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Do L.A.'s dog park laws take things too far, or are they right on target?

June 19, 2009 |  2:28 pm

Leash law? What leash law? Recent crackdowns by local law enforcement are leaving some dog-loving Angelenos feeling -- well -- muzzled.  Today, our colleagues at the Opinion L.A. blog are wondering what the deal is with all the dog laws:

In recent months, police at certain parks in West Hollywood have taken to ticketing residents who allow their dogs to run or fraternize with fellow canines while off-leash. Residents have responded by complaining about the lack of parks that allow dogs to cavort sans leash and what they feel is a pick-and-choose enforcement of the law.

Simply telling these residents to bring their pets to Los Angeles parks that allow dogs to roam unshackled might not be the best solution either. Frequenters of those parks are undertaking their own battles with The Man. A December law restricting the number of dogs a person may walk at one time is at the center of the dispute. The dog walking community is upset with the law, but seems undeterred by the threat of getting cited for a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. (If I had $180,000 business walking dogs, I might not be trembling, either.) Local dog owners enjoying the leash-free park find the dog walkers, who sometimes bring in dogs by the van-load, to be a nuisance. They claim the dog walkers can't keep track of all the pets they bring and many times don't clean up after them properly.

Are these members of the dog-loving community wrong to ignore local laws, or are they being unfairly targeted for fines by overzealous police officers? You can cast your vote at Opinion L.A.'s poll.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

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