Dogs, owners protest policy

The Associated Press
Saturday August 04, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — Hundreds of dogs of all sizes and breeds gathered with their owners Friday outside City Hall to protest a proposed citywide dog policy tightening off-leash restrictions. 

The proposal by the city Recreation and Parks Department would set aside designated dog play areas within city parks. But opponents argue the rules are too restrictive. 

“What has raised dog-owners’ hackles is nearly a decade of tightening restrictions and narrowing options for off-leash recreation in the Bay Area,” said Laura Cavaluzzo, an organizer of the Critical Mutt rally. 

Siobhan Maize, 29, attended the event with her lab mix, Deacon. 

“I thought it was important to come today because I can see the attempts to control dogs getting out of control,” she said.  

“It’s very important for dogs to get off-leash and exercise and socialize with other dogs.” 

A spokeswoman for the parks department told the San Francisco Chronicle that the parks are in the first year of a 10-year capital improvement plan, which includes considering dog use at all parks. 


“There’s going to be a lot of things going on in the parks and off-leash areas are going to have to be a part of the change ... It’s going to take some compromises,” said spokeswoman Becky Ballinger. 

The draft proposal is open to public comment until Aug. 13.