Council respects rights of man’s best friend

Fergus Finlay’s report (Opinion, Feb 14) on “Why man’s best friend should be allowed a hassle-free run on beach” states “they don’t like dogs in Dún Laoghaire County Council and they don’t approve of dog owners”.

This is quite simply untrue.

In fact, dedicated council wardens are very often the ones that rescue stray dogs and bring them to the council pound. There is a happy outcome for 91% of dogs who are reunited with their owners or re-homed.

Unfortunately, others have been the subject of neglect and maltreatment by a minority of dog owners. Because the council cares about these dogs, it provides the pound and also facilitates funding to a number of animal welfare charities. In 2011 the Cat and Dog Protection Association of Ireland, Dublin SPCA, Dogs in Distress, The Irish Blue Cross, A Dog’s Life and Petwatch were all recipients of grant funding from the council.

The idea that someone weeping over their dead dog would be alien to staff in county hall (many of them dog owners themselves) is bizarre to the extreme.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is a local authority attempting to achieve a balance between the needs of all beach users, engaging in a consultation process that values the opinions of dog owners, swimmers, walkers and all beach users alike — clearly a council that respects the rights of all, including our much-loved man’s best friend.

Richard Shakespeare

Director, Environment, Culture & Community

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

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