Our story on San Mateo County’s plans to educate, and perhaps cite, people who walk off-leash dogs in county parks brought a wave of online commentary. It sparked as much debate as anything we’ve published recently. Here is a sample.
“We dog-owners, who believe that dogs (especially young and energetic ones) thrive when they are able to exercise and play and socialize with other dogs off-leash, are only asking for fair access to our county parks. San Mateo County is the only county with zero sanctioned off-leash spaces. San Mateo County Parks should look for guidance from our neighboring counties for directions with dog management!”
“The nature of the Coastside is not full amenities. Things like playgrounds, dog parks and athletic facilities have traditionally been in short supply. In its place is human-modified natural surrounding with many invasive non-native species, and damaging human use, including illegal dumping, off-road motorized vehicles, illegal firearm use, partying and dogs off-leash uncontrolled by humans. There are sensitive habitats. San Mateo County doesn’t have infinitive resources to correct all these past abuses … or quickly provide pet amenities for this or that special interest group.”
— Vince Williams
“Yes, ‘education’ is ‘1984’ speech for ‘warning.’ At the Midcoast Community Council meeting on June 12, the Parks person was offered real education from people with lots of dog experience, both as professionals and dog owners, but it was completely ignored. Given how many people in the county are dog owners, it is baffling how the Parks personnel and county supervisors seem to have no knowledge of dog health and care.”
“If the coast loses Quarry Park and the bluffs as off-leash areas, the reality is that people will crowd into other areas to walk off-leash. County Parks has not considered the impacts of (these) actions on nearby open space. County Parks should be working with the community to manage, not banning off-leash at Quarry and the bluffs.”