Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Montague Dog Tags: A Last Woof

A previous post on the issue of dog tag changes and bylaw enforcement in Montague stirred things up rather more than I intended. So here are some final thoughts on the matter.

First, in my particular situation the reason I received a letter was that I had forgotten to mention that we had changed dogs during the year and were therefore registering what looked like a new dog, without mentioning that we no longer had one of the three from last year. Rather than a record keeping error, this was actually a case of extreme diligence at the township office. I should have checked my facts before I posted.

Secondly, most of the negative reaction which came my way both on and off-air, was triggered by the reporting in Smiths Falls This Week and the Record News of what came across as a new enforcement drive. Newspapers being what they are, they portrayed this as coming from the bylaw officer, Laura Lowson, rather than coming from council. In fact, all of these things are driven by council and as residents, if we're not happy, it's council that should be responsible. Laura's just doing her job as directed by council. If the change in process was not adequately communicated to residents, that's at council's door too.

To Laura Lowson, who, as I said before has been nothing but polite and helpful in all my dealings with her, an apology for unfairly singling her out in this controversy. At the end of the day, the whole dog control law and enforcement process exists to protect animals, keep them safe and prevent abuse and cruelty. Those are goals we can all get behind.

That's my last word on the subject. We now return you to regularly scheduled Country Living At Its Best.

One final thing: Angie really likes the natty new colour of the dog tags this year.