Leash your dogs for the safety of all

Akif Abidi, Staff Writer

Nolan Sanders
Three dogs enjoy the shade on Nov. 3 at Coppell dog park, Waggin’ Tails. Since the dog park is an enclosed area, you can bring your dog with or without a leash













Dogs are often regarded as an ideal pet and man’s best friend in our culture. They are often treated as family members and are the most popular household pet across the United States.


In 2015, there were 77.8 million domesticated dogs in the United States, in comparison, the United States had total of about 89.7 million dogs were registered as pets in households in 2017 with about 44 percent of American households owning a dog. Dogs are time and time again regarded as one of man’s most loyal companions and are a great family pet.


Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibilities, you must control it and make sure it behaves in public, and one of the essential ways of doing so is putting the dog on a leash or a harness.


Dogs can be aggressive animals, at least 4.5 to 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs yearly according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A majority of bites occur when dogs are not leashed by their owners, a leash on a dog keeps it under control. Any dog may get excited in public and feel the urge to run or chase something, or a dog might register an innocent jogger on the streets as a threat and decide to chase after it.


We may love dogs, but we need to face the fact that in the end, they are just animals. Dogs do not know what is right in our society and what wrong; we cannot make them learn laws and our ways and they must be controlled.


Doyle Walters is an owner of two Labrador Retrievers and a regular at the Waggin’ Tails Dog Park in Coppell.


“The dogs own safety and the other dogs safety along with people feeling comfortable around them is important; since most dogs have a very outgoing personality, they want to meet new people and other dogs,” Walters said. “This can [cause] even friendly encounters to be awkward for some people who aren’t comfortable around dogs. But dogs are animals and they do need their freedom, but that’s why we have dog parks.”


Dog owners must have their dogs on leashes at all times in the public. Various public parks across Texas have created leash laws for the safety of the committee.


In the United States, only two states declare that a dog must be under the control of his or her owner with a leash or harness when off the owner’s premises under law: Michigan and Pennsylvania.


Several states prohibit dogs from running or roaming at large, however, they do this by directly giving local governments the authority to enact ordinances that prohibit dogs running at large. States including Texas, Mississippi, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Wyoming, and Oklahoma all have such laws.


By Coppell laws, unless the dogs are service animals, they are required to be confined or restrained when they are off of their owner’s property, including parks and walking trails. If an animal is off leash and at large, you could be issued a ticket and a fine.


Coppell High School sophomore Alex Patrick is one of many dog owners in Coppell.


“I can understand [why] people do not want to have dogs roaming around as some people are afraid of them, and although most dogs are nice, some can be aggressive,” Patrick said.


Patrick’s dog was recently attacked by a larger unleashed dog. The scuffle left Patrick’s dog bleeding and wounded. Patrick is an advocate of leashing dogs in public and wishes to see a stricter and firmer laws in the future.


Judy McBride is a Coppell resident and dog owner. She is also a frequent visitor at Waggin’ Tails Dog Park.


“Dogs should be on a leash in public for a couple reasons: number one is that the dog could possibly run away or get hit by a car on the street. Two, the dog could possibly attack other animals or people,” McBride said. “Not all people like dogs, some are simply allergic [and] others cultures don’t welcome them (several cultures in the Middle-East and Africa often regard dogs as impure).”


We must not deny a dog’s need for enjoying the outdoors and companionship. However, we must also be considerate of others, both for the animal’s and the public’s safety.