SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Please abide by leash laws

By Mishele Rhein


June 22, 2016
Wednesday PM

In light of summer and the added outdoor activities at the local beaches, I would like to encourage the locals and our numerous summer guests to abide by the leash laws. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy watching my dogs run, play and dig with abandon on the sandy beaches as well, but doing so on a leash. Being a dog owner, I understand the need to get out and exercise man’s best friend, but to be honest, I am growing weary of being assaulted by “friendly” dogs when the owner is truly no where to be seen. I am not sure what’s worse, missing dog owners or oblivious dog owners. The latter being the friendly passers by greeting you a wonderful afternoon while their dog is running circles around you and your now distracted leashed dog. Everyone tends to think their dog is “amiable enough” and “its no problem.” Even though my exuberant animals feel the need to greet everyone, everyone does not feel the need to greet them. Just tonight I went for a walk and was greeted (whether I wanted to be or not) by no less than three dogs before I even got to the beach. One of which had a leash trailing but no person holding the other end and the fourth dog came to investigate upon exit and felt the need to walk us part way home.

This also compels me to mention the beautiful turf field we have out south, which is open to the public currently. Our family uses it often for walks, soccer or Frisbee and with very few flat expanses in Ketchikan; a place to do this is quite a treat. However, it is becoming more and more frequent that I see citizens with their young wheeled counterparts in tow even though the signs are clearly written in English upon entrance to this field. I empathize with parents and siblings just attempting to exercise in a controlled outside environment but I beg you to yield to the signage and not assume you are above it. I have noticed the borough has installed new gates with keyed locks that are not currently locked and so the public is still able to use the track without reservation, but…will these gates remain endlessly open of we continue to allow wheels on the track, and dogs within the fence line “just this once.”

I for one would like to continue to use the field that my taxes help pay for, the beach that is open to people and dogs…for now. I know what I ask, but please practice restraint and make sure the summer activities can be enjoyed by all seekers whether they be four legged or only two.

Mishele Rhein
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received June 21, 2016 - Published June 22, 2016



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