Friday, February 15, 2008

Dog Leash Laws in Bryan Park

This article was published in the Herald Times Hotline column yesterday (2/14/08). Be aware that dogs are required to be on leash at all times. The article follows:

Dogs gone wild vs. the leash and collar set

QUESTION: Our family has a complaint. For several years, there seems to have been an unwritten relaxing of the leash requirement for dogs at Bryan Park. When we try to walk our dog, the loose dogs often charge at our dog (sometimes in aggression, sometimes because they want to play), making it very difficult to control our dog. The dog owners often act as if their unrestrained pets are a completely normal situation, and we’re the crankpots. Recently we counted 13 dogs running loose. The situation has gotten so bad that our kids can’t safely walk the dog. How can we get the leash ordinance enforced at Bryan Park?

K.C., Bloomington

ANSWER: Hotline contacted Mick Renneisen, director of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, and Laurie Ringquist, Bloomington Animal Care and Control officer. The city has posted signs reminding park visitors that dogs are required to be on a leash, and animal control officers patrol the park at random times, issuing warnings and tickets as appropriate.

Ringquist said if you see an unleashed dog, call Animal Control at 349-3492 and “we will do our best to get there as soon as possible.” Often, by the time an officer arrives, the animal is leashed or gone. But if there seems to be a pattern as to days or times, please report it to Animal Control so the park can be patrolled more frequently at those times.


Sarah said...

My response to this article has been published in today's HT in "Letters to the Editor":

Let them off the leash
To the editor:

In reply to K.C.’s concerns about off-leash dogs in Bryan Park, I’d like to agree that 13 dogs playing together off-leash can be disruptive, but argue that socialization of dogs is an important responsibility of dog-ownership that is often not met in Bloomington due to unavailability of appropriate settings. Official dog parks, such as the one proposed at Karst Farm Park, do not allow “intact dogs,” and sell only a limited number of passes per year. Unofficial dog parks, such as the one at Griffy, are too often over-crowded and are fraught with careless owners who do not appropriately supervise their dogs.

Bryan Park has the unique feature of being located within a populous, dog-friendly neighborhood. Unlike Karst and Griffy, it is within walking distance of many dog owners and draws patrons of many ages and colors, making it an ideal place for dog socialization. Dog owners favor it for the same reason families do — it has a big backyard feeling to it.

I do not believe Bryan Park should be turned into a dog park, but I lobby that the leash laws be officially relaxed. I see no reason friendly, well-mannered dogs should not be able to play and socialize off-lead in Bryan Park.

- SARAH REEDER, Bloomington

Anonymous said...

FYI: Seeing a real need for a dog park, some of the Bryan Park dog owners approached parks and rec. to create an official dog park at the factory SE of Bryan Park. This idea was not supported because they said a minimum of 6 acres was needed. We need a spot within the City that our dogs can be socialized.

Isabel Piedmont said...

I will meet with staff in Parks & Rec and see whether we could in the near future develop a dog park close to the neighborhood, or at least closer than Karst Farm Park.

Anonymous said...

I don't appreciate all of the dogs off leash at Bryan Park, I know that most of them are well behaved, but there is a leash law that needs to be followed, be a responsible owner. It scares children and it makes it hard to walk my dog, who is not friendly with other dogs which is why I walk my dog on a leash.

Anonymous said...

I have now lived in 5 large cities (with Bloomington being the smallest) and have NEVER had so many people opposed to dogs playing in a park off leash. If your dog is not friendly then don't bring them to areas where you know there will be lots of other dogs OR socialize them early so they will learn to appropriately interact with other dogs! If there was an "official" off-leash park in the area I am sure we would all be happy to take our dogs there but the off leash parks that are available are so far away form campus which makes it extremely inconvient for most dog owners in the city. WE NEED A DOG PARK CLOSE TO THE CITY CENTER!!!!

Anonymous said...

The leash laws should be enforced. There are too many irresponsible owners who allow their off-leash dogs to charge small children and other dogs. People should be able to walk their dogs or walk with their children without having to fend off large, off-leash dogs. Often the dogs are friendly, but occasionally they are not. A leash law is a simple rule that allows everyone to enjoy the public space in peace. Unfortunately, even if there were a dog park near the city center people would still bring their dogs to Bryan Park and let them off-leash, and let them crap everywhere (including the tennis courts)and not clean it up.