Another issue in the wooded areas and bodies of water is the use of leashes that are longer than six feet. Again this morning in the Ramble there was a woman whose dog was on a sixty foot training lead (this was a large Ridgeback/Pit looking mix). I asked her to pull up her leash to the required six feet and started to get an argument from her at which point I said "I'm happy to call Park Enforcement for you to explain the law if you like." This dog was happily wandering all over, off the path (the Conservancy has removed ninety percent of the fences that had been protecting the greenery and wildlife).Today our correspondent reports:
The PEP officers were out enforce this morning in Central Park, making for a rare and pleasant morning walk. Patrols are starting earlier than 9AM, in response to citizens calls to DOPR and PEP Control Center. It is encouraging to see their response and we are very grateful that they are responding to our calls. There were, however, an unusually large number of dogs and owners in the Ramble this morning, the dogs on Flexi Lead that were more than twenty feet in length (I counted 8 such dogs and owners within a ten minute walk inside the Ramble). I chose not to tell any of them about the six foot leash law but instead told the officers about it and they promised to start enforcing that part of the leash law within the Ramble and other sensitive areas (North Woods, bodies of water, etc.)* * *
And here's more from the same correspondent:
I'm truly afraid of the off leash owners in Central Park. Among the names I've been called ("old maid" "insane B*tch, "ugly old lady" are mild ones) I've felt threatened with people (groups of them) coming right into my face.The impression one gets from this is that off-leash dog-owners are a bunch of savage, uncouth bullies. Which is precisely what we've been saying all along. Because as much as we'd like to believe that such individuals are a small minority of those who let their dogs loose, absolutely nothing we've seen--including their behavior to non-dog owners who come near their off-leash areas and their attitudes online to anyone who dares to challenge the religion of unleashism, suggests that it's the case.
One morning (at 9:30am) I had just finished walking two dogs for 90 minutes (I'm a dog walker) and I was freezing cold. I walked along the path between Bethesda Fountain and Bow Bridge to a sunny bench below Cherry Hill to sit and have my coffee (from my thermos) but there were 8 people and ten to twelve dogs still cavorting on the Hill. One dog I'm with gets territorial around unleashed dogs and he began to freak out. I called to the group "please leash your dogs--it is after 9am) and they all laughed and said things like "good for you, you know the time." So, I called PEP. PEP was just really awful to me but I didn't give up. The group then leashed their dogs and surrounded me on the benches. My thermos smashed to the floor as I tried to contain my stressed dog. One of those thugs "accidentally" threw his dog's frisbee right at my dog's feet and let his dog go up to get it. It was an intentional act meant to intimidate me.
Well-know New Yorkers are among the off leash offenders in Central Park. Sometimes I recognize them, sometimes I don't. I had to ask James Gandolfini to leash his dog one morning near Cedar Hill (at 9:45am), and, another time, Kevin Klein's dog was off leash in the Ramble at nearly noon, and, he was truly rude when I pointed to the "Leash Dogs in This Area At All Times" signs.
This whole thing makes me very, very sad. I hate the off-leash policy but it exists. All I'm asking is for a little courtesy.
One day, I was injured when the leashed dog strained to get to a Boxer (unleashed) who ran up to us at 10am in the morning near the Alice In Wonderland Statue. The owner was simply unable to call the dog back to her and the group she was with (all unleashed dogs) taunted me and made the situation worse. When I fell to the ground, still holding the leash, they did nothing but laugh and finally leave the area.
* * *
From the Park Slope Parents Yahoo Group:
Dear Parents,Hat tip to Chickenunderwear. And read the comments, just what we've learned to expect from the off-leash community.
I am very upset that so many parents violate park rules and bring their dogs INTO the Tot Lot. For example today I was there for just 2 hours and three people brought their dogs. One of those parents even let their dog OFF LEASH. I am livid.
I don't care how cute, or small your dog is, or if you are holding it on a tight leash. Keep your dog out of the playground away and from MY child and all the children!! And when I say something to you about your dog, don't give me an attitude. You are breaking the rules and being totally arrogant and irresponsible. Leave your dog at home like I do.
Rules are rules for a reason. The fact is that dogs are animals and can turn mean for any reason; another kid or parent gets too close it it's owner or child, a child pets it too hard, or pulls a tail or ear, OR as toddlers do, FALL, may fall on a dog or near it and scare it. BITE.
Call To Action: Write a complaint e-mail to the Prospect Parks department asking for clearer, more prominent sign that clearly state NO PETS. Send you e-mail to email@example.com . And say something to people who bring dogs. Tell them it is not allowed. If they don't leave or give you s++t, then call the Parks Enforcement Patrol at 718-437-1350 (put this number in your cell phone).
Juliette- dog owner to a dog that stays home, and mom to a toddler that betta' not get bit by someone's dog...