A GUARDIAN READER OPINION–
By North End Neighbor
Observing the behavior of dogs and their owners as a resident of a home across the street from Boise City Park for nearly 30 years, I am angry and disgusted by the relatively recent proliferation of loose dogs in the park. They displace children and game activities on the ball diamond; the dogs run wildly at great speeds in their games of fetch; and their owners leave excrement in the most egregious and blatant manner at a frequency beyond the comprehension of any person with a sense of sanitation or forethought . Their compliance and their manners STINK.
My gravest concern about imposing restrictions in the Foothills (which I wholeheartedly support) is that their numbers will increase in City parks. How realistic is it to imagine that enforcement can change the behaviors of people who express heated outrage at limits that might impose the citizenship caveats they won’t assume on their own volition in City parks, let alone open spaces?
Given the limitations of enforcement (only partial and temporary improvements at this park), I insist that any protective services redirected to police people and dogs be offset by a fee equal to the fiscal demands of added patrols in the places they frequent. The citation fines are random and apparently not enough of a deterrent. Designate more dog parks, too. (But one woman running her dog told me she doesn’t like the dog parks because they reek and there are too many dogs. Could I make this up?)
What might the public response be if humans defecated in parks, or if 65 pound child ran full speed toward toddlers, knocked them down and sniffed their body parts? Who wants to inform Sunset or Outdoors publications that mountain bikers’ safety is secondary to dogs’ spiritual fulfillment?
I sympathize with their dilemma, but fear that the interests of people who don’t own dogs and believe that parks and public lands spaces (unless designated otherwise) will be set aside in a short-sighted reaction to the shrill and ENTITLED voices of individuals who believe that their virtuous dedication to dogs and dogs’ happiness supercedes the rights of humans. (Who, I should add, don’t necessarily dislike dogs but can foresee the cruelties of keeping large dogs in urban settings where “walks” must suffice for the inborn desire to roam. And who don’t ascribe the anthropomorphic characteristics of “socialization” to dogs’ growling and rough play. How many of these kind-hearted folks have seen what a farm dog does to a raccoon?)
Animal Control is Missing in Action every where.
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