Golden Gate National Park dog leash dispute halted
By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service
October 22, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Golden Gate National Park Recreation
Area officials have temporarily halted negotiations with citizens
who want to change current dog leashing rules in the park, following
a series of dog attacks and accidents that threaten human and
animal safety, Brent Plater of the Center for Biological Diversity
Plater said that after six months of leashing negotiations, off-leash
dogs continue to be lost, killed or injured, citing three different
incidents in which off-leash dogs wreaked havoc.
According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, a one-year-old
terrier ran into traffic and had to be rescued after it was attacked
by two standard poodles. Another dog fell off a cliff at Fort
Funston and was stranded for over 24 hours during a rainstorm
as police searched for it. On Sept. 16, three dogs attacked a
horse and rider, leaving the horse with cuts and bite marks on
its legs and posing a serious danger to the rider.
Plater also expressed distress at the danger presented to a "small
endangered fluffy bird'' called the western snowy plover.
According to Plater, scientists studying the snowy plover say
off-leash dogs present a great threat to the animal's survival.
Plater said that because the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area had not been enforcing leash laws for a long period of time,
officials needed to get special permission before they could begin
However, according to Plater, leash laws will be enforced at
Ocean Beach and Crissy Field beginning Nov. 8, protecting the
snowy plover until a more complete leashing agreement can be reached.
There are more than 12,000 pet dogs in San Francisco, and while
a few people oppose leashing dogs on principle, over 71 percent
of people want leash laws enforced in the park, Platter said,
citing a statistic gathered by a private surveyor for Golden Gate
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