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Article posted: 9/26/2013 5:00 AM

Leashes vital to safety of dogs, humans

I heard about a dog getting hit by a car the other day. The dog was not on a leash when it decided to take off into the street. This past week, while walking my dog (on a leash), a neighbor's dog saw us and dashed across the street, racing toward my dog and me. I also drove by a man a couple days ago who was holding onto a leash while walking his dog, but the leash was not in any way connected to the dog.

I know a lot of dog owners love their dogs, but allowing them to roam or walk free off a leash is not only stupid, it's also dangerous for dogs and humans, no matter how gentle or obedient you think your dog may be (dogs like to chase things and don't look left or right before crossing streets). What's most unbelievable are dog owners who allow their dogs to ride in their cars unrestrained and have their windows all the way down.

Who am I to say such terrible things to these dog loving people? I've read a number of articles on dog statistics and accidents. Did you know there are more than 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year? Did you know that tens of thousands of dogs are lost each year? Did you know that over a million dogs are hit by cars each year? Did you know that unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents a year and that an unrestrained 60-pound dog is transformed into a 2,700-pound rocket during a 35 mph collision?

I will stop my barking as soon as dog owners start using more restraint and act like leaders when it comes to dog safety.

Bruce Handler

Hawthorn Woods

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