“Often unleashed, they stretch their legs on the nature preserve’s sandy trails, mingle with like-minded canines and take care of their evening constitutionals, all with owner Sharon Thoma…”

Read and comment on Pilotonline.com article about unleashed dogs and their threat to PHP:

They also could disrupt the nests of diamondback terrapins or traumatize their hatchlings, she said.

“There needs to be a behavior change,” Everett said. “It’s important to keep dogs on-leash on the site because it’s a preserve area.”

Pet waste also is a major source of harmful bacteria, which degrades water quality, can render shellfish unsafe to eat and make humans and other animals sick, Everett said.

One comment excerpt:

Some dog owners in my neighborhood walk their dogs off leash routinely. Their self-centeredness is similar to what I am reading here. We had a dog attacked by another, requiring extensive vet bills.

Not an ashtray

13 thoughts on ““Often unleashed, they stretch their legs on the nature preserve’s sandy trails, mingle with like-minded canines and take care of their evening constitutionals, all with owner Sharon Thoma…”

  1. Thanks, Christy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, for raising awareness about the unleashed dogs in PHP. We had stopped monetary contributions to the CBF because it seemed to be ignoring the problems that unleashed dogs cause.
    I have begged the city to enforce leash laws. I suggested deputizing volunteers to fine owners of unleashed dogs as the city cannot afford to have law enforcement officers walking parks and beaches. Until the owners are fined, the problem will not go away.
    Besides the known issue of pollution washing into the waterways and diseases caused by playing in the beach sands that dogs have releaveded themselves on, there is the real issue of the dogs chasing the shore birds, some of which have flown thousands of miles and stop off here for food for their journey farther.
    One day there were eight stately blue herons standing on the beach near the Lesner Bridge.
    Of course, a dog arrived and chased them away. The owner enjoyed the experience and told me not to worry, the birds will be back. I doubt that.
    It is time for us get serious about taking care of this grand place we live in for now and the future.

    Beverly Flaschentrager

  2. We have been observing that the boorish, self-centered behavior of many dog owners is causing them to become akin to cigarette smokers. Just as we don’t wish to share other’s smoke or endure their endless littering of butts and packages, we, as a society, seem to be becoming increasingly put out with unleashed dogs annoying – and sometimes terrorizing – us, our children, local fauna. And the fact that many of these owners don’t have the sense to pick up after their dogs… Well, like smokers have found, they’re becoming increasingly unwelcome.

  3. I have been very upset about the number of knuckleheads that disregard all the hard work that went into saving this resource, only to use as a playpen for their canines. Selfish! Also have seen two juveniles riding dirt bikes several times. Argh hh!

  4. The loose dog (and cat) issue in the Ocean Park/Chesapeake Beach neighborhoods is at epidemic proportions.

    City statutes state pets on leashes. period. end of discussion. nada. zip. Hush pet owners.

    Jailtime for pet owners (yellow jump suits cleaning up the animal shelters, walking the streets on a chain leash with armed animal control officers controlling, picking up animal waste, their pets serving time in animal control, second offenders pets removed and euthanaized, owners in real jail) violating this statute is the only remedy.

    If their parents did not teach them self control, and discipline in regards to their actions violating city statutes, then society must take them in hand and teach them a lesson.

  5. Folks,
    The city has made a great effort to preserve the natural surroundings of PHP so please be responsible for your actions and teach your children to respect this preservation of PHP for years to come. The benefits of educating folks of the ecological surrounding of PHP should be accomplished when CBF is up and running on the site.

    But until then folks please take the initiative to educate you children and nurture the site and show respect for it.

    Thank you,
    Vince

  6. Folks,

    The signs at the access to the beach point out no dogs without a leash, have them under control. Does not mean to let the dog run wild and go up to each person to seek attention especially when they just got down with a swim.

    Thank you,
    Vince

  7. There’s something we can all do to put a stop to abuse. Every time, I mean EVERY TIME, you see it, you call 385-5000. The more you call, the more the police will patrol.

    • How about civic minded individuals take pictures of those owners who have unleashed their dogs and not picked up after them and then SDCC posts the pictures. I don’t think it is the owner’s “constitutional right” not to have their face posted if they scat our community’s park.

  8. My first visit to Pleasure House Point will probably be my last visit this year. It was only twenty minutes, made miserable by no fewer than five large dogs running wild off the leash. Their owners didn’t understand how this could possibly be a problem.

    I’d like to know if the SDCC is equally concerned about dogs running loose at First Landing State Park. The exact same behavior from thoughtless, inconsiderate dog owners is on display every day, on every trail. I’d estimate at least 80% of dog owners at the park ignore the leash laws on a daily basis.

    And, as David Williams suggested, I’ve been taking photographs of scofflaw dog owners for quite some time now, as their dogs pelt along the trails and splash through protected marshes and lagoons.

    If the SDCC is concerned about patterns of behavior from dog owners throughout our area, and if you’re willing to post a few photos of repeat offenders, I’d be happy to share a selection with you.

    • John A. – I hope you reconsider and will continue to visit PHP!
      It’s preserved for every one, you included. Please do not let a couple fools who do not respect PHP, the law, and other people ruin it for you. I know First Landing also has been battling ignorant dog owners. Like Grace mentioned – always call Animal Control if you witness this again. You can call Animal Control Officer B.C. Williams directly at 757-385-8400 Ext. 9104. She takes her job very seriously and loves PHP too.

      • Thanks for the encouragement, and I know you folks love Pleasure House Point, but the experience was unpleasant enough I don’t want to return. Once CBF has their property established, their staff presence should be more of a deterrent. Sadly, that’s years away.

        Personally I’m not too impressed with Animal Control; I called then a few days ago about a problem dog in my neighborhood, an animal that’s been spotted wandering widely, and as near as I could tell they never came out. They certainly never followed up with me. If there’s someone from the department who’s making an effort at Pleasure House Point, that’s great.

        As for Tim’s comment about First Landing “battling” thoughtless dog owners…as I said, the park is overrun with unleashed dogs and their ignorant, entitled owners. Unfortunately the park staff are pretty much all dog owners themselves, so they don’t see a problem with this, and they’ve outright refused to enforce this law. One park ranger turned his back on me and walked away while I was still talking to him about a problem dog owner.

        It’s great that there’s someone from Animal Control who’s committed to making a difference at Pleasure House Point. We need that same sort of dedication at First Landing. Unfortunately, it’s just not there.

        If anyone reading this is as frustrated and angry about the First Landing situation as I am, please get in touch with me. So far I’m having a hard time finding anyone who actually cares.

  9. EVERY time you see this happening, you need to call 385-5000. And keep a log of your calls, so SDCC will have an accuarate count if action is required.

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