Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dogs and Horses; Why Should Well-Behaved Dogs Ever Be Leashed;

A guy who rides his horse every day in Prospect Park called today to say that he's been complaining for years about unleashed dogs on the bridle paths--where dogs are never allowed at all--it's been only getting worse, and the cops are not enforcing the law. He even got a formal meeting with Deputy Inspector Argenziano, the commanding officer of the 78th Precinct (to whom we've written twice and gotten no response). Argenziano told him that cops have "discretion" about whether to issue a summons (true as far as it goes) and that if they issued a summons to every owner of an unleashed dogs "there would be an uproar". In short, the cops won't enforce the law because the scofflaws would complain too much.

The horse guy also said that he'd been told that the cops have an "affinity" for the dog owners whom they perceive as "blue-collar guys" like themselves. We'd beg to differ with this perception of dog owners, but assuming it's true, remember then-Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's remark about "hard-working Americans--white Americans"?

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A comment from Ashley on our post, "They're Still On the Nethermead":
I am so angry reading these hateful posts; leashing well behaved dogs should not be necessary in a large park such as Prospect Park. Playing fetch and running free is a very important part of enjoying life for dogs and for their owners. Why is this group so interested in other people's business when it doesn't affect them? I completely understand if dangerous dogs were out and about, but in all of the videos posted none of the dogs are bothering other park-goers and in my 10 years living in park slope I have seen a dog engaged in any dangerous activity with humans. Please reconsider was your unfounded bias is doing to people who have a genuine love of dogs and are just trying to enjoy their lives without bothering others.
The videos are of dogs that are unleashed illegally, either after 9 A.M. or where they may never be unleashed. Many people are afraid of unleashed dogs, unleashed dogs often approach--sometimes threateningly--strange people--or their leashed dogs--who do not want to be approached by a dog, and unleashed dogs prevent many people from enjoying the park in the way they choose (for example, playing soccer, riding a horse, riding a bicycle, etc.)You have no right, legal or moral, to run "your dog free" for your own enjoyment and that of your dog, outside of off-leash hours. Doing so prevents us from enjoying the park. That is very much our business, and you have a lot of gall complaining that it's not.


winston said...

"Please reconsider was your unfounded bias is doing to people who have a genuine love of dogs and are just trying to enjoy their lives without bothering others."

Well behaved dogs should be leashed because it is the law.

I don't go where dogs are allowed off leash.

I don't know what a bad dog looks like before it jumps on me, or knocks over my child.

It is so selfish of dog owners to think that the law does not apply to them.

Just because there is not much traffic does not mean it is ok to double park. You can't smoke in a restaurant because you think you are not bothering anyone. An adult should not ride their bike on the sidewalk because "it is just a little bit". Every bit of poop should be picked up by dog owners, no matter how small, or how inconvenient.

There are many "minor" laws that good people ignore every day because they think they are better the law; that it should not apply to them. But they are wrong, and the police should enforce these laws.

Datnioides said...

I just don't get why dog owners feel that their 'genuine love of dogs' entitles them to all these special privileges and considerations. The love of dogs does not make you special or more spiritually evolved than the rest of us and if it did, you still don't have the right to run your dog illegally outside of off leash hours.

Solitude is hard to find in Brooklyn and that was one of the things the original designers of Prospect Park intended to provide citybound people, quiet time with nature. I remember vividly many beautiful walks in this park before the demanding doggers took over the place. I seldom go to the park now. Too many dogs and too many obnoxious selfish owners.

I have a dog, a well trained happy dog that always walks on leash. My son was bitten by a dog in 1981 and I was raised with all kinds of dogs so I know that dogs are animals, subject to whim and instinctive reactions. My love of dogs will never change this basic fact. I am wary of off leash dogs and I do not enjoy them running up to me and my dog to say hi. I don't care if they are friendly or if you, the owner, has a genuine love of dogs. I honestly don't care and it's usually people who claim this so-called love overrides the law who tend to be the most inconsiderate of other people and fail to understand - empathize - with other people's discomfort with unfamiliar dogs running loose. They also often neglect obedience train their animals because they feel it is unnatural, or cruel, or they are just too darned lazy to bother. They think that books like The Loved Dog and Merle's Door are serious works on canine nature instead of the sentimental, self-serving nonsense they really are.

Off leash dogs bother a lot of people and that is why that despite FIDO's best efforts, they are restricted to certain times and places.