From a correspondent:
Yesterday I did the Birdathon. From approximately 8:00am - 8:25am we were birding in the Ravine. [Another birder] and I counted 30 unleashed dogs in that one area. At one point [a third birder] said to one dog owner, "You know that dogs aren't allowed off leash in this area." The guy replied, "But it's not 9am." [The birder] told him that they are never allowed off leash in that area and that there are signs at the entrances to the Ravine. The guy then replied, "What's the big deal, does it bother you?"And that, in a nutshell, is the problem the Post article addresses. It's not our only concern by any means, but to put things in the simplest and most selfish possible terms, while dog owners may--under certain conditions--unleash their dogs during off-leash hours in "designated areas", under no conditions may they unleash them either outside designated areas or outside off-leash areas (unless it's an enclosed dog run.) The presence of unleashed dogs interferes with--prevents--our ability--and right--to watch birds. There are no two sides of this issue. But actually, there is no need for us to justify ourselves. There is no reason for us to have to explain why we want dogs leashed when they're required to be leashed. It doesn't matter. Dog owners who unleash their dogs illegally are illegally depriving us of our rights not to have dogs unleashed. Dog owners who do that are no different from scofflaws who park in private driveways without permission. The difference is that if you do the latter, there is a good chance that you will be ticketed and towed. The former, the City either ignores or encourages.
* * *
On Friday we reported three unleashed dogs at the dog beach around 1 P.M. Two signs in the area explain the rules (like the rest of the park, dogs must be leashed prior to 9pm. here is the movie.
After one of the dogs stole food from a baby and smeared our correspondent's friend with his wet, muddy paws, the owner and another dog owner continued into the Ravine with their dogs unleashed, right past a sign that prohibits off-leash dogs in the Ravine.
* * *
This video was made on May 7, 2009, just inside Central Park, 5th Ave side, between East 75th and 79th Streets at 9:28 am.