Bylaw needed

Dear editor:
Here is a copy of a letter I’ve sent to the members of Fort Frances town council:
You may know that in last Wednesday’s Times, I wrote a letter to the editor with one particular concern about dogs riding in the back of pickup trucks. I am an animal lover—no doubt about !
So, I am appealing to council to pass a bylaw prohibiting and fining those who apparently do not realize the danger of this act to their animals. How terrible it would be for the animal to fly out of the truck—breaking its legs, back, and neck or dying in such a painful way all because their owner put them there.
Even securing the dog to the truck is dangerous—falling out certainly would cause a broken neck.
Turning a corner too quickly, coming to a sudden stop, and being rear-ended are all possibilities that could cause this tragedy!
Just seeing such an accident would be traumatic. Imagine the unforgettable horror of this!
I have heard some really disturbing stories were the only “humane” thing to do was to put the dog down—a decision that should not have to be made for an “innocent” in the care of its owner.
Now, if all this hasn’t touched a nerve or your heart (I know that people on council have pets of their own), then let’s look at another possibility. You and your family (children, grandchildren, and “pet”) are out for a car ride and suddenly a dog comes flying out of a truck right into your path! What do you do?
If it’s unavoidable and the dog crashes into your vehicle or windshield, you have a serious situation.
Where do you go? Perhaps into the path of an oncoming vehicle or, if you have time, turn your wheel to veer out of the way—straight for the ditch, telephone pole, rocks, or bush!
In any case, it could be a life-of-death occurrence and would prove traumatic and would, most likely, be deadly for the dog—if it is lucky!
In order to operate a vehicle, a person has to learn to drive, learn the rules of the road, and pass a test. Then they are awarded their licence. This is a responsibility—a life-and-death one.
So, if they’re deemed knowledgeable enough to get a licence, then make them accountable for the safety of all concerned.
Upon searching the web, I’ve found the enclosed copy of bylaws concerning dogs in vehicles (Calgary, Alta.) There are many letters like mine asking for action prohibiting this act and other provinces are moving in this direction, citing this as cruelty to animals.
I’m sure the S.P.C.A., Humane Society, and Friends of Animals would all agree.
In the past, when council has been approached with some requests, they have asked “concerned citizens” to get names of others who would support such a cause. Is this really necessary here since this is just common sense?
The people on council are chosen for many reasons and the most important, I feel, is because they are responsible, dedicated, and have concern for the well-being of both the people and town of Fort Frances. They take all concerns seriously. That’s why we put you in that position.
Surely asking for a bylaw prohibiting this dangerous act of transporting pets in the backs of trucks, because of possible injury to people and certain injury and/or death of the animal, is not unreasonable.
Hopefully, the council will agree and act positively.
There currently is a bylaw regarding cats that should not be allowed to roam out and about. My request would be a lot easier to enforce.
Thank you for reviewing this letter. Those of us who are of the same opinion look forward to you addressing this matter.
Nadia Hedman
Fort Frances, Ont.