We took one of our occasional glances at the FIDO website. Of note:
1. Pictures of FIDO’s tenth anniversary celebration. Except for a state senator who spoke at the celebration, everyone in each of the pictures is white.
2. Encouragement to take out dog licenses. But nothing about dogs not allowed off-leash unless they are licensed, which in fact is the law. (This Brooklyn Eagle article makes it sound like it’s a new law, from the date the Mayor allowed owners to get licenses on line. It’s not.)
3. Unqualified admonitions to leash dogs at all times on ballfields (including the grassy area between them), wooded areas, paths, bridle paths, and the dog beach except during dog hours. But FIDO, as an advocacy group for off-leash owners—even though it was created by Tupper Thomas, who as a city official is supposed to be looking out for the parks, not a small constituency—is not in the business of trying to make sure that any of this is enforced. And of course, by design, it isn't. One wonders who besides us read these admonitions.
Thus, this morning between roughly 7:45 and 8:10 A.M. we observed the following illegally unleashed dogs:
1. On Wellhouse Drive headed to the main road from the Peninsula dog run.
2. Running back and forth from the Peninsula dog run across the road and into the woods on the other side.
3. Heading down the path from the Nethermead to Wellhouse Road
4. Heading south on the west side of the Lullater; the owner leashed it when she saw us.
5. Heading north on the same path. The owners apparently had no leash; when the dog approached us, making our companion visibly uncomfortable, one of the owners grabbed the dog by its collar and held it until the dog was out of the way.
6. Sitting in the water below Binnen Falls as the owner sat on a rock.
7. Crossing Binnen Bridge.
At about 7:45, there were about 5 dogs on the Peninsula dog run, and we ran across perhaps another 6 leashed dogs. So a plurality of the dogs we ran across, and a majority of unleashed dogs we ran across, were illegally unleashed.
And, of course, all of the owners were white.