Commentary – ‘Who let the dogs out?’

Richard Froese

Many people own dogs or cats as pets and special companions.
Some have dogs for safety and to protect people and property.
However, a rash of dog attacks in the Big Lakes County region has been all but safe for innocent bystanders or people walking.
A frightening incident June 12 in Kinuso was anything but safe for a young man.
Walking home early in the morning, Gerald Barore was attacked by six dogs in a death-defying situation. Without quick action by other citizens, the victim said he would have probably died.
Suffering extensive injuries from the top of his head down his right side to his feet, he was flown by STARS air ambulance to hospital in Edmonton. He received 19 staples in his head and scalp, another 10 in his side and required surgery.
People say that dog is man’s best friend.
But, that incident proves that statement is not always true.
Everyone expects pet owners to be responsible and respectable. People just want dog owners to take care of their dogs, especially dogs that are considered dangerous, and to know where their dogs are at all times.
Horrific dogs attacks in unprovoked situations can raise many questions from the victims and others.
Why and how were the dogs loose, especially at night?
What would have happened if the incident occurred during daylight when people – and children – are out and about?
Several other attacks have been reported in the community and students at Kinuso School have also been bitten in the past month.
The rash of dog attacks in the hamlet was reported by Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt to Big Lakes County council at its regular meeting June 8.
Residents everywhere want their community to be safe for everyone.
Kinuso is not the only local community with problems with dog attacks. Town of High Prairie senior peace officer Alan Bloom told council at its regular meeting June 14 that three attacks were reported, although no time frame was stated.
Safe dogs begin with responsible owners.
Municipalities have bylaws to control animals and pets. Offenders face stiff fines and penalties.
In some cases, dog owners surrender their offending animals to remove them from the community and to reduce the risk of another attack.
It also seems that dog attack are a growing concern across Canada. Several stories about dogs attacking or killing people have been reported in mainline news media in the past few weeks.
What is causing that?
Why are there so many and in numerous regions across Canada?
Dog concerns in Kinuso continue to be addressed as officials take steps to reverse the rash of dangerous dog incidents. Big Lakes animal control is working with community members, High Prairie peace officers, Lakeshore Regional Police Service, Swan River Medical Clinic staff and High Prairie School Division to identify appropriate control measures to prevent the recurrence of dog-related incidents in local communities and keep residents safe.
The county is also dealing with another pet problem reported in Kinuso. A growing number of stray cats in Kinuso raised red flags at Big Lakes council meeting May 11.
Hunt reported an abundance of cats in the community. She says one house contained 30 cats and many of them are feral.
Hunt adds the SPCA does not address the issue in communities that don’t have a bylaw about cat control.
Council directed staff to draft an amendment to the animal-control bylaw to add regulations to cats in hamlets.
If it’s not a problem with dogs, it’s cats. Everyone should encourage pet owners to take care and control of their cats and dog

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