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39 Comments

  1. 1

    MKK

    It’s time for a fenced in park.

  2. 2

    DKP

    Nothing new here. Looks as though the poll at the end of the article may be slightly biased as it doesn’t present an option for leaving the Brookhaven park “as-is”. There are dozens of other parks in the area that non dog-owners can use for family picnics if they take issue with the dogs, many of which are within a mile or two of Brookhaven park.

  3. 3

    The Brookhaven Post

    No bias intended. There is a leash-law in place so the questions are asking whether to enforce the law or to not enforce the law. The Post has no opinion either way.

  4. 4

    Riley OConnor

    Back in the day, years ago, the “dog park” issue was already in active discussion, along with the related issues of loose dogs. In the 1980’s, DeKalb County Animal Control officers would dress up in basketball attire and go to Brookhaven Park, pretending to shoot hoops. When someone let their dog loose, they would come on over and write a citation. This would result in what can only be described as “paranoia” in the dog runner crowd. Eventually, this practice went away, but the paranoia has persisted.

    There’s something about dogs, and being a cat owner, I don’t really get it. On our neighborhood online discussion list, periodic firefights break out, and almost always the subject is either noise or dogs. I do understand that most dogs need to get out and burn off some energy. And that any pet becomes like your child, an object of great attention and affection.

    And, by the way, there is another dog park at Mason Mill Park, with plans for further development:

    http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/parks/pr-mason-mill-park.html

  5. 5

    MKK

    Prepare for hyper-emotional arguments and rationalizations made by dog people in 3…2…1

  6. 6

    Toff

    Novel concept, enforce the law on the books..

  7. 7

    Marty

    I find it quite funny a select few folks are complaining about dogs running up to them while using the park to exercise. You must of interviewed the 3 people who use it for walking or exercising. I was told the park has a 100 year trust with 40 left on it. I think before the city goes ahead with their proposed improvements they should send out a questionnaire to the residents who live within a 5 mile radius and let them decide on what to do with the park. Most dog owners who frequent the park take their dog to watch him/her interact with other friendly dogs — that’s what they do. There’s very few dog owners there that aren’t monitoring their dog.

  8. 8

    Bob

    Marty,

    Will you pay for my medical bills when your unleashed pet bites me? Or my child? What a stupid and totally insensitive thing to say. Agree with the ability to have public meetings on use but with the city at large, not just those in a 5 mile radius. I can assure you there will be many who are sick and tired of being afraid to walk around that park because you and those like you do not follow the law much less clean up the dog crap your little bundle of joy leaves behind.

    Would you think it would be ok if my little boy crapped on the ground at the park and didn’t clean it up? Or run up to you and sniffed your sandwich while trying to have a picnic in the park? Would you be ok with my child running up to you and biting at your legs while you run through the park?

    The park is for every HUMAN BEING that use it LAWFULLY. You and your untethered fido are nuisances and obnoxious. When there is a designated place, use it to your hearts content. Until then, follow the damn law and be responsible.

    AND, to Brookhaven leaders and Police, just let me or my child get bitten or my on leash pet get bitten. I promise you there will be a law suit. This goes for you too Dekalb. ENFORCE YOUR LAWS!

    Sincerely,

    Robert Cline, a responsible ON-LEASH pet owner and Brookhaven Park visitor.

  9. 9

    Terrye

    Dogs, construction, overgrown grass, illegal parking……it seems the discretion of citing and fining is left to the person available to respond to violations. If there is an ordinance, ENFORCE the ordinance. Otherwise, rip up the piece of paper it is written on. No different than telling a child or adult there are consequences for a action and they repeat the action because all they get is a slap on the hand. Just another idle threat. We have too many idle threats and no action in Brookhaven! Let’s reward bad behavior and let everyone else suffer.

    If I hear one more time it is up to the discretion of an officer to write a citiation when I continue to call to complain about after hours construction work, I think I may ask about their discretion when they pull me over for the 5th time for speeding. I think they should let drive off, tell me to have a nice day and follow the law. I haven’t been pulled over for speeding. Just making a point.

    I realize this is getting off the topic as far as the park. It all goes back to the intended use of the park and why we have laws and city ordinances. Any time I have called an officer, they are very nice and respectful when they arrive. It appears those in violation have a second, third and fourth chance before they are cited, if they are ever cited.

    I don’t want to hear they aren’t ready to write a citation over illegal parking or parking which does not allow a fire truck access to the end of our street OR the construction after hours , disobeying weekend hours and someone who decided to crank up the power equipment at 8 a.m on Labor Day. If there is a language barrier, learn the English language. I can tell you, mention the word fine or jail to someone with a language barrier, it is amazing they manage to speak the English language fast.

    As you can tell, I don’t believe in chance after chance and no consequences except for those of us who try and follow the rules. Why continue to protect those in violation. Do the citizens have to start policing the streets, the parks, and other violations?

    Obviously I am not happy with a third phone call for the Labor Day construction worker and his power equipment. Once again I am told the contractor is not the boss and if “he” comes back out again “he” will write a citation. But if another officer comes out, it is at their discretion.

    What a great system.

  10. 10

    Guest

    We can’t pick and chose which ordinance we want enforced and which ones we want to see let slide. This puts our Police in a tough spot. It’s an ordinance for a reason and should be enforced.

  11. 11

    Guest

    Your comment is ironic because it’s typically your comments that are “hyper-emotional”. Especially when it comes to your dog….

  12. 12

    Guest

    I wonder since the park is owned by the county if BPD can issue City ordinance citations? Trey?

  13. 13

    The Brookhaven Post

    The park is in Brookhaven’s jurisdiction.

  14. 14

    Marty

    Pretty funny reply Bob,

    Not trying to be insensitive just stating the facts. There’s very few people who use that park for walking or exercising unless they’re there to play frisbee football, whiffle ball, or some other organized activity. Like I stated in my original post Bob, most people there are responsible dog owners and do pick up after their dog.

    You seem to be one of those people who just like to bitch about anything you can find to bitch about.

    I think it might be a good idea to allot certain times during the day for dogs and other times for people like Bob.

  15. 15

    ELM

    Thank you Robert! I’m sick of hearing the excuse that no one else uses it. We don’t use it because we can’t! People, children and dogs alike have ALL been attacked over the last 6 months. This park is steps from my home and my children and family cannot enjoy it due to the irrational and irresponsible dog owners. It’s disgusting and unsafe. You are spot on and it’s a huge risk for the city. The laws and signage are there for a reason and should be enforced.

  16. 16

    Saul

    So ELM both park users and police ignore the posted signage at the park?

  17. 17

    Anti dog park Brookhaven Post Bias

    Post,

    This article reads and feels like a planned hit piece against the folks who enjoy the park as a “dog park”. Earlier you mentioned know bias intended. You cite a situation from Labor Day which clearly means you intended writing this article for sometime. Or are all your articles written in a day? There are plenty of other parks nearby that are actually design for kids to play and you can even exercise if you’d like. Some of the comments paint gross accusations that people are “attacked” or they feel threatened. Here’s the reality some parks are designed for baseball, tennis, walking trails, fishing etc… There happens to be one that’s great for dogs and it’s used daily while the others seem vacant. Most of the negative comments are from miserable people who will never be happen know matter what the park becomes. You can’t appease someone who is naturally miserable so a good life lesson is don’t try!

  18. 18

    Paige

    It blows my mind that the park is in my backyard and my family (2 kids, husband, and a dog) can not enjoy it because of very disrespectful dog owners. I would never let my dog run around the park off leash. #1. it’s against the law. #2. I would not want my dog to infringe on someone else enjoying the park.

  19. 19

    HMM

    Personally I’m not a huge fan of dog parks, though I do believe that if there is a huge demand from dog owners they should organize and do things legally.

    An official, organized group of volunteers [Friends of Name Dogpark] in my experience is the best way to keep established dog parks clean, enjoyable and safe.

    Organized self-policing goes a long way.

  20. 20

    The Brookhaven Post

    Thank you for your comment. I have been covering Brookhaven considering making a portion of the Park a dog park since 2013 when it was first discussed shortly after city hood. Use the search function and you will find several.

    Whether the park ever has a dog park is up to the city and the citizens they answer to. There is no hit piece here and yes, articles are sometimes written in a day and others take a period of time as this one did.

    Remember, we have reported people adamantly in support of off leash dogs at the park and people who are not. If you feel strongly about it one way or another, feel free to send in an editorial of your own. You will have to use your real name though.

    And I don’t mind you taking a swipe at me or The Post. It comes with the territory.

    Your passion for this issue is appreciated however might I suggest it would be much better represented if you voiced your opinion, as yourself, in a commentary as a single voice or through an organized group of Brookhaven citizens (when the city actually owns the park) or a group of organized DeKalb County citizens (since they own it still) to get them to dedicate a portion of the park for off leash animals. Either way, the ordinance and its enforcement is the gist of the article. Not whether the park is a dog park or a people park in its entirety.

    Thanks again for your comment. Have a great day.

    Sincerely,

    Trey Benton
    Owner, Editor

  21. 21

    HMM

    I agree that if this is going to be done, it should be fenced.

    As someone that has fostered and rescued a good number of animals over the years, I think most people (and dogs!) mean well but so many things can be hard to predict, and when one dog takes off nipping at a jogger they *all* get a bad rap.

    If Brookhaven doesn’t want to pay for it those that use it should see if Brookhaven will allocate land etc and hold a fundraiser.

  22. 22

    HMM

    I think it’s important to point out here that most dogs do not bite people and this not a particularly responsible narrative to promote.

  23. 23

    David George

    Fence off a portion of the park and designate it an off-leash area. If dogs run loose outside this area the owners get ticketed. The fence will keep dogs away from other park users.

  24. 24

    Saul

    Post Editor, I am shocked to learn that there is existing signage detailing animals and park usage that is evidently being ignored by Brookhaven citizens as well as the Brookhaven Police Department for enforcement. For the illiterate or elite that choose to ignore this signage, I suggest a signage visual to help those with eyes that are too close together understand what this article is all about.

    Could a gracious Brookhaven Park visitor share this ignored signage with us?

  25. 25

    HMM

    Part of the problem (as I’ve gleamed) is that a) some are against officially handing over part of the park to dogs and b)who is going to pay for it?

  26. 26

    LMS

    I appreciate that dog owners need a place for their dogs to exercise and would support a fenced area for the dog owners so they can legally unleash their dogs while allowing other users, including children, sports users, and walkers to enjoy the park. The reality is that too many dog owners do not stay close to and carefully supervise their dogs resulting in too many owners not even knowing what their dogs are doing. I love this park and used to frequent it to walk, I but have been physically attacked twice by dogs in the park and threatened several other times. I determined for myself that it is not worth the risk and lack of enjoyment to go there any longer and I know of others, including moms with children, who are staying way for the same reason. No one wants to put their children in harm’s way but what a shame they cannot use a park within walking distance of their homes. In addition to the physical threat poised by some of the dogs, there is poop all over the park that some dog owners have chosen not to pick up despite bags being readily available. A non-law abiding citizen telling other park users to find another park if they want to be safe is a ridiculous response. It is time for the City to start enforcing the law while seeking a longer term solution that will allow owners an off leash area so that others in our community can return back to enjoying this park.

  27. 27

    Swope

    This park has long been known as a place to take your dog and let them run.
    People living in the agacent apartments bring their pets out daily and for the most part all get along just fine. Those that bring an animal that does not play well with others or that could be a danger to people should know better and they should be fined.
    Those that dont like to be around dogs should find a different park.

  28. 28

    Janice

    I would welcome some enforcement here. Totally sick and tired of peoples dogs running up to me and scaring my kids in parks and trails while idiot owners seem to think its not their problem.

  29. 29

    Paul

    It is exactly this attitude that makes this topic so difficult. No, they should not find another park. Dog owners should obey the law. If you don’t like it, organize and work with the city or county to make changes at the park. I have no problem with dogs nor have I had issues in this park other than a few insensitive pet owners. Regardless of my personal experiences the law is the law and to say “we have always done thus” and “go somewhere else if you don’t like it” is the worst possible logic to apply to this scenario. If the city or county decided to make this large public space a dog park I would abide by that and choose not to go there if I didn’t want to be around dogs. Until that happens the pet owners are in the wrong, not me.

  30. 30

    MKK

    I don’t own a dog.

  31. 32

    Park User

    What you meant to say is some park users have long violated the park rules. So what do you call people that are rude and do not obey the park rules posted for all visitors to abide by? Illiterate? Stupid? Elitist? Which category do you fall into?

  32. 33

    MKK

    “If the owners are responsible…”

    Unfortunately not all are.

  33. 34

    Brittany Mother

    We occasionally go to Brookhaven Park and very few dog owners pay attention to the posted signage about dogs being on a leash. Brookhaven Police don’t even enforce the leash requirement even though they know there is a problem at this park. Even the pettiest traffic ticket is more profitable for the city than a citation for not controlling your dog in a public park.

  34. 35

    Monitor

    OH! IT REALLY MUST BE ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

  35. 36

    HMM

    I wouldn’t say it is about money. . . I mean, most people don’t get ticketed for going 7 or so mph over the speed limit on the highway . . . .

  36. 37

    Terrye

    I don’t know the dollar amount for a citation. If anyone knows, please share. I do know a lawsuit is a liability which ultimately cost those of us paying taxes in Brookhaven. How many lawsuits before a compromise on best/safest use of the park?

  37. 38

    HMM

    Again though, most pets that Americans walk and take to the park don’t bite people, particularly at a lawsuit level.

    When the BPD has their hands full with all sorts of violent and drug related crimes, no judge or jury is going to throw the book at them for not spending their time ticketing dog owners.

    Also, in case you haven’t heard. . . it’s pretty hard to sue the government and win. ;0)

  38. 39

    Chad Peterson

    I hope that our representatives on the city council can come up with a good solution. As a dog owner and parent, a unleashed dog area would be a unique and valuable amenity for Brookhaven. I would hope we use the current fencing. A shaded area to be included in the unleashed area is important. The sports field and playground being dog free seems to also be something that would allow other users to maximize the park.

    I think temporary fencing that blocks off the back quarter from the creek and excludes the playground is a really great solution. It allows us to see what works for our residents at low cost. An unleashed dog area is something that would be utilized by citizens from all four districts within Brookhaven.

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