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Animals and Humans: Who Needs New Rights?

July 13, 2002

I am tired of selfish, irresponsible dog owners telling me that their unleashed dog is chasing me only because I am running when I go out for my morning run on public streets ("Animals Aren't Property, Pet Activists Proclaim," July 9). I am tired of dog owners who take their dogs out for a walk and think it is OK to allow their dogs to defecate on my lawn and choose not to clean it up. I am tired of dog owners whose dogs get out of their backyards and roam around the neighborhood chasing and attacking people and animals they encounter. I am tired of owners who permit their dogs to bark nonstop without trying to hush them.

If changing the term dog "owner" to dog "guardian" in legal documents will end this selfish, irresponsible behavior of some dog owners, then I think the L.A. City Council should make the change. However, if using the term "guardian" in place of "owner" will do nothing more than make a few dog owners feel better about themselves, what's the point? Do their dogs really care?

Amy Wilson

North Hollywood

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Although I am ambivalent about the difference between the terms "owner" and "guardian," as a resident of West Hollywood I long ago learned the PC terminology. However, when I read the paper with my three Dachshund Americans, they informed me that they do not feel it is in any way demeaning for them to refer to themselves as my owners. They do, however, take exception to the words "dog" and "pet."

Ronald Shore

West Hollywood

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