Letters to the Editor

Do it for the dogs, Dianne

A letter writer urges Mayor Dianne Watts (here with her two Rottweilers) to enact a full ban on dog tethering before she leaves public office. - Leader file photo
A letter writer urges Mayor Dianne Watts (here with her two Rottweilers) to enact a full ban on dog tethering before she leaves public office.
— image credit: Leader file photo

What a lovely picture of Surrey’s beloved mayor, Dianne Watts, with her own beloved dogs, on the front page of The Leader on April 29.

I am sure Dianne loves her Rottweilers with her heart and soul, as so many people do love their pets. Dogs are rightfully referred to as “man’s best friend.”

I would like to suggest that perhaps before leaving office, Dianne might consider a swan song of something truly good for dogs. I am referring to the ones who are not so privileged as to live with caring humans.

I suggest an enactment of a total tethering ban for dogs on leashes.  This may not seem important to the majority of people who love their dogs as a member of the family and would never think of leaving them outdoors 24/7 strapped to a leash that restricts them from moving any further than the radius that a leash allows.

Unfortunately, the truth is that there are people who care very little for their pets, and in Surrey, they are able to legally subject them to a frustrating, depressing and lonely life outdoors alone at the end of a tether.

A partial or time-limited ban, such as Surrey enacted in 2011, is effectively unenforceable because officers can’t tell how long a dog has been chained.

In one case, a chained dog that was reported by a neighbour was subsequently removed by its owner to a dark shed where it was legally kept during the bylaw-imposed “off leash” time.  How effective is that?

Other Lower Mainland municipalities, such as New Westminster and Delta, have fully addressed the cruelty of such dog owners by enacting a full tether ban which includes “cruel confinement legislation.”

I implore Mayor Dianne Watts to do something good that all caring residents of Surrey can agree on: Let’s respect dogs who can’t speak for themselves and enact fully protective legislation on their behalf.


Jacqueline Hohmann, Surrey

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