Monday, March 30, 2009

Comments on "Play Ballfields"; Cop Out on the Nethermead

From a correspondent:
Yet another example from a newspaper in Sarasota, Fl. of DOA (dog owner attitude) from someone writing to an agony aun:
"Dear Annie: My husband and I live near a cemetery. Despite the fact that we have doggie parks and a citywide leash law, people like to use the cemetery to let their dogs run. Animal control will leave a notice at the offender's home if you know the address, but otherwise cannot do anything unless they catch them in the act.

I have relatives buried in that cemetery and resent the idea of dogs leaving their deposits on gravesites. I have a dog, but never let it loose like that. Also, I was once nearly attacked by a pit bull while absorbing the peace and quiet cemeteries provide. I have reminded people of the law, but that piece of information is not received well. Now I no longer walk in the cemetery except to visit my relatives' graves.

I don't understand the "I'm above the law" attitude these people have.
It does not make for good neighbors. Leash laws in the cemetery allow respect for others, including those who have passed on. — Frustrated in Illinois

Dear Frustrated: Surprisingly, some people consider cemeteries to be large parks and the graves are incidental. But as in any public area, dog droppings should be cleaned up by the owners. Does the cemetery have a policy on allowing animals on the grounds? Is there a caretaker? If so, enlist his or her help in keeping the area respectfully maintained."
The entitlement and selfishness of these dog owners knows no bounds and it is getting worse. I don't think she goes far enough. Dogs don't belong in cemeteries. Period.

Our correspondent adds:
Just wondering..

Why doesn't DOPR charge the dog owners for a yearly permit to enjoy the off leash dog privileges?

That way the license and vaccination permits could be checked yearly as the law requires.

The fees would offset some of the maintenance costs associated with these destructive dirty animals running wild. And even pay for enhanced dog owner policing.

You'd get to the same place if the DOPR simply enforced its own rule, mandated by the Board of Health, that dogs may not be off-leash, even during off-leash hours, unless they are licensed. It doesn't.

* * *
From another correspondent:
Friday afternoon around 4 o'clock I was walking by the Nethermead and noticed about 5 unleashed dogs running around. I then notice a police scooter driving by. It stopped, at a considerable distance from the dogs. I heard no announcement, but all the owners leashed the dogs, and all but one left. The scooter then drove off. Ten minutes later I circled back, and saw the remaining owner with her two dogs, unleashed and running around.

Between 3:30-4:30 I also saw one unleashed dog on the Long Meadow and another on the path behind the pools, where dogs are never allowed off-leash.

This on the heels of the following report:
Saturday, March 21, at 4:50pm there were 7 unleashed dogs and their owners using the Nethermead Meadow as their personal dog run. I have sent letters to the park's administrator, Tupper Thomas, and explained that on any given day at around 5pm many unleashed dogs can be found on the Nethermead. One would think that this "tip" would lead to lots of summonses, but for Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers in Prospect Park it appears to mean avoid patrolling that area.

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