EDITORIAL: Clarity required for issues involving dogs

It's a case of too many jurisdictions with too many regulations

Write about it and they will respond.

Without hesitation. In large numbers. With passion from all sides of the debate.

You might be wondering what subject matter we are referring to here. The federal election? Nope. Homelessness? No. Health care? Nada.

Whenever we, or our valued letters to the editor contributors, write about issues related to dogs, the proverbial poop hits the fan.

This subject matter provides an excellent example of how there are often more than two sides to a story. It also serves as an example of how all people in what may seem the same category do not think alike — not all dog owners agree on all issues, for example.

Dogs have been with families for thousands of years. They have worked beside their owners, protected them and provided them with companionship. These days, they do all of the above and more.

We have seen how dogs light up the faces of the sick, the elderly and even those with dementia who don’t respond to other stimuli. They are a lifeline for the blind and invaluable for law enforcement.

We have also seen how dogs get loose and kill livestock, or attack other dogs or threaten and scare people in public.

Like the gun control debate, it often comes down to the responsible nature of the owners, or lack thereof. If a dog is properly trained and properly restrained, problems are less likely to occur. However, unlike guns, dogs are living, breathing animals whose reactions cannot be predicted 100 per cent of the time.

Local governments have tried to please everyone as they set up dog parks, on and off-leash and the like. We all know what happens when you try to please everyone.

Clarity over dog issues would be welcome in Parksville Qualicum Beach. One of the symptoms of an over-governed area is a mishmash of bylaws and regulations. One almost needs to carry a GPS indicator around here to know what jurisdiction one is situated. We have different bylaws in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the Regional District of Nanaimo. You can be in all three jurisdictions within a three-minute drive near French Creek. There are also provincial and federal regulations to consider when near a park or nature reserve or the ocean.

We challenge these governments to work together and produce a clear map of where one can walk a dog (with or without a leash). We will commit to devoting a full colour page for publishing that map.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

REVIEW: ‘Grace and Glorie’ a moving tale of death and friendship

Two women convey characters convincingly and with humour

Jordie Lunn, world-renowned mountain biker from Parksville, dies in accident

The 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened

Island man restores 1962 Qualicum Beach fire truck he bought for $1

Vintage vehicle in working order and ready to hit the road

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Most Read