Time for island to enforce leash laws

This is a devastating follow up to my recent letter imploring people to be responsible pet owners. At the end of a long week commuting to Seattle and back, I was driving home at 7:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day night, eagerly awaiting the start of a relaxing three-day weekend, when a giant black dog leaped out of the darkness directly in front of my moving car.

It is very difficult to describe the rest of the scene, but here it is. I swerved, nearly hitting a tree, slammed into the dog, pulled over in the pitch black, sobbing and staggering down the road towards the dog’s screams, finding the poor dog in the ditch, back legs destroyed. Unable to think or function, I flagged down a passing motorist who stopped to help. The owner of the dog was located. I was hysterical.

I spent all of that night in heaving, sobbing tears. I cried all weekend and I am crying as I write this. That dog suffered a gruesome, agonizing, needless death, and the blame must be placed squarely on the owner. I am the one who gets to live with this horror for the rest of my life, however.

The damage to the car I have owned for three weeks is secondary, but worth mentioning. This isn’t rural Wyoming folks. It is time to start enforcing the leash laws that are in place for so many good reasons. I wouldn’t wish this tragic experience on anybody, especially when it is totally preventable.

— Shannon Mahan




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