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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.