Hester Vogel: Dog problems
October 1, 2008
I am writing this after reading Maureen Smilkstein’s letter, “Dogs threatening,” in the Sept. 24 Steamboat Today. I too have had a number of negative experience with assorted guard dogs. Something has to be done before someone is killed. It is bad enough that a dog was shredded.
I live in Creek Ranch and take my dogs to work with me in the back bed of my truck. This summer, I was chased down the county road by a dog who was laying in the middle of it guarding sheep on a nearby hillside. The shepherd did nothing. Luckily, I accelerated and left the dog behind. From a legal standpoint, I had to speed to do it.
Another time I had my two horses in the front of my four-horse stock trailer, and my two dogs in the rear portion. I was going to the Flat Tops on county roads for a trail ride. On a very steep upgrade, a guard dog shot out of the woods and was at my dogs through the slats of the trailer. This time I couldn’t accelerate any more because of the grade. The dog stuck with me for a mile. Needless to say, I was shaken, and my large dogs were beside themselves.
Why are sheep ranchers above the law? I understand their need for those dogs, and I love to eat lamb. I am not against sheep at all, just uncontrolled attack dogs on public lands.
I carry a weapon, and I won’t hesitate to use it if I or my animals are attacked unprovoked. I don’t want to be put in a situation where I have to make that call. It’s not the dog’s fault; they’re not trained and they are under no voice command. But make no mistake, their job is to kill. And they aren’t choosy about who or what.
Let’s fix this problem – we have to.
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