Sunday, February 17, 2013


Loreto Bay is a dog-loving community. Sometimes it seems as though there are almost as many dogs as people in our little community and for the most part we live in people/pet harmony. Most of us are responsible pet owners. We walk our dogs on leashes, we faithfully stock up on poop bags so we can pick up their poop and deposit the waste in a garbage can and we try to keep our dogs from being a barking nuisance.

Now here comes the but…

Unfortunately, a small minority of dog owners don't follow these simple rules - rules, by the way, that are clearly spelled out in our HOA rules and regs. Their dogs can be seen running through the community unleashed and unsupervised. Their dogs tear up the landscaping and poop with abandon throughout the development and the thoughtless owners expect the gardeners or security guards or someone else to pick up after their pet. I've walked by some homes and heard the howls and barking of dogs left home alone while their owners are out playing golf or relaxing by the pool or, as is the case with some renters, off at work.These kinds of thoughtless pet owners make Loreto Bay less enjoyable for all of us.

Zoe says keep your pets leashed and pick up their poop!

The mess left by irresponsible pet owners is annoying and unpleasant (especially if you happen to step in it - ugh), but it's not the worst that can happen when a pet owner doesn't follow the rules. There have been several cases in the past year of unleashed dogs attacking leashed dogs. There have also been some problems at the beach where many dog owners take their dogs to run off leash because HOA rules don't apply there (and, let's face it, dogs need to have a good romp once in awhile) and in a few instances a larger aggressive dog has gone after a smaller dog with injuries resulting. But even if an encounter doesn't result in injuries, it's still scary for the pet and the pet owner. I know because we've had a couple of close calls with our dog, Zoe, and it was damn scary. 

So what can we do? We can report offenders to our HOA administrators. I'm not crazy about that policy because it makes us the pet police, but it's all we've got at the moment. So let Associa know if you see someone violating the rules, because the owner is the violator, not the dog. The dog is just doing what comes naturally and it's up to the owner to make sure that his or her choice to be a pet owner (and it is a choice) doesn't make life more difficult for everyone else in the community.

To those very few dog owners who don't follow the rules: Please keep your dogs leashed; please pick up after your pet; please be a responsible pet owner! Your neighbors will love you for it.

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