It has been a week and a half since I talked with my neighbor about his dogs running loose and coming after Bacchus and me on our walks. I stopped him in his tracks when I told him, by law, if I felt threatened and they were off his property I could legally shoot them. I must admit I was stunned when animal control informed me of this little tidbit.
There is still a lot of "shoot the pest" mentality in northern Idaho. I can remember when I was commenting on the abundant number of pocket gophers that infest our yard in the summer.Definite pests. Gopher patrol is a way of life or there are no plants. The fellow I was talking with, an employee of a local equipment rental business, suggested we just get a case of beer and a few good old boys and let them have target practice. When Hub commented he didn't think the neighbors would go for it, the fellow laughed, "H___, this is northern Idaho!"
So the thought of some irate neighbor taking a pot shot at the neighbor's loose dogs is not an unlikely scenario. But there is hope. There is a bill scheduled for hearing in the state legislature that would clarify wording that has confused the issue in a clause of the animal cruelty law.
Both the Senate and the House have to approve it and the Governor must sign it. I cannot imagine they will not.
In the meantime, there are still ordinances about dogs running loose. They will still harass people, pets and livestock. How do we effectively enforce what is already on the books so folks aren't tempted to shoot in the first place?
More than two animal control officers for the entire county might help. Responsible owners would be even better.