Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Letter to Councilman Yassky

To: David Yassky
Date: 10/25/06 7:05 PM

Councilman Yassky,

I am writing to you with regard to an article published in the New York Daily News, 25 October, 2006, entitled "Council on trans fats ban-wagon". In the article it is written:

"Meanwhile, in another bid to win a race against the Board of Health, Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn) plans to introduce a bill today that would allow dogs off the leash in city parks between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.

"The Board of Health will hear public testimony on the same proposal next week."

"We want to make sure that this isn't subject to the vagaries of regulations," Yassky said. "I have a lot of constituents who enjoy off-leash hours, and it makes the parks more accessible." ..."

Attached you'll find a series of photos, the majority of which were taken on a single morning in Prospect Park (check the timestamps). As noted on the photos, these are just a few of the many dog owners who let their dogs run anywhere in the park, not just in the "off leash" areas. In addition, unleashed dogs can be found just about anywhere and at anytime in Prospect Park. Enforcement of any laws, be it the existing leash laws or the "courtesy hours", is virtually non-existent. In addition to this letter, you will find many more photos, articles, letters and informational links at this website:

I assume that, as a successful politician, you have had many noteworthy accomplishments in your career. If your resolution passes, given the escalating free-for-all of unleashed dogs in Prospect Park, a child will inevitably be mauled. Your legacy as a councilman will become that of the politician who yielded to a small special interest group in lieu of the public's health and welfare.

There are currently 1.5 million dogs in New York City. Of that amount only 84,547 (DOHMH, Citywide Accountability Program, April 2006) are registered and licensed. That adds up to 5.6% of total dogs. Who are you proposing will monitor dogs for a valid license as they arrive in parks during offleash hours? Who will pay for the extra costs?

Keeping one's dog(s) on a leash in public places is endorsed by no less than the ASPCA, the Humane Society, the American Kennel Club and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I appeal to your responsibility for ALL of your constituents to rethink this irresponsible and costly proposal.