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Please Leash Your Dogs when Walking Them at Ramos Park

Original post made by Riviera on Apr 7, 2012

This is a request to dog owners to please leash their dogs when they walk them at Ramos Park on East Meadow. There are two big signs posted in the park that dogs must be leashed. Your dog/s may be the friendliest on the planet but to a kid who is toddling or learning to cycle, a dog running around unleashed is a real cause for concern. All it takes is one friendly chasing dog to throw the kid off balance or scare a two year old who is playing in the sandbox.

Comments (38)

Posted by call the police, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Dog owners don't care about anyone else's health or safety. Next time, call the police if you see dogs off leash. Get a cell phone photo of the owners or owner's car if you can. Law enforcement is the only discipline that dog owners understand.


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Totally agree. 9 times out of 10, there's no problem, but once in a while there is a bad result. Remember a few years back? There was a boy who was injured, and was quite lucky it wasn't much more serious (or even fatal). Ok, if you have a 5 pound Bichon, its not likely to be an issue, but for any larger dog, it most definitely is.
I say this as a former and future dog owner (my beloved little friend died last year), but if you are going to have a dog, you need to do the responsible thing and follow the laws. Set an example for the kids - think of it as a positive, not a negative! Its not good to model behavior that says "the rules usually apply, but not to me in this case." Its much more positive to model behavior that says, "Making this sacrifice benefits the community, and even though its a bit restrictive, those are the rules, I need to follow them." When you do that, you are really doing something good for everyone, and you should hold your head high, and feel good about it.


Posted by better dog parks, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Create a large, better localized dog park and you'll have fewer issues with dogs off leash at other parks.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I tend to agree with both posts here.

It is a shame that there are a few dog parks and that there are very few play areas with fences to prevent toddlers walking off or dogs walking in. Play areas should be fenced in just like our present few dog parks.

I would like to see better facilities for dog owners in Palo Alto. It is a crying shame that dogs are not able to run off leash in a safe, clean, grassy area. It would be nice to have some of our parks have off leash hours at dawn and dusk. Sharing the parks means that at times we have to share facilities with others, not that others should be banned.

I would like to see better facilities for our children. We may put in new playground equipment every few years, but we never seem to put in safety barriers to prevent a child running out into the street, or off to another part of the park. Parents do need to be vigilant, but it is often difficult to run after a toddler and check on an older child at the same time. Fences with child proof gates around the play areas would keep our children safer from all sorts of dangers.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

PS, most dogs are walked to their nearest park - not taken by car.


Posted by call the police, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

The availability of dedicated dog facilities is no excuse for endangering your neighbor's children. If you want new facilities, then work to create them. Don't intentionally violate the law and create a dangerous situation for other people.


Posted by better dog parks, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

To "Call the Police"

You ever go 1 mph over the speed limit? If so, you're "intentionally violating the law and creating a dangerous situation for other people."

Glass houses.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 9, 2012 at 12:42 am

Posted by call the police, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Dog owners don't care about anyone else's health or safety. Next time, call the police if you see dogs off leash. Get a cell phone photo of the owners or owner's car if you can. Law enforcement is the only discipline that dog owners understand.

________
It is absolutely absurd to lump all dog owners together in one negative heap. Of course there are some who are more casual about their watching their dogs than others, but most are conscientious and caring. (And no, I do not currently own dogs.)

There should be several roomy areas in the city where dogs can romp off leash.


Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

"next time call the police". Really? In a city where people glide through stops signs, run red lights with an alarming frequency and drive down residential streets at twice the legal limit? Should I call the police each time you drive over the legal limit or don't come to a full stop at a stop sign? Because then I'll have to call the police on you every day..


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

People who own dogs pay taxes too. The city needs to provide places for well behaved dogs to play. Some people are irresponsible and that goes for parents also.


Posted by No unleashed dogs, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

Palo Alto DOES have an unleashed dog run at the much larger, but nearby Mitchell Park. See Web Link That's only a half mile away.

There is absolute no reason for unleashed dogs at Ramos Park. Do take pictures and call the police if you find an unleashed dog there.

When there is a problem with speeding and stop sign running, collective complaints cause traffic enforcement.

Most dog owners keep their dogs on leash and pick up after their dogs. But those who don't give all dog owners a bad name. Dogs off leash are not only a problem for people, but can also be a problem for other dog owners.


Posted by Give it up, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

To the original poster...I'm sorry if you're aggravated but you've got to give up on this one, or you're just going to add a lot of stress to your life.

Have you ever been Jordan in the early morning or in the late afternoon? It's doggy social hour with 90% of the dogs off leash. Same deal with Duveneck on the evenings and weekends. The Duveneck fields are poop city...yuck. Most dog owners are very nice people, and do pick up after their dogs most of the time, but how can you pick up after your dog when it is running off leash in a field at night?


Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

"When there is a problem with speeding and stop sign running, collective complaints cause traffic enforcement."
Really? There are numerous intersections in our city where red light running is rampant, collective complaints have been launched for years, and absolutely nothing has been done, and this is a matter of life and death. Do you want to punish the vast majority of dog owners who are responsible and conscientious? There will always be a selfish minority who don't follow rules and regulations and needs to be dealt with. As long as the city doesn't provide enclosed dog runs in many city parks, dogs running off leash will be a problem. The city allows out of towners to use and our parks and athletic fields for soccer games, with us footing the bill for their frequent repair, but pet owners who are Palo Alto residents and tax payers are singled out.


Posted by Jarem Ames, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Are you people serious? with all of the real crime in Palo Alto these days and you're talking about wasting the police departments time with dogs off a leash? Wake up and get a life!!


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm


In fact dogs are great deterrent to

1/ home invasion

2/ street assault

3/ crime and assault in parks, school fields, parks and other public areas

Talk with any law enforcement member.

In Palo Alto dog owners are very responsible and do not own untrained dogs--with the exception of some small breeds wo cannot do much harm anyway.

Potential home invasion criminals, rapists, muggers etc are all deterred by areas where dogs run free.

Also Palo Altans understand their financial liability if their dog attacked an innocent stranger.



The PAPD has much more important things to do than to cater to the irrational fears of the tiny minority who are dog-phobic.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Wow, this is one of those rare times I mostly agree w/Sharon.

BUT...I have to admit I've seen a lot of larger off-leash dogs who rush at other dogs & have no voice recall. Dogs of any size can get into fights w/other dogs, & that's often how people get injured - falling or getting bit when stopping fights. It's easy to be in denial when one's precious pooch is offleash, but it's one of the many realities that occur w/offleash dogs in populated areas.


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

@Sharon: "In Palo Alto dog owners are very responsible and do not own untrained dogs--with the exception of some small breeds wo cannot do much harm anyway." You obviously haven't been out of the house for a while.


Posted by In the Hood, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Reality check on that comment about owners all being responsible:

There are quiet a few people who do not have trained dogs, and those dogs can be dangerous, two of them known for being untrained pit bulls, and other "bully breeds", and of course, many untrained and also dangerous small dogs. Of course, it is the owners who must train those with a strong prey drive, or else they end up having problems. You can't just feel sorry for them because the poor thing had a sad history and you rescued them, and therefore don't think you need to be alpha and train them. If your dog wont mind you when you want them to go and sit or go somewhere with you at your request, you are not a responsible dog owner. The owner must be in charge. People like that are just asking for a lawsuit and charges against them if someone gets hurt down the line. Nothing against pit bulls and other so-called bully breeds that are large, there are many that are great, only if trained and owner is in control!


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm


As any vet will tell you the intelligent thing to do if dogs get into s fight is to leave them alone--they sort it out in short order--seconds usually--and unless they are trained fight dogs --that is it.

A lot of whimpering rolling over etc--but that is the dogs language--often plucks owners heart strings--so what!

When was the last fatality or serious injury to a human from a Palo Alto homeowners dog in Palo Alto?

Never-

The dog phobic should seek professional help to overcome their phobia-like agoraphobics, etc


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Most of the dogs in Palo Alto are very safe to be around. If they weren't, there'd be more incidents that make headlines. That includes ALL breeds. It even includes that huge Great Dane that runs around offleash at the main library. Of course, someone's dog might attack him someday, given that the owner thinks the dog's recall is much better than it actually is.


Posted by In The Hood, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Dog bites happen, go to Animal Control and ask. Not all are publicized. I know someone who got bit by a Pit (and it wasn't over two dogs fighting, it was an irresponsible owner and an untrained dog), and the owner had to pay the victim damages for injuries. You can't just say it doesn't happen in Palo Alto. It does.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm

@ Posted by In The Hood, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, 35 minutes ago

Fine--please give evidence -the police report--the media report and any and all other evidence of your claim.

If you do not provide such evidence you may be in trouble at the very least you have no credibility.

Citizens can make any allegations they want to-

-that is why we have courts and juries to sort out truth from lies

Lies have serious penalties apart from perjury which is a criminal offense-often a felony


Posted by Sean, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

If you are among the various whiners about the bow-wows needing freedom, take a pause, and remmeber this vicious dog attack in Palo Alto:

Web Link

This five year old kid was almost killed. Palo Alto is at liability, if it does not enforce the leash laws. This is a police issue.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

No, it's not a police issue unleash a dog attacks - & then it's often an animal control issue. That's why most animal control organizations have trained staff who do investigations into both animal cruelty and bite incidents.

It's ignorant to say it's a police issue because most cops aren't trained to deal w/animal bite issues. It depends on how the police dept & animal control are organized. Most dog bite situations are civil issues, not criminal. When the case becomes criminal, the police will often work w/animal control on the case.

No one on this thread said that attacks don't happen in PA. I said they don't happen that often. A dog bite isn't the same as an attack. Dog bites are much more common than a dog attack. Poor Sean was both attacked & bitten. I've been bitten, but never attacked. It's a crucial distinction.


Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm

William: I realize your comments are tongue-in-cheek as opposed to finger-in-****, but clearly you have never witnessed two good-sized dogs fighting. You would have to have a death wish to get close enough to pull that stunt off, much less what the dog you "touched" would do to you next.

Just saying . . .


Posted by In The Hood, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I am not at liberty to reveal those records. However, if you want to fish around at the Animal Shelter, you will find such things! Owner records and therefore bites are public record, I think, and the ACO is actually a police officer who took the report. Such things don't necessarily reach the media when it is a court case, not a big item to hit the news for goodness sake! Also, this is not a court forum, this is a comment forum. Not all cases involve juries either, it was not a trial case. It would be a violation of privacy to reveal documents here, and dog's owner could harass the victim. The dog has a history of biting, from what I was told and understand. So, Sharon, call up and ask the shelter if there have ever been any cases involving such a thing! Surely they can answer that question for you! :-)


Posted by Nate, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

I've seen the dogs at Ramos park for years, they are not hurting any one.the owners watch them very close. your kids are more likely to be hit by a speeding car on east meadow, or some one breaking into your home. Get a clue!


Posted by Riviera, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

As I mentioned in my original posting, the burden of whether the dogs are predictable, friendly or safe should not be on the parents especially the toddlers that are in the sandbox or cowering in a corner because there is a dog freely roaming in the playarea where they are not meant to be unleashed. The sandbox and the areas near them are for kids to play without fear and inhibition.

I know of dogs that roam free at the far end of Ramos near the basketball courts and dog owners more often than not leash their dogs when they see kids running around or riding bikes. I really appreciate that.

Its these folks who assume that everyone else should be unafraid and okay with their pets that bother me and that too when said pets (big or small) are running all over the area near where little kids are. That in my opinion is nothing short of lack of empathy and arrogance. I did email PAPD and the animal control guys and they both said they will increase patrols at Ramos.


Posted by agree and PLS clean it ALL up, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thank you Riviera. You seems balanced in your concern that in such a large park there are some owners who continues to carelessly allow their dogs too close to the play area, which is absolutely against the law in most cities. The park is large enough for the attentive owner to do their off-leash law breaking and still stay far away from small children. No excuse for letting the dog in the play area.

I'd also like to plead with owners to clean up all the poop...if that is even possible. Many in the same neighborhood use Palo Verde (and other school) playfields as their dog run. Our children play in those fields and - yes - many a child knows someone who has rolled or cartwheeled through dog poop. When it is bad and the janitors haven't had time to scoopc up all the poop (which they do every morning) kids track the poop into the classrooms, lunch tables, etc. Would you let your dog poop in your office? How about your own yard?

It is especially bad when it rains. Try to have fido poop in your own yard or at least in the perimeter or somewhere you can clean up properly. I look forward to seeing arguments defending "poop anywhere".


Posted by Dogs-Belong-In-The-Country, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

> build more dog parks ..

At $5+M/acre, and virtually no open space available for anything in this town--kinds of make you wonder if people who believe this have the slightest idea of the costs, and consequences, of their ideas?


Posted by homeowner, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Yet another plea to please be responsible and clean up after your pet. Or else, have them poop in your own yard. I am not a dog owner but I have people walk by my home frequently and there are a certain percentage who let their dogs poop in my yard. The alternative is dogs off leash (which I think happens very infrequently.) I think it is disgusting. It really is poor manners and there are a lot of dogs around here.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Sharon et. al: Dog attack stories are not allegations, I have scars and ER records to show it.

-- Unleashed dogs have knocked me down to the sidewalk twice. I was injured in both attacks, but it could have been worse. Note that I am elderly, already disabled + walk with a cane.

-- My neighbor and her child, who was in his stroller, were attacked by an unleashed dog 4 times.

I love dogs. In fact, I own the cutest, sweetest dog in the world -- but she is always leashed in public, except at fenced dog parks. I MUST ask all dog owners to also respect the leash law and always leash their animals.

PLEASE.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Riviera - I hope that the patrols increase so that people keep their dogs onleash. Dog parks can be dicey, but going after most people have gone home is a solution that I've used to give my dogs offleash exercise. It just takes a bit of effort.


Posted by Cora, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

To dog owners, due to our narrow pedestrian paths, please tighten the leash when you see someone coming from the other direction (or passing from behind). Not everyone enjoys being chased, licked, sniffed, jumped upon or sometimes bitten by a dog on leash or not.


Posted by Calm Down!, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

People, please don't over react. I've lived in Palo alto for 30 years. I run and walk at least one hr a day. I've encountered total of 3 incidents of unleashed dogs. In all 3 cases, the owners leashed the dogs after my firm requests. I am sorry about dog attacks and injuries. Call the police and have the dog put under observation at the shelter.

I agree with the posts above. Most dog owners are well mannered. Let's don't over-react! There are bigger problems in our city!!!


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

To: "Calm Down"
The odds have been in your favor for years -- good for you. Maybe you would "over react" if you or your child had been injured by unleashed dogs.

Dogs often attack people who seem different: people carrying food or people who are disabled, old, young, another race than their owner, etc.

There is a leash law for a reason. Like all basic public safety laws, it's there to protect citizens from being injured and it largely depends on simple civic responsibility and kindness, and respect for fellow citizens.

In other words, public safety laws rely on good people who make obeying those laws a natural part of community life. In affluent communities, cops have expectations about this basic level of cooperation and their priorities are to deal with crime.


Posted by Alphonso, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm

To Neighbor

I agree with Calm Down - people like you are completely overreacting. I have never seen a do attack a person in the 60 years I have been going to parks - on or off leash. The problem is the leash ordinances are 24 hour restrictions when in fact the restrictions should really only apply to the parks during heavy use periods - a couple of hours per day


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Alphonso -- I "saw: 2 dog attacks from the sidewalk up, because I was knocked down and since I am disabled I couldn't get up. You were not there. Don't you dare suggest that I'm overreacting. When a 67-year old who has limited mobility from a stroke is knocked down by a dog, it's serious.


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