SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: Upsetting Halloween Experience
By Suzan Thompson


November 08, 2006
Wednesday PM

I am so sorry that Amy Schmitt's family had such an upsetting experience on Halloween. She's absolutely right when she says that the driver had a responsibility to stop after realizing that he or she had hit something on the road, especially with so many children about. I hope that Ms. Schmitt's children are able to come to terms with their shock and will realize that not all drivers are as irresponsible as the one they encountered on Halloween night.

That said, I am also sorry for the lady whose dog was killed, but I'm sorriest for the dog. Perhaps the dog had never been allowed to run loose before and this was the sad result of the single time it escaped and was on the road. If that's the case, my sympathies. However, I live on North Point Higgins, and there are the same eight or ten dogs running loose on this road day and night. They are a hazard to drivers and the dogs are in danger every day.

In the last four years we've had three dogs hit by cars in front of our house. (The drivers stopped in two of the incidents, but the third driver ignored the dog.) It seems the owners are never around to deal with the aftermath when one of these poor animals gets run over. It's never the owners who have to deal with their dog's agony and all the blood. It's not the owners who have to carry their injured or dying pet out of the middle of the road. It's not the owners who have to calm a driver who is traumatized by something which wasn't their fault. It's never the owners who have to try to comfort sobbing children who were just on their way to school and should never have had to witness such a terrible thing.

Maybe it's because it's usually somebody else who has to deal with the inevitable results of an owner's carelessness and disregard for the welfare of their dog, that people still allow their animals to run loose on a busy road. It never seems to occur to these owners that it's not just their pet they're putting at risk. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are all in danger if somebody swerves to avoid an animal. It might take a hefty fine or a lawsuit to get these owners to pay attention.

Again, I'm sorry that the Schmitt family had such a bad experience, and I'm thankful that they stopped and checked the ditch, tried to help the animal, called the owner, and did the right thing when the driver did not. Hard as it was, it was a good lesson for their children in how responsible people behave in such a sad situation.

Suzan Thompson
Ketchikan, AK

About: "There are two dogs running loose down the middle of the street in front of my house as I write this."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Upsetting Halloween Experience By Amy Schmitt - Ketchikan, AK



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