Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Professional Dog Walkers in Prospect; Call from PEP

This video was taken today in Prospect Park, although these folks can be found here everyday. A group of "professional" dogwalkers gather at the 5th Street parking lot. They usually have anywhere from 25-35 dogs. These folks' animals represent a small percentage of the unleashed dogs in the park. Their conduct raises these questions: What are the qualifications of a "professional" dog walker? Should these dogs be considered "under control" once they are unleashed?--because if they aren't, under the DOPR's regulations they are unleashed illegally. Is it safe to allow six people to unleash 26 dogs all at once in an unenclosed public park? Why aren't the PEP officers checking these dogs for registrations and vaccinations, especially since this is occurring right outside their office? Why should such a small number of people be allowed to monopolize the park with dogs that aren't even theirs? Who is liable if one of the dogs attacks a person?

There was a PEP officer trying to get to her car and at the same time avoid all the dogs. I asked her if she thought this was what the commissioner had in mind when he created the off-leash policy. She just shook her head in disbelief. One of the walkers had a stack of bandannas that she used on her charges, presumably, to help her identify them when they were off-leash. She piled them on top of a parked car that belonged to a park worker, who just happened to be passing in a park vehicle. She asked the dog walker to remove them from the hood of her car.

video

Update from Datnioides:
Seriously. Why have a dog if you don't have the time to train it and exercise it? I thought the whole point of having a dog was bonding with it, training it, and getting out and exercising it, by WALKING IT ON A LEASH!!!! How much exercise can you get by standing around and watching your off leash dog "socialize" with other dogs? Dogs need to socialize with PEOPLE, interacting with as many different kinds of people as possible in their environment, preferably when the dogs are still pups. (Weekly visits to the Greenmarket worked well for my puppy!) This supposed need for "doggie socialization" to prevent dog aggression towards humans is a fantasy invented by the off leash fringe element to justify their imposition on public resources. Pet owners, stop humanizing your dogs and get off your kiesters and hand walk them! Your dog wants nothing more than to spend time with YOU, exercising and walking with YOU. Professional dog walkers and doggie play dates are a JOKE. If you are too lazy or just don't have the time to exercise your dog properly yourself, get a CAT!!!

Another way of looking at is that one of the supposed reasons for off-leash is to permit dog owners to socialize. Surrogate dog owners too?

* * *

Call last Friday afternoon from a PEP sergeant, responding to "our complaint about illegaly unleashed dogs in Prospect Park". Apparently--he wasn't sure--it was our complaint to the precinct, that was forwarded to DOPR. The sergeant explained that they were diligently enforcing the rules, and had issued 8 off-leash summonses in March and 13 in April. We guffawed. He seemed genuinely interested in the list we gave of all of the places one could find unleashed dogs during off-leash hours, such as the Ravine, Wellhouse Road, and the ballfields, and the Nethermead in the evening; and claimed to be unaware that all of this was happening. The sergeant also said that PEP had eight agents in all of Brooklyn. We shall see if this call makes any difference, but remain skeptical.

* * *

Today, three unleashed dogs on a ballfield at the corner of Cross Bay Blvd and N. Conduit Avenue in Queens. Owner was black.

7 comments:

Ingrid said...

Interesting post. I live in UK and the rules are obviously a bit different. What struck me the most though is the number of dogs - we would never walk more than six dog per person, and even this is quite rare...it wouldn't go down well with customers.
I am very interested in dogs and everyone else who studies them can tell you that if they know they job well, they don't need to be controlling 26 dogs, just one, perhaps two. The rest will follow.

david said...

keep up the great work, CREDO.

-d in Toronto

winston said...

Why own a dog, if you have to have someone else walk it

Datnioides said...

Seriously. Why have a dog if you don't have the time to train it and exercise it? I thought the whole point of having a dog was bonding with it, training it, and getting out and exercising it, by WALKING IT ON A LEASH!!!! How much exercise can you get by standing around and watching your off leash dog "socialize" with other dogs? Dogs need to socialize with PEOPLE, interacting with as many different kinds of people as possible in their environment, preferably when the dogs are still pups. (Weekly visits to the Greenmarket worked well for my puppy!) This supposed need for "doggie socialization" to prevent dog aggression towards humans is a fantasy invented by the off leash fringe element to justify their imposition on public resources. Pet owners, stop humanizing your dogs and get off your kiesters and hand walk them! Your dog wants nothing more than to spend time with YOU, exercising and walking with YOU. Professional dog walkers and doggie play dates are a JOKE. If you are too lazy or just don't have the time to exercise your dog properly yourself, get a CAT!!!

Surreal947 said...

Winston, the answer is the same for parents who use day care, have a nanny, or have a relative babysitting; some people have to work long hours.

Having a dog walker provides the dog with exercise, air, socialization, and a chance to relieve itself.

When the owners return home, hopefully, they spend hours with their dogs. (Same for their kids.)

Based on the video, the most any dog walker had was four dogs. So they walk them together? This actually provides additional hands should an emergency arise.

winston said...

Surreal, I agree with your opinion of the ability of the professional dog walker. I have seen them in Prospect Park and have met a few of them. I think over all they do a great job (often better than individual owners). They have a professional reputation to protect.

However, I have always been uncomfortable the comparison of pets to children.

Datnioides said...

If you work long hours, perhaps a large breed dog is not the best choice, even if you can afford doggie day care. My moronic brother thought he could bring a husky from Canada and keep it in a small Windsor Heights apartment with daily visits to the Nethermead with a professional dog walker (during the day, when off leash hours are supposedly closed). My brother is a lazy, out of shape guy and was not inclined to exercise for hours each day with this vigourous high energy dog. To make things worse his ignorant SO felt that dog training was cruel, so the dog bascially ended up destroying their house and he eventually had to ship the dog back to the breeder in Canada. In short people should use their brains before selecting a dog that will live in a crowded city and a tiny apartment with little outdoor exercise.

After getting rid of the husky these fools went out and bought two corpulent English bulldogs, which at least are wheezy and phlegmatic and won't require a great deal of Nethermead doggie play time.