|Photo from DogHouseDaycare.com|
A recent email from a user of Grant Bark Park brought to our attention the need to talk about park safety! We all want our local dog parks to be a safe, fun space for our dogs and ourselves, but what do you do when the worst happens and another dog attacks you or your dog?
The Short Answer:
Call the police.
According to the Chicago Park District website, all owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs. If your dog is bitten or attacked, exchange information with the owner of the other dog. Most owners in good faith will offer to pay for your vet bills. If the other owner is unwilling to speak with you, call the police and report the incident.
The Long Answer – From the South Loop Dog PAC President:
“Unfortunately, there are no procedures in place for situations like this. There is a Chicago Park District ‘rule’ about ‘dogs that have shown dangerous behavior’, but there is no mechanism for enforcing it – the CPD is not going to police the parks, the SLDogPAC is in no position to police the park, and in the end it’s going to be up to the parties involved to negotiate how to handle it amongst themselves.
This comes up more frequently than we would like in Chicago dog parks – we hear it from our colleagues across the city – and we’re trying to come up with a way to at least try to improve the information provided to dog park users and clueless owners. This is a long term project we’ve been trying to get off the ground – this incident, and others, is giving the effort impetus.”
Things to Look For – From PetBahaviorHelp.com
If you have any advice or opinions, please feel free to leave a comment for discussion.