March 30, 2009

Rude dog owners must be stopped

I want to applaud the city for finally taking action against out-of-control dog owners in Mount Vernon who do not respect our parks ("Dogs on the run," March 20).

I am a long-term resident of Mount Vernon and love my neighborhood dearly. I have watched as some dog owners have let their dogs recklessly destroy our once-beautiful common areas and parks. West Park, two blocks from my house, has become stripped of grass and often looks and smells like a canine toilet. Residents watch as huge dogs tear up flowers that the local ladies plant and urinate on the grass right where our children are playing. When you ask the offending owners to put a leash on their dogs, as the law stipulates, you get nothing but rudeness.

For us city dwellers, this is our common front yard, and it is unfair that others should be allowed to turn it into an unpleasant, fetid mess that no one can enjoy.

Lyle Nash, Baltimore

Problems illustrate need for dog parks

The article "Dogs on the run" (March 20) is one more illustration of the problems created by the lack of safe areas in Baltimore for dogs to exercise without having a negative impact on area residents.

I have been working for several years with a dedicated group of volunteers trying to get a fenced dog park in Patterson Park of a size adequate for the needs of the neighborhood. In spite of overwhelming support from the community, demonstrated in surveys, neighborhood meetings and petitions, it is still an uphill struggle.

I am aware that in the current economic climate, dog parks might not be at the top of the priority list for expenditures. Our group has always been willing to raise the money required to build and maintain a dog park in Patterson Park. What we need first is the city's go-ahead.

Baltimore needs to catch up with what most other major cities learned long ago: Dog parks are a major asset to urban neighborhoods.

Dottye Burt-Markowitz, Baltimore

Why large breeds in an urban area?

All the dogs pictured in the photos accompanying the article "Dogs on the run" (March 20) are medium or large breeds. It would seem to me that concerned dog owners who reside in the city would choose breeds more appropriate for the confined spaces of an urban environment. It not only seems logical but more humane. Dog owners shouldn't complain about the lack of space to run their large dogs when they live in a city.

Joseph M. Koper, Hunt Valley

Woman's deed not very uplifting

Dan Rodricks wants us to celebrate a woman making a financially imprudent decision while deceiving her husband so that a girl who has more than most 17-year-old girls in the rest of the world can get "cool clothing" ("Uplifting deed means more in down economy," March 15)?

Well at least she saved 10 percent.

Jason Atkins, Laurel

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