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Spring and Dogs

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Letter to the Editor:

As an animal control officer, spring begins my busiest time. This is, in part, due to wildlife questions, but mostly because of roaming dogs. The warmer weather (it has to come eventually) has our canine friends sniffing the air with new excitement. 

Dogs that have been hanging around the yard due to visual (and sometimes physical) boundaries such has snow, now see a clear path to enticing sights, sounds and smells. Dogs (like many of my tiny ones) who previously did their business and ran back to the relative warmth of the doorstep, hoping for a quick entrance into their cozy house, are now venturing further afield. 

Elderly dogs always need to be watched carefully since decreased hearing, eyesight, sense of smell and progressing cognitive decline can cause a previously stay-at-home pet to wander. Owners of older dogs may put them out for longer periods of time as the weather is nicer, but must remember that they need to be watched at all times. 

Puppies, who tend to be homebodies when they are little, hit their teenage months (usually at 6-8 months old) and look for excitement beyond their owner’s side. Be ready for that change! Dangerous wildlife, speeding cars, and the less likely worry of dognappers are all excellent reasons to keep a good watch over your dog at any time, but springtime requires more vigilance. 

And that’s not even mentioning the statewide no-roaming law, dogs eating garbage, chasing wildlife and cats, scaring children and fighting with other dogs. 

The Northwest Corner is full of animal lovers, which makes my job even more rewarding. You guys are great! Let’s see if we can lower the number of lost and found dog Facebook posts this spring and summer!

Lee Sohl

Kent/Sharon/Salisbury/Cornwall Animal Control

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