Featured Letters: Dogs need their space to run

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |  The town may soon have a say on dogs on the beach, such as this one taking a dip at Goose Creek in Southold.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Some readers have taken exception to the idea of dogs being required to have a leash at all times on beaches.

To the editor:

I just got back from a walk with my dog. It’s a sunny day. This winter is going to end! We were alone on the beach where we usually go.

She ran and ran and ran. She ran in circles. She ran on ahead, leapt over objects in her path, swept on in a wide circle and zoomed back to me, grinning. Then off again. She really needed some exercise.

What will I do if I cannot let her off leash at appropriate times and in appropriate places? There is just no way I can give her enough exercise without somewhere to run free.

What would I have done when I first adopted her?

She came from New Orleans after Katrina. She was so frightened, and she was going to be euthanized. The North Fork Animal Welfare League rescued her and we adopted her. We were warned that all the Katrina dogs wanted to escape, to run, run, run.

I found this beach. It’s almost surrounded by water, then wetlands, then a very quiet road. I let her off the leash. She ran, and it was that running that brought her back to life. That plus clean air, good food and a safe new home.

In New York City, dog owners and non-dog owners have found a mutually agreeable solution. Dogs may be off leash in the parks before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Surely we can work something out in Southold.

Venetia Hands, Orient

To the editor:

I applaud Dawn Bennett’s Feb. 21 letter, “A ridiculous law.” Most dogs, like most people, are social animals and adapt well to social situations. Sometimes, however, people unknowingly provoke dogs to behaviors that people deem inappropriate, and sometimes otherwise considerate dog owners fail to pick up their dogs’ droppings.

But this does not mean that we need laws treating all dogs as though they were mad. Rather, we need avenues for informing the public about canine behavior and about responsible dog ownership. The knowledge thus promulgated could make life easier and healthier for both human and canine citizens.

Dogs make many valuable contributions to human life. In addition to the widespread joy in having them as pets, dogs provide a safety net in homes. They assist the police and the military, they assist the blind and they often give greater solace to the elderly and the ill than do other humans.

It’s only reasonable that the Town Board acknowledge the needs of dogs and create means for the fulfillment of those needs.

Maureen Sanders, Orient

To the Editor:

Dogs leashed at all times on the beach? Install cameras to shame the offenders? Huh?

Things have changed a great deal around here over the years. There are more humans from elsewhere, retirees with a cause, with ideas for improving things in their narrow scope of vision. But dogs are part of the fabric of the human experience, as are cantankerous, griping complainers. I have experienced far more negative behavior from humans than from dogs on the beach or elsewhere.

Back off and let dogs and their owners be, and let the Town Board weigh matters of real consequence.


Jack Gismondi, Peconic

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