Dr. Banerjee raises some important points in his recent letter about dogs on Willard Beach. Foremost, there would be no controversy if dog owners exercised the level of responsibility that they claim. The problem exists because of their behavior. As residents of a community, we have responsibilities to one another. Cooperating to keep public spaces safe and enjoyable for everyone is certainly one of them.
What makes you think you have that right to tell me or anyone else what risks we will take with our children or grandchildren? Is the arrogance and selfishness of this attitude to be somehow excused because a doctor says it’s not a problem? I am still having a hard time figuring out why we have a doctor (or anyone) who thinks it is acceptable for kids to play in or about dog feces. Maybe it’s only OK if it’s someone else’s kids. But regardless of your professional opinion, it is not acceptable for a small group of individuals to foul a public space for their own enjoyment.
Over 1,000 people signed the petition to put this on the ballot and only four of them that I know of live on the beach. This is not a small, vocal minority that feels that they have more rights than dog owners, this is the democratic process working as intended. As a community, we have both the right and the responsibility to determine what will be our accepted standards of conduct in public spaces.