Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dog Park Rules

I find it inconceivable that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation would even CONSIDER allowing unleashed dogs in the city parks. Below are the posted rules for Hillside Dog Park in Brooklyn. It is a 2 acre dog park surrounded by a fence. After you read the rules, explain to me why they do not apply in places like Prospect Park, where hundreds of dogs are unofficially allowed to roam free. Also keep in mind that some "professional" dog-walkers regularly bring 10 or more dogs EACH into the city parks and release them. Though managed by a "NYC Dogs" membership organization, this parcel of land is owned by the parks department. It's interesting how "NYC Dogs" thinks that it's perfectly acceptable to have dogs running around unleashed in city parks but have very strict rules for this park.

Hillside Dog Park Rules
Friends of Hillside Dog Park encourages responsible dog ownership. The following rules are not to limit anyone's enjoyment of the park, but to make Hillside a better place for people to congregate and socialize with their dogs.

1. Users of the park do so at their own risk. Entering a dog park has an inherent risk, and sometimes even normally docile dogs can become excited and behave unpredictably when exposed to other dogs or unfamiliar situations, which can result in serious injury to people and other dogs.

2. Parents who allow their children to come into the dog park do so at their own risk. This rule exists for the safety of children. Tragic accidents can happen quickly. The dog park is designated to be a recreation area for dogs and their owners; it is not to be used as a children's playground. Dogs often perceive children running, or a child's laughter or shrieking as play or alarming and will often chase and jump on a child.

3. Do not leave your dog alone or unattended in the dog park.

4. Remove dogs from the dog park that behave in an aggressive or annoying manner.

5. Dogs involved in a fight must be separated immediately and removed from the park, regardless of which dog provoked the confrontation.

6. Dogs with a known history of aggressive behavior against other dogs or people are not allowed to enter the dog park.

7. You are responsible for supervising your dog at all times. If your dog inflicts an injury give your name and phone number to the injured party before leaving the area.

8. No more than 3 dogs per owner allowed in the dog park at once. It is not possible for a single person properly to supervise and control more than 3 dogs at a time.

9. Dogs with known contagious medical conditions are not allowed in the dog park until the condition has been treated and has passed.

10. Always clean up after your dog. If someone points out that your dog has defecated, thank them and immediately pick up the the poop. The park has recycled plastic bag dispensers if you haven't brought your own bags. Deposit all waste in the trash cans provided.

11. Refill holes caused by your dog's digging. Holes are dangerous for people and for other dogs.

12. Clean up after yourself. Do not leave litter in the park. If you groom your dog in the park, pick up all hair. Trash cans are provided.

13. No female dogs in heat allowed in the park.

14. Closely monitor unneutered male dogs. They can be more aggressive than neutered dogs and they are also more often targets of attacks.

15. Remove prong and spike collars from dogs while in the dog park. These collars can injure other dogs while at play.

16. Do not allow your dog to run free still wearing its leash in the dog park. This is dangerous to your dog, other dogs in the park and people.

17. Dogs with a history of inflicting bite injuries must wear a muzzle.

18. Dogs in the dog park must be properly vaccinated and licensed. Their tags should be visible.

19. Puppies must have their full course of vaccines before using the park. Don't bring puppies under 4 months old to the park. They don't yest have all the necessary immunities that allow them to play safely with other dogs in a dog park. Many puppies die every year of Parvo and other viruses because owners put them at risk before they have had all their shots.

20. Exercise caution with food and dog toys in the dog park. Dogs competing for food or toys can become protective or aggressive.

-- Be Responsible. -- Be Alert