Communication and looking inward are called for rather than resorting to court

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on your Jan. 16, editorial “Good dialogue makes good neighbors.” The editorial speaks to the dispute between neighbors Ms. Barbara Huba and Mr. Michele Salerno. 

The editorial was fair, thoughtful, and provided good guidance not only for the parties involved but for everyone. I agree with the editorial — the solution to unfortunate episodes like this is not through the courts but by preventing them through better communication and looking inward.

I thought it fitting that your editorial appeared on page 2, as on page 3, in the Back in Time feature under Youths’ Companion Nuggets the following nuggets appeared:

“Do you desire good neighbors — Then be a good neighbor.” And, underneath that” “Try to be at least as forgiving toward other people as you are toward yourself.”

I do not know either party in this dispute. I’m sure both are nice people who find themselves at odds over the death of their beloved pets.

Ms. Huba’s letter the week earlier inferred that her pet dog, Sophie, was randomly killed by an uncaring neighbor, Mr. Salerno. In her anguish, Ms. Huba refuses to acknowledge Mr. Salerno as a neighbor, she describes him as “a mere transplant who truly doesn’t understand life in the country.”

However, your reporter, who talked to Mr. Salerno, found the opposite to be true. Mr. Salerno is well versed with life in the country and it was his pet, a duck that was killed by Ms. Huba’s unlicensed trespassing pet dog, Sophie. Your reporter learned of Mr. Salerno’s long-standing frustration with uncontrolled dogs attacking and killing his pets and birds causing heartache and monetary loss.

You also learned that Mr. Salerno caught a legally licensed and tagged dog that was attacking his birds, and from the license tag information, he contacted the owner, a neighbor, who retrieved the dog. I believe that this shows that Mr. Salerno has compassion and is not an uncaring neighbor. He should not be viewed as a villain or faulted for protecting his property.

Instead of letting her pet roam free, Ms. Huba should have had the dog under control and properly licensed and tagged as required by the animal control law. More likely than not, she would have received a call from Mr. Salerno asking her to come and pick up her dog.

Lastly, regarding changing the law, Ms. Huba’s remark, “We’ll save other pets from being shot, and maybe a kid” is truly unfortunate, and most likely spoken in anger. It points out that she is on the wrong side of this issue and it was she who was on the wrong side of the law.


Robert J. Motschmann III


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