Where I come from, if a dog attacks you or anything of yours (“Dog Days,” 11/23), you shoot it. The official attitude of the authorities is that the dog is dead; too bad, the owner is at fault for not controlling his animal, case closed. I realize that dog-walkers and nannies in D.C. can’t be packing a gun when they go outside, but the police have every right, even a duty, to blow a dog’s head off if they can do so without hitting a person.

We had a situation where a dog attacked a person and by the time the police got there the dog had returned to his owner’s yard. The police officer knocked on the owner’s door, informed him that he was under arrest, put him in the back of the car, and then walked around to the back yard and shot the dog. The owner spent the night in jail and ultimately paid the medical bills of the dog’s victim, plus a fine. The owner later built a large dog pen in his back yard before he acquired any more dogs.

You don’t restrain other people’s dogs. You destroy the dogs and punish the dog owners if you can find them. Maybe the owners will learn from the experience. Meanwhile, we can reserve our sentimentality for nice dogs.

Haymarket, Va.