Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 12:44:05 -0400
Subject: Leash Law Enforcement
Thanks for your litigation efforts toward protecting public park space from appropriation by private Kennel and Dog Weapon Clubs.
I have lived at West 90th Street, Manhattan, since 1978, one block from Riverside Park and I avoid Giuliani's 88th Street Dog Run because it has been made barren by a clay topping, it stinks of dog waste and the dogs bark and snarl at anyone who comes within 30 feet of the dog run fencing.
Furthermore, there has been a "Robert Moses Highway Effect", where the number of dogowners increases and the number of dogs kept by each owner increases as the dog run accommodations increase. Now, my impression is that more dogs use Riverside Park than chilldren, and space devoted to the 72nd Street, 87th Street and 105th Street dog runs rivals the space devoted to children's playgrounds.
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Subject: Leash Law Enforcement
Date: 8/30/06 9:26 PM
To Robert Holden:
As the owner of a pit bull for the past eight years, I would like to commend the Juniper Park Civic Association for filing this long overdue lawsuit to get the city to enforce its own health regulations regarding the leash law. I am particularly concerned with the situation in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, which has become one gigantic de facto dog park.
I haven't felt comfortable in Prospect Park for many years. I don't like being forced to interact with strange dogs that are running loose. The problem is in your face, impossible to ignore and it crops up everywhere in the park, at all times. For this reason alone, I tend to avoid entering Prospect Park, and I rarely visit, even though I am an enthusiastic birder and live just one block away from the park. The constant presence of these poorly trained, uncontrollable loose animals (and their unsympathetic owners) has deprived me of a major source of exercise and recreation.
Proponents of off leash hours have often cited safety as a benefit accrued by allowing off leash hours in the park. Owners walking dogs on leash can be just as much of a visible crime deterrent. Dogs on leash are better protectors of their owners, and they can't run away and/or cause traffic accidents. People who acquire large breeds unsuited to a city lifestyle should not expect fellow citizens to give up their park space, safety and access in order to accommodate the exercise needs of these animals.
In a borough with so little per capita green space, it seems bizarre that privately owned dogs should take priority when it comes to determining parks policy. Many people (including myself) are wary of unfamiliar dogs, for good reason. Some people are downright terrified of dogs, as I am well aware, as the owner of a pit bull. Children, old folks, and people without the means to escape the city are those whom the designers of the parks had in mind when they created their urban refuges. Unfortunately, the current Park Administration has seemingly turned a deaf ear to complaints about illegally unleashed dogs. Do they really consider dogs to be more important than people?
Brooklyn, NY 11238