From our correspondent:
Yesterday, at around 4pm, I took a walk in the snow in Prospect Park. At 4:30pm I was standing next to Prospect Lake and felt something on the back of my leg. A large, unleashed black Lab was sniffing at me. The owners were several yards away, so I yelled, "It is NOT 9pm and this is NOT an offleash area!" They called over their dog and replied with a sarcastic, "Thank you". What occurred next was unbelievable. The couple, who were in their late-50s or early 60s (and had a second, leashed German Shepherd) began yelling at me. Much of it had to do with my being stressed out. I replied that having strange, unleashed dogs approaching me makes me very anxious. The two then began to verbally attack me, the woman walked up to me and began pushing me. I was shocked and asked her why she was touching me. She replied, "You like it when women push you around don't you?!" He husband (or companion) was yelling other profanity laced comments. I told them their behavior said a lot about their character. The woman said that I was harassing her and she threatened to call 311. I told her that was a good idea and that and if she didn't, I would. I guess they realized I could have had her arrested for assault, so they quickly backed off and left the area. I didn't have my camera with me, but the next time I see them I'll be sure to take some photos.
Between the hours of 4pm and 5pm, I counted 6 unleashed dogs on the Long Meadow, 5 unleashed dogs on the Nethermead Meadow, 4 unleashed dogs along Wellhouse Drive and the 1 unleashed dog at the edge of Prospect Lake. At around 5pm, an NYPD patrol car drove on the walkway in front of the Picnic House, at the edge of the Long Meadow. The driver flashed the cars lights and the dog owners within view quickly leashed their dogs. When the patrol car left, the owners unleashed the dogs. Adrian Benepe's offleash policy sure has made the park a safe, relaxing environment.
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We've mentioned this before, but here is a link to a study reporting the bad effects that even leashed dogs have on the bird population.