Featured Letter: A cautionary reminder for dog owners

To the editor:

On Sunday, May 24, our daughter was jogging with her 3-year-old son. Passing by a family renting a house for the weekend near First Baptist Church in Greenport, their large standard poodle/standard schnauzer mix lunged, biting my daughter deeply on the thigh, missing our grandson by inches.

I was on our porch and saw her running toward me, screaming in pain, blood coming down her thigh, jogging skirt shredded. Instead of attending a much-anticipated family birthday party, she immediately went to the ER. 

I am writing to ask for three simple requests for our public safety. The first is addressed to all dog owners, whether guests, renters or residents. I am a dog owner, too. Be vigilant. Greenport during “The Season” is bustling. Lots of music, motorcycles and people, more stimulation and experiences that might be unsettling for an edgy animal, or make a normally calm animal, edgy. Take extra care to control your dog at all times. You never know what behavioral changes could occur.

Secondly, this dog had bitten before under similar circumstances. Be considerate of others. Those of you who have dogs with a history of aggression and biting, you know this. You do. Don’t bring them here or have them out in public places. You already know the possible outcome. Don’t put anyone else at risk because you have come here to vacation. Whether full-time resident or a visitor for an hour, bringing known dangers is not in keeping with the village spirit.

Thirdly, landlords allowing pets, screen your renters! Don’t allow dogs with a known history of biting in our village. Ask questions! Do you know if you are also liable for the injuries and expenses incurred?

Please understand the dog was not at fault. The owners were. So sad. Our safety and the welfare of our beloved pets is totally in our hands. Tragic enough the owners again placed the dog in an overwhelming situation; our daughter was injured; our family plans ruined. Had my grandson been more involved? I can’t even think about it.

Penelope Rudder, Greenport