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Pinellas has few places left for dog walkers

Re: Leash law to protect birds | story, May 9

Few places left for walking dogs

How sad that unleashed dogs will no longer be permitted on north Clearwater Beach, particularly at this time of the year when the temps and humidity begin to soar.

I personally have never seen any nesting shorebirds there, due to the fact that my dog and I are usually on the shoreline cooling off and not plundering through the dunes and surrounding areas. Why is it an ignorant few always spoil it for everyone else?

Speaking of ignorant, I almost fell out of my chair upon hearing City Council member John Doran's comment that "99 percent of the city or more is available for you to walk your dog." Excuse me! I utilize areas like the beach and Crest Lake Park because I have nowhere else to walk her in this overbuilt county and city, but I can't always go there. In my own community, I encounter only roadways, home lawns, private and commercial property — hardly an appropriate area to walk a dog.

Why not just rope or fence off the nesting areas like Sand Key has successfully done in the past? Audubon has declared that unleashed dogs have the same impact as leashed ones, so what has been accomplished here?

Steven P. Harrison, Clearwater

Re: Beach battle: birds vs. dogs | story, May 7

People, not dogs, are threat to birds

I am impressed by the time and attention that the Clearwater City Council has devoted to the issue of how to protect birds nesting on our beaches from dogs.

The leash law which the council seems to favor is unlikely to protect these birds, but I admire the serious efforts of council members to reach a compromise on a complicated issue.

Ordinances aside, beachgoers can help these birds by voluntarily keeping their dogs off north Clearwater Beach during nesting season (February through August). Or they can walk the dogs on a leash close to the water and avoid the dunes where birds may be nesting.

This problem arose in the first place because we overdevelop our beaches and squeeze nature out. Unless we want to live in a world without wildlife, we have to do a much better job of protecting the natural habitat and open space we have left, both in our own communities and worldwide.

Elizabeth Drayer, Clearwater

Leash dogs when out in public

I personally believe that it's a good idea for dogs to be leashed — not only on north Clearwater Beach, but at all times when out and about with their human owners. "Voice command" is iffy, even if it does work. What about the one time it may not? And it certainly won't stop another dog from charging at yours.

Dog owners should look at the leash law as insurance. Besides, it doesn't cost anything and it's a whole lot better than an ugly lawsuit.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Re: Tarpon Springs' dean of dining | story, May 12

Stick to the news in obituaries

When will you change your name to the St. Pete Enquirer? Was it in any way necessary to print past behaviors of the Pappas family in an obituary?

Numerous letters to the editor over recent months point to your new genre of news sensationalism — news that is not news or gossip. (Who cares about the Bolleas' divorce?) Yet their letters are ignored.

Shame on you for pandering to this level of non-news journalism.

Diane Pearson, Dunedin

Pinellas has few places left for dog walkers 05/14/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:23pm]

    

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