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  1. #1
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Park rangers can't write citations for off leash dogs?

    I have been attacked by off leash dogs 3 times in San Diego. Once in PQ I was bitten on the knee. A month ago 2 dogs attacked my dog and he fought back and damn near killed one of them (he was on a leash). The last time a really large dog bit my hand and my handlebar making me fall. I got sick of it so I decided to write an email to the senior Park Ranger. Here is the email I wrote:

    Hello David, I am emailing you in the hopes that something will be done about the off leash dog problem at Lake Hodges. Over a month ago my 4 year old son and I were walking our 94 pound lab just south of the parking lot when he was approached by 2 smaller dogs that were not leashed. They attacked him and he fought back. My son was knocked down and I was pulled down as well. I was forced to let my dog go so he could defend himself. He severely injured one of the other dogs. The other dog owner was quite distraught but to his credit he has not attempted to sue me, most likely because he was breaking the law. Since this incident I have become more aware of the problem with off leash dogs. I also mountain bike and 2 weeks ago I decided to count how many dogs I encountered. From Sunset drive to the dam and back I counted 36 dogs of which only 7 were on leashes. Thats 29 off leash dogs. I normally would not care enough to complain but on that ride I myself was jumped by an off leash dog causing me to fall off my bike. Luckily I only got a few scrapes but I have had enough.
    I realize that the parks service is stretched rather thin but I hope that at some point there will be some enforcement of the laws. It seems the majority of dog owners in the Escondido area either can't read the clearly posted signs or they just don't care. I am leaning towards the latter. The only way to make them care is by hitting them where it hurts, their wallets. I am not sure what the fine is for off leash dogs but I think it is $250 for a first offense. Thats $7250 bucks for one Saturday morning. I hope that something can be done before the problem causes someone to get hurt. Thanks.

    And here is the response I got:

    Thank you for your concern in this matter. Sorry to hear about your incident.


    Dog off leash is the number one problem we have in our park. Unfortunately the San Dieguito River Park Rangers can not site for DOL and are forced to call animal control when things start getting out of control. It appears that we are at that point again. I will try and set up a good time for them to come out and cite, hopefully that will curtail the problem for awhile. We always inform visitors of the need for their dogs to be leashed but like you said sometimes it doesn't sink in till it hits their wallets.


    First off I have to say, if rangers can't cite people for breaking the law within the park boundaries then what good are they? I realize they are bound by the law and the constraints of their jobs.

    I encourage those of you who have had problems with aggressive off leash dogs to be sure and email the park rangers and/or animal control. I am sure there are literally thousands of incidents that go unreported.
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  2. #2
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    I think it's a good step that he will call animal control for you. Dog owners are responsible for their dogs actions, so you could also bring a small claims suit against someone whose dog causes you harm or property damage.

  3. #3
    Uly
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    Even on leash, with those dorky retractable leashes, they might charge you. I got charged by a little ankle biter who, luckily for me, latched on to my shin guard. The owner pulled back on the leash but the damn thing just kept reeling out. Yeah it was a little football at that point and more of an annoyance, but if it had been a medium/big dog it could have gotten ugly.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uly View Post
    Even on leash, with those dorky retractable leashes, they might charge you. I got charged by a little ankle biter who, luckily for me, latched on to my shin guard. The owner pulled back on the leash but the damn thing just kept reeling out. Yeah it was a little football at that point and more of an annoyance, but if it had been a medium/big dog it could have gotten ugly.
    Methinks you guys are either: cursed, have bad karma, have bad luck, wear spandex (a known animal irritant), or a combination of all four.

    I have been riding bikes for over 40 years, only got bit by one dog (large german shepherd) while I was delivering newspapers in the dark of the morning when I was 15.

    I have never been bitten or attacked by dogs on the trail whether I was mtbing, hiking, or trail running....knock on wood.....and I have encountered thousands of them. I must be doing something different than you guys...I'll figure it out/run some tests, etc....and get back to you.

  5. #5
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    In CA the law is a 6' leash. I was on a ride about a year
    ago and this guy had a dog on about a 50 foot long rope.

    Best, John

  6. #6
    CEB
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    ...my wife takes off my leash so I can ride. Thanks honey!

    She claims I don't bite.... yeah, rrrrright
    Last edited by CEB; 04-13-2012 at 05:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    I massively support this. I've been attacked multiple times at cowles mountain by off leash dogs using my bike as a shield. In 2 separate incidents the owners said "sorry my dog is a rescue and doesnt like bikes". Hello? What is a rescue dog doing off leash? Both times they were huge German shepards. Another time I nearly smashed a ladys dog around a corner that was on a 20 ft leash and even then she tried to put the blame on me. I'll be contacting animal control then about this, I was wondering how to go about it.

  8. #8
    MTP
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    Dogs are always charging on Black Mtn. (PQ). Pepper spray 'em!
    If not biking, then what?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEB View Post
    ...my wife takes off my leash so I can ride. Thanks honey!

    She claims I don't bite.... yeah, rrrrright
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  10. #10
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    i have been attacked by two dogs in a suburban area not even on a trail. one was on a leash and the owner just couldnt hold it back. some little asian lady walking two big pitbulls wtf lady. i kicked the **** out of her dog and was lucky he didnt catch my foot. i hate dogs and am terrified of them and they hate me too. i will definitely be rigging up some kind of metal pipe to hang on my bike after hearing this. i never considered this either. damn being a noob sucks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTP View Post
    Dogs are always charging on Black Mtn. (PQ). Pepper spray 'em!
    Being an animal lover I would have a hard time pepper spraying a dog, after all it's not really their fault. I think it would be more effective to pepper spray the owner

  12. #12
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    i agree that the owner should take responsibility for and suffer consequences from the actions their pets take i am not above hurting anything that tries to hurt me. i would go out of my way to hurt any animal but if it attacks me first its on like donkey kong.

  13. #13
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    People who don't leash their dogs should definitely be cited a huge fine.

    Another thing that pisses me off is people that have their dogs leashed on absurdly long leashes. Especially on narrow trails. I don't want to get attacked by a dog nor do I ever want to accidentally run one over.

    Keep your dogs leashed and CLOSE TO YOU at all times!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    Another time I nearly smashed a ladys dog around a corner that was on a 20 ft leash and even then she tried to put the blame on me. I'll be contacting animal control then about this, I was wondering how to go about it.
    Exactly my point! Long leashes are basically like having no leash on your dog. I have been close to running over dogs on the trail because the idiot owners decide to buy a ridiculously long leash for the animal.

    I believe a dog should be no more than 4 feet away from its owner at all times while walking.

  15. #15
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    just after a minute in this video shows case in point

    Funny Cycling Moments - YouTube

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigherc View Post
    Being an animal lover I would have a hard time pepper spraying a dog, after all it's not really their fault. I think it would be more effective to pepper spray the owner
    I'm an animal lover as well, but if this was a problem where I ride, I wouldn't hesitate to pepper spray a dog that was trying to bite me. It's MUCH better than having to physically hurt the dog to stop an attack. I think it's the most effective and humane way to deal with the situation if the dog can injure you. The owner should be pepper sprayed as well though!

  17. #17
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    I would've thought most of you guys were overreacting until I got bit last year by an off leash Doberman and it was totally unprovoked. The thing came running down a hill after me and afterward the owners gave the typical "It's never done this before" response. I had no recourse in that situation as we weren't in a 'park' with posted signs - not that I would sue someone anyway.

  18. #18
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    you were still in public land and unless i understand it incorrectly the law is that the dog shall always be leashed outside youre own property. i see no reason not to sue. people gotta learn somehow that somethings just are not ok and letting your animals attack someone is definitely one of them in my book.

  19. #19
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    You can perform a citizens arrest if you are attacked by someone else's dog, or if you see an owner negligently or intentionally allow their dog to attack someone. If you do this the police must come and take custody of the suspect, they will usually cite and release for the misdemeanor.

    San Diego County Code

    Sec. 62.669.1. PUBLIC PROTECTION FROM DOGS.

    (a) Any person owning or having custody or control of a dog shall at all times prevent the dog from attacking, biting, or otherwise causing injury to any person engaged in a lawful act; from interfering with the lawful use of public or private property; or from damaging personal property which is lawfully upon public property, or upon private property with the permission of the person who owns or has the right to possess or use the private property. Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    California Penal Code 837
    A private person may arrest another:

    1. For a public offense (usually understood to mean a misdemeanor) committed or attempted in his presence.

    2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.

    3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

  20. #20
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    Time to add handcuffs to your pack.

  21. #21
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    yeah call me crazy but i wouldnt let just any random person arrest me ha ha. im not just gonna willingly let some random dude put me in handcuffs or hold me down and call the fuzz. if someone told me they were placing me under citizens arrest i would just laugh at them.. better to call cops immediately try to obtain their name and or take a picture of them and their dog and if they go back to their car get their license plate number.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rageandlove View Post
    yeah call me crazy but i wouldnt let just any random person arrest me ha ha. im not just gonna willingly let some random dude put me in handcuffs or hold me down and call the fuzz. if someone told me they were placing me under citizens arrest i would just laugh at them.. better to call cops immediately try to obtain their name and or take a picture of them and their dog and if they go back to their car get their license plate number.
    I didn't say it was a good idea...

  23. #23
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    F dogs on trails! Hodges is the worst! Maybe we all need to call animal control and complain.

  24. #24
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    Oliver has the best solution so far in this thread. It hardly takes much effort. The more calls the better.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    Oliver has the best solution so far in this thread. It hardly takes much effort. The more calls the better.
    Nah, I prefer going Dog the Bounty Hunter on people's asses and making citizens arrests.

    That right there was the best idea in this thread.

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