Letters to Editor: dogs out at graveyard

Who let the dogs out at graveyard

Thank you for the article about the Napier Cemetery, which I read with keen interest.

Since moving to the hill over a year ago, I've enjoyed walking through this fascinating piece of our city, and applaud those who are working to maintain and preserve it as part of our shared history.

As a new mother, I've spent a lot of time at home recently, and my newborn daughter's favourite activity is looking out of our windows.

We see tourists, couples, and families, all reading the information sign and respectfully strolling through the the area.

They examine the inscriptions on the tombstones, talk about the people who lived here before us, and hopefully learn something new about our community's past.

Sadly, I have been shocked at something else that occurs in the cemetery on a daily basis.

There are three or four individuals who consistently walk their dogs on a lead through the gate, close the gate, and then take their dogs off the lead.

The dogs run freely through the cemetery, while the owner remains near the gate taking a rest.

When the dog returns, the lead is reattached, they leave the cemetery, and continue on their walk.

The cemetery is not a dog park. Few would approve of children running wild over people's graves: we teach our kids to have respect for the dead. Why, then, is it acceptable for our animals to run haphazardly through what should be sacred ground?

Is it merely a convenient gated area for lazy dog owners? A way for them to avoid picking up their pets' waste? (I never see them cleaning anything up.)

Do these owners think that no one notices or cares about what they are doing?

How would they feel if their loved ones were buried there?

The occupants of Napier Cemetery may be long dead ... regardless, these individuals were war heroes and rescue workers; teachers and leaders; earthquake and flood victims; devoted parents, beloved siblings, and treasured children; pillars and builders of our community.

How we treat them now says a lot about Napier today.

Shame on those who behave otherwise.

Nicole Lasko, Napier

Give a dog bad name

While I agree that there are some breeds of dogs that seem aggressive, I am tired of hearing about changing dog laws because of children being attacked.

Yes, there have been some horrific wounds.

However, in the majority of cases the dogs were on leads or chained on their own property, where children approached them. Hello, where are the responsible parents?

It is a natural instinct for an animal - including people - to defend their own space. Stop blaming restrained, chained, fenced dogs!

Nancy Johnson, Napier

- Hawkes Bay Today

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