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on Jun 16, 2014
So if we see unleashed dogs in these parks outside of the allowed days/hours, who do we call? Police? Animal Control?
If the dog owners did not adhere to the prior law that prohibited them to run dogs off leash, why would anyone expect them to obey by these particular guidelines as spelled out?
To complain, I say you should call the City Council Members. At home. This is such an ill-advised decision, to allow off-leash dogs in public parks. I want the City Council to suffer for it as much as they're making us suffer. We're all going to be stepping in a lot more dog poop, and being chased, barked at, (hopefully not bitten) by off-leash dogs. Thanks for reducing our quality of life, City Council!
Seriously, if nobody reports or makes a complaint about off leash dogs in these parks outside of the posted hours, the council will simply say "Look, nobody complained so everything must be fine."
IMO if there is no reduction in the amount of off leash dogs during the prohibited time frames, the trail should be deemed a failure.
I would use the police and animal control to start.
I live right next to Whisman park for years now and constantly see off leashed dogs on a daily basis during my runs (5x a week). I don't own a dog myself.
No problems and complaints from me so far and will continue to be fine with it so long as the owners have properly socialized and trained their pets.
Are you all so bored to find things to be angry about? Everyone needs to chill out.
Rules and contact information will be posted in multiple places at each site and will include how to give feedback Web Link
The signs will have information similar to the following (varying only by specific park hours) and include the map of the designated area.
You Are Entering The Cooper Park Off-Leash Area (OLA)
HOURS OF USE:
Monday through Friday 6:00 to 10:00 a.m.
DO keep you dog under voice control.
DO respect other park users. Stop bothersome behavior immediately.
DO use the plastic bags to clean up after your dog.
DO keep your dog on leash unless in the designated off-leash area.
DO report dog bites immediately to the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (408) 764-0344
The success of this OLA depends on you!
Parks Division (650) 903-6326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Mountain View
Who should I report to for off leashed dogs on our street (residential area)? Do I call the police?
Shirley, for off leash dogs in any other areas, most people call animal control.
Having been knocked down by a "friendly" dog in my neighborhood park, I now no longer walk during "dog" hours. Often I see city employees in the park with many dogs off leash--the current rules are never enforced. An experiment is fine but please enforce the current laws.
I am so unhappy about this. I cannot tell you the number of times we have had to pick up our dog because some hugh animal comes racing at her off leash. Also the number of dog piles that have not been picked up properly is disgraceful. When I think of the young children playing in the park or rolling on the ground it makes me cringe. Having lived in this area for forty years and seeing the park utilized by all the young families I can't help but feel this is a huge mistake.
As a lifelong dog lover who leashed my well-behaved and obedience trained dogs in public, I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS PILOT PROGRAM. Too often I encountered mindless owners who unleashed aggressive dogs who then would make a confrontational move on more docile animals. Some of these idiots were amused at the violent results. But even if not amused, the owners seemed to wash their hands of the consequences.
I suspect a child or an animal will be seriously harmed by this "pilot program" and if that happens and I witness it I will testify for the plaintiff in their suit against the city, and the hapless owner who didn't "know" how dangerous his/her animal was.
We somehow missed that survey that the Commission conducted.
If we had known about it, having experienced an "untrained, unsocialized" dog savaging a neighborhood dog on a leash, we would have asked who do we sue:
the Commission, the supervisors, the City of Mountain View, Santa Clara county???????
I'm very happy that Mountain View is exploring more options for the thousands of dogs that live in our fair city to get out, socialize and enjoy the outdoors.
If a dog spends its life at the end of a leash, they never learn to interact properly with other dogs and people. (in fact, it can lead to aggression problems (aka "leash frustration") As has been noted, in this and many other nearby communities, there are a small number of dog owners that meet up in corners of parks and let their dogs socialize off-leash. As far as I know, there have been no serious issues with this. Technically, this is against the law and some have been cited when someone complains, however given that there have been no problems and it is of GREAT BENEFIT to the thousands of dogs in our city and their owners, perhaps it is time to look at loosening these restrictions.
On the plus side, by limiting the locations and times of these off-leash areas, patrols and enforcement will be much more possible. (Easier to monitor a few areas than dozens!) In my experience, dog owners will step-up and police their fellows in order to preserve this privilege.
As to the question of dog parks? They do serve their purpose. However, they are uncomfortable for many dog owners (usually no shade, inadequate drainage/cleaning,etc..) and are rather unnatural. They are also single-use, unlike a park that is used for a variety of human (non-dog) activities too. Most importantly, they tend to give a sense of false confidence.. Meaning that dogs that are truly completely out of control can be brought there, because of the enclosed fence. If someone brings a soft, well mannered dog to socialize in a dog park, they may be trampled by the out-of-control one. This won't be such a problem in the off-leash areas in people-parks, because only the most foolish would bring such a dog there. And if they do? Well, they will be reported as a safety problem (who doesn't carry a video capturing smartphone these days?).
How can one find out the voting records of council members on this approval permiting dog owners to unleash their dogs in public parks?
As a father of two young children the last thing I want is more dogs off leashes. Enough dog owners are careless enough already. Every owner thinks their dog is well behaved until it bites somebody. Just please let the dogs be well behaved in a dog park where I won't bring my children. Give it trees, whatever, and let the dog owners police each other instead of making other people worry about their children's safety.
I was walking through a parking lot at Cuesta last week, when a dad backing up his minivan full of kids almost ran me over. I guess it is the lack of visibility in these vehicles coupled with the distractions of the children. This is the third time this has happened to me in the past year, so I would like to see a rule banning minivans in city parking lots.
I am a dog lover but my 81 yr old Mom who walks at Cuesta Park daily at 7:30 am has had repeated close calls with unleashed dogs resulting in near falls. This new plan forgets that Seniors have limited safe areas to get their exercise without having to navigate traffic by crossing streets or walking over sidewalks that dip for driveways. Please keep the dogs in the Annex and away from the park that can actually be serene!
I don't like dogs myself but my 90 year old grandpa enjoys the occasional off-leash dogs he sees here. He is very excited and happy to read this news!
"If the dog owners did not adhere to the prior law that prohibited them to run dogs off leash, why would anyone expect them to obey by these particular guidelines as spelled out?"
Why would anyone do anything to comply with existing laws of any kind? I know it's hard to imagine in an area where the speed limit is never exceeded, no one litters, red lights are never run, homes are never burglarized, and shoplifting is non-existent.
Yes Sparty, but we have a clear path of reporting for those crimes, and when enough complaints are filed, the police are mandated to respond with enforcement.
Here's what to do if you see an unleashed dog in the parks outside of allowed hours that makes you feel uncomfortable:
Call Mountain View Police: (650) 903-6344
*Ask for the watch commander then tell them there is an aggressive unleashed dog at X park and you need assistance. Then tell them you are recording the time/date of the call and summarizing the response.
Then actually DO that. we can all show up at the council meeting with the results. If we are going to have this law, lets enforce it, and lets tell the police when the law is being broken.
What path did this new policy follow on its way to be enacted? Did I miss some public meetings? Was there a pre-decision story in the paper? Notices meetings in the effected parks? Were there opportunities to provide feedback in advance?
Why is a "pilot" being conducted at so many parks? Why not a trial at just 1-3 parks? The choice of Bubb park is particularly misguided, as it disregards the young children that walk through the park every day on their way to school.
And will Mountain View now become a haven for dog owners coming from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Palo Alto?
Just astonishing that this was pushed through the way it was.
Here is the history of this decision made without community input:
John McAlister used to ignore the leash law in Cooper Park with a group of other people who considered themselves above the existing leash laws. Then McAlister's dog died, and in an emotional state of mind, he used his position to try and make his band of cohorts legit. I'm sure his intentions were noble: a legacy law for his passed friend, but what he actually did was abuse his position and make the parks undesirable to many.
There is no way this should have come about without more community input.
Here's the story from this very paper:
John McAllister, I thank you and my dog thanks you too. He did not abuse his position, he is also a resident of MV who wants dogs and their owners to have fun and enjoy life. Dogs like to run, play and chase balls. There is an incredible amount of people who have dogs in MV. That's why the vote won. In this coming year I predict there will be far more incidents of injury/violence from person to person/dog, than dog to dog/person.
There will always be responsible and irresponsible dog owners. Currently i rid my bike every day through Whisman Park, and most the dogs playing there are unleashed, but very closely supervised by a group of adults who seem to meet daily after work and exercise their dogs. it is fun to watch and i have never felt in danger by these dogs. On the other hand, every morning a man walks his dog on a leash, and lets the leash out so far that the dog's leash crosses in front of me and the dog chases me. i redo my schedule to avoid this person, fearful that either I or the dog will be injured by his thoughtlessness. So we will hopefully have a great experience from this pilot if responsible dog owners supervise their dogs.
"*Ask for the watch commander then tell them there is an aggressive unleashed dog at X park and you need assistance. Then tell them you are recording the time/date of the call and summarizing the response.
Then actually DO that. we can all show up at the council meeting with the results. If we are going to have this law, lets enforce it, and lets tell the police when the law is being broken. "
Good luck with that. I've called in about gunshots on Latham more than a few times. One time immediately after picking up my call the dispatcher said "are you calling about gun fire?" I said "yes on Latham" She said we are checking on it"
Never saw a car show up. Let alone the other times I've called.
Frustrating. If you want a dog, get a backyard with a big fence. Parks are for people, not animals. This is a liability waiting to happen (and at best, a nuisance for all).
Thank you parks department for initiating this pilot program!
Thanks to Council for approving it!
Its seems egregious that in one evening, our council, at John McAllister's encouragement, can upend and change the fundamental usage of our public parks with NO PUBLIC INPUT!
He himself was one of the law breakers, ignoring the known leash laws at Cooper park. Let me repeat that part: He and others IGNORED the known leash laws they didn't agree with. This behavior is a clear window to view a person's moral makeup and how they respect or disrespect the rule of law in our society.
Aside from this disturbing behavior, there is no way such a radical change to the usage rules of our parks should have come about without any input from the public.
I agree with others about the liability risk this creates for the city, the dog owners, and all involved. I'm also sure the yellow scratch pads of the personal injury lawyers are already being filled with names and groups.
Regardless if it is a good or bad idea, the execution of it ham fisted, leaving many users feeling as if their parks were just taken away from them.
It needed public input.
What an unbelievably stupid idea.
Unfenced? Really? Can't believe any responsible dog owner would support such an unsafe idea.
For their safety and that of others: a)keeping your dog under control at all times and b)a fenced back yard are two of the basics of having a dog and listed in the Humane Society's list of Dog Care Essentials: (Web Link). Yes, dogs do need space to play, socialize, and exercise, but not in an unfenced area.
Just this past Sunday morning I watched with horror as a dog shot through the intersection at Shoreline and Church St. to rejoin with its off leash pals at Eagle Park. Obviously it wasn't under control.
Really bad idea and an imposition on other users of our parks.
So only the south of town gets to try the experiment? What about the rest of us? And c'mon, every park near Grant seems to get one - Cooper, Bubb, Cuesta - even though one could serve that whole area, but no pilot parks above 85 or Shoreline?
I agree that the public input on this was lacking.
There was a reason for the leash law to exist. Will some people always ignore it? Yes. But having the law with most people following it is better than no law at all. For most of the reasons stated above, doing away with the leash law is not the answer. Lots of people who do NOT own dogs use the parks too and should be considered. Yes, there are LOTS of dogs in the city (a lot more than there used to be because there are more people). This is another one of the reasons that the leash laws should be kept on the books.
As a Palo Alto resident who uses many parks, I would like to see a ban on long leashes. I often see dogs tied on a long leash allowed to run around and tie themselves in knots around strollers, picnic tables, etc. They can also trip people and rush over to young children. These things are a dangerous menace.
Notices were posted at the Cuesta Park bowl about the meetings to discuss off lease areas. A lengthy and well attended meeting was held by the Parks and Rec Commission before their recommendation was passed to the City Council. City Staff did an excellent presentation of other dog parks in various cities with their regulations. There were articles as well in the Voice. The word was sent out. Sorry if you missed it.
Notices in the bowl area at Cuesta? I avoid that area as it's already an unleashed dog area.
Can you link to the articles (plural) you reference that were run in the Voice in advance of this decision?
Why did Council push this through in one meeting? Concerned about backlash? That's completely non-transparent government on a major quality of life issue. Shame on them.
At a minimum, I'd hope the Council would do the right thing and scale back this pilot to fewer parks...especially at Bubb Park, where kids walk on the way to school.
With this pilot, less than 1pct of city park square footage will be open to off leash dogs. It makes me sad to hear the intolerant comments in this thread. Thank goodness the parks dept and council do not listen to these baseless fears. You should be ashamed of yourselves!
Thousands of dogs in Mtn View deserve time to play and socialize. Thank you City of MV for running this pilot!
Some dont like dogs. I dont like being forced to hear the shrill screeching of obnoxious children running around unsupervised as they do every day in every park. Nor do I have use for their willfully ignorant parents who let them run wild while jabbering away on yet another insipid cellphone conversation. Where is my special park? I pay property tax for hoardes of ratty children whose parents are eternal renters. What is the city doing for me?
@ captain howdy. I totally agree. I bet you're a blast at parties. You wanna hang out? I share the same views as you, but I don't have many friends and never get invited to parties. Not sure why. _YOU_ sound like more fun than a box of puppies though :)
Thank you, "He Should Have Asked First" I could not have said it better! I agree with all that the opponents of this ill thought out plan for our city.
Our parks are most certainly going to the dogs.
This is a great idea! Thank you for decriminalizing what so many residents wish to do. Ignore the naysayers--they are just selfish.
Next up, red light running to be OK for cyclists. C'mon council lets begin "decriminalizing what so many residents wish to do."
We need red light cameras at every intersection and automatic speed traps on every street, because all laws must be complied with 100 percent!
Thousands of people died last year in Mountain View from off-leash dogs. I don't have proof because of a government conspiracy!
Nobody died of cannabis smoking either so lets allow that in parks too. Everyone is already doing it.
We can pick and chose what laws we obey here in MV. Ask John McAllister, he did it all the time.
Choose your own laws! The derps have won!
I saw someone drive 26mph in a 25mph zone. They are lawbreakers just like McAllister. Round 'em up!
Yep, and they enforce those speed laws. Perfect example.
Now we have a new in our parks regarding leash laws. OK:
This means if you have your dog off leash at Bubb, Cooper, Eagle, of McKelvey after 10:00am on weekdays or at any time during the weekend, you are in violation and subject to citation.
Lets see how these unselfish responsible dog owners obey this part. Cameras will be rolling.
Also, residents as a reminder: The law states that the dogs must be in control so ANY event which causes an injury to a child, dog or adult must be reported so that the legal proceedings can start on solid foundations.
Believe me, if mr happy dog runs over my elderly Dad and knocks him down, you will learn much about your responsibilities as a dog owner.
This type of arrangement works well in other countries and there is no reason why without a little tweaking it won't work here.
The tweaking should be done so that there are no dogs offleash during school commute hours, so between 6.00 - 7.30 am would make more sense than until 10.00 am.
Dogs who are well exercised and socialized do a lot better than dogs who are always fenced or leashed. This is a generalization of course, but in my experience works well, not that I am a dog owner at present. A couple of hours morning and evening to allow responsible dog owners to use the parks that they pay towards for upkeep should be fine and those who are nervous around dogs know when to avoid the parks.
I agree with dogs using the parks at only certain hours butI think there just has to be a fenced area
I don't think everyone on this thread realize the limited scope of this pilot.
This is the list of parks are the ones selected:
Bubb, Cooper, Eagle, McKelvey, Whisman and Cuesta(including Cuesta Annex)
Here is a list of all the other parks within Mountain View where it will remain a crime to let a dog go off-leash.
Castro Park, Charleston Park, Chetwood Park, Creekside Park, Crittenden Park, Dana Park, Del Medio Park, Devonshire Park, Fairmont Park, Gemello Park, Graham Athletic Field, Huff School/Park, Jackson Park, Klein Park, Landels Park, Magnolia Park, Mariposa Park, Mercy-Bush Park, Monta Loma Park, Pioneer Park, Rengstorff Park & Pool, Rex-Manor Park, San Veron Park, Shoreline at Mountain View, Sierra Vista Park, Slater School/Park, Springer School/Park, Stevenson Park, Sylvan Park, Thaddeus Park, Varsity Park
That makes only 6 parks that have been selected for this limited pilot, while 31 parks remain 100% off-leash.
Only a small piece of each park has been designated an off-leash area. Most areas within each of the 6 parks will have the leash law in place.
With the exception of Cuesta and Whisman, each of the other 4 pilot parks will not have all-day off-leash access. So, 4 of the 6 pilot parks will only be open for four hours a day to off-leash dogs. One area within Cuesta will have all-day off-leash access and Whisman will have additional time in the evening.
I hope this puts into perspective the limited nature of the pilot.
The problem wont be the pilot program.
The problem will be all the people who ignore the house of the program.
Bubb park was full of off leashed dogs this weekend. By law they should not have ben there.
After work ours at Bubb park dogs are seen off leash frequently.
By law those dogs should be leashed during this time frame.
New laws do NOTHING unless they are enforced. How do you show enforcement? Why with tickets!!!
I fully expect the police to be citing offenders during this pilot, to drill home the fact that times have changed in the parks and now if you break the leash laws, you will be cited with a upwards sliding scale of fines for repeat offenders.
Now that the rules for the leash laws are in effect, it means that there is NO off leash dog walking in the afternoon/evenings and weekend in Bubb Park.
**REPEAT: Walking dogs off-leash in Bubb park on weekends or afternoon/evenings is ILLEGAL.
If you are a considerate neighbor you will abide by these laws.
If you are not, I'll be there with my video camera to interview you and remind you about the laws. These identifying videos will later be presented to the council and my website.
The public parks and school fields have been overrun by off-leash dogs and their owners who have a huge sense of entitlement. Even when the fields are being used by a youth sports practice like soccer or softball, the dog owners are out there acting like the youth sports are encroaching on THEIR park! As was previously mentioned, the biggest problem is the dogs doing their business in the fields which are supposed to be used by people!
The ban on all off-leash dogs from all parks 100 percent of the time has not worked. Why? Because it is unreasonable. Unreasonable laws are generally not respected by the citizenry, nor by law enforcement. (Prohibition sound familiar?)) There are thousands of dog owners that wish to exercise their dogs off-leash in the parks that they pay for.
Setting aside a few areas in a few parks for a period of time will provide a legal way to meet the needs of their pet without having to break the law.
"What about the owners that don't clean up after their pet?"
Well, ever see any trash on the ground in parks (bottles, cigarette butts, etc.)? Someone littered. Does that mean all people should be banned from parks? Of course not. See someone not pick up after their dog? Go talk to them! All the dog owners I know clean up after their pet. If you must..report them!
"What about dog parks? Why can't the owners take their dog there?"
Dog parks can be OK for many, but not all dogs. Mountain View has a big one that is all the way over next to Shoreline Park. It is a very long distance to drive for almost every resident, especially during Google rush hour. There's a new tiny one up at "The Villages". With mounting traffic, that can be quite a drive for many residents. Some of the pilot parks are within walking distance of many homes, which is the preference of pet owners (walking, not driving).
Want to lay a blanket down and picnic with your dog off-leash? Very impracticable to do at a dog park. Is your dog a bit fearful of others? The dog parks are not great for that, but a quiet corner in a regular park can be wonderful.
Today is the first day of the off-leash pilot program. Looking out the window, I see the sky has not yet fallen. Fingers crossed! Woof!
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