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Published: Saturday, 5/1/2010

Put blame on owner, not the dog

Dogs described as "pit bulls" attacked two people recently, one an 11-year-old girl ("Passer-by helps teen attacked by dog in Toledo," April 16; "•'Pit bull' shot after attacking girl, officer," April 19).

Not to diminish the seriousness of these attacks, but blame the owners. The dogs were not secured. Toledo and Lucas County have ordinances that require dog owners to license and secure their dogs. All good dog owners follow these rules.

No dogs are inherently vicious. "Pit bulls" are not banding together plotting to attack people.

My dogs and I were attacked two years ago by a neighbor's dog, a retriever-shepherd mix whose owner let the dog run free.

We reported the incident but were penalized by then-Dog Warden Tom Skeldon, even though my dog was on a leash, I was with her, and she was licensed and had her shots. In his opinion, she could be a vicious dog because of her breed.

It's not the dogs; it's the owners. If you own a pet, be responsible.

Anne Boyle

Juniper Drive

I am tired of reading what might be called The Daily Fireplug or The Puppy Press that has been coming off The Blade's presses for the past several weeks.

This is not the stuff that Pulitzers are made of.

John Pocs

Fostoria

Dogs are animals, not humans, no matter how devoted we are to them as pets. Dogs do not have human or constitutional rights, but they do deserve to be treated humanely.

Vicious dogs act on their primal instincts. These instincts can be accentuated by breeding and training, but they are the natural behaviors of the dog.

Dog wardens serve the people, not dogs. People deserve to be protected from vicious dogs or breeds of dogs that are prone to vicious behavior. Ask any person who has been mauled, bitten, or cornered by a dog to identify it. Chances are it was a breed that is known for its aggressive behavior. That's why people favor certain breeds as guard dogs.

It would be nice to live in a world where there was a safe home for every dog to be lovingly cared for.

But who can guarantee that any adopted dog will not respond to the spark that wakes up the inner wolf ("Humane Society to adopt out 'pit bulls,'•" April 22)

Sign me: Once bitten, twice shy.

Michael J. Sarra

Swanton

Why all the outrage about Lucas County Administrator Peter Ujvagi weighing in on the dog warden ("Ujvagi insists new warden must keep killing dogs," April 14)?

Before he became county administrator, Mr. Ujvagi favored change, even if it meant spending more money ("Local officials concerned about high euthanasia rate," Nov. 10, 2009). Now he seems to be having second thoughts, maybe because it would be his job to come up with the extra money.

He also might have remembered that his first responsibility is to taxpayers, not dogs. Or perhaps the county's legal department raised the possibility of lawsuits if a dog adopted out by the county were to injure someone.

Karl R. Filzer, Sr.

111th Street

Peter Ujvagi should not waste taxpayer money investigating the naming of dogs ("Ujvagi not amused; pound chief renames 3 pooches," April 21).

Do I sense a little disappointment one wasn't named after him?

Jerry Knierim

Sylvania

Anyone who visits Toledo might assume that dogs are the greatest concern in the city. According to Lucas County Children Services, 40 children in Toledo are looking for someone to adopt them.

Some children spend their young lives moving from one foster home to another until they reach a certain age, when they are left to roam the streets. Although they are not noted for biting people, they do, out of necessity, find other ways to survive.

This is a larger problem than figuring out what to do about "pit bulls." With all due respect to the editorial staff of The Blade, please get your priorities straight.

Eileen Towse

Turnbridge Road

When I read of the turmoil, recriminations, and possible criminal activity in the Catholic Church over pedophile priests ("Vatican official left abusive priest in job," April 29), I am thankful I am an atheist and have lived my life free from religion.

I am not alone: 40 million Americans say that they have no religion.

Christians have slaughtered Christians, Jews, and Muslims for centuries. Muslims slaughter Muslims in the name of Allah.

I know of no event in history in which atheists slaughtered Christians, Jews, or Muslims, a testament to the moral superiority of atheists.

Leonard Hargrave

North University Avenue

Apparently the writer of the April 23 letter "Food used to get more patients" about Toledo Hospital's cafeteria needed to complain for the sake of complaining.

Some statements were true, but he left out other truths in his attempt to portray this cafeteria as a breeding ground for poor health and obesity.

On his way to the back area, where deep-fried, higher-fat foods are available, he had to pass the a la carte station, which uses fresh meats, vegetables, and whole-grain breads for sandwiches made to order.

Low-fat and nonfat frozen yogurt are available as an alternative to higher fat and calorie-laden ice cream. This machine is next to the beverage dispenser, which blindsided the writer so he could see only the largest of the three sizes available.

He failed to mention the refrigerators, inside which are many choices of plain and flavored water, sports drinks, and teas.

Good nutrition is a choice. Complaining without stating the truth is, too.

Tamara Campbell

Perrysburg

Thanks to previous state legislatures, governors, and backers of charter schools, I now fund two competing systems with my tax dollars.

Charter schools have failed to live up to their promises of better education. On average, they still rank below public schools.

Meanwhile, the budgets of public schools have been trimmed to the point that now I am asked to fork over even more money, while my kids' schools (with which I was very happy) face cuts and increased class sizes.

Scott B. Sibley

Parkwood Avenue

In recent letters to The Blade, I keep seeing conservatives making references to taking back "our" country in the 2010 elections.

Are they referring to a country where corporations now have the same rights as individuals, according to Republican-appointed conservative Supreme Court justices?

Perhaps they want the new conservative-driven Arizona police-state law that allows authorities to require documentation from you without just cause.

Or maybe they long for incompetent government that did nothing as health-care costs exploded and the banking industry ran wild.

A more complete conservative definition of "our" country, backed by facts instead of regurgitated Glenn Beck talking points, would be appreciated.

Todd Smyth

Maumee



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