JP's Eliot School begs indifferent dog owners to leash their pets on its grounds after amok dog chomped jogger

Only thick layers of clothing saved a jogger from injury when an unleashed dog attacked her on the grounds of Jamaica Plain's Eliot School Wednesday evening, school Executive Director Abigail Norman reports.

In a posting in the Jamaica Plain Facebook group, an exasperated Norman says she's been seeing more and more dog owners just let their pets run wild in the yard of the school, which runs crafts and fine-arts classes, and which has long let the public use its yard and path:

We at the school have increasingly met with indifference, hostility and even outright aggression when we ask neighbors politely to leash their dogs. Adults have refused to leash their dogs, yelled at us and threatened us. We do have many respectful dog owners, but we increasingly encounter those who appear to have little ability to follow rules or behave nicely.

This is an issue of civility and shared space. It is also a very serious safety issue. We are tempted to banish dogs from our yard, in fear that a truly serious tragedy might take place. However, we do not have the resources at this time to hire a security guard to enforce either a ban or our leash rule.

We must count on you, our neighbors. Please leash your dogs, and, if you see others with dogs off-leash in our yard, please ask them to leash their dogs.

Norman posted the jogger's account of what happened around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday:

[A]s I was jogging from my home on Holbrook St. to go pick up my daughter at the Footlight Club, I was attacked by someone's off-leash dog in the Eliot School yard. Clearly the dog took my running as a threat because it charged me as soon as I entered the gate. Its owner was on her phone quite a distance away and she finally turned around when I started screaming. Had I not been wearing so much clothing, the dog surely would have broken skin in multiple places. The owner wasn't able to get her dog under control initially and it came running at me again for a second attack after eluding its owner. When she finally got its collar, I was so shocked I couldn't speak and just started moving away from them. She didn't ask if I was OK or say sorry and just started speaking sweetly to her dog. I finally said, 'Please leash your dog before I come back through with my daughter in a few minutes,' and, by the time we did, she and the dog were gone.

Norman writes:

Dog owners MUST keep dogs leashed in the Eliot School yard. We have a sign reminding visitors of this at each of our three gates. The Eliot School is not a public park. It is private property. The school keeps its yard open as a favor to the neighborhood. We expect neighbors to value this wonderful resource, and to respect both the school and all others who share the space.

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Comments

True

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I quoted almost all of it here, so what you're missing are mainly the comments from JP folks (also, because it is a closed group, I asked her permission to quote from her post here).

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No clue and ...

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It's "closed" to try to keep it for just people in JP. It's not that uncommon for neighborhood groups - Roslindale has a group like that as well. The price of admission is typically answering a question about your connection to the neighborhood.

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This sounds like an easy one

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Animal control can hang out there for a couple evenings. Citations for off-leash should be a given.

.

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Animal Control Smanimal

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Animal Control doesn't seem to give a damn. A few months back I was walking near Wards Pond when I came across an unleashed and aggressive dog. I asked the owner to leash it and she told me to fuck myself. Animal control declined to come out and said they'd "keep an eye out for the dog".

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Animal Control prob has bigger fish to fry

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Seriously—it’s not a huge department and they’re dealing all day with pretty urgent stuff. Animal abuse, hoarders, etc. Unless there’s been an actual attack that requires rabies shots, a dangerous-dog evaluation (and it doesn’t sound like the jogger went after the owner here) they don’t have the resources to do some kind of stakeout on off-leash dogs.

Uhh...

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Maybe they should prioritize aggressive dogs in public spaces over dealing with hoarders.

They probably do.

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If they received a call about an aggressive dog attack in progress while they were at a hoarders house, they'd probably prioritize that attack and send someone right over to it.

Animal Control also often patrols public places where there are dogs. I've seen them.

But the Elliot School is not a public place.

Skunk spray

Perhaps you can buy an equivalent to skunk spray so the owner has to deal with a terrible smelling dog. Not sure if making something smell terrible is either assault or battery.

Or perhaps the phrase you're looking for is

"Legitimate self-defense."

If the problem is that you are dealing with a violent sociopath who is allowing an out of control dog to attack you, then there are two reasons it's good to have mace: first, to spray the dog that is attacking you, and then to spray the owner if he or she attacks you next.

Remember, we're talking about people who have repeatedly threatened workers at the facility in question. That's assault. People have a right to protect themselves from violence.

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Been there, message received

My SIL had me take a can of bear spray on a 100+K bike ride in rural Alberta

I ended up using it on a dog that attacked me.

My SIL said that the guy's dogs had already attacked a girl and they were supposed to be fenced in. He was probably glad that I used the bear spray, because it forced the dog to retreat and his dogs would be taken by the RCMP and killed if they bit anyone else.

What entitled brats those dog

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What entitled brats those dog owners are. You have to be an incredibly awful person to yell at someone who is letting you use their property. If this happens again I hope they grab them by their collar and physically throw them onto the street. I am talking about the dog owner, not the dog.

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Maybe you could be a

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Maybe you could be a neighborhood hero and hang out and wait for one of these entitled dog owners to show up. YOU could then throw said entitled dog owner into the street.

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The city dog problem is out

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The city dog problem is out of control!
In South Boston, many children have been bitten by unleashed dogs.
It would be so great if the city really upped the fines and enforcement.
I used to love dogs-- but the awful dog owners have turned me off to them.

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Maybe, but my experience in

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Maybe, but my experience in the city reveals a very distinct urban problem.
As well-to-do suburbanites move to cities, they fully expext to be able to transfer their "suburban" lifestyles, such as big dogs, CVSs on every corner, and Jeep Cherokees -- to the city.
In many Boston neighborhoods, that means German shepards, golden retrievers and other large dogs are cooped up, alone, in 800-square foot condos will their owners toil away at State Street or Fidelity.
Dog walkers take them out once a day, and do a fairly good job at keeping them leashed.
But the dogs themselves are not properly socialized or trained, and when the owners get home at night, all they want to do is meet up with other dogs owner and let Lucy and Lulu run off lease.
And those dogs are often incredibly aggressive towards humans, because they don't know how interact with people who aren't their owners.

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Um, you're totally describing

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Um, you're totally describing the city with " they fully expext to be able to transfer their "suburban" lifestyles, such as big dogs, CVSs on every corner, and Jeep Cherokees -- to the city."

The are no CVS's on every corner in the burbs. And usually when people come to the cith from the burbs, they are empty nesters. Maybe even retired.

These dogs could be anyone's dogs, local, transplant, young, old.

Hi,

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Plz leave my neighborhood,

Thnx

I grew up with dogs and

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I grew up with dogs and really want to be sympathetic with dog owners in the city, but the worst of them make it really hard. Far too many let their dogs run loose, and even good owners seem to have very little respect for leash laws. Fallon Field in Roslindale is regularly overrun with unleashed dogs, and it's common to have the owners chatting in a group while the dogs are running all over the field and well out of the range of control. Multiple times while getting to the playground with my kids we've been accosted by loose dogs that wanted to 'play' by jumping on and butting at us and I had to physically interpose myself - no concern from the owners, who call out 'he's friendly' from a hundred yards away. It doesn't matter if your dog isn't aggressive, you need to control it and only let it approach people who are interested in that attention. Now my kids are nervous of all dogs because they've had bad experiences with them and know that no one will control them. If the city isn't going to make enforcement possible we need to set up local dog parks so good owners have somewhere to go and we can focus on the bad ones.

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Tribalism sucks

I grew up with dogs and really want to be sympathetic with dog owners in the city, but the worst of them make it really hard.

I am neither sympathetic nor unsympathetic to dog owners, because each dog owner is an individual, and one is not responsible for the behavior of another.

I want to be sympathetic to (occupation), but the worst of them make it really hard

I want to be sympathetic to (people of a certain age group), but the worst of them make it really hard

I want to be sympathetic to (people with a particular hobby), but the worst of them make it really hard

I want to be sympathetic to (fans of a particular sports team), but the worst of them make it really hard

I want to be sympathetic to (racial group), but the worst of them make it really hard

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"I want to be sympathetic to

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"I want to be sympathetic to Nazis and their concentration camps, but the worst of them make it really hard." .

There - I finished it for you. Have a nice day.

They are still not a group

That there are organized groups whose members are dog owners, does not mean that dog owners as a whole are an organized group, nor that any given dog owner is a member of that group, nor that the group speaks for dog owners as a whole.

I happen to own a bicycle. There are organized groups of bicyclists - ranging from local clubs to the League of American Bicyclists. I don't happen to be a member of any of them. They do not speak for me. I do not speak for them. I am not a part of an organized group. I am not legally, morally, or socially responsible for the behavior of anybody else who happens to be on a bicycle. Some asshole on a bike runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, that does not and should not reflect on me in any way, and it pisses me off every time someone implies that it does, or that it should.

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That dog's owner is totally disgusting, with no conscience.

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What the hell is wrong with people?

I hope the out-of-control dog's owner gets into a shitload of trouble, and has her dog confiscated from her for awhile, or it gets put down after it attacks another person. A dog like that is a real menace, and should not be allowed to run free.

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stop building dog parks

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Boston needs to stop building dog parks until enforcement/compliance of leash laws is much better. We keep paying for and giving up public park space for fenced off dog runs and dog owners still put their dogs off leash at other parks. Dog parks just end up being a waste of space since it hasn't helped decrease off leash dogs. If anything, there are more and more unleashed dogs and dog crap everywhere. 've seen more and more pet dogs (not service dogs) in supermarkets, the MBTA, and retail stores. Ive started carrying mace on my runs after the last attack.

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The problem with this logic

Boston needs to stop building parking lots until enforcement / compliance of parking laws is much better. We keep paying for and giving up public space for parking lots and garages, and automobile owners still double park, block crosswalks and fire hydrants, and abuse handicapped parking spaces. Parking lots just end up being a waste of space since it hasn't helped decrease double-parking. If anything there are more and more illegally parked cars blocking bike lanes, bus stops, and crosswalks everywhere.

"Dog owners" are not some kind of organized group or class who can be punished or rewarded collectively. The people who use dog parks are, in general, the law abiding folks who don't let their dogs run off leash elsewhere. Denying them recreational facilities doesn't punish the scofflaws in any way; it doesn't make policy sense.

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Ruff

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Except dog owners do organize. And the groups they form lobby for additional dog-specific amenities which leads to more dogs - of which, a certain percentage will have irresponsible owners.

These organizations are not interested in helping to control the problems the irresponsible owners cause. I reached out one such organization in the North End about off leash dogs. This is an excerpt from our exchange:

It is not my job or any other dog owners job to make other adults follow the law, thats the job of the police. Their number is 911, please call them for any additional help.

Thanks RUFF!

Correct response.

What is your objection to that response?

What response do you think you would get if you called AAA (the car club) and complained about people running red lights?

I disagree

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I would be the first one to note "and this is why dog owner's suck (along with their indifference to their pets' fecal matter,)" but if we could channel the dogs into enclosed areas where the expectation is that the areas are for dogs, all would benefit.

Of course, nowadays we have this, where dog owners just decide on their own that a certain area is for dogs. If you take the idea to one logical conclusion, you'd support dog parks all over the city.

More dog parks mean fewer excuses

The current thinking amongst "dogs are people, but with more rights" crowd is that a lack of a dog park gives them and excuse to "create" one.

More dog parks = fewer excuses.

HOWEVER they have to come with more enforcement in non-dog park areas. As in "you have your dog park now go use it".

I have noticed a solid drop in off leash dogs coming out of the fells and into my neighborhood since more parks opened for the dogs and more enforcement started in the Fells. That might also have had to do with coyote predation, too.

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However

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There are no public dog parks in Jamaica Plain. Therefore, your logic is incorrect from the start.

The property owner could

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The property owner could start by telling specific people who have caused problems that they're not welcome back.

Law-abiding dog owner here

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I'm appalled by this (I'm a runner too). People like this owner make all of us look bad.

There are some challenges to owning a dog in the city and I treasure the opportunities I have to let my dog roam off leash. My local park has "shared use" off-leash hours from 6-9am. Yes, it would be nice to be able to let her off leash outside of those hours but I'm afraid that not following the leash laws will get those 3 hours taken away.

I do agree that there are many selfish, entitled dog owners out there (looking at you, people who don't pick up poop in above mentioned park that has 4 poop bag dispensers and conveniently located trash cans). I also think that this event speaks to a need for MORE dog parks- and by dog parks, I mean completely enclosed areas where dogs can be dogs and nobody has to worry about situations that can provoke certain dogs like children, runners, or cyclists. I do think that giving people better opportunities to let their dogs run around in dedicated dog areas could help reduce conflicts like this.

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I used to like dogs but dog

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I used to like dogs but dog people have pretty much eliminated that. On multiple occasions my kids have been charged and I've been threatened verbally at the Hemenway Park in Dorchester by off-leash dogs and their owners. Owning a dog is a luxury and a privilege and their life and happiness does not trump that of mine or my children's. This is not a matter of values, only ignorance. The law says your dog must be on a leash and under your control.

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As a runner,

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I have had issues with unleashed dogs but not to this agree. I have pretty much given up trail running due to unleashed dogs with their owners on trails where the dogs should be leashed. A few years ago, I will tripped up by a loose pooch and the owner could not curb it. Needless to say, the owner berated me for somehow causing my own fall.

In this case, I would of called the police and pressed charges (if I could) against the owner. It was just luck (the runner's heavy clothing) that the animal did not cause major injury.

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