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OWNERS OF PETS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO

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It is a certain indicator that we have gone overboard on an issue when we begin to speak in chorus with people such as Alison Green of PETA (Deseret News Readers' Forum, Sunday, July 30). As the anger and righteous contempt over the beating of a dog by a Utah man subsides, it would behoove us to temper our reactions.

Last year I found myself on the business-end of that same righteous contempt. As the new owner of very willful breed of dog, I decided to follow a professional dog training manual to the letter. This led to no small amount of pinches, slaps and yelps as I trained him in the disciplines of bird dogging. Part of his training included boundary training to keep him from wandering from our yard.It wasn't long before ignorant neighbors telephoned the Humane Society of Utah. The Humane Society rushed headlong into a very embarrassing investigation that included a two-day door-to-door canvass of my entire neighborhood.

The only result of the investigation was a sideways suggestion by the Humane Society agent that I terminate my front yard boundary training in order to avoid complaints and another investigation. I had no choice but to take his suggestion. Two months later, the dog broke boundary and was hit by a car.

As with many issues that pull on the heartstrings, it would be easy to overreact in creating legislation to protect the puppies and the kitties. Let's not forget the rights of the people who are responsible for those animals.

Jayson R. Orvis

Salt Lake City