Irresponsible dog owners without leashes taint golden years

Dear Editor,

We all dream of those golden years that lie at the end of a life well spent: Last May I was doing my daily fitness walk in Davies Plantation Park in Bartlett, a really nice place to be on a good May Day, when my golden years came to an abrupt end. I was attacked by two dogs running free from their owner, a Bartlett resident according to the police report. I was bitten and knocked down into a drainage ditch. The reason that I’m writing this is to urge all who use the parks to call the police to report irresponsible dog owners who are violating the leash ordinance.

The park is used by many parents and children for exercise, games and fishing. Even after the irresponsible dog owner left me lying in a bloody heap with a severe concussion and head wound, a broken wrist, contusions, unable to move and semi-conscious, he failed to leash the dogs as he walked toward the children’s area, which, as he testified in court, made one police officer very apprehensive. I am very grateful to the Bartlett Fire Department and Police for getting me safely to the hospital. I spent three weeks in the hospitals and three more in home therapy, then many more in doctors’ offices. I will never be the same; a wrist that didn’t heal, facial scars, trouble walking, bad memories.

The cost to the irresponsible dog owner was a $100 fine in court. The hospital and doctor costs are in the high thousands, my extra costs in the thousands. The dog owner had insufficient assets and/or insurance to offer amends for his behavior, and, as he told Judge Dan Brown in court, he was not concerned if his actions caused me harm.

The children in the park deserve our protection. Please, if you see an owner abusing park ordinances, call the Police and Animal Control. Please, be safe.

John R. Sweeney