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May 30, 2014
by P. Cullen
This is an accident, or worse, a law suit waiting to happen. For quite some time, professional dog walkers have been taking over the town parks. There is the possibility that if one of these dog walkers causes an accident (if one of their charges bites a resident/visitor), the town could be sued. When bite incidents have happened in the past, the Town Board has considered the possibility of banning all dogs from town parks.
There are a couple of problem walkers at Gedney and Glazier Arboretum/Whippoorwill Parks. They don’t control or pick up after their charges as stated in the Town Park Rules that are posted in each park. They come with more than three dogs each (which has yet to be posted—but is the law). At the very least, they are engaging in “disorderly conduct” and “behavior tending to cause a breach of the public peace” as stated in the Town Code.
One of the walkers (at Gedney) has had dogs, one of whom bit a child and a Parks Department worker (she told the mother of the child that it was “her own f***ing fault for not watching her child!). She is known by town residents as “the woman who screams,” she has threatened people with vandalism for coming to “her” park and several town residents avoid the park when she is there. This should NOT happen where we live!
The Police and Dog Warden have been trying to deal with these people and there are hopes that in writing this article, other residents may contribute some of their experiences or encounters with these dog walkers. Perhaps the Town Board could develop (and post) new regulations that would prohibit this kind of behavior in our parks.
If dog walkers want to serve town residents and follow the Town Code, fine. Otherwise, let’s keep our parks from “going to the dogs.”