Irresponsible Dog Owners Leave Their Marks

Irresponsible Dog Owners (IDOs) leave their marks in the park, whether they realize it or not. Two recent cases in point: a killed and maimed rabbit, and a big dog poop right in the middle of the paved perimeter walkway. Add these to the items in the Off-leash Movie.

Photographer John Davis took this hard-to-look-at photo on the east side of the park in the grass on April 2. Warning, not pretty. Note that the rear legs of the rabbit are broken up and one bone appears chewed on. This is very similar to the dog kill I photographed in 2017, also hard to look at. Hard to look at, but necessary to see. This is what happens when owners let their dogs off leash It is not the dogs’ fault; they are hunters and carnivores by nature. The blood of this rabbit is on the hands of the dog’s owner.

Rabbit with rear legs broken and probably chewed on

The other calling card of an irresponsible dog owner was on the paved trail also on the eastern side of the park the same day. I almost stepped into it myself.

This photo illustrates another benefit that certain dog owners get when they let their dogs off leash. They don’t have to see what the animal does, and what they don’t see they don’t have to pick up.

This kind of evidence of dog owner behavior lends support to the belief that I hear expressed more and more from park visitors, namely that dogs ought to be barred from the park altogether. Obviously appealing to dog owners’ better nature, and prayers to parks management to please repair signs and build fences, are not having any effect. One Berkeley resident said to me the other day, why not let the dog owners have the Brickyard? And then no dogs in Cesar Chavez Park at all, off leash or on leash, zero. She was mad. And she’s not the only one.

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