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Unleashed dogs are a nuisance in Palo Alto parks
Original post made
by Dog Owner
on Sep 7, 2010
Every park I visit in Palo Alto with my dog has unleashed dogs running around in it. At Hoover Park most mornings between 8am and 9am, there may be five or more dogs running around off the leash while their owners socialize. Today I met an off leash dog at Rinconada Park at 9am. Yesterday there were two at Pardee Park at lunchtime.
It's an incredible nuisance for those of us who comply with the city's ordinance requiring dogs to be on a leash. My dog doesn't like being bounced on or crowded. I keep her on a leash so that I can control her; but what am I meant to do when two other dogs rush over, many feet away from their owners, and start to annoy her? We've not had a fight yet, but it's only a matter of time.
Am I and my dog to be prevented from walking in Palo Alto's parks because we stick with the rules and others don't? I wish the city police would take a bit more notice. There's a big fine, you know, for letting your dog run around off the leash - if anyone were to be bothering to enforce it.
Dog owners, make use of the city dog runs. That's why they are there.
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Dogs are not people and cannot be expected to make correct decisions when confronted with people, animals or situations (such as car traffic) which which they are unfamiliar. Therefore keeping them on leash in public spaces is imperative for their own safety as well as the safety of others.
Dog owners running dogs off leash in public spaces are behaving irresponsibly in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is that they set a bad example for others. No one's dog is above the law.
For an example of the ramifications of off leash dogs, read the following article.
Palo Alto Online News
Monday, December 11, 2006
Dog attack could have been fatal, father says
The Dec. 2 dog attack on a 5-year-old boy at Hoover Elementary School was "very, very close to being fatal," the boy's father, Greg Martin, said in an e-mail to friends.
If the dog had bitten the front rather than the back of Sean's neck, the deep incisions could have broken the artery or trachea, he said.
Martin elaborated on his conclusion in a posting on Town Square, the community forum at www.PaloAltoOnline.com, which has logged more than 50 postings on the dog attack.
"My son could have easily been killed," Martin said after thanking those boys and men who helped rescue Sean Martin from the mixed-breed female dog. "As it is, he has 8 staples, 1 suture, a fractured vertebrae, numerous puncture wounds, and bruises all over his head, neck and knees.
"For now, only time will tell as to how much emotional damage was done to him and the other children who had to witness the unprovoked attack," he said.
As for the young rescuers, "All of these boys are either Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, and I am quite proud of the actions they took in trying to minimize the severity of the attack. Despite facing the risk of personal harm from the attacking dog, they did what they could to pull the dog off of Sean," Martin said.
He especially thanked a nearby soccer player who helped pull the dog off Sean then called 911. Other adults, including the dog's owner, helped pull the dog off.
Martin was critical of the online posting leading off with the dog facing death for the attack and an implication in comments by the city animal control supervisor that children should always be under close supervision by parents.
Noting that he was only about 50 yards away from the site of the attack, Martin said, "Had I been closer, maybe I could have helped pull the dog off of Sean, but I doubt I could have prevented the attack.
"Also, let's not lose perspective -- it was the dog owner's duty to prevent the attack, not mine," he said.
"If our kids aren't safe on our school playgrounds, where can they go to be safe?"
Sean, a kindergartner at Barron Park Elementary School, is recovering from his wounds but has developed a fear of dogs, his father said earlier.
The dog, at the owner's request, was scheduled to be euthanized on Tuesday. The as-yet-unidentified owner of the dog may be charged with a misdemeanor leash-law violation, according to Sandi Stadler, animal control supervisor.
The man had let his two dogs off leash in an enclosed play area, police Sgt. Sandra Brown reported. One boy opened the gate to the play area but was chased by the two dogs and was unable to close the gate, Don Verplanke, a Cub Scout leader whose son was also involved, told the Weekly via e-mail.
Sean was treated at Stanford Hospital.
The dog's owner, whose name was withheld by city officials, apologized and said he felt quite badly about the attack, Martin said. The dog, a spayed female about 3 years old, did not have a history of violence, Stadler said.
Although she may be part pit bull, the dog "actually looks more like an Australian shepherd cattle dog, also truly one of your Heinz 57 (varieties)," she said.
Martin initially identified both dogs as pit bulls: "I'm definitely a supporter of dogs in general but it's completely irresponsible to have two pit bulls in a school area (off-leash)," he said.
"I love dogs, and until recently owned two myself, Martin said in his Town Square posting.
"They were great dogs, and in their 15+ years of life, they never bit anyone. Nonetheless, I never lost sight of the fact they were dogs and were to be treated as such.
"So, for everyone out there with a dog, pit bull or otherwise, that thinks your dog is 'special' and the leash laws don't apply to you, I urge you to think again and keep your dog on a leash when you are in public.
"Had you heard the screams of pain from my son as they were stitching him up, taking x-rays and such, it might have convinced you that the leash laws are there for a reason and no matter how special your dog is, you aren't above the law," Martin concluded.