Tbnewswatch Opinion
2012-04-19 at 5:49PM

LETTER: Neighbour says dogs are nuisance

By Don Skochinski

To the editor:

After reading your coverage of the dog issue in Neebing, I wanted to clear up some untrue and false statements being made to Neebing council at the April 18 meeting by the Linton/Lentz household on Memory Road and some quotes that were published this week.

The statement that only one resident of Pine Bay has complained about their eight dogs on a one acre cottage property is false.

Over 18 of 25 households on Memory Road have lodged this same complaint of being disturbed by their dogs since they arrived on the property last September. The dog owners are also aware of the mediation meeting by Neebing council members, attend by them and six representatives of a group of concerned cottage property owners that was put together by Neebing council.

While the problem dog owners on Memory Road would like to present themselves as reasonable, this is not the case in fact. When approached by residents immediately after the council meeting this week the true colours of Mr. Lentz were in full bloom.

When two residents on Memory Road approached him in a measured and respectful way to tell him his dogs are disturbing them, Mr. Lentz shouted, "You're a liar", and walked off. How is this the action of a reasonable person? During the previously mentioned mediation session one of their solutions was to debark their dogs.

Our group was uniformly horrified that someone would consider this butchery as a solution. I should note that our group does have dog owners. When does living in a rural environment mean that people can do what they want with no consequences. How exactly do you work sled dogs from a high density cottage property with one acre?

Owning a rural property or a cottage property does not mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want and trodden on the peace, tranquility and sleep which your neighbours are entitled to. By laws are put in place to reflect how reasonable and responsible people get along with each other.

Specifically, this by law is about the issues surrounding the safety, the noise created by and the number of dogs that anyone would expect to encounter as a property owner and tax payer in Neebing.

This bylaw is before Neebing council because dozens of Pine Bay property owners are in pursuit of a tranquil enjoyment of their property, something they have not been able to do since September 2011.

There are serious concerns in Pine Bay regarding noise, safety and the proximity to a large number of dogs on a small piece of waterfront property. When you have eight dogs of which six are working sled dogs on chains kept out of doors, at all times, on a one acre piece of cottage property, you have an intolerable situation.

The safety issue of a dog or dogs coming off their tether on a small piece of land is a serious concern where people have children and grandchildren in Pine Bay.

Incidents of attacks, involving children by sled dogs, has been documented where people and sled dogs are in close association. This is a potential threat to public safety. Excessive barking is a problem.

A considerate and reasonable taxpayer should not be prevented from enjoying their property by any individual neighbours that are insensitive and unreasonable in their actions or by way of their inactions.

The action of inconsiderate neighbours is the issue before council which will need to be rectified. Dog owners and pet owners are not being persecuted nor are they the victims here, their neighbours are. I have heard the argument for council not to waste time and resources on creating by laws. Bylaws are not needed if and only if, people are reasonable, responsible and have consideration for their neighbours.Freedom does not mean it is your right to do what you want without consideration and regards for those around you.

Don Skochinski,
Thunder Bay


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