Dogs don't have same rights as humans

Published 27/08/2016 | 00:00

I heard a rather unsettling story about a dog urinating on a child on a beach this week but it was the response from the pet owner that was even more ridiculous than the incident itself.

The matter was discussed on radio the other day by the child's bewildered father who was at a loss as to get some sort of just closure. The man wasn't one of the usual eternal-whinger types that often grace our airwaves, but rather a father caught in a difficult predicament.

You see, the man's child was upset enough by being used as a toilet on the beach by a wandering canine, but the whole thing was made much worse by the alleged response of the owners.

Their view, as he outlined, was that on a public beach dogs can do as they please. They even went so far as to tell them to ask the dog for an apology if that was what he wanted.

I just can't believe that anyone would be so irresponsible. Would they have the same attitude had the child been bitten, or if a member of their party had been on the receiving end of the dog's business?

I will never understand how some people think that their dogs have equal rights and freedom as human beings. They are certainly not free to do as they please on beaches, or in fact any other public place.

It must also be noted that while the dog was a most unwelcome visitor on this occasion, no physical harm was done and a sincere apology can often make a huge difference.

Had the owner simply no shame or were they too embarrassed to acknowledge their pet's wrongdoing? They probably got a shock to be approached and told of what had happened to the child but to be so disinterested is hardly the way to address another human being with a genuine grievance. After all a dog can hardly be expected to adhere to the rules of human etiquette and their owners should keep them under control.

Dogs are not humans and no matter how much of a 'pet' they are, they are still prone to unpredictability. Those who say their dog won't bite are naive and only have to look at the all too regular incidents of attacks on children to see just how dangerous unsupervised pets can be.

Anyone who chooses to keep a dog must also realise that they come with a lot of responsibility.

Wexford People

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