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Dear PoPville – Bitten by Aggressive Dog at Shaw Dog Park

by Prince Of Petworth September 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm 83 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday evening, my roommate took our dogs to the Shaw Dog Park as she does daily. At one point, a dog was becoming a little too rowdy with her dog so she tried to intervene to remove her dog from the situation. As she was doing so, another dog (a known aggressor in the park – I have previously witnessed this dog try to attack other dogs) ran up trying to get into the mix and ended up biting my roommate on her leg. When this was happening the aggressive dog’s owner was on her cell phone and not paying attention. When approached by my roommate about the bite, she did not want to be held accountable for her dog’s actions stating it was a dog park and things happen.

I think my roommate needs to at the very least address the Shaw Park List Serve regarding the incident. Someone else suggested she file a police report. I’m curious if anyone else has had this happen and what action was taken.”

I’d be curious to know what your roommate would like to do? I also think it depends on the severity of the bite – did it break the skin? I’m not saying nothing should be done – it’s just not clear to me from the info above that a police report should be filed. I wonder – are there plans/procedures for how to deal with consistently aggressive dogs at the dog park? Are the park rules self enforced or is there a procedure to enforce the rules?

The Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street, NW (north of Q). Rule 2 on their Web site states:

“All persons use Shaw Dog Park at their own risk. Neither the District of Columbia, its agencies nor MidCity Association shall be liable for any injury or damage caused in the dog park. Every dog entering the dog park shall be accompanied by a person (“dog handler”) aged sixteen (16) years or older who shall be personally and legally responsible for that dog at all times while using the dog park. No unattended dogs are permitted and no more than three (3) dogs are permitted per dog handler. “

Though, again, it’s not clear to me who enforces these rules – so I would definitely email [email protected] to seek their advice as well.

What do you guys think should be done in this situation?

Ed. Note: This is not the first time there has been controversy at this dog park.


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