “lowlife, snake in the grass” who allowed their cat to roam free against the law?

Yes, I know all you cat owners out there think it’s your right to allow your animal to join its brethren and kill hundreds of thousands of songbirds and small animals every year and even think it’s cute when Fluffy comes home with their corpses.

Like it or not, animal control laws apply to you as well, and being responsible for the decimation of desirable as well as undesirable wildlife is nothing to be proud of.

It seems many pet owners are so engrossed in anthropomorphizing (humanizing) their animals that whatever their animals do to cause problems is absolutely nothing compared to restricting the animals right to freedom.

Case in point: I used to live in Dillon Valley and had a really nice vegetable garden. The neighborhood cats began to use it as their litter box, a lot.

My ex-wife happened to be pregnant with our first child at the time, and our doctor had advised us of a disease carried by cats in their feces and urine which caused the death of unborn children.

Now not only do I not exactly relish the thought of eating vegetables fertilized by your cat(s), when it comes to my child, even if the risk is infinitesimal, your cat loses.

The folks at Summit County Animal Control were kind enough to lend me a couple of live traps for the cats and after catching four or five of them, the problem stopped.

Not surprisingly, I heard later through my neighbors that the cat owners were quite upset I had the nerve to want a healthy child and clean food even though I sent them a letter outlining my reasons for trapping their cats and the woman was a longtime nurse at one of our emergency rooms.

Had I known who owned those cats or could’ve caught them, I certainly would’ve taken the situation up with them before the authorities. But look people, if you can’t be responsible for your pets, you don’t deserve to have them. It’s that simple.

What is also simple is that a domestic animal caught harassing, injuring or killing wildlife can be legally shot.

Obviously, before shooting someone’s pet you might want to catch or trap the pet first and turn it over to animal control and check with the Division of Wildlife on what exactly the regulations are.

Anyway, I certainly think it’s quite sick if someone shot that cat out of ignorance or pure maliciousness, but it’s also possible there’s another explanation and certainly the owner needs to be held accountable too.

Interestingly enough, while my son and I were sledding this winter, we had an unleashed pit bull threaten us with bared teeth and growling while its owner stood there and did nothing.

Yes, he explained how his pit bull wasn’t like others of its kind, but strangely, I questioned him on that as the dog closed in on my 2-year- old … anyway that’s another story.

The bottom line is if pet owners were responsible they would have nothing or very little to worry about.

Dave Weissman

Silverthorne


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