Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tickets, Anyone?; Leashes in San Jose; NY Times Letter

This article in the Post identifies the City's "top dog scofflaw" as a Pennsylvania man who has accumulated over $8,000 in tickets for letting his pit bulls loose in Bronx Park. Of course there's no way he will wind up paying anything like that amount. But the article continues:
More than 3,040 lax dog owners were ticketed for letting their dogs roam off-leash in 2009 and 2010, ECB records show. Another 13 were busted for multiple offenses.

The city slapped the dastardly dog owners with $425,860 in fines from the incidents.
ECB is the Environmental Control Board, A/K/A the Sanitation Department. They are the guys who hand out leash tickets outside the parks. The DPR hands them out--or, mostly, doesn't hand them out--inside the parks. Is this measly number--just over 1500 a year, when there probably are that many dogs illegally off-leash in Prospect Park alone on an average week--even possibly correct, City-wide, including the parks? And can it be, with all the chronic offenders we see, that only 13 dog owners got busted twice? This calls for some follow-up reporting, but then this is the Post, so one doesn't expect much.

* * *

The Associated Press, citing the San Jose Mercury news, reports that the San Jose City Council is expected on Tuesday to approve an ordinance requiring owners to keep their dogs on 6-foot leashes. That's 14 feet shorter than what is now allowed.
The ordinance was proposed after the September 2009 death of a woman who got entangled in a dog leash while on her morning walk. She fell, bumped her head and never regained consciousness.

That will happen in New York City one of these days (if it hasn't already) unless the City enforces, seriously, its own six-foot law and bans flexi-leashes.

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And speaking about the West Coast, here's a letter the Times printed last week:
Best Friend? Not Always
To the Editor:

Your March 15 issue on animals was short on science and long on sentimental anecdotes about dogs and cats. The often negative effects of pets on neighbors, fellow walkers and the environment were given short shrift.

In the Bay Area, the local Audubon Society and other groups are joining the effort to restrict dogs, particularly off-leash, in national and regional parks. Dogs disturb and drive away birds and other wildlife, litter beaches and trails, and diminish or ruin the outdoor experience of many children, old people and families who go to natural areas for serenity and relaxation. We didn’t save these precious areas for the dogs.    Ann Singer

Berkeley, Calif.

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