Biting discussion

Discussion at Ladysmith council is going to the dogs. At least it will be as a committee reconvenes to mull the criteria for how canines get on the town’s ‘Restricted Dogs’ list.The town’s current list, filled mostly by pit bull and terrier variations, has come under fire for providing no real basis for those dogs to be on there.Even in talking to the different sides of this very divisive issue, it is clear this discussion is going to have a few people showing their teeth.Some argue that dogs are guided by their bloodlines. Dogs that were bred to herd, will herd; dogs that were bred to search, will search; and dogs that were bred to kill, will …. well, kill. Those instincts can’t be bred out of an animal in only a few generations.Others say the pooches should get a clean slate and their owners should be the ones judged for the actions of their dogs.Whether you believe it all comes down to genetics or you think it is all dependent on the actions and omissions of dog owners, what is clear is there needs to be a constant law dealing with dangerous dogs — to keep the public, dog lovers or not, safe from what might be.No one seems to be calling those sections of the bylaw into question and for good reason.The most compelling of any argument is the side that argues for public safety.It’s true that most of the dog owning population in the area is responsible. They take the necessary training and socializing steps to make sure their dogs are welcome, friendly members of our communities. However, we need these laws and restrictions in place to be proactive instead of reactive.Even just one incident is enough to make us wish we had them.Let us know what you think at editor@ladysmithchronicle.com or comment at www.ladysmithchronicle.com.