Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Austin, TX - Irresponsible dog owners are not limited to pit bull owners. Each of us likely has a dog owner in the neighborhood that lets his dog run loose from time-to-time. The difference between a loose chihuaha and a pit bull, however, is like the difference between a firecracker and a bomb exploding. Many dog owners also refuse to clean up after their pets. Dog mess in parks ruins the joy of visiting a park for the rest of us, not to mention the health risk it poses.
"Austin residents love their dogs, but not all of them love picking up after their pooch. The fight is on to get dog owners to own up to the responsibility of cleaning up after their pets. On Monday, middle and high school students fanned out in a downtown park. Their mission was to put an orange flag on all the dog messes that they found. By the end of the morning, they had put out 500 flags and had to buy more. The flagged piles were eventually cleaned up. Organizers are calling on the city to enforce an ordinance that fines violators $85."Counties, cities and neighborhoods are cracking down. Austin may soon follow suit. A quick Google search brings up Taylor County, Florida that recently prohibited dogs from all county-maintained recreation parks. Officials cited that dogs and cats presented a "potentially dangerous" threat, particularly to children. It appears the whole Metro Park System in Oregon disallows dogs. The language on their website is eye-opening and painfully accurate:
"Visitors to these places have a unique opportunity to experience native plants and animals in a natural environment. Dogs, by nature, can significantly alter a visitor’s experience and can damage sensitive habitats or restored habitat sites as well as harass or kill vulnerable wildlife.Pit Bulls Destroy Trees
The no-dogs policy also applies to heavily-used parks such as Blue Lake Regional Park. On a busy summer day at Blue Lake, there are often as many as 8,000 people picnicking, walking, biking, swimming and playing various field games in the park. A crowded environment such as this can prove to be unsafe for people as well as for pets.
A dogs-on-leash rule has proved ineffective in the past, because many people disregard the policy. We also have experienced that a number of pet owners do not take the responsibility to pick up pet waste. Patrolling park grounds to assure that dogs are under control, contacting those who are not being responsible with their pet and cleaning up after pets to assure a safe visitor environment has proved to be an inefficient use of very limited staff time."
In addition to issues listed by Metro Park officials, and a problem specific to pit bull type dogs, is the tree damage being done by the animals. Pit bulls are taught to hang from tree branches, often located in parks, to increase their jaw strength. This practice greatly damages the tree and often times kills it. Reports in the UK about this activity are on the rise. It's undoubtedly occurring across the U.S. as well, but lives beneath the mainstream media "radar."
Calls for Action on Dangerous Dogs
10/30/08 | UK, North Kensington - "The council is very aware of the concerns that residents have about dogs. This year we had 240 trees damaged in our parks and gardens as a result of being ripped apart by these powerful and often intimidating dogs egged on by their owners."
Dogs Being Trained to Fight in Birmingham Parks
09/25/08 | UK, Birmingham - "This is a top priority for the council because what is happening is disgusting and we are trying to stop it. These owners strengthen these fighting dogs’ jaws by making the poor dog clamp its mouth on to the swings then pushing them back and forth...."
Irresponsible Dog Owners Bring Death to Trees
07/01/08 | UK, Haringey - Dozens of trees have been damaged and some killed is public parks by dogs being encouraged to chew and scratch on bark to strengthen their jaws and claws ... Approximately 100 trees in total have been damaged and are now at risk.
Is Tree Damage Paws for Alarm?
03/06/08 | UK, Camden - Animal expert John Bryant said the damage could only have been caused by "fighter" dogs such as pit bulls and terriers. He said: "It’s macho nonsense. If the bark is badly damaged it opens the tree up to infection and they could die."
Dogs Destroying Trees in Parks
10/27/07 | UK, Hackney - "Over the past couple of years in Hackney has seen an increase in the numbers of trees stripped off their bark by dogs such as Staffordshire and Pit Bull Terriers," she said. "Once this happens the tree is at risk of dying because the sap cannot flow..."
08/28/08: Video: Pit Bulls Destroying Trees in Parks
10/27/08: Pit Bull Attacks Horse on Burnaby Trail in North Vancouver
11/26/07: Pit Bull's Destruction of Trees Could Cost Owner $3,100
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| 11/11/2008 1:23 PM |
I love dogs, don't have kids, but I don't believe that dogs belong in these parks period.
Parks are for people to enjoy, whether it is kids playing sports, or families having picnics.
People are getting dogs that are too active for their residences, when they don't have enough yard (or no yard at all) and instead of taking the dog to doggie daycare, are letting them take over the parks, beaches, lake areas, cemetaries, everything.
In addition to feces, these dogs are jumping on people, fighting with each other, hurting wildlife. They take over.
But these lazy dog people will fight like pit bulls over their "right" to take over the parks.
People need to get dogs appropriate to their property and lifestyle and not use public areas as dog toilets and playgrounds.
| 11/11/2008 1:47 PM |
Over 500 piles of poop! A "downtown" park is likely NOT VERY BIG! The pit owners say that "more education" is the solution. Taxpayers have already DONE SO. U.S. parks have thousands of signs posted that say: MUST LEASH PET, MUST PICK UP POOP. Dog owners consistently ignore these signs. Exactly what type of "education" works?
| 11/11/2008 2:09 PM |
The reason that the pit owners say "education is the answer" is they got that from the breeders
The breeders don't want any kind of laws or rules that might affect their incomes, so they falsely claim that "laws don't work, there needs to be education" because they know dang well that laws DO work, but education is just empty talk that won't make them clean up their breeding act.
| 11/11/2008 2:58 PM |
That's the huge problem with urban pit bulls...shelters readily adopt out high energy pit bulls to young people living in apartments, with no way to excersize their dog. So they bring their pit bull to the local dog park, where it inevitably attacks another dog. Or, they bring it to local playgrounds or parks meant for human recreation, and let the dog off leash.
Since most young people today want instant gratification, and don't like being told "no", the problem will continue. Common sense has gone oput the window, as humane organizations try to convince people to adopt dogs that don't fit their lifestyles. I remember when I was growing up, the conventional wisdom was, if you wanted a big, active dog, you needed a large, fenced in yard. It was considered "cruel", to have a big dog in the city. How times have changed.
| 11/11/2008 4:16 PM |
Breeders are also selling large, active dogs to inappropriate situations to make the money.
You can see the many comments online about these people buying their pit bulls from online breeder web sites.
And some of these breeders are right in the cities and urban areas.
| 11/11/2008 4:23 PM |
Not sure if my comment went through. Anyway,
But lots of breeders are also selling large, active dogs to inappropriate situations.
You can see comments all over the web from people in cities and urban areas talking about the pit bull they bought from an online breeder web site, or from a local breeder or classifieds.
I would guess that there are more pit bulls obtained from breeders than from shelters, in part because of some screening by shelters they want to avoid, also because many of these people want unaltered, aggressive animals that they then want to breed themselves!
Shelters tend to alter before placement.
| 11/11/2008 4:26 PM |
Also these landlords have got to stop letting their tenants have these large, active dogs that are wreaking havoc in the communities.
A pit bull in a building of tenants with no yard, or a communal yard, in a crowded neighborhood is a bad situation.
And the landlord is going to pay the price and get sued.