Lately I've noticed an increasing number of dogs that are tied to parking meters and bike racks in downtown Bellingham.
Outdoor patrons of coffee houses attach their pets to their tables and chairs.
One restaurant on Railroad Avenue even has a bench in front of their establishment to which patrons can tie their dogs.
What disturbs me is when people bring their dogs downtown without regard to the weather.
This past weekend the thermometer dropped to 32 degrees and yet I saw a small pooch strapped to a bike rack in front of a bar on Railroad Avenue.
I could only assume the dog's owners were inside the club, warm and cozy, belting down beers, while the poor pup was outside shivering in the dark chill of the night.
Concerned about the dog, I called 911 and was told there was no law against leaving a dog chained up outside on a public sidewalk.
I further pressed the matter, and the dispatcher phoned Animal Control and had them contact me.
The off-duty Animal Control officer I spoke with was sympathetic, but she was unable to help the dog because their organization is closed on weekends. (Why is that??
I feel compelled to write this letter because people need to realize that leaving your dog outside in the cold is cruel.
If you come to Bellingham for indoor entertainment, please, leave your dog at home.
Consider if it's too cold outside for your comfort, it's too cold for your dog.