Thursday, November 13, 2014

Central Park: Second Off-Leash Dog Run Over and Killed In Week


By Geoffrey Croft

For the second time in a week an off-leash dog was struck and killed in Central Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday at 8:30am when a Shih Tzu darted out and was run over by a vehicle traveling south bound on the Parks's west drive near 86st Street.

Last Wednesday an unleashed dog was run over and killed by a Parks Department truck.

The canine was struck by a vehicle driven by Parks Department supervisor traveling southbound near 100th st. & west drive last Wednesday morning before 8:00am.

“I was running by and as i got there you could hear the owner sobbing from a far," a woman wrote on the West Side Rag website. 

"seemed like the dog was off the leash and was hit by a garbage truck. The truck stayed on the scene  – there were tons of police and fire trucks. Very devastating. 

Keep dogs on the leash even when you are allowed to take them off the leash.”

The Parks Department's press office refused to respond despite repeated attempts seeking comment. 

Both incidents occurred during the city's controversial off-leash hours that allow dogs to be off-leash in certain designated  areas provided all general rules, including having the dog under control at all times are obeyed. 

In Central Park dogs are allowed off-leash when the Park is open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am when the Park closes according to the policy.  

The Parks Department’s “courtesy hours” policy were formalized by the city in 2006 after a lawsuit challenging the policy was filed. The suit was dismissed. The rules are now part of Park Rules and Regulations. 

Injuries caused by off-leash dogs continue to be an issue in the city including several incidents that have occurred in Central Park.

In July 2012 a bike rider was attacked by two vicious dogs who were not on their leashes.

In 2011a bike rider sued the City and the Central Park Convervancy after colliding with an off-leash dog in the morning. 

Tragedy Strikes.  A distraught dog owner clutches his dog in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on  March 10, 2011 after the unleashed canine darted out into traffic and was struck by a car and killed. The beloved dog and owner had been in the lower Eastside park when tragedy struck.  (Photo: © NYC Park Advocates)

In 2006 the Juniper Park Civic Association in Queens sued the Parks Department over its "courtesy" off-leash hours and its lack of enforcement of existing leash laws. The City in turn amended its health code and made off-leash hours official.

Read More: 

A Walk In The Park - November 10, 2014  - By Geoffrey Croft

1 comment:

  1. Why don't you report on the much larger number of pedestrians injured by speeding bicycles?

    It's something a lot more people are bothered by, but because the cyclists have such a strong lobby, it's mainly covered up.

    Ban cars from the park. Have official vehicles go slowly. Make bike riders obey the law. And sad as it is that dogs get hurt (as frequently happens to leashed dogs as well), it would be far more tragic for them to spend their entire lives on leashes, and never get to run outside. The offleash policy brings joy and recreation to thousands of humans and canines, and a bit of aggravation to a few.

    A woman was just killed by a speeding cyclist in Central Park, as you reported here (of course, it was major news, not just on park blogs)--most such accidents are not reported, because they're not fatal, but people are still getting hurt constantly, all the same--many cyclists don't even stop after it happens. They pedal away as fast as they can.

    Thousands and thousands of dogs use the park every day, and hurt no one, and come home safely. If this policy is such a disaster, why are incidents so rare? I only wish incidents involving irresponsible cyclists were as rare.