LETTER: Langley, don’t let your dogs terrorize wildlife

A local resident calls on dog owners to keep them on leash so they can’t chase rabbits and birds.

Dear Editor,

We are fortunate enough to have municipal and provincial parks here in Langley for our enjoyment. Within these parks are wildlife — birds, squirrels, wild rabbits, etc. also for our enjoyment.

Keep in mind that these wildlife residents were here before us. Unless dog owners are at an off-leash park or at the very least, in an open field, dogs should be leashed. It’s the bylaw.

Please do not let your dog sniff out wild rabbits to chase as a game, particularly in urban settings such as the Langley Events Centre. Rabbits can die from fright — they are fragile animals.

Whether a dog can catch a wild rabbit is irrelevant. And whether you like rabbits or not is also irrelevant.

To a dog, the chase is simply a game. To the rabbit, it’s life or death — not a game. It causes undue stress for the rabbit.

Think about it from the prey perspective. I wouldn’t want a coyote chasing domestic dogs for fun.

If you want to provide fun for your dog, let it chase a real toy such as a ball or Frisbee.

Wildlife are to be respected and appreciated, not used as entertainment for the thrill of a chase for domestic dogs.

It is not the dog’s fault. The responsibility lies with their owners.

As well, in the spring, when geese and ducks have their offspring, please leash up your dogs when walking in areas near ponds.

Be kind, be respectful of wildlife, and be responsible. Let’s live in harmony with wildlife.

Dr. Patricia Tallman, Langley

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