Tired of ‘they won’t hurt you’

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Every day there are interactions with dogs. Some are benign and some are fatal. I live in El Dorado County where signs are posted, “Dogs worrying cattle may be shot.” People can be more than worried by dogs. People don’t seem to have any recourse. Mostly it is the lack of responsibility of owners who ignore already existing laws that cause the problems. (This month) I was hiking in El Dorado County with two friends and without any warning four dogs of all sizes came at us from around a bend in the trail in full onslaught mode, barking, teeth bared and hair raised. We hollered and screamed at them. Then around the bend of the trail came the owners, who characteristically said, “They won’t hurt you.” These are famous last words many times. Did the owners in any way acknowledge that their dogs in a state recreation area should have been on leashes? No, they did not. In fact, they blamed us for using hiking poles on our hike. They asserted that their dogs were afraid of hiking poles. Had other unsuspecting hikers been victims of these dogs and their owners previously and had they defended themselves with their hiking poles? Let’s put the blame where it belongs. Not on the dogs, but on the lawbreaking owners. They need stiff penalties that make them have more respect for the laws. MAE HARMS, Garden Valley