Responsible pet ownership

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I am a community member and dog owner in Lewiston. As the weather turns nicer, I enjoy taking advantage of the Bates College campus as a safe and beautiful place to walk my dogs. I am troubled, however, by the number of irresponsible dog owners who continue to allow their pets to wander around the Bates commons off leash.

Aside from being against the law, that is very unsafe behavior for dogs and humans alike. Although people may be under the assumption that their dogs are under voice control, that has not stopped several off-leash dogs from running up to my dogs while their owners stand more than 100 feet away.

While my dogs are well-mannered, I would never let them approach a strange dog without being under my control. Nor would I assume that any community member or college student would want my dogs running up to them.

Bates is also open to roadways on all sides and pet owners put their dogs at a tremendous risk of injury and death if they were to run into traffic.

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Lastly, it is very disrespectful that dogs are allowed to run around and owners aren’t there to clean up after them. I am sure that the Bates students, who like to lounge and picnic on the grass, aren’t appreciative of this disregard for their grounds.

It is a matter of public safety, responsible pet ownership and courtesy for the Bates facility to keep dogs on a leash when in public.

Melissa Farrington, Lewiston

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