Who Let The Dogs Out?!!

Who Let The Dogs Out?! For audio click on photo to listen. (photo from World Wildlife Fund) (sound clip from spaceflight.nasa.gov)

This past week I’ve been without a car because it needs some much needed TLC from the mechanic. I’m very fortunate though to live and work in the same town and in walking distance of the store; no long commutes for me which I’m very appreciative of. I commuted about an hour each way to and from work for many years so I understand the time it takes and at times, the patience it requires on the road.

One of the many things I was so excited about when I moved to Mt. Pleasant was the ability to walk out my front door and go walking in the morning or evening in my neighborhood. I moved from an area where that wasn’t an option for me. I had to drive somewhere to walk and get some exercise. So, what a treat it would be to just walk out my front door or so I thought.

I moved here about a year and a half ago and unfortunately have walked my neighborhood only about a dozen or so times. Why? For fear of being attacked or bitten by roaming dogs not on leashes or with owners. It’s not what I had envisioned of my quiet, peaceful walks in my neighborhood but it is my current reality and others also.

The majority of dogs in my neighborhood are behind fences, in their homes or on leashes which I am very thankful for and appreciate that as a non-dog owner.  It’s not a matter of whether or not I own a dog, it’s a matter of public safety.

In fact, the other day a customer of ours walked over to the store with her dog on a leash (as she always does) but had two unleashed dogs following along with her that weren’t hers. She was trying to keep them with her as not to get hit by a car but they ran off on their own crossing the busy streets. While standing outside with her, here came another one down Bluegrass. It’s not only the safety of people but the unleashed dogs themselves that are the concern.

My intent for this blog is to bring awareness and ask residents in the city limit neighborhoods to do what we all can to make our streets, sidewalks and city a safe and walk-able place for residents and visitors alike.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time pointing out one story after another I’ve heard or experienced, but rather ask the question to all of you, “Is there anything we as residents can do together to ensure the safety of our kids, our pets, ourselves and our visitors?”I don’t have all the answers so hoping anyone reading this blog may have some amazing solutions to share which I’m sure are out there.

But it’s also important for everyone to know what some of us have experienced due to unleashed dogs in the neighborhoods so we can all become more aware and come up with helpful solutions to the problem since we do not have Mt. Pleasant Animal Control to call for assistance.

There are people who are fearful to walk just as I am and choose not to risk it, others have been bitten and attacked by dogs, dogs have attacked other animals and dogs have had close encounters with moving vehicles.  In researching what is already in place with the City, I found there is a leash law requiring dogs to be on a leash while not in the privacy of their own home but that’s about it.

Since we do not have animal control in the City, some of our choices are:

  • Call the non-emergency number for the Mt. Pleasant Police Dept if you see or are concerned about unleashed dogs. (931 379 3201)
  • If you are being attacked by an unleashed dog – call 911 for help.
  • Walk with a stick to keep unleashed dogs at a distance.
  • Walk with some pepper spray in case of attack to avoid being bit or injured.
  • Maury County has an Animal Control number although I’m not sure how fast they could get out here for assistance but it’s worth a try. (931 375-1403)

The City is doing so many things to make this community a desirable place to work and live and play through grant money for a splash pad, a dog park, and Main Street revitalization through the TDOT grant including efforts and projects from individuals and business owners.  It takes a village.

I think we all deserve to live in a safe, clean community. People reading this blog may not have the same view or experience as me and that’s OK. That’s what makes our world such a great place; diversity of culture, views and perceptions. 🙂  So, I thought I’d share my perception, thoughts and concerns regarding this issue with all of you.

I would love to hear ideas on how we as a community can address the issue since we do not have Animal Control as an option. And certainly if you have or know more information than I currently have that would help this situation, would love to hear that also. Your ideas and suggestions are welcomed and valued so please share!

Until next time 🙂  Angela

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