Monday, April 09, 2007

New York Post article

Check out the following article, but before you do, consider this:

The people who use the dog run in the article think that they need really strict rules to bring their dogs into the run (which makes sense) while the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, under the leadership of Commissioner Adrian Benepe, won't have any rules and, even if they did, they wouldn't have anybody to enforce them. Who is going to monitor Prospect Park for the uncontrolled, unlicensed or unvaccinated when there are "700 unleashed dogs" in unenclosed areas of the 526 acre park? Will you have your "key" to the park taken away if you don't follow the rules? What prevents kids that are younger than 12 years old or smaller than 4-foot-11 from entering the parks during off-leash hours?


Wag the Finger
Dog-run rules for dog owners

April 9, 2007 -- This run is for the dogs - but the rules are for the owners. And there's a long list of them at the private Mercer-Houston Dog Run at the edge of SoHo, including restrictions on food, toys and pool hours, as well as a strict ban on "bitches in heat."

When the owner of an unfriendly dog asks for some time to be alone with his pet in the park, there's even a suggested, walking route for the others outside the gates so they can avoid canine eye contact with the troubled pooch.

"Walking around the block, waiting at the Coles Center Benches or waiting across the street at the theater are appropriate activities while 'in waiting mode,' " officials advise in the dog-run association's lengthy bylaws.

* Owners must rinse and sweep the spot where their dog pooped.

* Kids in the dog run must be at least 12 years old and 4-foot-11.

* No picking up your dog - i.e., exposing its belly.

* No choke collars.

* No dogs that "scoot" - i.e. wipe their rumps along the ground.

"This run certainly has its rules, and people are good about following them," said dog walker James Mangan, 26.

Owners said they love their fenced-in patch of cement across from the Angelika Film Center. For just $50 a year, they get a key, an instant community full of artists and musicians, and strict instructions about keeping a fight-free atmosphere - such as refraining from eating, giving treats to pets or bringing in personal toys during peak after-work hours.

"I've never seen a fight - these dogs are really social," said Rob Jessel, 57, who was there with his perky border collie mix, Bronx, last week. And "they hose it down a lot."