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Today's Letters: Reader barking up wrong tree

Letters to the Editor
Published August 29, 2007


Re: Dog park plan lacks merit letter, Aug. 26

Reader barking up wrong tree

I read Sofia Garcia's opinion regarding the plan for a new dog park in Clearwater's Countryside area with disdain.

Though she lives in Tampa, she was clearly upset that the city of Clearwater has decided to create a dog park in the Countryside area.

She believes that a dog park will be, in her words, "a nuisance spot full of fleas, ticks, noise pollution and bad odors," and goes on to say, "Dogs are just animals that are praised like humans in our selfish and wasteful society."

She believes that we have made a "free and self-sufficient animal completely dependent on humans for its existence."

Clearly, Ms. Garcia is not a fan of dogs, and she has a right to her opinion, but she should not be spouting misinformation about the area's dog parks.

First of all, if she ever visited Clearwater's Crest Lake Dog Park, the model mentioned for the Countryside plan, she would find that it is beautiful, with water, shade, trees and green grass. It is on a lake, which keeps the temperature cool there.

There is no noise. I have never heard dogs barking incessantly there, and there are no more fleas and ticks there than in any other Florida lawn or park. (Fleas and ticks love to host on dogs, but they are not in our landscape because of dogs. Give me a break!)

Dog owners are wonderful about picking up their dog's waste. There are bag dispensers everywhere and trash cans are plentiful.

Many people visit these dog parks - both those who have dogs and those who do not. Obviously, if you don't enjoy dogs, a dog park is probably not the place for you. But city, county and state parks offer amenities that aren't for everybody. I am not a boater, so I don't need boat ramps, but I realize that boat ramps are nice for the people who have boats.

Ms. Garcia needs to find a better tree to bark up, in my humble opinion. Leave us dog lovers to enjoy our lovely new park!

Lori Krout, Palm Harbor

Re: Dog park plan lacks merit letter, Aug. 26

Dog parks waste taxpayers' dollars

After reading Sofia Garcia's comments on money being wasted on dog parks, maybe we could use her input on one of our community boards in charge of saving dollars for our city.

If I remember correctly, it was just a few weeks ago that everyone was trying to cut expenses and even some city services were cut, and some removed completely to save dollars. Now here we have just found another windfall with which to build a dog park, of all things.

How in the world do we find dollars for a dog park, when we have to cut funding for the library and actually combine the library with a recreation center to save even more?

The dog park is another waste of tax dollars, just as the Pinellas Trail is a waste of tax dollars, unless some wealthy citizen has donated all the money for the park and the trail. If that's the case, the windfall was never brought to the public's attention.

As Garcia said, when we have no more hungry and homeless people and no more society concerns, then we can build a dog park. Since when should we be more concerned with welfare of the animals than the homeless and hungry humans? Where is our compassion for our fellowman?

God directs us to feed and clothe the homeless and hungry, and he never mentioned building parks for animals.

Fran Glaros-Sharp,Clearwater

Re: Owners, not pit bulls, are to blame letter by Gary Borland, Aug. 17

Responsible pet owners are key

I would first like to say ditto to Mr. Borland's letter. I am an owner of a American Staffordshire and have had her since she fit in the palm of my hand.

I bought all the books when I got her on how to raise and train the bull breed. On our first visit to the vet the doctor had nothing but positive things to say about the breed. In fact, he also owned a bull breed dog.

They in fact do need a very responsible owner, not because they are particularly aggressive but because they are very strong and quick.

I take my dog on runs all the time and we are often charged by smaller dogs. These dogs don't appear to have any fear of her or me. It is often the small dogs that show the aggression toward us and we just keep on jogging.

While I do feel sorry for the dog that was killed, the sole responsibility lies with the owners. Thank you, Mr. Borland, for your letter. I hope people read it and feel as compelled as I did.

Shale Saeger, Odessa