I see no reason for Bonney Lake to revisit its dangerous dogs law. Darcie Severson (“Dangerous animal rule too harsh?” TNT, 5-29) doesn’t want to pay a license fee or purchase a surety bond to reclaim her impounded dog and instead sits sobbing by her kennel. But she does have the resources to hire an attorney and threaten to sue the City of Bonney Lake. Ms. Severson simply wants the law regarding dangerous dogs changed so she can continue to act irresponsibly and let her dog run loose off her property, damaging the property of others without consequence.
Councilman Mark Hamilton is listening to her because he doesn’t get the reason zero tolerance laws are passed in the first place. Agencies get tired of listening to people parse things like the value of one animal over another, or the ways circumstances could be looked at from unlimited different points of view. So they make rules simple. Your animal stays on your property. If it inflicts any kind of damage to anyone else’s property, there are going to be specific consequences spelled out so everyone understands them and all are treated the same way.
Councilman Hamilton might be interested to know that agricultural regions have historically looked pretty harshly at dogs that chase down and kill livestock of any kind. In some areas, livestock owners were entitled to shoot offending dogs.