Be responsible with your pets

Dogs need to be on leashes. Cats need to be indoors.

Thank you for the wonderful coverage of Radar the dog’s recent rescue (Editorial — “Radar’s rescue brought out the best in islanders” and News —“Radar, runaway dog, returned home safely,” Jan. 9). I am so lucky to be part of a community that cares so deeply about animals and about each other.

On behalf of those islanders who choose to let their dogs run free, untrained, unlicensed, un-collared and unleashed at all hours of the day and night, I apologize for the many times I’ve called Vashon Island Pet Protectors thinking I’d found a stray. Once, I found a tiny, ancient, half-starved cat sitting on the highway without a collar or tag. I took her home immediately and called VIPP. Her “owners” came forward and were quite annoyed with me, claiming I should have known it was a family pet.

Another time, I picked up a friendly puppy running across the highway after almost hitting it with my car. It had no collar or no tags. I spent an hour trying to keep the dog safe after alerting VIPP, only to discover that the dog has an owner who lives nearby. Now the dog thinks we’re pals and scratches on my front door, which freaks out my cat and puts scratch marks on my landlady’s property — not to mention the poop.

Please be responsible for your pets. Dogs need to be on leashes; cats need to be indoors. It’s not that complicated.

— Shannon Mahan

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