Featured Letter: More than just a leash law

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.

To the Editor:

Thanks for keeping us up to date on this important issue.

Your web post article “Closing in on leash law compromise” fails to mention that dog owners should be reminded of their responsibility, under current town code, to pick up and properly dispose of their dog’s waste on the beach or, for that matter, anywhere except on their own private property.

The historical failure of dog owners to pick up their pets’ poop has been one of the main issues with allowing dogs on the beach at all. Responsible dog owners understand this requirement and set good examples for all by their public behavior. Irresponsible dog owners miss the point (and ignore the legal requirement) and somehow pass the responsibility off, often by blaming their dog for any bad behaviors.

Owning a pet requires one to accept certain public health and safety responsibilities if one is going to go out in public spaces with their animals. These used to be common sense actions, but now it seems we have to legislate them for our community’s own good.

The people who complain about “overregulation” and “too much government in their lives” are creating this situation by their own actions. I hope all dog owners will help each other by setting good examples for others to follow, because we all have so much in common, including the love of our dogs and our wish for a good life for our pets.

Jim Baker, New Suffolk