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Letter to the editor
Dog ordinance critics uninformed
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Forsyth County News
I would be completely empathetic to Christina Diestler and Porter Downey III (letters to the editor Sunday, March 8) in the critique of the dog ordinance if what they were complaining about were accurate.  The problem with their arguments is that they don’t have all the facts. 

Right now the commissioners have asked for input from local veterinarians, animal control and the humane society before the final wording of the ordinance is put before a public hearing for both sides of the issue to be heard.  I can tell you that the preliminary version of the ordinance allows for potty breaks.  It also emphatically states that this is a complaint-based ordinance and also emphatically states that it is the animal control officer’s discretion to decide on a penalty or lack thereof, if they feel the dog is in an inhumane situation (i.e. tied up 24/7, frozen water or no water, no food, etc). 

The fines, if levied, are similar to the water ban fines — a warning, then a small fine, then larger and so on. This ordinance will minutely tweak Forsyth County’s ordinances to those of the surrounding counties (yes, all the counties around us have far more extensive  animal ordinances that include this issue).

Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars it actually decreases the waste, because under the current ordinances animal control officers are called out repeatedly to the same locations and yet nothing is done because they have nothing to enforce, thereby wasting time and gas each time they go to the same location.  As for any financial burden for people who can’t afford a fence, there are actually groups who care so much about dogs that they will donate or help defray costs for a pen for hardship situations. 

So before we get all bent out of shape about this, let’s hear both sides, pros and cons and hope that the commissioners make an informed decision.

Steve Greenfield