March 10 -- To the Editor:

As a veterinarian, I know that two of the most common problems we see in our canine patients are obesity and behavior problems. The management of both of these conditions involve sufficient exercise. However, there are so few areas that pet owners can freely exercise their dogs. Walking your dog on a leash does provide some health benefits but nothing beats an off leash walk and run under a pet owner's supervision. Of course, if a dog has any history of aggression it should be on a leash at all times and restricted to areas that donít have dogs running freely. Most dogs that I have seen on the Rye beaches and in the town forest are well controlled dogs. The physical and mental health benefits for these dogs far outweigh the risks. Thatís why I am voting no on Articles 26, 27 and 28 on Rye Town ballot on March 12.

Vikki C. Howard, DVM