Union Democrat staff

Dogs attacking goats

To the editor:

As an owner of goats, I feel it is imperative to advise dog owners they are to be held accountable for the actions of their pets, especially if their dogs are allowed to run loose and, in doing so, enter into the property of others and kill or maim other pets or livestock.

I have lost six goats in the past four months due to the careless nature of a dog owner. According to the Tuolumne County Animal Control and the Sheriffs Office, I am within my right as a rancher or owner of livestock to protect my animals if they come under attack. I'm willing to accept the loss of livestock from natural predators, but I cannot allow the destruction of a herd of goats by domestic animals (dogs) to go without notice or complaint to the owner of the culprit animals.

The consequences to dog owners who allow their pets to roam from their property can be very expensive if legal action is taken. The other alternative - although I have no desire to harm another's pet, the choice left to me if the owner is being negligent - is to use any actions necessary to protect my livestock when under attack.

So I call upon those who have allowed their dogs to run loose not to become angry or spiteful when they should have taken steps to prevent their pets from being a pest.

John Honesto

Don Pedro

Health care issues

To the editor:

A friend recently shared with me a reply letter he had received from Congressman George Radanovich, R-Mariposa. The friend had written him to urge his support of a universal health care bill. The Congressman's reply was the usual Republican babble about how free market competition will cure the problem if government just gets out of the way.

Well, I don't claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but it seems to me that if this were true then we all would have affordable health care already. Then there wouldn't be 46 million of us without health care. Then there would be more than one hospital in this county.

Which reminds me, will somebody please explain to me how this county can come up with $227 million for a new justice complex, but couldn't find $8 million to keep the county hospital open? Yes, some people should be arrested and tried.

Now, after a little Web research, I found that it's Big Ag, Big Construction and Big Telecommunications that keep the congressman's campaign funds flowing. But Big Health Care chipped in $41,000 as well. So it's no surprise he'll fight to keep the status quo on health care. Money talks and poor people walk to early deaths without health care.

What is a surprise is that you people keep on electing him. If you are an elected official who doesn't believe government has a role to play in bettering people's lives, then you shouldn't be in government.

Retire and be a lobbyist. You probably already have experience working with them.

Patrick McGinnis

Twain Harte