Citizens, beware -- one of the three vicious Rottweiler dogs that attacked Arlynn Joffe in my Rockville neighborhood may be moving next door to you, courtesy of the City of Rockville.

On Oct. 2, the Rockville Animal Control Board agreed to allow the dogs' owners to find three new homes for the dogs outside Rockville. Homes have already been found in Maryland for two of the animals.

Despite the assurances of Rockville city officials that they would recommend to the Animal Control Board that the animals be put to sleep, they did little more than accept the remedy offered by the dog owners two days after the attack. When angry residents questioned Mayor Douglas Duncan about the decision, he explained that the city feared an appeal by the dog owners. Obviously, the city's only objective was to expedite an end to the matter. Neither the wishes of the community nor the safety of people outside Rockville was of concern to city officials.

Citizens should know that the residents of North Farm did everything in their power to prevent these dogs from ever again threatening the lives of innocent people. Unfortunately, we were not supported by our city government. RANDY SLOVIC Rockville

Bravo to Teresa M. Becker for pointing out that "a dog's behavior rests with the owner, not the breed" {letters, Oct. 3}.

Fifteen years ago, the Rottweiler and pit bull were breeds almost unknown to the general public. Today, unfortunately, these magnificent animals have joined the ranks of "designer" dogs and are purchased by many -- like clothing and cars -- as status symbols with little thought to the responsibility inherent in owning such an animal.

Because of their popularity, Rottweilers and pit bulls are often indiscriminately bred and then sold to anyone who can pay the price, with no consideration for the negative genetic traits being perpetuated, much less to the kinds of homes to which the puppies are going. Raising an obedient, well-socialized dog requires a commitment -- of oneself, one's time, love and patience.

Instead of condemning a specific breed and sensationalizing a few tragic incidents, the press would better serve the public by exposing irresponsible breeders and educating its readers on responsible dog ownership.

JOANNE J. PLATT

Alexandria