Repeat attacks Control and respect are needed

Hood River News Editorial

May 14, 2005

Developments happened this week concerning two recent violations of community places.

The hospital flag is back, and an other animal attack happened at the high school.

The flag’s return, in time for Memorial Day on May 30, was a sweet reunion Thursday for the Providence Memorial Hospital Staff. Last month, someone stole the 15-by-25-foot flag from the hospital’s property on the southeast corner of 12th and May.

Despite the prominent location and the difficulty of stealing the securely hung, massive piece of patriotic cloth, someone — probably several people — succeeded in stealing it. An anonymous tip to police Thursday brought the flag back home, apparently undamaged. It was found in a garbage bag at the hospital construction site. The flag was the one for which local Cub Scouts and others raised money to buy in 2001 — after the original flag was stolen from the same spot.

Certainly we hope there will never be a recurrence of this theft, or that of any other flag. It would be too easy to simply recommend more vigilance, given how busy the corner is. Lack of respect for private property is at the heart of this crime. Yet the flag is also the city’s best-known banner, making the thefts one of community concern.

Fortunately, the hospital plans to take specific action that could involve hanging the flag from a cable rather than a rope. The anonymity of the tip that led police to the flag needs to be respected, but anyone with any knowledge of the theft should know it is not too late to inform the authorities.

Vigilance is the main answer to the discouragingly repetitious dog attacks at the livestock lab at Hood River Valley High School.

Sometime Wednesday night, a goat owned by FFA leader Michelle McCafferty was injured inside the pen at the facility on the west side of the HRVHS campus. It comes just two weeks after two ewes were killed and numerous lambs injured by two or more dogs, in a neighboring pen. It is the third attack in less than a year.

Animal control officer Casey DePriest got right on the case, and she has worked hard to try to find the culprit canines in the earlier intrusion, to no avail. The case is just part of her many duties.

But it is all but certain that the dog owners — and it is humans who are responsible — know if it was their dogs that killed or hurt the HRV animals.

Some dogs roam widely, but how many dogs go farther than a mile or two from home?

Owners of dogs in a two-mile radius of the high school, particularly on the west side facing the livestock lab, should take a close look at the dogs and make sure they are in compliance with county law, which requires pet owners to keep canines under control at all times — day and night.

The fact is, whoever owns the dogs probably knows if their dogs did the attacking.

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