I have to go to NYC to walk my dog!

Dear Editor:

I am very concerned with the ongoing disregard of our city laws. I am, of course, referring to ordinance 93-22: “Dogs in public parks or public playgrounds. No dogs or other animals, leashed or unleashed, are permitted in any public park or playground except to bring directly to and directly from a city dog run, without diversion, in any public park.”

I cannot tell you how often I see this law flagrantly being ignored. I walk through our lovely parks, and I see people strolling the paths with their dogs, stopping to talk to one another, lingering at park benches, stooping to the ground surrounded by small children who want to pet their dog…there is no end to the “diversion” that occurs. And most of these people do not seem to even have the intention of bringing their dog “directly to and directly from a city dog run.”

Why most of these people seem to be idly walking through the parks with no inclination of even entering the foul, urine-soaked, gravel-strewn, limited confines of the city dog run. Some actually sit on the benches and talk to each other, their dogs placidly lying at their feet. Why is there no action being taken?

I have been a resident of Hoboken for over 20 years and am myself a dog owner. I would never dream of taking my dog into a Hoboken park and disregarding the law in such blatant ways. I am proud that my tax dollars are paying for our public parks so that others may enjoy them. I know that I do not deserve to share this enjoyment – I own a dog and with that comes the knowledge that I must obey the laws and ordinances of our fair metropolis and travel outside of my home city to walk my pet. I take my dog on the ferry and we go to Central Park – one of the largest urban parks in one of the greatest cities in the world. There and only there, do I walk my dog, sit on benches, indulge children in petting him. Why, we even (GASP) walk on the grass! Yes, in Central Park – this beautifully maintained and historic landscape – they allow my dog’s little feet to touch the precious grass. He walks the hills and dales cohabited by other dogs, adults and children. The grass is not dead from dog urine, the children all seem to have their tiny limbs intact despite the proximity to the possibility of vicious dog bites, and they seem at least on the surface, to not be suffering from any disease contracted by their dainty skin touching ground that was trod on by four egged creatures.

I was smart enough to procure a small dog that is easily transported to neighboring towns and cities where we can enjoy their parks. Others weren’t as wise – many have larger dogs that they cannot bring outside of Hoboken on public transportation. To them I advise, put the dog down! You live in Hoboken! Be thankful for our dog-free parks and recreation areas! Do not tempt yourself to loiter in these parks as you traverse “directly to and directly from a city dog run, without diversion.”

I am proud to live in a city that supports the limiting of our enjoyment of the few green areas that we do have, and I hope and fully expect to soon see the day when dogs are entirely banned from our fair streets. I will be the first in line to comply and will willingly give away my sweet little puppy, Ernesto. If it makes more room for double wide strollers on our sidewalks, I can only say, “Progress, I salute you!”

Ann Vitolo


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