Non-white, Nazi, Gestapo-like park rangers

You have nothing to lose but your leashes

Dog owners are rebelling against what they see as draconian pet law

Douglas Martin

Tuesday, March 16, 1999

New York Times News Service

In cities and towns across the continent, a chorus of politically influential voices cries out in unison: Woof!

From leash laws to legislation to curb dangerous animals to regulations limiting the number of dogs per household, canine questions have become the new hot button of local politics.


In Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and scores of other cities, people scream for more dog space in city parks. In Santa Fe, N.M., last year, a resident filed a $2-million (US) suit against the city, charging “Gestapo-style” enforcement of the leash law.


The New York City parks department says that surveys of parks favoured by dog users show that most people in the parks do not come with dogs; mail is running more than three to one in favour of its crackdown. People are irked that dog owners berate low-paid park rangers, often minorities, as Nazis, and exultantly unleash their dogs after an enforcer turns the corner.