Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New York Times Letter to the Editor from San Anselmo, CA Commissioner of Parks

To the Editor:

Re "Loyal, Two-Legged Lobbyists Raise Banner of Dog Rights" (front page, March 25): When I was a commissioner of parks and recreation in San Anselmo, Calif., I witnessed firsthand the arrogance of dog owners and the depth of their denial regarding the impact dogs have on the rest of the population.

Before acquiring a dog, people must consider whether they have the means to support their pet's physical needs without looking to public agencies and lands to solve their problems. No one objects to the purchase, construction and maintenance of private dog parks, but I have never seen this option pursued.

It is inevitable that when off-leash dogs are introduced to a public area, use of the space by people diminishes. Many people, with good reason, are wary of dogs. Our local, state and national parks were developed for use by people. Anything that precludes that use or enjoyment should be discouraged, if not banned.

Mark Adamsbaum
San Anselmo, CA March 25, 2001