Monday, January 21, 2008

Dogs Off Leash At Tenaya Park

The issue of dogs off leash at Tenaya Park has come up again. There is a misperception that the law requires dogs to be on leashes at all times. In fact, Fresno County's leash law requires dogs to be on leashes or “under the immediate control of a responsible person.” The law does not define "under the immediate control."

Some Tenaya Park homeowners have dogs that enjoy chasing balls and playing together at the Park. Other Tenaya Park residents aren't dog lovers and would prefer that dogs be kept on leashes at all times. None of us want stray dogs roaming through our neighborhood or dog owners who don't control their dogs when they're at the Park.

We all want to enjoy the Park. Rather than making this a divisive issue that creates hard feelings, we need to find ways to share the Park. When you're at the Park, if dogs are bothering you, let the owners know at that time. If the owners ignore your concerns and you're repeatedly bothered by the same dogs, let a Tenaya Park Board member know. Give a description of the dogs, when you normally visit the Park, and any information about the owners that you can. If the offending dogs live in the neighborhood, the Board will try to discuss your concerns with the owners and suggest each of you use the Park at different times. If the dogs don't live in the neighborhood, the Board can be on the lookout and try to discuss the situation if the dogs visit the Park again.

If we can all approach this with a spirit of cooperation, everyone (dogs and people) will be able to enjoy the Park.


jmh1272 said...

As someone who grew up in this neighborhood, and who's parents still live there, and who brings my own children to this park I find this objectionable for many reasons.

Why do you make the assumption that people who would like to follow the leash law are not dog lovers? I am not only a dog nut, I work with a national dog rescue group , and currently have my third "foster dog" that will soon be ready to be adopted. I have participated in dog shows, etc. I love them, all kinds.

Firstly, what about people visiting the park, who observe that it is acceptable to let their dog run freely and then has a problem. Then there is no recourse to take. We can't find out where they live, and in the mean time they can spread the word that it is okay to do so.

Secondly, what about people visiting to park, who have a bad experience? They don't know who to contact or where to go with a complaint other than the SPCA or the Police. Do you really want those kinds of complaints?

What if there was actually an injury (and I hope there never is). Won't the Board be held accountable for the dogs that were not controlled?

I can tell you from years of involvement in dog groups that any dog who is not on a leash and hurts someone in a public place, will be considered NOT to have been controlled by the owner. The whole idea of a leash is that you can hold on the them or pull them out of harms way, or from harming others QUICKLY. And the dog could possible be impounded or even put to sleep.

Does the board was to be accountable for that? I think this very nice attitude, which clearly wants everyone to be happy and friendly sounds (I'm sorry) naive. It just opens the door to too many possible problems and to potential heartache. I have seen even friendly dogs knock kids down, just while playing (not out of any anger) and nobody put them on a leash in response to it.

I don't really understand why the victim should be the one who has to try to put a stop to it, when the offender is the one who is not behaving well.

Please don't allow this to continue, we want the park to continue to make great memories like it did for me when I was young, and like it does for my children.

Ripley said...

Freedom of speech is certainly a hallmark of our country. Everyone has the right to express their opinion.

Please re-read the original message. I don't agree people have no recourse. If you have a problem with dogs at the Park, you have multiple options for addressing it. You can talk to the dog's owner if the owner is there, call the SPCA, report it to the the Sheriff's Department, or let a Tenaya Park Board member know about the problem.

As a long-time dog lover, you know dogs must be licensed and their tags are supposed to show who owns them. None of us want unlicensed dogs roaming the neighborhood so dogs without tags should by all means be reported to the SPCA.

There are big signs at the Park with a 24/7 number to call to report problems. Problems can also be reported through this website. Contrary to your comment, the neighbors who are currently running Tenaya Park have gone above and beyond to make it easy for people to communicate their concerns or issues.

It's difficult to see how the
Board could be held liable for the decisions that individual dog owners make about whether to keep their dogs on leashes. And, the Park is covered by two different general liability insurance policies since there are potential injuries from far more than dogs off leash.

In my opinion, it would be nice if people could be happy, friendly and get along. It would be nice if they worked their differences out instead of trying to force their viewpoints on others through government laws and regulations. It's your prerogative to think this is naive just as it's mine to think it's not

If you'd like to change what happens at the Park, I'd suggest you buy a house in Tenaya Park Estates, pay the extra taxes each year to support the Park, and then run for a position on the Board.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I missed this website, but was very pleased to have discovered it.

We, too, have comments about dogs off-leash, however our complaint isnt about being off-leash at the park. I was under the impression that it was ok to do so at the park as long as the owner(s)had close control, and the dogs were socialized with people and other dogs.

Our complaint is about having dogs OFF-LEASH while walking through the neighborhoods. We and several
neighbors find this to be rude & inconsiderate. Most of us take great care in our yard(s) and our landscaping. To have dogs run onto your property, digging at your flowerbeds, and in some cases "pooping" on your yard and/flowers is very frustrating, as the homeowner is the one that has to end up cleaning up after them, (and not just the feces, but cleaning up humous in the flowerbeds, etc. The OFF-LEASH dogs run into open garages, in some cases going into others backyards, run up to fences, inciting our dog(s) into barking (and OUR dogs are in their own yard, minding their own business and quiet until the OFF-LEASH dogs either rush the fence, or start barking)

In the past, our block alone has witnessed many "mishaps" due to off-leash dogs. Our young
daughter was playing in our own front yard with our small dog (who was ON-leash) when the off-leash dogs rushed up to them. This scared my daughter, as she was afraid they would attack her and her dog, so she scooped up the dog and went running into the house, with the off-leash dogs following her to the door. Needless to say, she was quite frightened. In still another instance, one of our neighbors was riding their small motorcycle down the street, and the dogs rushed into the street in front of him, and to the side of him. He ended up swerving and tried kicking the dogs away.

These are just a few examples of the havoc that can occur when people allow their dogs to be off-leash. And, seriously, I'm not talking about unattended dogs, the owner(s) are with them, usually 10-20 ft behind them, depending on which property their dogs are all over.

Again, I understand the off-leash for the park, and if your dogs are well-behaved and socialized, then it shouldn't be a problem, and mishaps could be handled on a case-by-case basis. But having dogs off-leash while walking through the neighborhoods is, as we stated before, both rude and inconsiderate.

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