Posted: June 18, 2004

Running dogs could unleash danger in woods

I understand Susan Perry's support of dogs' running free in Crows Woods in Haddonfield ("Crows Woods problem not dogs," June 9).

However, I have experienced the downside of this practice. A week or so before Earth Day, my daughter's Brownie troop was learning to identify trees by their leaves in Crows Woods.

Suddenly, two large dogs bounded toward our group, and several of the girls began to scream. Our outing took place during hours when dogs are required to be on a leash. Our guide intercepted the dogs, and brought the leash law to the attention of the dogs' human companions.

One owner was sympathetic to the girls' fears and put her dog on a leash immediately. The other ignored our guide's request that she leash her dog, and informed us that she would simply take another path. Fortunately, none of our second graders was hurt. They were just scared.

But I wonder what would have happened had the dogs been less friendly. Remember, if you allow dogs to go off-leash in the woods, the rule won't apply just to Labs and goldens. Rottweilers and pit bulls also will have the run of the place. If a serious attack occurs, the residents of Haddonfield, not just the Citizens for Off-Leash Animals, will have to foot the bill.

Carol Kommedal



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