Park police crackdown on unleashed dogs?

From a Surrey Street resident:

Neighborhood dog walkers are being hit by huge fines for walking their dogs off leash in the canyon. The ticketing has apparently intensified since a local dog was killed by coyotes a few weeks ago.Rumor as it that the head of the park police has ordered the increased ticketing campaign in order to protect the coyotes.

The canyon has been a dog walkers paradise for decades. The effect of this crackdown has been to drive dog walkers away from the canyon. “I have noticed far fewer dog walkers in the canyon as of late, especially in the late afternoons and early evenings when the park police seem to be especially present,” he said in an email to the Glen Park News.

The neighbor believes the police are creating a climate of fear and intimidation in the canyon. “People don’t want to walk their dogs in an area where at the same time they have to look over their shoulders for the police.”

Have others experienced this? Does anyone know what’s behind it?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Park police crackdown on unleashed dogs?

  1. I realize that this will be an unpopular opinion, but I would like to see all dogs leashed in the Canyon. Our family cannot use this beautiful area because our 5 year old is frightened of dogs — even the friendly ones, and especially the ones that come bounding up out of nowhere. I’m sorry for the people who are getting fined, but I’d prefer that they follow the rules to begin with.

  2. Dawn

    Born, raised, and live in Glen Park: we should not need to restrict our walking or our playing with our dogs because coyotes have arrived. Dogs that are not reliably gentle need to be leashed at all times. I think part of our problem is that the city has forbidden off leash dogs in so many places (much of Ocean Beach, etc) that now people from all over the City are coming to Glen Park. I volunteer with the SPCA Puppy Dog Tale Program. My Golden Retriever helps children in the SF Public Schools to improve their reading by helping to decrease their stress and by increasing their love for learning. I sympathize with anyone who is afraid of dogs. Fear of anything can be paralyzing. Being introduced to loving dogs is a helpful way to over come that fear. Again, potentially dangerous dogs need to be leashed at all times. In addition, the police could better spend their time ticketing dangerous drivers and bicyclist. Sincerely, Dawn

  3. Henley

    This is nonsense. This is a revenue action for RPD. The City is trying to raise money where ever they can, ie, parking meters on Sundays, increased parking fines, etc. This is just another piece of the puzzle making it more difficult to live in the City. I have been walking our off leash dogs in the park for the past 20 years without incident. The Glen Canyon dog people are very considerate and control their dogs. The coyotes are a nice addition to the park and our dogs do not pose a problem to them. Coyotes are early risers, leave for the day and then come out after dark.

  4. Frank

    There is a reason the dog leash law was implemented. For any law to serve it’s purpose it needs to be enforced. Otherwise, it should be repealed. I suggest people abide by the law or spend the effort to have it changed. If you walk your dog off leash then you understand the risk of a fine – it’s your choice.

  5. Andrea

    The writer of this “article” has made the mistake of “reporting” a personal opinion rather than the facts. The fact are that the Canyon, and all parks that are not specifically designated as “Dog Play Areas,” are lawfully on-leash, only, and that the laws apply to everyone. This is to protect everyone and everything – human and other animal species; not specifically coyote. It is important that this discussion be void of personal wishes for specific persons who want what they want at the expense of anyone or anything else. All laws/rules are there to make enjoying parks equal in terms of assuring safety and eliminate, as much as possible, conflicts between uses and users.

  6. Kerry

    I would say “Most” of the Glen Canyon dog people are very considerate and control their dogs. I don’t mind off-leash dogs in the canyon unless the dogs are not under voice control of their owners. I have been lunged at, growled at and frightened by off-leash dogs whose owner’s say “gee, he’s never done that before.” I often hear owners screaming at their dogs to “come,” but the dogs have a mind of their own. These are the off-leash dogs who chase after the coyotes and create unrest. I actually heard one dog owner actually say “go get ’em” referring to the coyote. The dog chased the coyote and the coyote defended his space, but the dog kept coming. The owner spent fifteen minutes trying to gain control of his dog, screaming “Come, Come, Come.” Futile. The coyote finally just walked off. These are the dogs who should be on-leash. Always. The dog was small enough for the coyote to have done some major harm, but didn’t.

  7. Mark

    Glad to see the leash laws being enforced.

    There is a fenced dog park up at Walter Hass that is almost always empty and Fort Funston allows dogs off leash for now. No reason that the entire city (including residential neighborhoods) needs to be subject to the whims of dog owners who think their dog is perfect.

    My dog goes to the canyon regularly, and is always on her leash, I have no idea how people expect their dog not to chase a coyote when they can’t even verbally stop them from running over to my dog when we come by.

  8. June

    Climate of fear and intimidation? Seriously? It’s embarrassing to even see this published here.
    As someone who walks a dog in the canyon regularly – and on leash as the park code has always required – I’m going to have yawn at the outrage and frown on the hyperbole.

  9. Gerald

    I called SFACC to ask about the dog that was reported as killed. They were unaware of any dog being killed, and this seems to be a frightening rumor. If anyone can report verifiable details, it would be appreciated.

    I would never support dog owners deliberately allowing their dogs to interact with the coyotes but if it happens infrequently, this interaction may actually be beneficial in preventing the coyotes from becoming habituated to people. It is surprising that so few problems occur in such a small canyon but there is certainly plenty of vegetation obscuring the coyotes and protecting people, dogs, and coyotes. The coyotes are better at sharing the canyon than some people.

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