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Don't stampede to more dog laws

The recent dog attack in Prescott Park has, quite naturally, re-ignited discussion on the interface between dogs and citizens.

Jackson County has no actual "leash law," but Prescott is classified as a city park and a leash law is in effect, and so the owner of the four Weimaraners is liable for the harm done to the victim. However, before the alarm over this incident causes a stampede to more laws, let's examine what transpires when we attempt to achieve a goal by invoking utopian solutions (i.e., those that seek to eliminate every possible flaw in a system).

First, it is incumbent upon owners that they not only control their animals, but they train them and exercise good judgment on what they do and where they do it. However, anyone who has seen a hapless owner being tugged along a rural trail by an eager canine on a leash has to realize that particular scenario is ridiculous. I've run my small dogs on the Britt Trails and Jacksonville's Forest Park for decades among the unleashed animals of others — without incident.

In sum? I often think of our own government, which mandates that your breakfast cereal may contain a certain measure of rodent feces. There is a middle ground between perfection and common sense.

— Hubert Smith lives in Jacksonville.