Leash laws

Dear Editor:I would like to offer my sympathies to the owners of the cat that was killed and to Helen Burns for having to witness this. ("Unsafe Streets," 8/14/09) Three years ago my dog was attacked twice within 10 days on the streets. I have a greyhound that was adopted through a retirement group that takes racing dogs off the tracks. The first attack was a beagle that had gotten out of its yard and caused $300 worth of damage and 14 stitches. My dog did not fight back; she was trained to race - not fight - and fighting is not in most greyhounds' DNA. The owners caught the dog and paid the vet bills and were of course apologetic. Ten days later my dog was viciously attacked by a pit bull that attempted to kill her. It was brutal and very bloody. I ended up jumping onto the pit bull and fighting it off my girl, no doubt saving her life. There were witnesses that stayed in the area and saw the owners pick up the dog after I had left to take my dog to the vet. They had even written down the car's license number and vehicle type. Before I had returned to the scene, animal control had arrived (SEAACA). The witnesses had given their information to SEAACA as well as myself. The SEAACA officer told me they would follow up and if I came to their offices in 10 days I would know the results. I wanted someone to pay the vet bills which ultimately cost more than $3,000. Two weeks later I went to SEAACA and found out the officer had never filed the report, never traced the car's license and I was out of luck because in our glorious state an animal is just property, therefore I could do nothing. Now I walk only in the park, the parks of my choice being Wilderness Park and Dennis the Menace Park. Yet virtually every day there are people in the parks letting their dogs run unleashed, even though we have a leash law in the city of Downey, county of Los Angeles, and the state of California. So why am I not surprised about the pit bulls that killed the cat in Ms. Burns' letter? Leash laws are unenforceable laws, just like using your cell phone while driving. There are just not enough police officers or animal control types to enforce the laws. SEAACA now has a 24-hour response for non-emergencies because they are so overwhelmed. I sympathize with them. This world, and this city, is becoming a scary place to live. All I can say is you have to be vigilant now, and if you have cats or non-prey dogs like mine, good luck, because we are virtually on our own. If you own a vicious dog, we ask that you have some sympathy for the rest of us; we have the right to walk our animals too. Please follow the laws. - Ron Zrodlo, Downey

********** Published: August 21, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 18