To the editor:

In reference to an article on Page 7 of The Highland County Press dated Aug. 29 regarding the county commissioners not allowing the dog warden to carry a firearm on duty, I think the commissioners’ decision is wrong.

The dog warden goes anywhere in the county and faces the job of dealing with unknown dogs without any lethal self-defense.

I have been in bad situations with dogs twice in my life. Once, I was bitten when I was 4. I still carry traces of that, and I am now 79. The other time I was working for the railroad, in a remote part of downtown Cleveland, on railroad property, when a German shepherd guard dog broke his chain at the warehouse he was guarding and ran in a charge out onto the tracks and up to me, ready to attack.

Since I was out in the open, having nothing to defend myself with, I advanced slowly toward him, shouted at him and got him stopped less than 10 feet from me. I locked eyes with him and shouted orders to him. I was slowly able to back away. Finally, he tossed his head, turned and trotted back to his warehouse. No one else was around. If I had slipped and fallen, he could have had me by the throat in an instant. I had no firearm as a defense.

Also, once I was out in a remote rural area of Preble County and had pulled over to the side of the road to check some papers for information. After five minutes, I sensed something, looked up and saw a dog across the road watching me. Spread out along the road, and in the fields, were about 15 other dogs, silently watching me — almost in military formation. A multi-breed, ragged hunting pack of wild dogs for sure. I would not have liked to be out of the car on foot. No one and no cars were in sight.

Dealing with unknown, unpredictable dogs can be bad enough, but being relatively defenseless against sudden, aggressive, severe dog attack possibilities is something I don’t think any dog warden should face.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Rehark
Clay Township Farm Owner