Operating on a reactive basis

From dogs roaming freely around town unleashed to dogs barking at all hours of the day, as well as dogs stalking people and other pets while out for a walk to dogs biting and aggressive behaviour, I have heard it all.

A few months ago I was out for a walk with a friend and a puppy broke loose from the backyard of an owner and started to follow us. We had a difficult time getting it safely back to the owner’s house. Because it was so young and the area we were walking usually experiences high traffic, my heart was palpitating hard every time the pup bee-lined it for a vehicle’s tires.

On many other occasions while I have been out for a run or a bike ride I have seen dogs freely roaming the streets. I usually post on the Houston Buy & Sell Facebook page a photo of the dogs and the street address where I last saw them. Most owners claim them right away.

In a recent interview with a concerned Houston resident, this person stated that garbage cans with little dogs bags would be an asset in the community.

I agree. Perhaps by making garbage cans and bags more accessible owners may less likely turn a blind eye.

From the District of Houston council meeting on July 18, I now better understand the district’s procedure on issuing notices to pet owners whose dogs have received a bylaw complaint.

I wonder if this system could add a procedure where a copy of that letter, or a separate notice was sent to the complainant confirming that a letter has been issued to the owner.

As well as a description of how the bylaw procedure works and at what point owners would receive a fine or have their dog be taken by court order.

Giving the public education on the procedure process as well as having better follow ups with the complainants I think would ease the tension on this issue.

I think many people too are afraid to “rock the boat” by calling the district to report a complaint. But residents need to know that if the procedure operates on a reactive basis, no one should hesitate to contact the bylaw officer.