Recently I wrote a story about an elderly lady and how her dog was ripped from her arms and then killed by another dog.

By Barbara High
Tribune Staff Writer
Recently I wrote a story about an elderly lady and how her dog was ripped from her arms and then killed by another dog.
The elderly woman was injured during this event. Honestly, I got a lot of praise from many on this, yet one person wasn't happy.
My editor Liz told me from day one that I was going to have to have a thick skin to do this. Boy was she right lol… You see, I write things that make people happy, and that touch people, and unfortunately sometimes I am going to make people mad.
Not that I want to make people mad, but when you write something that shines an unfavorable light on someone or some thing, someone is bound to be mad. More often it is when someone is arrested or along those lines. Not always though.
To me this story is pretty straight forward. I don't care if you’re a pet owner with a poodle, or a hunter with a hunting dog, you are responsible for your dog and always need to have it under control.
There is a leash law, and yet I am told that doesn't apply for hunting dogs.I understand that reasoning. Also, the legislature passed that a hunter cannot be held liable for a hunting dog that merely trespasses. Obviously a dog can't read “no trespassing” signs and they don't know boundary lines either.
Now according to DNR and West Virginia law, if the dog  harms or kills livestock or a domestic animal or damages property, then the owner is liable . Be it a civil or legal matter,they can be held accountable.
To me, even if part of hunting is to turn your dog loose, you still need to be close enough to intervene if something goes wrong.
Obviously I don't hunt with dogs, so you all will have to bear with me. I know that you can't keep up with a running dog. Who could? But the problem for me in the existing law is although I believe that most hunters are good people who try to obey the law, any time you give too much room for wiggle, someone's going to wiggle.
If people know that they are not going to get into trouble if their dog is running across other people’s property, there are going to be the few who say, "Hey, I can hunt anywhere my dogs run."
I am not saying it goes for everybody, because I know a lot of hunters and they are people who do what they can to obey the laws. What I am saying is that you can't guarantee that nobody does it.
In the case of the story I wrote last week, I believe the owner of the dog obviously never intended this to happen. I am sure he feels bad about it; certainly any decent human being would.  But how can we keep it from happening again?
Now that is the question.
Is it fair for someone to be sitting on their porch and have their beloved fur baby ripped from their arms, tossed like a rag doll and killed?? Well hell no, and as many of my readers love their pets as family, I am sure they will agree that this is not okay.  
We have our pets under control on our own property and something comes and kills it!! Yeah there is room to learn a lesson from this tragic event and put a little action in place to safeguard against that happening again.
Now of course when I said that, I got accused of wanting to ban hunting. Well number one, if I were trying to do that, wow, wouldn't I have one mad brother and quite a few other family members. Nobody is saying ban hunting or hunting dogs. But a hunter should have his dogs under control and be accountable just as much as any other pet owner, in my opinion.
Let me give you a little info on myself. I own three dogs, which I love very much. One of which is a doberman. Now Blaze, my doberman, is a loving gentle dog, but because she is a doberman people often fear her by her breed association. Blaze also used to love to run, and has been threatened to be shot because people would see her and think the worse. I had one person tell me personally that he would shoot my dog…not that it would end well for him.
Yet as a pet owner it was my responsibility to keep Blaze on my property. Oh and I tried, yet sometimes she managed to bolt or dart out the door before we could put her on something. I tied her for a while and I hated it.
So I bought the wireless fencing that gave her so much run and I trained her to stay in her bounds. It took time and work, but guess what?? She got it. She goes to where her collar beeps and then she knows to come back or she will get a little shock.
Now if the battery runs dead and she figures it out, well then I am chasing her, but for the most part this has fixed our problem and kept my dog safe.
So let me throw this out there: Why can't hunters ear a prattle version that allows the dog a radius of so far from it's owner before it warns them to wait up or hold up? I know that having many dogs would make it more difficult and maybe you will have good reason that this is not probable.
Fine, so what are they?
You see, I was told that this man let his dogs out on Mount Storm in an area that there was about 1,000 acres that was hunting eligible, and yet it got off that 1,000 acres and ended up into 1,000 acres of The Preserve. Now honestly, are you trying to tell me that if your dog is even 500 acres away from you then you have any control? No way.
I am glad that this story I wrote is not a regular occurrence, and maybe you will tell me that since it never really happens then there is no reason to look at changing things.
Well I bet Chopper's family will disagree.
Now I have heard that this dog is not a vicious dog, and I can believe that. Yet it did not kill Chopper for no reason. I am not sure why I suspect it was an alpha dog thing, but I don't know. Yet I can tell you that my 4-year-old grandson is outside a lot with his dogs. What if it would have been my property?
It is too late once something happens.
Now as I said previously, I am sure this will make people upset. My story made one person mad already. I was told I didn't tell the whole story of the attack, yet only one person was there and they are the one who told me the story.
There is no way to justify this incident. NONE.
That one incident was on her property, on her porch, and she did nothing wrong and didn't deserve what happened to her and her fur baby.
Any attempt to take away from that or say there’s more to the story, or to try and turn it around to blame the victim is sad.  
You think my story makes it look bad on hunters? Well blaming the victim makes it look bad. To be honest, the situation was bad and it doesn’t matter how you color it, it still does.
I say a mistake was made, so own it and take responsibility and say what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Maybe my suggestion isn't practical for reasons, but what are some ideas?
Now if you’re going to tell me nothing needs to be done and that this dog owner doesn't need to look at the situation and learn from it and do things differently… well then the truth is you’re biased and have no respect for other people’s property or pets.
Or none for your own pet, as far as that goes. Because the owners could have legally shot that dog that day, but she didn't want that because she loves all animals.
Show some respect and look at things that might make it safer for all involved.
For those upset by what I write now, well that is okay. Feel free to reach out to me and talk and tell me what you think is some good suggestions. Tell me what works and what doesn’t work and why.
Write us a letter to the editor.
I myself love dogs and all animals. I don't care if it's a Yorkie or a hound. Whether it's a pet or used for hunting. I want them safe and owners being responsible.
I'll end this again by saying I have no hatred towards hunters with dogs. I am only saying that you need to be aware of pets and children, cause we don't want anyone or anything getting hurt.
I don't like that we live in a area that gets fired up over anyone saying hunters be careful with your dogs, but yet thinks it is no big deal if a dog dies or a cat is shot by an arrow. If this is how it is to be, then we have bigger problems, like no compassion, sheer ignorance, and intolerance.
Trust me, none of that is okay by me.