Originally Published: July 3, 2012 9:47 p.m.
Amen to the letter about people and their dogs. I thought Prescott had a lot of dog owners but a recent visit to Colorado shows that we are just pikers in that regard. There are so many dog owners there that most shops in places like Aspen and Telluride have signs in their windows such as: "We like dogs. Outside." That is because dog owners are so insensitive to those around them. "My dog doesn't bite." "My dog doesn't growl." All dogs lick you and sniff you in places you'd rather they didn't. And slobber in the process.
I feel just as bad for the dogs as I do the people who don't want to be around them. I was a vendor at the Chamber's Memorial Day event, much of which was on pavement. I saw dogs dodging into shade because their feet were burning on the hot asphalt. I saw other vendors providing water for thirsty dogs because their owners had none. And I saw a lot of owners who had nothing with them to clean up their dogs' messes.
As for people claiming their dog is an assistance animal, there are very strict guidelines under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that define an assistance animal. The animal must be able to do something for its owner that the owner is unable to do such as pick up objects, listen for fire alarms or pull a wheelchair. Identification tags are available for the dogs. Therapy dogs are not assistance animals, according to the ADA. Neither are four-pound fur balls.
And dogs in a grocery cart? First, if they are in the cart they cannot render assistance. Second, do you really want to put your child or your purse in a cart where a dog has relieved itself? What are the store managers thinking?
Leave the dogs home. If you want to socialize them, do so around people who like dogs.