I am responding to two letters in the June 17 Xpress about "tethering" dogs. Cynthia Etheridge "couldn't be more disgusted with Council members," and Troy Amastar complains about labeling "animal-rights activists as extremists.”
For the record, I live in Asheville, voted for Obama, drive a hybrid, shop at the Co-op and don't eat meat. I also put my dog on a 12-foot leash — attached to a 60-foot runner in my large backyard — for one to three hours every day to get fresh air, in addition to daily walks in the neighborhood. I never leave the property with him tied up, and if he barks, he's telling me he wants to come in. Yet the proposed ban put before City Council, and ardently supported by Etheridge and Amastar, would turn me into a criminal for "tethering" my dog, as they want a complete ban with no exceptions.
Me, I couldn't "be more disgusted" with shortsighted people who react to the world only in black and white. Sure there's a problem with neglected dogs. But don't call me cruel and torturous or criminalize me for giving my dog the pleasure of sniffing the air in the shade under a tree. Ms. Etheridge, the solution is not simple as you assert. Design and propose a law that isn't stupidly reactionary — and then City Council, and I, will support it.
— Robert Collins