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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Dogs at large
By Eugene Martin


September 24, 2012
Monday PM

As the former Director of Ketchikan Animal Protection, I saw the problem you're talking about everyday. And yes, it would be nice if the shelter could pick up animals day and night. However, that would cost a huge amount of taxpayer money. And yes it would be wonderful if people took responsibility for their animals. I was told one by a person, whose animals ran loose everyday, after the shelter closed, "that's why I moved here, so my animals could run free". It's a community culture that you're dealing with. One that doesn't like to be told what it can or can not do by anyone, especially the government agencies they pay for. Not only that, but they the (animal shelter) have no help. None from the law enforcement agencies or the courts.

I miss Alaska very much and when I'm gone from this world, I will be laid to rest there. I now live in Scotts Bluff Nebraska, and the Animal Control laws here are so much different then in Ketchikan. The police in Scotts Bluff are real animal control. The shelter simply houses the animals until they are either picked up by their owners or adopted. The fines are stiff and you can actually spend time in jail for a dog running at large in the town...

My point being, that if you really want to change things, you need to change the culture. I attempted to do that several times, by trying to get the Ketchikan police department to help, by attempting to move the farm animals outside the city limits. All failed. Your suggestion could work.... you'd have to get people to buy into it, and you'd have to pay for it. Beefing up the ordinances, getting law enforcement and the courts involved and it could be done with what you already have in place.

Eugene Martin
Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

About: Former Director of Ketchikan Animal Protection

Received September 24, 2012 - Published September 24, 2012

Related Viewpoint:

letter Pets in Ketchikan By Marie Zellmer


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