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Wrap Up of Sunday’s 17th Street Dog Park “Emergency” Meeting

by Borderstan.com November 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm 5 Comments

Neighbor Julie–who often attends dog park meetings–made it to Sunday’s “emergency” meeting regarding Dupont Circle’s 17th Street dog park. Here is her report.

Attendees included Mike Silverstein, ANC 2B/Dupont Chair, Bob Meehan, ANC commissioner, board members from Circle Dogs DC, Shaw Dogs Co-Chair Andrea Doughty, Sgt. John McDonald of PSA 208, and many community members and dog owners. The meeting was, in content, essentially a repeat of the meeting early in October. No new issues were raised, there was a review of the three main issues and discussion about proposed solutions:

  1. The operating hours of the park and the sporadic locking/unlocking of the gates. At present, it has been agreed that the currently posted hours will stay in effect until the other issues are resolved. Circle Dogs DC has solicited volunteers for their “key committee” and the locking and unlocking of the gates should be observed more regularly and reliably.
  2. The neighbor’s complaints about the noise of excessive barking. This issue was stickier. The neighbors are very hot under the collar about the noise of “constantly” barking dogs.  On the other side, some dog owners feel that an expectation of no barking is unrealistic. It was proposed that signs be posted indicating that excessive barking be curbed.
  3. Health concerns regarding the regular spraying of the park with antibacterial spray. The Circle Dogs DC board members indicated that this is no longer an issue as the park is regularly and thoroughly sprayed at least once a week.

There was a lot of discussion regarding better self-management of the dog-owner community and ways that can be achieved. There will be a follow-up meeting hosted by Circle Dogs DC to flesh out additional rules for the dog park and ways to enforce them. The date of this meeting is not yet set.

  • Jessica

    As someone who lives across the street and used to enjoy the park, there is excessive barking. I own a dog, and while she doesn’t bark and mild barking doesn’t bother me, but never being able to sleep in again until I move is pretty shitty. I did value my quality of life…and yes I know “cities are loud” as I’ve lived in them most of my life.

    There are ways to work with your dog to curb excessive barking, which for the most part is improper behavior. As I said in the meeting, your dog doesn’t want to spend 45 minutes at a park barking. I hope that Circle Dogs (or the Humane Society) can work with pet owners to give them the tools they need to work on ways to curb excessive barking.

    Additionally, owners need to recognize that going to the park every day as your dog’s only way to ‘get out’ is not best for your dog. It seems like people have stopped walking their dogs because the park is there. Walk your dog! Run with your dog! I know you can’t use your blackberry while you do those things, but your dog will be healthier with a more varied set activities in its life.

  • I agree that trips to the dog park — any dog park — are NOT a substitute for walking them. Dumping your dog in the dog park while you do something else is the same thing as putting your dog in a back yard and never walking him/her. Walking your dog is an important part of teaching your dog discipline and showing them who is boss.

  • CoHi Neighbor

    Thanks Julie for the meeting summary!

    Just as fish swim and birds fly, dogs by their very nature walk – as so do humans, which is why they evolved with us so well. Going to a dog park should not serve as a substitute for this essential activity. It should be seen as a treat for good behavior while on leash.

  • anti-bacterial

    Might “regular spraying of the park with antibacterial spray”
    lead to drug resistant bacteria”?

    Like overdosing adults with antibiotics, might this practice become an unintended consequence for the dogs and those who hang around them?

  • Emilio

    Thanks Julie for the report.

    I agree with several of the post that the park should not be asubstitute for giving your dog the exercise it needs and deserves.

    My particular issue with dog owners is:

    If the park is for the dogs to run around and play abit why do most owners stand right in the middle of the park??? either texting or chatting which all can be done on the sidelines. You allow the dogs more access to play and actually can keep a better eye on your dog. seriously now!

    I can no longer/will no longer take my dog near the park in the late afternoons/evenings because it just impossible to keep track of the dog/dogs with everyone standing around in their way. can this be discussed?


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