Letter from Jo Keane

Dear Messenger...

Dear Messenger,

I read with interest the letter from Amirah Hussain regarding dog walking in the cemetery. I have lived in Burngreave for over 30 years, have always had a dog and have always walked my dog in the cemetery. In all this time I have seldom experienced any form of intimidation by dogs towards any members of the public. As in all aspects of society there are those who are not respectful but please do not tar all dog owners as the same.

In my experience most dog owners are mindful of others and control their dogs. Alongside this they also provide a good service to the cemetery. It is the dog owners who report tipping, pick up rubbish including their own dogs waste. They report the misuse of the cemetery by contacting the police when there is vandalism, people destroying the trees, riding motorbikes, needles left exposed, and also informing others if there are suspicious characters hanging about.

I would suggest that it is the dog walkers who contribute to making this fabulous space safe for people.

I agree with Amirah Hussain that we should be mindful of the cemetery environment and that none should feel exclude and victimised. This also incudes dog walkers who are also members of this community,contribute so much, and should not be marginalised because they are responsible animal lovers.

Jo Keane