Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The parks are safer?

The following is a thread from the "Park Slope Parents" discussion group, posted on 10/22:

I'm writing to stress to dog owners how important it is to keep dogs on their leash when walking through the park or at dog beach. Today I witnessed an incredibly upsetting sight - a large dog, I think it was a pit bull, attacked a little long haired dachsund - the owner of the big dog had no idea how to get her dog off the dachsund. It was very frightening and no-one was able to offer any help to save the dachsund. I was at dog beach with my son and a friend and her son, and there were lots of other toddlers standing around with their parents. If the owner of the pit bull had had the dog on a leash she could have pulled it away before it had gotten anywhere near the dachsund. Another point that raised is that all dog owners should learn how to get their dog off of another dog during an attack.

This isn't meant to scare anyone, just to encourage safe dogwalking.

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I was also at the dog beach this afternoon when a dog (looked like a pit bull, wasn't on a leash) attacked and killed a small dog (who was on a leash) in front of many shocked bystanders. It was horrifying and I'm furious that the dog's owner was allowing this dog to run around without a leash on and had no idea how to control it. I felt completely helpless and can't get the whole scene out of my mind, especially since my toddler and several others were only a few feet away. I don't have a dog myself, but I wish I had known what to do during the attack. It was clear that no one else in the vicinity knew what to do either, as the attack continued for an eternity (at least 15 minutes) and no one could get the big dog to release the little dog from its jaws (or knew to keep the big dog from shaking the little dog around, which I learned tonight does the most damage). I did a little internet research and thought I would share links to some of the information that I found:

- Specific tips on what to do if a pit bull attacks

- General dog attack pointers

- Tips for pit bull owners
- General dog bite prevention tips, especially for kids.

The "dog beach" is in Prospect Park. When are these idiots going to realize that unleashing 1 million dogs in open city parks is an invitation to problems? Also, if there were lots of toddlers present, I would presume that it was after 9AM and before 9PM, when dogs are supposed to be leashed.