Yesterday evening at 5:21 P.M. there were 12 unleashed dogs on the Nethermead. A Latino family was attempting to have a picnic but seemed intimidated by the dogs. We spoke to them about their rights and that they should call 311 to complain. They weren't aware that dogs were supposed to be leashed until 9pm. We filed a complaint with 311.
Also, at 6:30pm there were five unleashed dogs at the dog beach adjacent to Long Meadow. Dogs are permitted there only before 9 A.M. and after 9 P.M.. Two dogs got into a fight.
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This morning's Prospect Park loose dog report:
8:10 A.M: 2 little white poodles, white female owner, heading up ramp from Lullwater to Peninsula
8:12 A.M.: 1 large brown dog, white male owner who was holding the leash of a second dog, heading from Nethermead to Wellhouse Rd.
8:20 A.M.: 1 large black dog, black female owner, one east side of upper Lullwater near rustic shelter.
And finally, from a correspondent. Paradoxically, as shocking as this is, it should come as no surprise:
Between 3:00PM and 3:30PM I was in Prospect Park taking some pictures (or should I say, trying to take some pictures). There were four unleashed dogs at the dog beach. The sign at the dog beach clearly states that the off-leash hours are at 9PM until 9AM, all other times dogs must be leashed. As with the rest of the park, those hours are ignored. The dogs were running in and out of the water, onto the ballfields and up the hillside where I was seated. At one point, a dog's owner waded into the water, physically picked up his dog, faced him away from the water towards the hill, then tossed the dog's ball up the hill in my direction. I left the park.
As I walked up the path from the dog beach towards the 9th Street entrance, I spotted two female Park Enforcement Patrol officers standing at the crosswalk near the bandshell. I asked them if they could tell me the off-leash hours. At first, they seemed a little confused. I said, "Are they not 9PM until 9AM?" One officer responded, "No it's 9AM to 9PM." I corrected her and the second officer started to take out a pamphlet with the hours and locations. I explained that I didn't need it because I very familiar with the hours and locations. here were 4 unleashed dogs at the dog beach that were annoying me, I told them. Officer D. Scott explained that they were allowed off the leash as long as they were in the water. I said that there was a sign right next to the water with the rules that said otherwise. She replied, "We've tried that, but these people get in your face and start yelling and arguing with you. We can't deal with it." So I rephrased my question and asked, "So, if I told you that there are 4 unleashed dogs right down that path, you wouldn't do anything about it?" Officer D. Scott responded, "We can't leave our post right now." The dog beach is about 250 yards straight in front of where these officers were standing. If they made even the slightest effort, they would have seen them. These are city employees who make a starting salary that is greater than that of an NYPD officer. This afternoon they were earning their money by leaning up against a traffic light.
I wonder if either woman had the experience or intelligence to react appropriately if I told them a child was being mauled down that path.
This correspondent recently sent the following note to Tupper Thomas:
FIDO, the offleash advocacy group that you have taken credit for creating, has been petitioning to have the recently amended health code changed to allow 5pm offleash time. Do you actively endorse the monopolization of nearly the entire park by one special interest group or were you unaware of their petition?
The Department of Parks & Recreation rules clearly prohibit unleashed dogs from ballfields, yet you have included the ballfields in the park's map of designated offleash activities. Dog owners in Prospect Park act with impunity when it comes to obeying the existing rules and it is not surprising given the almost complete lack of enforcement. I have personally been chased off the ballfields by unleashed dogs. Why aren't you enforcing that section of the rules? The dog beach is another area where the rules are unenforced. People unleash their dogs at the Upper Pool whenever they feel like it, despite the prominently placed sign displaying the permitted dates and hours. The dog beach is, coincidentally, right next to the ballfields where young children regularly play. When a child is attacked by an unleashed dog on the ballfields, will you say that you were unaware of the problem with unleashed dogs in that location?
Of course, there’s been no response.