Letters to the Editor

Responsible dog owners are a rare breed in county

Thurston County animal control is an oxymoron. There is no control. The office suffers from a severe lack of funding and County Commissioner focus. Barking and loose dog ordinances are seriously out of date, and there are no teeth in the laws. All county offices, including the Sherriff, espouse a lack of funding as the sole reason for a failure to safeguard pets and citizens.

I am a disabled vet, but I should not have to negotiate a combat zone in my own neighborhood. Our days and evenings are filled with the yaps, howls, and deep-throated barking of myriad dogs. Some dogs bark the entire day and most of the night, festooned to garages or sheds.

Some run loose in the neighborhood, depositing their refuse for citizens discover. Still others lunge at us from open doors as we take our daily walks. We should not have to arm ourselves merely to take a walk around the block.

We have talked with offending neighbors to our personal peril. County animal control employees will dutifully send generic letters, with no enforcement powers. I’ve contacted Commissioner Valenzuela and testified before the entire commission … all to no effect.

One idea to address the problem is to form a volunteer cadre of special deputies utilizing surplus Sheriff or other county vehicles to enforce the re-booted barking and pet owner-related ordinances that commissioners should expedite. Is doing nothing truly a viable course of action?

Bob MacKenzie