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off-leash_Kay.jpgWE WON IN COURT!!! Dogs will continue to run free in New York City parks. The leash loonies lost their case – totally.
Bob Marino, president of NYC Dog, announced in email that

Judge Peter J. Kelly issued an opinion in Juniper Park Civic Association, Inc. v City of New York denying the petition in its entirety and affirming the authority of the Park’s Department to allow off-leash time for dogs in City Parks. It is a total victory for City Parks and NYCDOG.”

Writing about the issue in an OpEd piece in the NY Times on Monday, (sub required) author Jonathan Safran Foer beautifully described the joy of starting one’s day with one’s dog running free in a beautiful park:

“My morning walk with George is very often the highlight of my day — when I have my best thoughts, when I most appreciate both nature and the city, and in a deeper sense, life itself. Our hour together is a bit of compensation for the burdens of civilization: business attire, e-mail, money, etiquette, walls and artificial lighting. It is even a kind of compensation for language. Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness? And why does it make one feel, in the best sense of the word, human?”

In his opinion the Judge also wrote:
“The court is keenly aware that while it can dispose of the legal issue presented, the broad emotional effect of the issues raised will remain. In the face of the angst and vitriol exhibited herein, common sense would dictate that something more than an ‘unwritten policy’ governing the off-leash use of parkland by dogs, which is known by few and misunderstood by many, is required in this instance. With this in mind, the statement by respondent’s counsel during oral argument, as amplified in writing, that
respondents will formalize the details of the current off-leash policy within the Park Rules, is, hopefully, more than mere puffery.”