LETTER: Don’t allow your dogs to chase deer

A letter to the editor by Edi Johnston.

To the editor,

Dogs chase deer for fun and not for food.

Yet, some irresponsible dog owners claim that their dogs have a right to go out the door and wreak havoc on whatever they come across.

The reason often used is that it’s “nature;” dogs naturally hunt and there are too many deer anyway. Does this logic mean that marauding dogs can also chase and attack other smaller dogs, cats, chickens, lambs etc. with impunity?

With the recent snowfall, it’s easy for dogs to track and this was happening on a daily basis. Deer can’t fight so they go into flight mode and if not severely injured by the dog (and left to suffer and die), may be killed from simply running until exhausted, attempting to swim to safety, hitting fences or jumping in front of traffic.

If you’re on a bicycle or motorcycle, the collision could be life-threatening. Perhaps if those dog owners lack compassion for other living creatures they need reminding that their fur baby may also come to harm while out chasing or may cause a motor vehicle incident where others are hurt because of your negligence.

Then there is the legal aspect under the Wildlife Act, which makes it clear that dogs chasing deer is an offence and the offender can be shot by a conservation or police officer.

Farmers are also within their rights to shoot dogs harassing farm animals, so if you truly love your four-legged best friend, please don’t let them run.

Edi Johnston

Denman Island

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