Shaw Dog Park Committee Dealing with Limits on Numbers

by Borderstan.com March 11, 2010 at 5:00 am 1,298 5 Comments

Luis Gomez Photos dc pet photographers Lupe Shaw Dogs

Shaw Dog Park volunteers were able to keep the dog park open every day in February, even during Snowpocalypse. Rudolph (rear) and Lupe enjoy a snowy day at the park. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The main topic of discussion at the February 24 meeting of the Shaw Dog Park Committee was the rule limiting the number of dogs one person may bring to the park. The issue has been particularly important recently due to reports of a professional dog walker bringing up to 10 dogs to the park and a related incident that is alleged to have occurred at the park (details below).

The Shaw Dog Park Committee meetings are open to the public and usually held on the third Wednesday of the month at Hotel Helix on Rhode Island Avenue. Visit Shaw Dogs for more information about the group and the dog park on the 1600 block of 11th Street NW between Q and R Streets.

Here is the committee’s report on the February 24 meeting:

  1. At the monthly public meeting of the Shaw Dog Park Committee on 2/24 the committee discussed with MPD Officer Totaro the 2/18 incident at the dog park where a commercial dog walker with more than 10 dogs verbally abused and pushed one of our volunteers, and then falsely accused our volunteer of assault to the police.
  2. As a result of this incident, the committee will ask DPR to install a permanent sign prominently on the park gate reminding users of the 3 dog limit (per handler). The 3 dog limit at DC dog parks is a DC-wide municipal regulation (DCMR Title 19, Chapter 7, section 735.9) imposed for safety reasons. While the Shaw Dog Park Committee actively supports the 3-dog limit, it is important to understand that the limit is not simply a rule imposed by the committee nor a rule that applies only to Shaw Dog Park.
  3. The committee suggests that volunteers and regular users of Shaw Dog Park exercise caution if they bring the 3 dog limit to the attention of commercial dog walkers violating the limit at the park. Park users are encouraged to avoid altercations with commercial dog walkers (or any other park user) and to call [Department of Parks and Recreation] DPR’s Park Rangers at 202-441-2605 to report violations of the 3-dog limit or other dog park regulations. They should also email the Supervising Ranger at [email protected] and the committee at [email protected], so we have a record of these violations.
  4. While MPD is not currently able jurisdictionally to enforce DC’s Dog Park Regulations, DPR’s Park Rangers can issue “barring notices” against those violating rules at DC Dog Parks.
  5. Park users are encouraged to call MPD on 911 should they ever feel their safety is threatened at the dog park, just as they would in any other public situation in which they feel threatened. It is very important to MPD’s ability (and to the committee’s ability) to effectively support dog park users that a police report be filed any time a dog park user is threatened by a commercial dog walker or any other park user at the dog park.

  • BearDown

    The difference between the Shaw Dog park and 17th Street Dog Park is amazing. I can only guess that it is due to the fact that Shaw has a strong group of volunteers. Whenever I have been to Shaw with a friend and his dog, it seems organized and sane.

    At 17th Street, it seems to be chaos. A bunch of yuppies standing around chatting on their i-Phones or eating lunch while their dogs fight and crap all over the place. As best I can tell, no one even attempts to enforce the 12-dogs-in-the-park limit.

    My friend says he only takes his dog to 17th when he cannot make it over to Shaw.

  • Concerned DogOwner

    There’s nothing wrong with the situation at the S Street Park. What you’re viewing as chaos is the dogs having a grand time. What may look to a non-dog owner as ‘fighting’ is ususally just plain old socialization among the dogs. Unless back hairs are raised up, there really isn’t a problem … and they rarely do get raised up in the S Street Park. (No more frequently than on the 11th Street Park … And I’ve been to both.)

    And as for the 12 dog limit, I’ve heard at community meetings that that sign is incorrect. The real rule as brokered by the ANC when that park was planned was a max of 20 dogs … And it’s being enforced with what is called the 20 20 rule. If there are 20 or more dogs in the park, then you’re only supposed to stay 20 minutes max in the park.

    Overall it’s been a success. My only gripe is that with all the taxes we pay the District, they should take more direct responsibility for the park’s upkeep and not rely on volunteers. Ditto for the bags. Friendship Animal Hospital donates them. But why? The District should be paying for and supplying the bags. Would we expect parents of students in our school system to clean their students’ classrooms or buy the textbooks and other supplies? Most of us who have dogs and use the dog parks don’t have children. Why do we get second class treatment in respect to our “children”? We pay taxes here tpp and should be treated equitably.

  • Heathers

    I love Shaw Dog Park. But, I still don’t understand why volunteers (and they are great) have to take care of the dog parks in D.C. This is an unfair burden and the operations should be handled by our parks department.

    Only in DC can you pay a butt-load of taxes and then have to take care of public parks and shovel everything in sight during snowstorms.

  • Daveboy

    Does anyone know about Circle Dogs, what’s up with the group? I have not seen anyone from the group at the 17th Street dog park. Or else I am missing something. Who do we talk to about something related to the park?

  • Jessica

    Are you kidding, DogOwner? The neighbors lobbied for the park and the agreement is that the members of Circle Dogs maintain the mark unless there is a structural/product problem. That is how it should be.

    We pay taxes, and as a result the District spend what a normal person would think is a ridiculous amount of money in a rich neighborhood in a bad economy on a DOG PARK.

    It’s our job to take care of it, but it is also Circle Dogs responsibility to, you know, show up, get people together to clean, etc. They’re a useless bunch of donothings who only want to advance their own agendas.

    there desperately needs to be people who represent Circle Dogs at the park to reinforce the rules. First fights, the police being called…they do NOTHING. And they want donations?


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