The incident with the children and dog in Kanat'a Street in Juneau is a sad reflection of just how bad things can go wrong. I have witnessed the dog in question playing with the owner and his family, including young children, in the backyard. There were no signs of aggression. I have also witnessed neighborhood children taunting and teasing the dog while on his run in the same backyard, when the owner was not home. These children have also teased the dog through the fence, including poking sticks and throwing objects at him. When I would make my presence known, they would stop. Obviously, they knew what they were doing was wrong.
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Last year, I stopped a pack of about 15 of these neighborhood children chasing a bear while shooting off firecrackers and yelling at the bear. When I stopped them from continuing to chase the bear across my property, these same children became very mouthy and told me I could not tell them what to do.
Yes, a fence is up at April Jackson's, however, this fence violates several city building codes, including the clearing and incorporation of the 30 feet of land set aside to be an undeveloped buffer between subdivisions. People have been in serious trouble in this town for removing trees in this same greenbelt-type area, but in this case, the person hired to cut the trees supposedly just got a little carried away, both in cutting the trees and where he placed the fence, according to the Jacksons.
I have contacted Community Development almost weekly since May 9 of this year. No one from the city has yet to found the time to come out and investigate the violations.
Maybe April Jackson could invest some of her energy and time to: 1) educating the children about proper behavior around animals; 2) contacting Community Development and letting it know that the fence did little to protect the children on Sunday (which is her justification for violating the codes), so that they can have her comply with the already existing laws before wasting energy on creating new animal control regulations.
Here's hoping that we can all live safely together in a neighborhood where we treat each other with dignity and respect and abide by existing laws, while living amongst the animals, both domestic and wild.
Mary E. Jordan
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