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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Katz Dog Park counterpoint

To the Editor:

Easy to say.

Sounds good.

Makes little to no impact.

Those were my first thoughts after reading your May 23 editorial on the operation of Katz Dog Park.

A truly unfortunate situation occurred. A park patron was bitten and seriously injured by an unknown dog.

First and foremost our concern is for the victim.

It’s easy to have an opinion and share it. I’d figure as a medium that has influence over public opinion, you’d have been more responsible and spent more time obtaining and evaluating the pros and cons of the current situation and the alternatives you suggested.

Then again, newspapers are interested in immediate, sensational news. It’s what sells. 

The suggestions you make are legitimate. Some dog park owners have varying degrees of registration and admission processes, but they do not eliminate unregistered users or animal attacks.

Just as people continue to drive without licenses, carry guns without permits, and speed despite posted limits, certain dog owners dismiss the rules. For every pro to do it one way, there is a con.

Your editorial makes it seem that there was no consideration or forethought given to the park district’s planning, regulating or admission process for the dog park. How shallow of your organization.    

Like it or not, there is no right or wrong way to control admission to a dog park, just as there is no way to control human or canine behavior. Government can’t legislate behavior; it can only legislate consequences. 

People want as little government involvement in their lives as possible, until something bad happens. Then they want government to step in and fix it immediately before it’s even known to be a real or reoccurring problem. Hence we have all kinds of bills pushed into law before anyone knows what’s in them, how they are to be implemented or the ramification.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Act is a prime example of knee-jerk government overreaction. It costs taxpayers millions yet didn’t address the issue that caused a tragic drowning in a hot tub. 

Your rush to judgment without ample evaluation of the circumstances, the options, the pros and cons of each, and all other due consideration is unfair. But that seems to be how you choose to run your business. 

On the other hand, the park district will be responsible in using this situation to learn, evaluate, and perhaps change its procedures.

Its response, however won’t be emotional or a knee-jerk reaction.

Ray Ochromowicz

Interim executive director, DeKalb Park District 

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