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County Cracking Down On Leashless Dogs in Ft. Myer Park

by ARLnow.com July 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm 2,070 12 Comments

The county parks department has posted a sign reminding dog owners that playing fetch in Ft. Myer Heights Park is strictly prohibited. Ode Street Tribune has a photo of the sign, which designates the park as a “target enforcement area.”

Owners who don’t keep their dog on a leash in the park risk being banned from all county parks.

  • Let’s Be Free

    And if Fido featches that’ll get you banned from all county owned open spaces — so forget about riding down streets, traversing public plazas or using any of those pedestrian/bike trails, sidewalks and paths. Heck, why write a citation and assess a small fine when deprivation of mobility, freedom and personal liberty is such a handy tool.

  • I’m not worried about this

    In order to get to a “crackdown” on leashless dogs, you have to actually, you know, enforce the leash law. So where is the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s statement that they are enforcing this “crackdown”? Where are the Animal Welfare League officers who are responsible for carrying out this “crackdown”?

    What’s that? There is NO statement from the AWLA? There are no AWLA officers present? Seems to me the Parks people are sick of listening to complaints from dog-haters, and put up this sign to shut those people up.

  • JR

    it sounds like arlington just needs more dog parks (which is really strange since they have quite a few already). the fact is – dog parks are used at a much higher rate than other parks anyways… so why not add a couple more.

  • John

    Dogs belong on a leash, I was mauled a few years back and put in the er by a harmless chocolate lab. If I see you fido off the leash and he jumps at me or my kids you can say goodbye fido, I enforce the leash law with a glock.

    • LP

      Really? A Glock – is that necessary? Use a taser, pepper spray, or something that isn’t fatal.

  • dog owner

    I’m a dog owner and a dog lover–and I think dogs belong on a leash, both for their own safety and the safety of other dogs; I wish the county would enforce the leash laws. If you want to let your dog off leash, take him to a dog park; there are plenty around. Otherwise, don’t be irresponsible and arrogant; if you care for your dog, you’ll make the effort to keep him safe.

  • Get Over Yourselves

    Why are you asking the County to solve a problem that people should solve themselves? By, you know, learning how to GET ALONG with dogs. If a “Chocolate Lab” puts you in the hospital, maybe you need to ask the ER Nurse to change the channel to “The Dog Whisperer”. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington officers have far better things to do than to enforce leash laws. I have a friend who takes daily walks with his wife and his dog off-leash. In this “urban county”, they get to enjoy a real bonding experience with nature as a threesome, one that nurtures their marriage. After work (about 6:00 PM), they set out for a walk so that their dog can explore the neighborhood without societal shackles, and so my friend and his wife can hold hands in peace. They start down 18th Rd North to North Quantico Street. They then walk over to the bike trail spur parallel to I-66, and take that up to North Powhatan Street. They then walk down North Powhatan Street to 18th Street North, laughing at the ninnies who talk about “leash laws” as if those matter. They then turn right onto 18th Street North, left onto North Ohio, then back onto 18th Rd. North.

    And do you know what? That dog NEVER hassles anyone even though it can roam anywhere it wants. It responds to my friend’s voice commands. So, you know, train your dogs, don’t hassle the owner over leash laws, don’t show fear to the dog, and we’ll all get along.

  • John

    Clearly you have never been the victum of an unprovoked dog bite. The most common biter is a Golden Retreiver who everyone in the family describes at gentle right up until the bitch bit the jogger or the toddler. Pepper spray doesn’t work on many dogs, and the ultrasonic whistles just piss them off. We have leash laws for a reason.

  • dog owner

    You’ve also never had to disentangle your own (people-friendly, dog-fearful) dog from another loose, “friendly” dog who’s come up to say hello and ended up in a snarling fight while its self-satisfied owner looks on dumbly. You’ve also never known someone whose dog that always responded to voice commands suddenly saw a squirrel across the street and, just that one time, ignored the voice commands. Of course, it didn’t get a second chance because it was killed by a car. But I guess it’s all worth it, as long as you get to hold hands (all four hands at once?).

  • Get Over Yourselves

    Look, if the off-leash dog really was endangered so that it’s WELFARE was threatened, don’t you think the Animal WELFARE League of Arlington officers would intervene. But they don’t, now do they? Yet “John” and “dog owner” (if that’s what you really are) seem to think they know more than the professionals who protect the canine population day after day.

    If the AWLA supports the right of my friends to regularly walk their dog off-leash in the neighborhood after a hard day of work, then don’t you think you maybe should cease and desist? Before you remove the speck from someone else’s eye, take out the plank from your own. Or, in other words, learn how to deal with a canine population that existed on this earth long before you and your child’s Bugaboo.

    • dog owner

      You’re certainly free to disagree with me–but please don’t call me a liar. If you can’t make your case on its own merits, you don’t need to stoop to questioning my identity. Clearly, we’re going to disagree; I’m okay with that.

  • for accuracy’s sake

    Here’s an email from the AWLA, in response to a query about the leash law:

    Thank you for your e-mail. Our animal control officers certainly do enforce Arlington’s leash law as stated on our Web site:

    Animal Control Officers are charged with the enforcement of all Virginia state and Arlington county laws pertaining to the welfare, care and control of all domestic and wild animals.

    Animal control officers regularly patrol county parks, but Arlington has many parks and officers cannot be there all the time. Park Rangers also have the authority to inform park users about the leash law and can call one of our officers or a police officer to issue a ticket if necessary. We don’t know why the person commenting on the arlnow Web site would think that the Animal Welfare League and its officers would support breaking the law.

    Susan Sherman

    Interim Executive Director

    Animal Welfare League of Arlington

    703-931-9241 x203



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