The following was a letter sent in to the Queens Tribune regarding the off-leash debacle:
"Keep Em Leashed
To The Editor:
I write concerning the Parks Dept. plans to allow dogs to be off their leashes.
My husband and I used to walk in Crocheron/Golden Park early in the morning. We did this for a long time and then we would be walking and a dog would be off the leash and run to us. Oh yes, the owner would come along like Santa Claus shouting, “ Ho! Ho! Ho! Don’t worry, he won’t bite.” By then, the dog would be very close, and I would be very frightened.
This happened a number of times. Some of the dogs were large. Some of the dogs were overly friendly or overly aggressive. When we talked to some of the owners, they explained that the dogs could run free early in the morning. We pointed out to some owners that their dogs had defecated in the park and the owners would sort of shrug. We would then point out that children, too, ran freely in the park and should not have to fear running into feces. And I tried to tell them that their dogs frightened me.
They suggested that we not walk in the park early in the morning. We also did not wish to have these unpleasant conversations. So we gave the park to the dogs in the morning.
Well, then we would walk in the park during the day. On some afternoons, there were obedience classes and after the classes, the owners —I suspect to reward the dogs— would unleash them and we would have more then one dog run at us.
So we gave Crocheron/Golden Park to the dogs! We now walk the sidewalks and no longer walk in the park.
We strongly support not allowing dogs to be off the leash.
How many other people have given up the parks to dogs? I know many people who no longer use Prospect Park during the "off-leash" hours.