Whether or not Eagle Rock needs a dog park is an issue that crops up in community discussions from time to time.
The most recent discussion on Patch was back in January, when we polled our readers on the issue and received exactly 100 votes—85 in favor or a dog park and 15 against the idea. (Click here to see that story and the poll results.)
On Tuesday, the will discuss—and possibly take some action on—the perennial question of a dog park at its monthly board meeting at 7 p.m. in Eagle Rock City Hall.
On a related note, the ERNC will also discuss the possibility of appointing one of its board members to liaise with the city’s Department of Animal Welfare (DAW). The issue stems from a request made to the ERNC, at its most recent meeting on April 3, by a volunteer at the Reserve Animal Control Officer (RACO) program.
“Every community has an animal control issue to some extent or the other,” the volunteer, Paul Darrigo, told Patch recently. The so-called “DAW Animal Liaison” would help generate a variety of activities in the community—such as periodic adoption days—aimed at reducing the population of lost pets in Eagle Rock.
“We do have a 47-percent euthanasia rate in the city, so if the animal liaison can help with any activities that lower the rate, that would be a great service,” Darrigo said, adding that the concerned person could be anyone from the community, and not necessarily an ERNC board member.
The only qualification for such a person, besides an obvious commitment to the cause of animals, would be that he or she be “self-sustaining,” that is, a self-starter, Darrigo said, adding that he would do his best to help the volunteer as well.
The search for a DAW Animal Liaison in Eagle Rock, we think, is the perfect opportunity to revisit the dog park issue. It’s probably also a good time to ask readers whether they think a community dog park will likely have some sort of positive impact on what appears to be a chronic problem of lost pets—especially dogs—in Eagle Rock.
After all, a community spot reserved exclusively for dogs would probably encourage many more dog owners to bring their pets to the space, thereby offering them two things vital to their existence: exercise and socialization with other dogs (while their owners enjoy each other’s company and indulge in all sorts of networking activities not just limited to animals).
It hardly needs to be pointed out that the better exercised and adequately socialized dogs are, the less likely they are to wander away from their homes and end up as a sad statistic in animal shelters’ euthanasia charts—or, as Darrigo told the ERNC early this month, bait for other dogs in dog fights.
That’s right. According to Darrigo, a lot of dogs don’t really get “lost”—they’re stolen by unscrupulous people and used as bait in illegal dog fights.
So: Besides being an invaluable resource for canines and their masters, do you think a community dog park might also help reduce the number of lost dogs potentially headed for euthanasia? Share your views in the Comments box below.