The town I live in is currently having a debate with regards to a pilot program that the city managers are considering. Some folks want to have certain hours at the parks designated as off-leash for dogs, others are concerned that this will be total chaos. After reading many of the fear-driven arguments against this program and concern for the safety of kids, I couldn’t resist writing this piece suggesting a solution that is a win-win for everyone:
When In Public, Use A Leash
On any given Spring day, one only needs to look as far as one of our parks or along the sidewalks of our downtown to know one thing: kids and pets share a lot of space. But is this a good thing? Some say not to worry, while others see potential for trouble.
According to the 2010 US Census, there are almost 3000 kids under the age of 9 in Los Gatos. The number of dogs in our town surpasses even that number. Obviously, pets and kids must learn to live in harmony with civic responsibility.
As a pet owner, I enjoy walking my dog through one of our local parks for some good old-fashioned exercise. She always has a great time, but I always keep a cautious eye open with regards to our surroundings because, whether in the park or even downtown, it is not uncommon to see a lot of folks who think leashes are unnecessary when they’re out in public. Time and again, I’ve witnessed the chaos that can result from those who feel leashes are optional: running into traffic, chasing geese, rushing toward a frightened elderly person, unmonitored defecation, biting and scratching.
In an ideal world, my dog and your kid could romp and play around the park in innocent fun. But, this is the real world and accidents do happen and a moment of play can quickly become a traumatic experience.
With that said, I would like to call on the town to make public safety and comfort a priority by designating a section of our parks to a fenced-in, leash-free park for kids.
A triple leash prevents this day out from becoming a triple threat.