Monday, March 17, 2014

An Appeal on Behalf of the Dogs of Hudson

Tomorrow night, the Common Council will vote on whether or not to amend Chapter 70 of the city code to delete item 70-4.1 (11), which reads: "It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the City of Hudson to permit or allow such dog to . . . be present at any time in Riverfront Park." If it is to have any effect, the petition asking the Council to repeal the prohibition on dogs in the park must be delivered to the aldermen by midday tomorrow. Click here to sign it now. 

The point of amending the law is to acknowledge that leashed dogs are now regularly walked in the park and this practice has not had a disastrous impact on either the park or other visitors to the park. Those who oppose amending Chapter 70 of the city code have argued, somewhat illogically, that there are many dog owners in Hudson who are obeying the law that prohibits dogs in the park but, if that prohibition were lifted, would feel free to bring their dogs to the park and to disobey Hudson's leash and pooper scooper laws and let their dogs run wild in the park and defecate wherever they pleased. Common sense suggests that nothing much would change except responsible dog owners would be able to walk with their dogs in riverfront park without running the risk of being reported and fined between $50 and $150.

If you have a dog, love a dog, know a dog and would like dogs and their people to be able to enjoy riverfront park together legally, please sign the petition now to ask the Common Council to repeal the prohibition.

The picture accompanying this appeal shows William and Turner, who visited here from Michigan with my niece and her family, enjoying the park--illegally, as it turns out--in 2012.


  1. Or you can ask the Common Council to create a "dog park" at Charles Wms. field, located at Mill St, E of N 2nd. Where dogs & dog lovers can enjoy the great outdoors & dogs can "let loose" at there favorite spot.
    Remember, you can not "Scoop" up dog urine nor 100% dog feces.

  2. I noticed at Seventh Street Park a sign that says No Dogs Allowed. Are all dogs prohibited from all city parks?

    1. Chad: If such a sign is still there, it's a vestige from more than a decade ago.

      Once upon a time, back at the end of the 20th century, someone came to the Common Council to complain about dog poop in Seventh Street Park. The Council responded by banning dogs from all city parks, and within a week, DPW had erected "No Dogs Allowed" signs in every space that passed for a park in Hudson, including that little space at the parking lot end of the pass-through between Lisa-Marie and The Barlow.

      A few years down the road, it was discovered that although the signs were there, no law had been passed to make it illegal to have dogs in the parks and so the police could not enforce this ban.

      At that time, around 2003 or 2004, a number of us rallied to oppose that law, and we were successful in preventing the law banning dogs from all parks from being passed. The compromise at the time was that the brand-new riverfront park would be off limits to dogs.

      As the park expanded and became more than just the grassy lawn where people sat for events, people started bringing their dogs to the park to walk with them on the paved paths along the river and around the old ferry slips, and it has become clear that the presence of dogs does not interfere with anyone's enjoyment of the park. It has therefore been proposed that the prohibition on dogs in riverfront park be repealed.