‘Municipal gov’t needs to keep paws out our pockets’

Maple Ridge just looking for some cash by surcharging owners of aggressive dogs

Among the breeds most often  associated with dog bites

Among the breeds most often associated with dog bites

Editor, The News:

Re: Proposed bylaw to single out pit bulls (The News, July 18).

The proposed aggressive dog fee is nothing more than another government cash grab.  It’s enough that we pay to licence pets to begin with, but to tack on an extra fee because of breed discrimination? It’s ruthless.

Most of the friendliest dogs I’ve come across were pit bulls. I’ve known more small breeds of dogs to be high strung and attempt an attack than larger dogs.

Why not put an aggressive dog fee on all family pets, including cats, who are known to scratch?

Why don’t we focus on the issue of animal cruelty and bad owners instead of ‘bad’ pets. If one abuses any animal, it will turn out aggressive as a defense mechanism, and perceive anyone as a potential threat, and are often hyper-vigilant.

Any breed of dog is capable of an attack. Size and breed don’t matter. The root of the issue is bad owners, or bad first homes, perhaps puppy mills for a lot of purebreds, any attacking dog could have come from.

Better screening practices for people who intend to own or breed dogs should be put in place, since there are no defined prerequisites to pet ownership. If anyone should own a pet, they should not have a history of animal cruelty or assault on their records.

There needs to be a crack-down on puppy mills and unlicensed breeders, and stiffer penalties for animal abusers. Right now, they only ban someone for about 10 years from animal ownership if charged with cruelty. That needs to be extended to a lifetime ban.

In the meantime, the government needs to keep their paws out of our pockets. We are being extorted enough with other general licencing fees and ever-increasing taxes. Having a family pet should not have to be one of those extra fees.

Nerissa Gregory

Maple Ridge