By Joe Capotrio

With pet ownership comes significant responsibility.  This responsibility extends to your pets, family and community. Living in a common-interest community like Somersett makes it all the more important to take proper care of your pets and have them be welcome assets to the community. The vast majority of pet owners are very conscientious and their pets are happy and healthy. That said there are still many instances of lost or stray animals found on the streets of our neighborhoods, pets lost to predators, fecal matter left in the common area, etc.  With that in mind here are some things to consider regarding responsible pet ownership:

Responsiblepet2For your pets:

  • Love – make them part of the family; they need companionship and interaction with family members.
  • Safety – don’t leave them unattended in the yard or allow them off your property without being controlled by you on leash or other physical control; keep anything that might be harmful to your pet in a secure location; keep an ID tag on your pet and consider getting your pet(s) microchipped so you can identify them if they are lost or stolen.
  • Health – feed your pets good healthy food and make sure they have clean water to drink; keep them indoors during periods of extreme heat or cold; have them vaccinated against rabies and other diseases; go to the vet every year; ensure your dog(s) get regular exercise.

For your community:

  • Clean Up – pick up after your pets; if you are walking your dog be sure to have plastic bags (or equivalent) so you can pick up and dispose of waste;  do not leave the bags on the ground, take them to a proper receptacle; do not allow your pet to relieve himself on your neighbors’ properly.
  • Train – train your pets so that they will be good in the house – and good with people. Teach them basic obedience skills.
  • Control Overpopulation – Spay or neuter your companion animals (this can be done as early as four months of age). It will keep them from creating unwanted babies, plus sterilized pets are healthier, live longer and behave better; keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
  • Responsiblepet1Obey – Obey all local and county ordinances, including licensing, leash requirements and noise control; familiarize yourself with the SOA Rules and Regulations regarding pet ownership; don’t allow your pet to stray or become feral.  Currently, there’s nowhere within the community that dogs/pets are allowed off-leash or without some form of positive control (e.g., a training collar); however, the future Somersett West Park development will provide an off-leash area for both large and small dogs.
  • Golf Course Protocol – The Somersett Golf and Country Club (the 18-hole golf course that snakes through our community) only permits registered golfers on the course. Any other access, with or without pets, at any time, is considered trespassing. The Canyon Nine Golf Course is part of the Somersett Trail System and is available for walking or running, with or without pets provided the rules for controlling your pet and proper disposal of waste are followed. This trail is open as a general-purpose trail only when it is closed to golfers. Canyon Nine hours of operation.

Joe Capotrio is a member of the Communications Committee.



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