I am writing in defence of a man who was unfairly treated in your newspaper article, Dead Dogs Raise Questions About Gun Laws, the News, June 24.
John and Dee Teertstra live in my neighbourhood. Dee has had chickens and various other birds as long as I’ve known her. Birds make an ever-present noise at her home and her old turkey used to do a special dance to greet her son as he got off the school bus.
Dee now has trouble getting used to mornings without the sound of her rooster (who survived the first massacre), and trouble sleeping with memories of her old Tom chewed up but not yet dead. Back in November, her birds were killed by a marauding dog.
I knew where the guilty dog lived and was familiar with the young owners who were relatively new in our neighbourhood. I volunteered to relay the bad news to them as Dee was too devastated.
I told the owners what had happened and it made sense as Dakota had come home with blood on her that day. I told them that Dakota would be shot if she went over there again. They were very concerned.
I gave them John and Dee’s phone number and told them where they lived and they bought a long chain for their dog. Over the next few months, I gave them the phone number several times as it had been mislaid, but the owners never contacted them.
Then it happened again.
This June, after investing in a new batch of birds, John came home to find two dogs in the chicken coop. He shot the dogs. They had killed 34 birds. John loaded the dead chickens and the two dead dogs in the truck and took them to the owner’s home.
I was surprised that Kirsten chose to contact the media and that the media chose to run with her story. Not only did Dee and her family have to struggle to cope with the violent deaths of their animals on two separate occasions, but they also have to suffer the insult of being falsely and irresponsibly represented in the media.
The headline for the story would have more accurately read, Irresponsible Pet Ownership Leads to Death of Two Dogs.
It’s that simple.