Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Unleashed Dog Knocks Over 65-year-old Woman in Prospect

 Writer's name deleted

Subject: Off-leash dog incident--for Sue Donoghue

Date: February 24, 2015 10:13:16 AM EST

Dear Ms. Donoghue:

A birder friend suggested I write to you, plus I spoke to a member of your staff yesterday  by phone.

I am 65 years old, a Prospect Park Alliance member, a long-time park user, park volunteer, avid birder and affiliate of the Brooklyn Bird Club.

On Sunday I was on the terrace bridge, birding, when three medium-sized dogs, off leash, began rough housing with each other. When one of the dogs left, the other two continued to rough house. I was at the edge of the bridge, when they first bumped into me. When I decided to walk to the bird feeders, they continued to rough house. I tried to avoid them by standing way to the other side of the bridge. Although they had the entire bridge on which to play, they inexorably moved towards me and banged into my legs, this time causing me to fall and bang my hip. I am sure you are aware how dangerous a hip injury is, especially for older people.

I yelled to the owners who were all the way down at the other end of the bridge, not paying attention to their dogs. The man came over and helped me up and apologized. I was very upset and scared and continued to yell at him, since his apology and desire to help meant nothing after the fact. The fact was that this incident would not have occurred had he been obeying the rules of the park and had had both dogs on leashes.

At that point, he did put the dogs on the leash, and when I spotted them later, they were still on the leashes. As for me, I came home with a three-inch-long bruise on my hip, which continues to grow, and a sore body.

When I left the park, I spotted two park security guards in a car by the lake and reported the incident.

A birder I met told me to contact you directly because the off-leash dogs have been a big problem in the park for years. He told me that the park has a reputation among the international birding community for being a prime birding spot but also one with a serious dog problem. And this is not the first time I have been accosted by off-leash dogs in the park. Many years ago, I was accosted by an off-leash German shepherd on Lookout Hill. I may also point out that I have never been harrassed by off-leash dogs in Central Park!!

The off-leash dog issue has to be taken more seriously than it seemingly is. Off-leash dogs not only hurt birds and other animals, they can harm the very people who visit and support the park. The park administration has gone out of its way to provide all kinds of "fun" attractions for its visitors: Lakeside, ball fields, wedding venues, food festivals, concerts and barbecue grills. But they also have to provide basic security, not just the fun stuff. Otherwise, people will continue to get hurt in the park they love.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dog Bite Claims Rising; What About Off-Leash?

According to this report in Crain's New York Business, "Dog-bite claims for U.S. insurers climbed 5.5% last year to 17,359, breaking the record from 2003, as New York had the costliest attacks among states with the most incidents."  Now, the article doesn't say that claims in New York itself had increased, and says nothing about New York City.  But given the increasing unleashing of dogs nationwide, one wonders how this squares with off-leashers' claims that their pet cause reduce incidents of dog bites.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Forest Hills Dogs

Inconsiderate dog owners hijack another park, this in Forest Hills, Queens.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

NY Times--Dog/Bird Issue in Prospect Park

From today's Times:

But this time of year, between the throngs trying to glimpse the prothonotary warblers, the yellow-bellied flycatchers and other migrants making their way up the coast, and the Brooklynites trying to give their corgis and springer spaniels a few moments of freedom and fresh air, it has been difficult to find a middle ground.

The conflict, at its root, is about basic animal nature: Dogs distress birds and can trample the delicate underbrush where birds feed and nest. Bird watchers say they have been answered with exclamations of “Nazi!,” “creep!,” R-rated curses and, occasionally, “I’m going to kill you,” when asking dog owners to respect the laws, which permit untethered animals in three meadows only after 9 p.m. and before 9 a.m.

 . . .

 The Parks Enforcement Patrol has responded with two plainclothes operations this year, said Meghan Lalor, a spokeswoman for the parks department. So far this year, the department has issued 141 dog-related summonses in Prospect Park, including for unleashed dogs, compared with 171 in all of 2013 and 59 the year before.

Read the rest here:

We have seen statistics like that before. 141 in 4 months? Whom are they kidding? Give me some PEP agents and I could issue that many in a day

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dog As Deadly Weapon

Mr. Austin, 23, was arrested on charges of menacing, assault, attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon. “Namely,” the indictment reads, “a pit bull dog.”
The case, from August 2012, is a rare example of a New Yorker’s being arrested on a weapons possession charge, a misdemeanor, for a dog. 

Courts around the country have long grappled with the question of canine weaponization. Over the years, judges have mostly arrived at the same conclusion: if you use Fido as a weapon, he becomes one. 

Read the rest here:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Green-Wood Cemetery Dog; Dead Plover

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From Maine Audubon

On Monday, July 15, our biologists received concerning news. The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center called the Piping Plover/Least Tern Project office to report that a dead piping plover fledgling (learning to fly) had been delivered to the Center. The citizen who brought in the plover witnessed the bird being attacked by an off-leash dog.

The death of this plover fledgling was particularly devastating as it had been the only chick to hatch from its brood. The parents had chosen a rather challenging spot to nest on Pine Point Beach in Scarborough, where dogs and foot-traffic cause a constant disturbance to the adults’ incubation of their eggs.
 . . . .
We work hard to ask dog owners to please leash their pets in areas where piping plovers are nesting and foraging. The nesting areas are marked with signs and symbolic fencing in the form of stake and twine. Being dog lovers ourselves, we understand that dogs need their exercise, but we also know that it is in a dog’s nature to want to chase anything that moves. It is the dog owner’s responsibility to leash their pet in areas where endangered piping plovers make their nests.

 The incident on July 15 demonstrates that dogs are a very real threat to wildlife. We remind all beach-goers that piping plovers are an endangered species in Maine and protected by Endangered Species Act. The death of a bird can warrant a federal and state investigation. When situations such as this occur, we rely on witnesses to gather all available information so that we can prevent other violations in the future.

 . . .
Read the rest here.