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Off Leash Outlaws: Nov. 1 Deadline for Action to Preserve Off-Leash Hours
by Matthew H. Parker, New York Council of Dog Owners Groups,

For up-to-the-minute updates on the fast-moving developments in NYC's Off Leash Debate, please visit:
or to and scroll down to "Off Leash Privileges Under Attack."
These are pro-off-leash sites where you can take further action to preserve the 20+ year policy the Parks Department has taken re supervised, off-leash dog play in New York City Parks during low-usage hours in the park: sign petitions, write letters, etc. The hearing for this is Nov. 1st so time is of the essence if you want to weigh in on this.

Anti-Off Leash -- The Other Side
If you want to see what the anti-off-leash folks are saying, visit their website at On the right-hand side they have updates on their stand and their own editorials in local papers, including the Queens Ledger. Be warned--this gets a bit rough.
The fight to save the Off-leash Hours policy is in its final stage. We have just two weeks left to make our voices heard to save Off-leash Hour recreation in all NYC parks, or we could lose it forever.

Here's where we stand:

  • A NY State Supreme Court judge heard oral arguments on August 29th in the lawsuit seeking to end the Off-leash Hours policy, and said a judgment was forthcoming. This legal judgment could end the Off-leash Hours policy in all NYC parks permanently.
  • However, both the NYC Health and Parks Departments support the current Off-leash Hours policy and wish to strengthen it. The City announced in court that it would seek to amend the "Leash Law" Health code to render the potential court judgment that seeks to end Off-leash Hours policy moot.
  • The NYC Health Department began a 90-day public comment period in mid-September. A public hearing to consider an amendment to the "Leash Law" Health code that could save Off-leash Hours policy is scheduled for November 1st.
  • But there's no guarantee that the amendment will pass. We need your help today!

There are two things you can do now to help save Off-leash Hours:

1. Send an email to the NYC Health Board explaining why the 20-year Off-leash Hours policy has been a public health success. Visit and follow the directions for sending an email to the Health Board. (The Health Board is a five member panel of the Health Dept. that can vote to amend the Health code). Please remember that the Health Department is on our side, but needs to hear support from the public. Please keep your letter polite, concise and focused on the public health benefits of the Off-leash Hours policy (you'll be provided with some suggested points). Your email will be entered into the official public record.

Click to send a pre-addressed email to the Health Board. Your email must be sent to the Health Department by November 1st at 5 pm.

2. Tell your friends, family members, co-workers, fellow dog owners, or acquaintances who live in NYC to spread the word.

Please Take five minutes to write an e-mail to the Health Board now.

Keep visiting to learn the latest developments.


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Most recent update: 10/20/06
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