Wasn’t the death penalty abolished in 1976?
(Qualicum Beach town Deputy Chief Administrative Officer) John Marsh has got it all wrong if he continues to push for the euthanizing of these two offenders. (Re: Town wants dogs destroyed, The News, page A6, Fri., Dec. 2 edition)
Sure, it would please a lot of nervous dog walkers who fear random attacks at any given moment, but the solution Marsh offers is nothing but a quick fix.
Not only is he punishing the wrong offender, but he is sending a message to the community that our leaders are not willing to seek superior solutions to issues that are not uncommon.
Dog attacks occur all the time, many with much more serious outcomes than this recent one, and by killing the animal that was active in the damage we are merely taping up an issue that requires heavy-duty construction.
First, the dogs are not wholly to blame for the incident.
Obviously they are animals that are not safe off-leash in public areas, and they should have been under strict control, but killing them is just as cruel as the attack they committed.
Euthanizing might make sense if they happened to be vicious beasts who couldn’t be safely approached without a suit of armor on, but there is no proof that these creatures even have a history of violence.
One strike and you’re out?
This seems like a panicked decision Marsh has made to save face and seem like some sort of hero, making quick decisions in a time of need. But upon closer investigation, it is obvious his solution is ridiculous.
Punishing the dogs isn’t going to do any good, they will be dead, their family will be devastated, and a troop of gentle, on-leash dog owners will be comforted, until the next incident occurs.
If Marsh had the insight and patience to sit down and think the problem over, he would see that his decision was an ignorant one. He would realize that, in a dog attack, a dog is not the one to blame.
Does one blame the vehicle in a fender bender or the person sitting behind the wheel, controlling the gas pedal?
Marsh should use his influence to come up with a way to punish the dog owner, whether it be through paying a fine or going to court, and persecute the body responsible for the incident, instead of the vehicle for disaster.
If he wracked his brain and thought just a little bit harder, Marsh might even realize he could take another step to aid in ending his quick-fix cycle.
He might come up with the idea of sending the dogs to a rehabilitation facility instead of ending their lives without trying to fix their issues.
Does a drunk driver get a lethal injection after a fatal accident? Or does he get sent to rehab to try and change, to try and prevent future accidents?
Perhaps Marsh thinks himself a hero, taking drastic measures to console us dog owners, quaking in our walking shoes, anticipating a violent attack.
But the truth is, instead of preventing such attacks, he is helping them to occur.
By killing these two dogs, showing the community he is willing to take impulsive action, Marsh isn’t protecting us. He is reaching down and slipping the leash off another vicious creature, and this one might just go in for the kill.
Madeleine Ritzker lives in Qualicum Beach