Letter: Gazette is wrong to criticize off-leash dog-walkers

It is the season of the off-leash-dog-bashing editorials again in the JP Gazette. (“Unleash the dog-walking talk,” June 7.) I shake my head in utter amazement at the regularity (and repetitiveness) of these rants. JP is home to so much green space—more than any other part of Boston—yet, if dog owners dare to let their dogs run free (OMG) everyone needs to call the animal patrol.

The argument, as I see it, is simply that, “It’s the law.” Yet, I would venture to say that 100 percent of the drivers in our wonderful city ignore speed limits at some point each day. The point being that we all do what we think is “acceptable” within the eyes of the law. That might mean letting a dog run free in the early morning on a ball field before any games start—or driving over 30 m.p.h. on the Jamaicaway. Of course, there are those who will speed far beyond what is acceptable, and there are those who will let their dogs soil and not clean up. Everything in moderation. JP Gazette, that includes your editorials on those unruly dog owners who let their dogs run free. To blithely state that the answer is in a few off-leash parks is folly at best. In all of Boston there are three off-leash parks. Three. Currently, I’ve been involved with trying to start a new one—and at even the basic level of initiating the process we’ve encountered push-back.

So, next time you find yourself reaching for your phone to call Animal Control because you spy someone playing ball with their dog off-leash, ask yourself if you followed every law that day. Did you drive the speed limit?  Did you pay “use tax” on that Internet purchase? Did you follow all the traffic rules while riding your bike? I suspect that in every instance you’ll find the answer to be “no.” Reserve those phone calls for truly egregious acts—not just the ones that will make you feel morally superior while being hypocritical.

Ken Pope

Jamaica Plain

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