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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Cougars and pit bulls: How should we handle dangerous animals?

A cougar removed while dangerous pit bulls are ignored

Did any one else see the dichotomy of these situations: A cougar living in its natural habitat, which happens to be near an urban area is hunted down, captured and moved to a more remote area because of the potential of the danger its presence presents [“Discovery Park cat gets treed and freed,” page one, Sept. 7]. I am glad this happened, both for the people nearby and for the cougar itself.

Meanwhile, in another case in a different locale, five dogs who people reported and complained about [“Neighbors warned agency of dogs,” NWWednesday, Sept. 9] and who had in the past threatened and intimidated people were basically ignored. Left until “real” injury was imposed.

Saying a response is made within 10 minutes of a reported attack is no comfort; in 10 minutes much of the damage is done. Walking our neighborhoods has become more and more dangerous thanks to dog owners who, I believe, acquire some dogs only to intimidate others.

— Jan Broz, Redmond

In cougar relocation, a shining example for other states

Seattle and the communities surrounding Discovery Park should take pride in their calm, cautious and reasonable response to the cougar recently discovered in their vicinity. They did not panic nor did they demonize the danger the cougar presented.

We are very fortunate in Washington state to have a number of extremely experienced and well-trained biologists. As a nature and science writer, I have worked with these scientists and have written a number of articles so the rest of the country might become aware of their innovative work and findings.

They have studied the mountain lions in Washington state for many years, and their expertise was evident in their handling of this recent event. We are so fortunate to have a healthy population of these amazing cats. Very few states can claim this.

By agreeing to relocate rather than kill this cougar, Seattle has shown how humans can coexist with wildlife. Washington state must set the example for the nation by making every effort to preserve its wildlife treasures by supporting the work of these biologists.

— Laura Bowers Foreman, Issaquah

Lay on fines for negligent pet ownership

Your story about the dogs’ brutal attack on the two mares [“Mares killed after dogs attack,” NWMonday, Sept. 7] turned my blood cold.

However, I disagree with the euthanizing of the dogs. I think they should have been split up for adoption to responsible pet owners.

Now, I’m waiting for the happy ending: I want to hear about this negligent knucklehead of a neighbor getting a massive fine for the lives of the mares, another hefty fine for the injuries to the colts and their heartbreaking loss and another huge fine for the pain and suffering of Patricia Clark. The court should demand that Negligent Knucklehead build a eight-feet-tall fence between Clark’s property and his.

I’m sick and tired of hearing about these things happen because our courts don’t crack down and make the fines and punishment stiff enough. Throw the book at ’em!

— Lee Ryan, Des Moines

Comments | More in animals, courts, crime/justice, Environment, Parks, Pets

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