Would you treat a dog like this?

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I refer to the matter raised by your excellent columnist Whispering Smith (Gazette, January 15), regarding the poor horse which spent the summer tethered to a stake on the roadside in Yapton, and is no doubt now tethered in isolation somewhere else in the neighbourhood.

The response from West Sussex County Council and the RSPCA raises several questions:

1. Who actually owns the wide and lengthy roadside verge at that location? If the county council is not in a position to take action against trespass, then is it common land, free for anyone to use?

2. If a dog were to be tethered in the same way for months on end, would everyone treat it with the same degree of indifference?

3. The RSPCA stated that it cannot intervene ‘as long as the animal’s needs are being met’. A horse is a herd animal and its needs are not being met if it is tethered all day, every day, in complete isolation, close to a busy road.

Keith Overington

Dinsdale Gardens

Rustington

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