Leash Law Hearing
From, New York Daily News
The leash of their worries at hearing
BY LISA L. COLANGELO, DAILY NEWS, CITY HALL BUREAU
Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
There was a lot of barking and snarling going on at the city's Board of Health yesterday. The topic was whether dogs should be allowed to roam leash-free in city parks - and the loudest yelps came from the people sitting in the audience.
"Dogs are simply property," Robert Doocey of Queens said to a chorus of boos and hisses at yesterday's hearing. "All dogs are potentially dangerous," he said.
For years, the Parks Department has had an informal policy of allowing dogs off leashes in parks between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. This year, a Queens civic group sued the city, saying the policy violates the leash law. Parks officials have asked the Board of Health to change the health code so that the parks commissioner can decide when and where dogs can be allowed off leashes.
"This proposal makes a lot of sense," said Matt Greller, the lawyer representing NYCDOG, which supports the proposal.
"The program has been a success for 20 years. The parks are safer and dog bites are down," Greller added.
But Robert Holden of the Juniper Park Civic Association - the group that sued the city - produced a stack of large color photographs showing what he said were the dangers of the policy.
The photos showed dogs running loose in protected wildlife areas, ballfields and flower beds.
One picture showed a dog walker letting 10 dogs loose in a park.
"How much more evidence do we need to prove this is lunacy?" Holden asked.
(Picture of a happy, leash-free pup, from FIDO Brooklyn's Prospect Park pages)