Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Study Says Off-Leash Dogs Prevent Asians and Latinos from Using GGNRA

Sometimes it hits you from a completely unexpected angle. That's when you know you're in trouble.

And so it is for the irresponsible dog owners in San Francisco. In addition to a record of siding with the Ku Klux Klan, they've now got a study showing that off-leash dogs are actually inhibiting ethnic minority groups, primarily Asians and Latinos, from using the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

To be sure, this isn't the only--and not even the most important--reason that ethinc minorities feel excluded and unwanted at the GGNRA. Yet the study's "Major results and findings" state:

Dogs as problems were mentioned by all Latino and Asian groups. For example, dogs off-leash create fear. Dog owners not picking up feces in fields, on trails and beaches, and picnic areas reduce enjoyment of the experience. Latinos, overall, expressed concern about dog owners “not caring” or lacking control (e.g., owners assume other people will like their dog as much as they do; allowing dogs to approach other people without their permission; dogs begging for food and owners not retracting them).

Who would have thought that leash law enforcement was not only good for our pets, but also social equity?