Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dog Attack in Northport; It's Not Just the Parks; An Old Sign

A report in yesterday's Newsday:
An East Northport woman agreed Wednesday to have her dogs euthanized after two attacks in eight days left a man with facial injuries and a shih tzu named Molly with broken ribs and puncture wounds, according to a Huntington official and Molly's owner.

. . .

The attack Wednesday by the boxer followed another on April 22, when Molly's owner, Edith Brannigan, 45, was walking with her dog on a leash in her East Northport neighborhood to meet her 8-year-old son at the school bus drop-off point about 2:30 p.m., Brannigan said.

The two dogs, which Brannigan said belong to a family that lives nearby, attacked Molly, biting and dragging her into the street, she said. As Molly yelped and cried, Brannigan tried to fight and scare the dogs off.
. . .

"She said she owed it to our dog and it was the right thing," said Brannigan, who believes the dogs freed themselves from a fenced yard by digging underneath. Huntington animal control and Suffolk police responded; the dogs were back in their yard by the time officers arrived, according to a police spokesman.
Of course nothing like that could ever happen in NYC's parks because the regulations say that a dog may not be off-leash unless it is under the owner's control. And licensed. And all dog owners follow these rules. Most, maybe? How about some? Anyone want to buy a bridge?

* * *

In the same vein, this report from a correspondent:
This morning I stopped in a pocket park on East 79th Street. A little concrete park, owned by one of the apartment buildings but open to to the public. I often stop there for a coffee break while with my leashed dog clients. Dogs are not allowed off-leash in this park, period, never, 24/7, and there are two huge signs saying so.

An off-leash dog ran up to us and the owner called "she's friendly." I replied, "please call your dog, this dog is frightened." You see, the pug I was walking (on- leash) was attacked there last summer by a boxer that was off-leash there. It was a traumatic experience for us all, and, the pug has never forgotten it. We hadn't even gone up into the park but were passing by on 79th St. when the boxer ran out (no gates there) to us on the sidewalk.

I pulled my dogs along to the back end and waited for this fellow to leash his dog. Instead, he continued playing ball. I said, as calmly and softly as I could "I'm sorry, but, your dog is supposed to be leashed here."

Well, he went into a tirade with every sentence punctuated by the "F word" shouting how "its people like you who make NYC as awful as it is...get a effin' b*tch, etc. etc."

This sense of superiority among many who break the leash law, that they're somehow being mistreated by being asked to obey the law, isn't limited to the city parks. The problem extends to the streets and local resting spots around the city too.

I have to say, I'm entirely fed up with this attitude that a properly and legally leashed dog is somehow inferior, less happy, less well-socialized, less well-exercised to unleashed (and usually uncontrolled) dogs, and that law-abiding dog owners with leashed dogs are the villains in this. Exactly when did it become more socially acceptable to be a law-breaker in this city?
During the Bloomberg administration, but only because these particular lawbreakers are "middle-class".

* * *
Here's a sign in Central Park just south of the Boathouse, where the east drive meets 72nd Street:
The DOPR must have forgotten to take it down, because what it says is, as President Nixon's people used to say during the Watergate scandal, inoperative.

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