Disgruntled dog walker

Every time you let your dog run around loose, you put our dogs and myself in danger. Just because you might be some freewheeling, kombucha-drinking, yoga-doin' hippy, that doesn't mean that our dogs are. They are animals; they like to growl, bite, scratch and kill. Not much different from us when we are provoked. Please keep your dog on a leash … or heaven forbid, a chain (gasp, hissssss, boooo!).

— Patty Dowdy
Asheville

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62 thoughts on “Disgruntled dog walker

  1. Victoria Lyall

    If you and your dogs growl, bite, scratch, and kill, all of you should be on leashes. Some of us actually teach our companion animals how to act in public. There are very few off-leash areas left, and if you are in or near one, you should expect to see happy animals enjoying the freedom to run that is good for all of us. Call a trainer for your dogs and an anger management counselor for yourself. Or have yourself a nice freewheeling off-leash run; it sounds like you could use the endorphins.

  2. chops

    The vast majority of dogs are “friendly”, and absolutely safe to run free. Let’s not let a few bad apples set the standard for leash rules.

    A responsible owner should know if their dog can potentially become a nuisance, or aggressive. If they don’t practice decent judgement, I have no qualms about scolding the owners on the spot. I encourage others to do the same (or carry pepper spray).

  3. Dionysis

    “Every time you let your dog run around loose, you put our dogs and myself in danger.”

    Wow, what an eye-opener. I live in the country on a couple of acres; my animals have the run of the place. I wish I’d known they posed a “danger” to you.

  4. GabrielV

    I think that Patty was trying to voice her concern over those owners that allow their dogs to run free in public areas not authorized by law.
    Both city and county animal ordinances mandate that every person owning or having possession, charge, care, custody or control of any animal shall keep that animal exclusively upon his or her premises. As long as your animal is contained on your premises then you have the right to let it “run free.”

    However, those ordinances require that if you take your pet off your property it must be under the physical control of a competent person and restrained by a chain, leash, harness or other means of physical control.

    Outside of the few dog parks that the county has, this means that all pets should be leashed and controlled when in public. Yet I see every day dog owners that thoughtlessly defy the ordinance and allow their dogs to “run free” where ever them deem fit.

    What harm is that some might say, well I live near to Ira Jones Elementary school and city park which both seem to have been turned into a “de facto” dog park by some undisciplined dog owners. I have witnessed dogs running into and knocking over small children playing in the park, the owners not offering any apologies for the action. I have witnessed loose dogs aggressively run up on leashed dogs in an aggressive manner, causing ruffled feathers on both the owners and dogs parts. Additionally, both the areas have become dangerously riddled with dog feces that poses a health risk to children playing in those areas.

    Responsible owners understand that they are liable for the behavior of their animal when in a public place and for complying with the rules established for their behavior. So stop acting so childish and abide by those rules or don’t take your pet into public areas. Furthermore, if you see an owner allowing their dog off-leash where not allowed, take the time to talk to them about it so that we can make Asheville a better place for all of us.

  5. Piffy!

    my dogs refuse to wear a lease or drink kombucha, but they all do a mean downward-dog.

    [b]They are animals; they like to growl, bite, scratch and kill. Not much different from us when we are provoked. Please keep your dog on a leash[/b]

    by your own logic, then, it sounds like you need to be kept on a leash. also, like others have already said, if your dogs like to growl bite and kill, i think you have a problem animal that should not be in the city at all.

  6. cathead_03

    i love that all the responses refuse to consider the possibility that the dog that is ON the leash may be the one who doesn’t need the stress of unleashed dogs running up to it. some ppl just don’t get that. and maybe hers is a rescue animal?!?

  7. Clementine

    I agree.

    If not on private property or in a specifically off-leash dog park type area it is completely rude and inconsiderate to not have your dogs leashed.

    Just because you like dogs doesn’t mean everyone else in the area does.

  8. cwaster

    I get the point here, although the writer may have antagonized some folks with his description. In short, quite a few dogs running around loose behave poorly in this town. It is a reflection upon their owners in fact. Either way- leash law if you’re walking your dog in the city.

    I personally carry pepper spray and have given at least one dog that got aggressive a face-full. I did warn the “hippy” owners that the dog was behaving aggressively as it had tried more than once to charge me on the street near my home. That solved that problem…

  9. Walt Cook

    May I suggest you open your horizons a bit and travel to Europe here dog accompany their owners while dining and shopping without hazard. In America more people are killed in a day than dogs kill in a year. If a dog is running up to you it is to be friendly, not to harm. It’s sad that so many people are taught to hate and fear. Of course I have fears…..Chinese products and Goldman Sachs.

  10. Cheshire

    Dionysis: The letter wasn’t referring to dogs that are kept on the owners’ property. Surely you caught that. It’s the dogs that are free-roaming where they shouldn’t be (roads, public parks, etc) that are the problem.

    Those of you who let your dogs run around when they should be leashed: do you have the funding to accept financial responsibility if/when your dog causes a problem?

    If I’m walking my dog on a leash and yours comes running up, friendly or not, that’s asking for trouble. I have no way of knowing if it’s friendly or not, if it’s just wanting to play or about to start a fight, etc. It may be friendly, but if the two animals (yours and mine) don’t like each other and something does happen…it’s your fault, and legally your responsibility. Why? I was following the law and had my dog on leash while off my property or outside a leash-optional area like a dog park.
    So don’t come running over screaming at me about your poor little fluffy if I take precautions to keep myself from being stuck in the middle of a potentially bad situation. My dog has been well-trained and sees me as alpha, as she should…and I look after my pack.

    For that matter, if I’m walking without my dog and yours comes running up off-leash, don’t scream if I prepare myself to subdue your animal. There’s signs at all the park entrances that say leashes are required. NC has been a leash-law state for a very, very long time. It’s not a new thing that you’re ignoring.

  11. Dionysis

    “Dionysis: The letter wasn’t referring to dogs that are kept on the owners’ property. Surely you caught that.”

    Of course I caught that; I was just funnin’ around a little.

  12. Piffy!

    Clearly we need to import some natural predators for all these leashless dogs.

    Me thinks the chinese.

  13. toria

    I completely agree that dogs should NOT be running loose, especially in the city limits. HOWEVER I am insulted at the insinuation that it is “free-wheeling, kombucha-drinking, yoga-doin hippies” that are the ones letting their dogs run loose. It is ALL KINDS Of people doing this, and in my experience it is actually more commonly the “southern, country” people doing it even more. So how about we stop the ignorant labeling assumptions and focus on the real problem which is that dogs should not be running loose. I hate when I (a yoga-loving hippie you would probably say) am walking my two well behaved dogs on a leash only to be chased down by a dog running wild with no person around. Pretty much ruins our walk and makes me feel very unsafe. If you live in the city limits, report these people because it is illegal to let your dogs run loose.

  14. walt Cook

    A dog running up to me in a park doesn’t bother me at all….I own a Dog Bakery “http://www.mtndogbakery.com”
    What really scares me is stuff made in China and anyone from Goldman Sachs.
    Now they really kill and hurt people.

  15. Jenna

    I agree wholeheartedly with the intention of this letter, though i agree it was unnecessarily pointed toward a certain kind of asheville-ite.

    I have 2 wonderful dogs, one of which is a rescue with leash-induced fear agression. As a result, we are careful to choose places to walk that are less likely to give him an opportunity to agress. This is usually around my neighborhood or deep in the woods.

    I also happen to live in North Asheville, where people think that it is okay to have an off leash dog in their front yard. It is nice to have your dogs wiht you while doing yard work or relaxing on your porch. But I doesn’t matter how well behaved your dog is, or how friendly it its- if i am walking down the street with 2 leashed dogs and your dog runs over to them, and one of my dogs attacks him or bites him, it will be my fault and responsibilty to take care of. That doesn’t seem very fair.

    Please, keep your dogs on tie outs when in the yard. For their own safety and for our sanity.

  16. Jenna

    I agree wholeheartedly with the intention of this letter, though i agree it was unnecessarily pointed toward a certain kind of asheville-ite.

    I have 2 wonderful dogs, one of which is a rescue with leash-induced fear agression. As a result, we are careful to choose places to walk that are less likely to give him an opportunity to agress. This is usually around my neighborhood or deep in the woods.

    I also happen to live in North Asheville, where people think that it is okay to have an off leash dog in their front yard. It is nice to have your dogs wiht you while doing yard work or relaxing on your porch. But I doesn’t matter how well behaved your dog is, or how friendly it its- if i am walking down the street with 2 leashed dogs and your dog runs over to them, and one of my dogs attacks him or bites him, it will be my fault and responsibilty to take care of. That doesn’t seem very fair.

    Please, keep your dogs on tie outs when in the yard. For their own safety and for our sanity.

  17. brebro

    “….freewheeling, kombucha-drinking, yoga-doin’ hippy?” Did Sal, Vito, Mookie and Radio Raheem write this letter in 1989?

  18. TokyoTaos

    Yes, human beings are the most important animals here on earth and our interests are paramount! All other animals must be leashed, chained, fenced in or killed so that we, in our obvious superiority, can stay safe and roam where we like!

  19. TokyoTaos

    After all, we are not ourselves a threat to other animals. Why, we are much too civilized!

  20. travelah

    By all means untie the Rottweilers when Tokyo goes for a stroll in the neighborhood. We don’t want to be too civilized.

  21. TokyoTaos

    Travelah, dogs caused 33 deaths in 2007, 23 in 2008, and 30 in 2009. I could only find statistics for murders In 2000 – basically 3,000 + women were murdered that year and over 90% of the killers were male. Perhaps we should let the Rottweilers roam free and tie up the men instead?

  22. TokyoTaos

    P.S. Actually all the Rottweilers I’ve ever met have been very nice animals, leashed or unleashed.

  23. shadmarsh

    Soon as a dog or group of dogs create a system of government, art, music, and language then I will consider them civilized. That and they have to stop eating each others poo. Until then keep Fido on a leash and his nose out of crotch.

  24. Who

    Hey Tokyo, let’s not man bash. You don’t want to get into murder statistics.

  25. Cheshire

    Right, because a labrador or retriever has never attacked anyone, ever. While you’re at it, I hear you’ve got some Montana beach-front property for sale?

    Travelah, you don’t know what you’re talking about, I assure you. Please don’t bring breed into it. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog it is, it’s how it’s trained, which brings us back to the matter at hand: crappy owners. Would you let your small children run around in the same fashion? Nope, so show the same responsibility and leadership with your pets.

  26. J.G. Lesser

    i think whatever people do with their animals is their own business. if you dont like the fact someone is letting their pet walk freely with them instead of restraining them like a rabid animal, then respectively ma’am you should find a new place to live. because you live in asheville, so youre not going to be able to escape the “hippys” you speak of. sorry.

  27. west asheville

    If one more dog is off it’s leash at Bent Creek, I’m going to kick the crap out of it in front of their owner.

  28. shadmarsh

    i think whatever people do with their animals is their own business. if you dont like the fact someone is letting their pet walk freely with them instead of restraining them like a rabid animal, then respectively ma’am you should find a new place to live

    If I am out for a walk with my son, whose face is conveniently at your dogs jaw level, and your dog is not on a leash and come running up to him, expect that your dog may get kicked in the face. As an uncivilized human it is impossible for me to restrain the parental instinct…or you could do us all a favor and pull your head out of your arse .

  29. cwaster

    “i think whatever people do with their animals is their own business. if you dont like the fact someone is letting their pet walk freely with them instead of restraining them like a rabid animal, then respectively ma’am you should find a new place to live”

    -Ridiculous and poorly thought out. So it’s their own business if their unrestrained poorly-behaved animal starts a dogfight or bites someone? Then it’s my business if I pepper spray and kick the crap out of said aggressive dog.

  30. “If one more dog is off it’s leash at Bent Creek, I’m going to kick the crap out of it in front of their owner.”

    I foresee a good ass-kicking coming your way!

    my dog does not need a leash we have perfect control of him, many municipalities allow voice control as an alternative to leashing.

    Bad dogs are usually caused by stupid owners; people who threaten to kick an animal that has done nothing more than be off a leash, probably would would fall under the stupid owner category and they themselves may be the one that should be put on a leash.

  31. I have complete control over my dog, and I leash in the appropriate situation. So how am I not being a good citizen?

    kicking a dog that has done nothing more than being off the leash seems like putting your own priorities and beliefs ahead of public good and common courtesy. I completely understand if a dog gets in your child’s face that you will want to defend, that makes sense and I would tend to share that response, but to threaten to kick a dog, because the owner has broken a minor law is silly. By that logic, would it be OK to kick a jay walker, or someone who does not use their turn signal.

    “Why is this such a big deal?”
    I completely agree this issue is not a big deal. I have hiked around this area for the last 14 years with my dogs off leash, never had my dog get in a child’s face, never been given a ticket, never had a dog fight, and certainly no kicking.

    Not picking up dog poop at the park, now that is bad citizenry!

  32. shadmarsh

    I’m not talking about kicking a dog for no reason, but just telling you I have no idea whether your dog is well trained or not when it comes running up to my child, and I have a right to protect my child.

  33. My first statement was responding to “west asheville” who seemed to be advocating kicking unleashed dogs for no reason, when you responded I assumed your were in congruence. I am glad that you are not in alignment with that school of thought.

    I completely support your right to defend your child, but I also have the right to defend my dog from some vigilante numb nuts.

  34. Dionysis

    Anyone that would kick a dog for no reason other than it is off a leash, without provocation or acting defensively (say to protect a child) richley deserves a thorough ass kicking. And if the threat is carried out, almost certainly will get one.

  35. Cheshire

    “my dog does not need a leash we have perfect control of him, many municipalities allow voice control as an alternative to leashing.”
    “So how am I not being a good citizen?”

    Many municipalities might, this ain’t one of them. Buncombe county and the City of Asheville both require PHYSICAL restraint when you’re not on your own private property or inside the fence of a dog park. It’s amazing how many people tout themselves good citizens and in the same breath boast to breaking the law.

    Tell ya what: you let your dog run off-leash when they should be on one, you accept what discipline/training measure I end up taking when your pet approaches me and my dog uninvited.

  36. “It’s amazing how many people tout themselves good citizens and in the same breath boast to breaking the law.”

    I was not really touting myself as a good citizen, but If breaking a few inane laws makes me a bad citizen, then so be it der Komissar.

    “Tell ya what: you let your dog run off-leash when they should be on one, you accept what discipline/training measure I end up taking when your pet approaches me and my dog uninvited.”

    Thanks Deputy Fife please don’t citizen’s arrest me. Remember I said my dog was under control, so he won’t be running up to you uninvited, so lose the internet bravado tough guy.

  37. shadmarsh

    You don’t get to decide which laws are inane and which are not. Leash laws, whether you realize it or not, exist for a reason.

  38. “You don’t get to decide which laws are inane and which are not.”

    yes I do, I retain my rights as a free thinker. Do you always cross at crosswalks? ever shot illegal fireworks, come on.

    “Leash laws, whether you realize it or not, exist for a reason.”

    of course I realize it, it is because irresponsible people can own dogs. Have I ever stated that I did not believe in leash laws? No, I merely commented on the unprovoked attack on a dog without a leash.

  39. shadmarsh

    I don’t jaywalk. people around here drive like idiots, but they are hardly comparable. Also I think you are confusing “free thinker” with “obnoxious.”

  40. “Also I think you are confusing “free thinker” with “obnoxious.” ”

    I have agreed with you on most issues here, having a debate is not being obnoxious.

    I have never called you a dick, Why are you intent on proving that you are one?

  41. shadmarsh

    whatever. I consider not having your dog on a leash, in a public place, because you think the law is frivolous is obnoxious.

  42. mtndow

    47 comments makes this The issue of the week.
    We have a Leash Law for a reason. Obey it.
    ‘Freespirit’ walks into the front door of ##### on Haywood with her two canines and ‘Greengreg’ walks in the back door with his dog. All heck breaks loose in the store. Small kids and rassl’n dogs is a poor combo.
    How many times have we seen in the paper “Asheville police seek owner of dog involved in bite incident”? At Carrier Park, The Universal Joint, two on W.T.Weaver Blvd. We have a Leash Law for a reason. Obey it.
    I would also be in favor of a city doggie-density ordinance. I have counted as many as twelve howling hounds on our block as the ambulance heads out on Patton Ave.

  43. who

    Yes, now we’re talking! Barking dogs! There is nothing more annoying than people who allow there lovable, sweet, and cute dogs to continuously bark. All owners of incessant barking dogs should be put in FEMA camps.

  44. Maria

    There are plenty of repercussions that would be expeirenced should my dog attack or bite another human or dog. Let’s let those be the deterent to unruly dogs off leash and allow the well behaved dogs to have their freedom until they show a reason to take it away. You do have to look at the intent of the law. The leash law is to prevent biting or harm caused by dogs, not to ensure all dogs are attached to a rope. If your focus is merely on seeing every dog tethered, then it sounds like you are missing the point.

  45. JWTJr

    Dogs should only be carried. Leashes are cruel and tire the dog by making the poor thing walk.

    Allowing a dog to be off leash is unnatural.

  46. cwaster

    “allow the well behaved dogs to have their freedom until they show a reason to take it away…”

    But the problem is- a lot of people do not have well-behaved dogs. Because they are poor dog owners. How do you determine that? Let it bite someone, and then say “oh that’s a poorly behaved pooch?” The simple fact is, some dogs and their owners suck. And most probably don’t, but the bad apples make it hard for everyone.

  47. “The leash law is to prevent biting or harm caused by dogs, not to ensure all dogs are attached to a rope. If your focus is merely on seeing every dog tethered, then it sounds like you are missing the point.”

    Thanks Maria that sums it up nicely

  48. Cheshire

    The leash law is not just to prevent biting. Some people are allergic to dogs. Some people are phobic. Some people just aren’t dog people. They have a right to be able to enjoy public spaces without having to deal with a dog. For those people, it doesn’t matter how friendly or aggressive your pet is: your pet running off-lead is effectively fencing off a public area from where they can safely go.
    Some people aren’t steady on their feet, either from age or injury. What’s wrong with wanting to enjoy a day in the park (or what have you) to relax? It’s not very relaxing when that person is constantly worrying about whether some strange dog is actually under control off-lead or whether it’s a problem waiting to happen.

    Now, about those repercussions. Have you ever had to deal with a bite? I have: a 10-second altercation resulted in several hundred dollars. I shouldn’t have to wait for someone’s dog to attack me or mine to find out it’s not ready to be off-lead after all: my pet is not a canary in a coal mine.

  49. TokyoTaos

    I think again that it’s this assumption that our ‘rights’ are more important than any other animal’s. If a dog is well behaved and not aggressive I believe it has a right to enjoy an outing without a leash around it’s neck. Think about it: far more dogs are killed, wounded and mistreated by human beings than the other way around. Maybe we’re the ones that should be leashed?

  50. West Asheville

    I exchanged emails with Asheville Animal Control, and they said I have the right to defend myself with pepper spray or force against any animal off leash that approaches me. Therefore, I will kick the shit out of your dog and spray it with pepper spray if it approaches me and my dogs (which are on leash) when I am at Bent Creek. If you want to take your dog offleash, then buy your own land, or go to the dog park.

  51. Excellent now when some lunatic attacks a dog in Bent creek, the police can find your identity through Animal control’s e-mail log (public record) I think your comments on this thread will go nicely with you “self defense” plea.

    I think the actual police will temporarily put you in one of those leashes for people, handcuffs while they take you to your cage.

    But I doubt that anyone will have trouble identifying you, if in fact you are as vicious as you claim, because there is a distinct walk to someone with a can of pepper spray in there ass.

  52. shadmarsh

    How many of you have one of those “Dog is Love” bumper-stickers? just curious.

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