Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 11:22 AM
To: Nancy Kramer
Subject: Dog Policy
It is very sad that it has taken two terrible accidents at Huntley for there to finally be a rule about dogs at Huntley Meadow. it is necessary, I believe it has been necessary for a very long time. The safety of the children should outweigh the leisure of dogs and their owners. I certainly hope the owners of the dogs that bit those children were cited. I can’t count how many times I have been charged at by dogs while at my children’s events at Huntley. Thank goodness every occasion was by an over excited dog, and not an angry dog. The owners always laugh it off, and come yelling after their dog saying things like, oh he’s just a big puppy, or oh, he is just being friendly. Little did they know I was terrified because as a child I was bit in the face by a dog, and as Linda said, I was forever changed. It is not a fear you can rationalize or make go away, it stays with you. Granted there are far fewer dogs off leash now at Huntley, but it is frightening to me when dogs are pulling and barking on their leashes and it looks like the owner is going to be over powered by them, and they will get free. Other parents and children should not have to worry about wether or not someone will be able to control their dog, or be at the mercy of owners who Know their dog is friendly. Well, I don’t know and others don’t recognize that, they see a running, bounding, jumping dog and have no idea what is in store. It is terrifying when dogs fight with each other, angry and barking and biting at each other, even when on leashes and their owners are attempting herculean efforts to pull them apart. I can’t even count how many times I have witnessed this with dogs on leashes at Huntley. The owners think it is not an issue, it is. It is very frightening.
I was appreciative when rules were instated at Marion Cross that asked people not to bring their dogs, even on a leash, to pick up and drop off. Public events, and places where there are numbers of people are not the place for dogs. Animals are unpredictable, and every dog that has ever bit has an owner who says, ‘ He has never done that before’. It is not worth the risk or the liability. There is plenty of time throughout the day and the week when there are no events at Huntley. That provides ample time for dog owners to recreate with their pets in public. Banning dogs from events at Huntley doesn’t seem like too much to ask to ensure the health and safety of our children, not to mention adults.
Ann Marie Smith