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I’m not a great lover of dogs and wish that all dogs, when out and about, be on leashes. But I would never poison a dog, as has recently happened here in Toronto. Seems someone put anti-freeze into a doggie drinking trough in High Park. One dog, it seems, will not make it and the other dogs are very ill but stable.

There has been an ongoing issue between dog lovers and those who wish the dogs be on leashes. Most recently in the park across the street from my apartment a “dog park” was constructed so that all the nippy four-legged demons could have a place to scamper about and be dogs without impinging on other people’s ability to enjoy the rest of the park. It’s a fairly large dog park and the expectation is that the dogs play there. The park is relatively small so letting one’s dog off the leash means that any one of us could be pounced upon quite easily. The park, Allan Gardens, is not a leash-free zone, never has been. And yet the dog owners in my neighbourhood seem to view it as their right to let Rover, Tiger, Killer, Boxer etc loose.

Though it is horrific that someone would stoop to poisoning dogs (it’s not their fault they are off their leashes, it’s their owners’ fault) I can understand the sentiment behind it. Frustration that the rights of dogs and dog owners seem to be superceding that of others who just want to sit on a bench peacefully or have a picnic without a great big creature crashing into the food or biting a pedestrian.

What I would love to see is stiffer penalties laid against dog owners who let their dogs off the leash in areas where there are signs everywhere saying to keep the dogs on a leash. Make it $500 and hopefully the human caretakers of these beasts will pay closer attention to signs.

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