Letters to the editor (6/30)

When a dog’s owner is its worst enemy

If the photo nearby doesn’ make you angry, you need either new glasses or a sensitivity upgrade. The poor animal in the picture has been tethered to a signpost in the full glare of a noonday sun, on a sidewalk that would fry bacon. The shadow near the dog is the edge of a huge, shaded expanse within which the owner could just as easily have tied the dog to any number of posts–or to the tree that’s providing the shade.

I came upon this scene on 20th Street last Monday (June 20), and stopped to provide the dog with some shade. Others had also noticed the situation, brough water and soon produced the dog’s owner, who grew defensive at comparisons to leaving a child in a sealed car. The owner insisted that the dog “is just fine,” though it wasn’t quite clear exactly how the animal conveyed this.

This is not an isolated incident. I’ve seen numerous instances of dog negligence on New York sidewalks–once in Chelsea, where someone had left a black lab tied to a sign post, again within spitting distance of a shade tree, while the owner enjoyed a leisurely visit to Starbucks. This instance was particularly abusive because of the dog’s color: black absorbs more heat than lighter hues.

This being New York City, some folks need reminding that a dog is not a fashion accessory, and that animal cruelty comes in many forms, some involving sheer negligence. Yes, the world has bigger things to worry about–things like international money laundering and Newt Gingrich. But animal neglect is unforgivable precisely because it’s an easy problem to avoid, with just a little compassion, some modest effort and some common sense.

–Chris Gay, PCV

More work to do on dog issues

The story in the June 9 issue of Town & Village regarding Rose management’s proposed policy for dog owners states that representatives from management “have already met with the Tenants Association on the issue.”

While members of the TA Board and its Maintenance Committee have had meetins with Rose to discuss–among other quality of life issues–dogs in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, we have no developed or endorsed any plan.

Most dog owners are meticulous about following the rules and using common sense. Unfortunately, a few owners flout the rules.

New York City’s rules for dogs in the parks, which make sense in our park-like setting, restate the obviouspooper scooper and six-foot maximum leash laws but also include the reminder that urine damages grass and trees (and, of course, flowers) and ask people to remember that “others may be afraid of your dog.”

We look forward to working with management in developing a policy that encourages pet owners to respect the property so that all residents together enjoy the beauty, privacy and many pleasures our community has to offer.

–Al Doyle, President of ST/PCV Tenants Association

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