Sunday, May 31, 2009

We Are Anti-Dog Racists

The New York Post and mobs of its scofflaw readers have labeled us "anti-dog" for insisting that the leash laws be enforced and believing that dogs should be leashed in the parks at all times. With this posting we begin a list of other organizations that, by the same standard, are anti-dog as well.

1. PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Here is an email from Tori Perry, responding to a pseudonymous question about PETA's position on unleashed dogs in urban parks:
I know of very few parks who allow dogs to run loose outside of fenced areas—in fact, I don’t believe I know any! We wouldn’t recommend this, as the possibility of a dog seeing a squirrel or another dog and dashing off are high. This makes it possible for dogs to become lost, hit by cars, or possibly hurt by someone who mistakes a friendly greeting for an attack. We strongly urge people to keep their dogs under close supervision at all times, and leashed whenever they are not in a securely fenced play area.
2. Friends of the Rockefeller Preserve. From an article on the last page of the Spring, 2009 "Preserve Observer":
At the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, we try to maintain a positive and enjoyable experience for all of our guests. Correspondingly, there are several rules and regulations in place to ensure a safe and secure experience by all visitors. One of the most fundamental rules set forth by the State is disregarded on an increasingly large scale. The rule requires that all dogs be leashed when in the Preserve's boundaries . . . . Even with the current regulations that require dogs to be leashed at all times,there are continuous incidents of unleashed dogs on a daily basis. Despite ample signage and patrolling efforts of park employees, these recurring incidents of unleashed dogs have resulted in a disproportionate amount of time enforcing the already established laws to park guests.

There are various reasons why dogs must remain leashed with the preserve. Many park users are intimidated or annoyed by the presence of unleashed dogs, which may consequently deter them from visiting the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. The presence of unleashed dogs may interfere with equestrian use in certain areas of the park. Unleashed dogs post a safety hazard to equestrians by spooking horses and becoming entangled in their legs, which may lead to serious accidents. They may also be aggressive toward park guests, many of whom have small children and infants with them, and other dogs. There is also a higher chance of canine disease being spread among unleashed dogs including parvovirus, which can be expensive to treat. Moreover, there is a lack of absolute control with unleashed dogs often leading to interference with wildlife including chasing deer, squirrels and other animals.
. . .
Other than on Staten Island, there are (usually) no deer in New York City's parks, but everything else in this article applies.

3. The New York-New Jersey Trails Conference. From the new book, Walkable Westchester:
Extremely popular with people who enjoy taking man's best friend on a hike, Kitchawan Preserve is dog heaven. Without a dog, you might just feel out of place, but the woods roads offer ample opportunities to stroll and chat with other hikers. Although posted signs state that dogs must be kept on a maximum six-foot leash, unfortunately this law is rarely heeded.
And then there are numerous anti-leash postings labeling us racists for pointing out the vast racial disparity surrounding off-leash and its fundamentally racist underpinnings. See this New York Times op-ed piece by Charles Blow on Republicans who are calling Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, "racist". Sound familiar?

* * *
Around 11 A.M. today, 1 unleashed poodle on the grass near the Park Circle entrance to Prospect Park. Around 1 P.M., we saw a Hispanic male with a large dog push down the fence blocking access to the area behind the Lullwater viewing platform, step in the area with his dog, and unleash the dog. When we called PEP from a safe distance, the dog was wandering around the underbrush and splashing in the water.

* * *
Adrian Benepe's Sunday routine: “I’ll see someone stomping through a flower bed or letting their dog run where it shouldn’t and I have to get involved.” Yeh, right.

1 comment:

StoneyNibbles said...

Owners should be responsible their dogs, large or small. Some well trained dogs, like myself do not mind our leashes... but not all dogs are as well trained as I am.