Everywhere we look, the art of responsibility is dying off. Witness the front-page account of the vicious attack upon Cynthia Roodman, in Gardiner, by two dogs that ripped and bloodied her left ear and left arm, requiring nine staples to her head, 16 stitches to her ear and seven stitches to her arm. The muscle in her left arm remains deformed. (“Gardiner dog attack victim seeks tougher consequences from city,” Aug. 31).

The dog owners ignored Rodman’s screams, “Please don’t leave me! Call 911! Please don’t leave me!” She begged them to tell her whether the dogs had had their rabies shots. Responsibility and caring died in the getaway vehicle’s dust.

The alleged defendant, Steven Griatzky, 40, of Bowdoinham, failed to appear in court recently. His default made him liable for the attack and additional issues are set regarding restitution and the fate of the dogs. At 87 and as a Marine with active-duty service, the defendant is definitely AWOL material in my foxhole.

Responsibility dies in other begging instances, like the recent condominium case where a condo board ruled marijuana smoke, generated by a unit owner, damaged the health of adjacent owners and was also a violation of the association’s bylaws. But members continued to sit on their hands. Bylaws sans teeth. Owners were forced to secure relief from the court.

The referenced dog attack is a civil violation. Rodman is correct in asking that the assault should be a criminal case with higher penalties. But her reasonable request calls for lawmaker responsibility.

John Benoit


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