Courier Weekend Editorial ~ Officially gone to the dogs

We won’t pretend we weren’t all somewhat pleasantly surprised this week when in putting this issue of the weekend paper together, we found ourselves awash with stories involving dogs. Dogs are clearly the elephant (or canine) in the room this week, and in reality, it speaks volumes about how Charlotte County loves our four-legged, tail chasing companions.

Thankfully, the distressing stories are balanced with the happy-ending ones. But it’s those which offer a more negative ending we must be most mindful of.
When the Department of Justice and Public Safety issued a press release this week regarding the incident of the dog in Pennfield who was shot by one of their officers, the information provided offered-up far more questions than answers.

How events unfolded, who was called and when, and why certain decisions were made – these are questions to which it is unlikely a static answer will be found. Information surrounding the events of that day are veiled in a combination of secrecy and misinformation, and in the absence of eye-witnesses, the truth will likely remain forever out of reach.

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And often hashing out past events offers little comfort aside from the opportunity to identify where a situation started to slide from in control to out of it, and offer assurances such an incident won’t happen again.

Cold comfort to a dog, long lost in the woods, with a low expectancy of ever being found.
Why do we persist in chasing the story, and looking for answers? Because as this issue indicates, residents in Charlotte County care.

The notion that someone would set snares in the lovely Elm Street Nature Park is again nothing short of disturbing.

Given the number of families with children and canine companions who utilize the park, the idea that someone chose to callously lay snares which could potentially harm a multitude of park goers is abhorrent.
Illegality aside, someone decided this archaic method of hunting was worthwhile trying in a well used public area.

It boggles the mind that an individual could reconcile the action to themselves, knowing the area of choice is frequently utilized.
Thankfully, the dog who ‘found’ the snare was unharmed, but it was luck of the draw, and may not be the case again.

The point to it all is this: when the public see avoidable situations and scenarios where they or their canine companions are put at risk, they will not stand idly by and allow it to happen without wanting explanations and assurances.

Whether it’s combing the woods to source and remove snares, or demanding answers from a government department, Charlotte County residents clearly love and will be the voice for their dogs.