Across the past several years I have posted to this blog 125 times, covering a variety of competition obedience-related items. I hope at least some of those posts have been helpful. Now I'm seeking your help.
Here in Phoenix we have a unique leash law -- constructed, by the way, with help of and strong endorsement of the AKC. The AKC has cited it as a model ordinance for other cities to follow. (Section 8-14 of the Phoenix City Code). I posted a four-part series to this blog explaining the law and the process by which it came to be. It began on September 28, 2011 and concluded October 7, 2011. It's available here in the archives. Basically it allows anyone who can prove they're LEGITIMATELY training for an authentic dog sport to train in a Phoenix city park without fear of being cited.
Recently the Phoenix police, responding to complaints about off-leash dogs (not with legitimate trainers) running amuck in city parks in violation of the law, did a sweep and cited nearly 100 scofflaws. That sweep has backfired.
A group (headed by a few who were ticketed) has started a "grassroots" movement to try to get a law passed that would allow designated off-leash hours in city parks. All dogs would be allowed to run off-leash, unfenced, during designated hours. The group mentions other areas where such laws are in force. One is New York City where from opening to 9a.m. and again from 9p.m. to closing, dogs may run unfenced and unfettered in city parks. The local group has mentioned Portland, Oregon and Boise, Iowa as other areas which have such laws. There may be others.
Now then, I can just imagine trying to train for competition in an area where such a circus is going on. (By the way, here in Phoenix where today the temperature will crest near 120 degrees, the early morning hours are THE time to train. I was in a city park before 6 o'clock this morning.)
So I'm wondering if some who are reading this live in an area where such a dogs-off-leash law is in effect? And if so, what are your experiences trying to train in such an environment?
We are about to try to put together effective opposition to what seems to be gaining traction here. Your detailed information about what's happening in your area in the face of such a situation would be helpful. I know some find it very difficult to use the comments section of this blog, so I would welcome your detailed information either by email email@example.com or by phone, 602-942-6069. If I'm not right there, please leave a message and a phone number and I'll call you back.
I know trouble when I smell it, and I smell it now. Your help would be appreciated by the entire dog sports community here in Arizona.