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Irresponsible dog owners let pets kill great blue heron in Arnold Arboretum

Flier posted at Arnold Arboretum about killer dog

Oh, yeah, there's a reason you're not supposed to let your dog run wild through the Arboretum. Joe Growhoski reports these fliers about off-leash killers are now posted at the Arboretum: They kill the local wildlife, bite kids and bike riders, trample new plantings and shit all over the place. Stop it, the Arboretum implores.

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Comments

It's really sad that it took something like that for the Arboretum to finally take notice. I've complained about this for years and the problem has only gotten worse. I wonder if it's dog ownership that attracts entitled jerks or whether owning a dog leads someone to become an entitled jerk.

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Was with you until the end. No need to paint all dog owners with the same brush. I don't let mine off leash at the Arboretum and don't support people doing that. Their dogs come flying at mine and it's unsettling, nevermind if you have small children with you too.

The city needs to finally put at least one dog park in southwest Boston. It's way overdue and will cut down on this. I hope the Stony Brook reservation one proposed on DCR land eventually comes to fruition: http://www.dogparkboston.org/. If you want to help, they accept donations.

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I don't think he's painting with a broad brush. He was wondering if dog ownership can attract entitled jerks (that is, they're pre-existing jerks and need something new to feel entitled with,) OR owning a dog can lead a person to become a jerk (oblivious to the fact that they're acting like an entitled jerk.) He did not say "All dog owners are entitled jerks. And if you aren't one now, get a dog and then you'll become one."

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He didn't say it right out...but he pretty clearly implied it. The implication was that dog owners are entitled jerks. Then he asks whether they become entitled jerks through owning dogs, or whether they were entitled jerks to begin with.

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It's funny how you defend yourself while insisting you need another park built for you where you are allowed to just this and asking for money besides.

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No sense of entitlement, anything but. Lots of people want one dog park, one, in the entire southern part of the city. So they've organized, lobbied, and even raised money to construct it on public land. If you don't like that, then don't donate. Problem solved. I'm also a nice guy, not a jerk. Troll on otherwise.

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It is amusing to watch the posters on here bitch and moan about off leash dogs but none of you have the guts to say anything in person. Just keep typing away you little passive aggressive winers.

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I'm a dog owner, and it pisses me off that people like you feel entitled to be jerks about their dogs being off leash. Why should I have to have a confrontation with an a-hole like you while I'm out walking in the Arboretum with my family? What, someone says leash your dog, and you're going to do it? No, you get all pissed off and make stupid comments like the one you've left here.

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They scare people, they come over and sniff where they are not invited , they shit and the owner may or may not pick it up (if it's in the leaves, tall grass - usually the owners dont bother) and they can cause rollerbladers and bike riders to make dangerous evasive moves. And if i see an off leash dog at the park i wont go in with my kid because i dont want to take a chance at having a problem. It is the owners of course and not the dogs as dogs are just being themselves. The cops dont enforce the leash rule if they did they would make a tom on tickets.
Before you say it ain't so look up "dog shot park" in dorchester - it is a park for people but so man owners let their dogs off leash and dont pick up after them that now it is full of dog shit and non dog people dont go there. There was even a case where a dog attacked a pregnant woman and her infant.
It is on the water near Freeport street.

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That's just awful.

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Crows and raccoons are the single biggest predators of these birds in Massachusetts. Guaranteed that any Great Blue taken out by a dog was already sick and dying.

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Crows will try to prey on young hatchlings or eggs, but they will avoid GBHs otherwise. Same with raccoons. These herons are not easy to prey on, and are formidable defenders of their nests. I see enormous snapping turtles vacate prime feeding territories when a GBH arrives.

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I too avoid 'GBH and all public television. Government money should not be spent that way.

And hey, speaking of Big Birds, didn't Big Bird just move from public TV to HBO? Didn't see that coming, but Jim Henson's kids did!

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I'm pretty sure that is inaccurate. Crows are opportunistic for sure, but Great Blue Herons defend their nests aggressively. Ive observed GBH rookeries here in MA, and never have I seen a crow attempt this. Even large hawk species avoid the damage a GBHE can inflict.

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I don't recall any real heated dog discussions but this seems like one of those things where people have some strong 'takes'.

This incident sucks - blue herons are awesome creatures to have living in our city. As with a million other things, 90% of the time, off leash dogs are fine and it's the 10% which wreck it for everyone. Sorry dog owners, you all have to pay this time around and I hope they enforce it.

Also please stop letting your dogs shit all over the soccer fields at Millennium.

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Unleashed dogs have always been prohibited at the arboretum. Dog owners just feel so entitled that they do whatever they want without regard to the rules of the park or the enjoyment of others.

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I enjoy public spaces with my dog on a leash, because I'm not a dick. I'm a fan of leash laws because they prevent poorly behaved dogs from trying to maul mine, and I respect others' right to enjoy their time without being harassed by my dog. It's not dog owners who ignore leash laws, assholes ignore leash laws.

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Yes. This. All of what @LightswitchRaves said.

Because of unleashed dogs at the Arboretum and Peter's Hill, I've stopped taking my two leashed dogs. It's too dangerous for my dogs who are very submissive and for me. I'm sick and tired of an unleashed dog running toward mine with the owner shouting "He/She is friendly..." Dogs are animals; for leashed dogs, an unleashed dog running toward them is very stressful and can be interpreted as aggressive.

My dogs will bark when an unleashed dog barrels toward us as a message of "Hey, can you give us our personal space?" Then I look like the asshole with two barking pit bulls although I'm the one playing by the rules by keeping them on their leashes (short ones, at that) and my back pockets full of (empty) poop bags ready for action. Don't even get me started about the snide remarks I hear from the unleashed dog owners about "vicious pit bulls."

So we go to the Blue Hills and hike around that area. The people are friendlier, most dogs are leashed, and we have a better time. I'll miss the arboretum but I won't miss the self-entitled jerks there.

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And yes--the "he's friendly!" call while the person's dog is bounding towards you or your dog is NOT reassuring at all. And yelling back "she's NOT!!" makes you feel like a jerk even though your terrified, leashed dog isn't doing anything wrong.

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"Don't worry, he's friendly". I don't care if he's friendly or not. I don't want your dog touching me, jumping on me, or licking me, even if it's "friendly".. Can't you, the typical dog owner, understand. Get your friggin dog the frig away from me. Keep it on a leash, or move to a frigging farm somewhere where you can let the dog run free. If you feel the need to keep a dog in the city, then you need to keep it on a leash.

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Yes, it pisses me off when I have to yell "She's Not!" about my pittie, Buttercup, but it happens all the time at the Arboretum. In fact, she is very friendly to people, but she does not like having random dogs run up to her when she's on leash.

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I haven't got to the point yet where I'm going to stop going to the Arboretum, but unleashed dogs are a huge problem. And some "responsible" dog owners are in denial.

In response to a dialog on this very same subject about a year ago on Uhub, I decided to count how many dogs I saw leashed and unleashed one day in the Arboretum. I forget the exact count, but about 2/3 of the dogs I saw that day were unleashed. I reported that in a comment and was challenged by a poster named "Sally" . She claimed it was nowhere near as bad as I stated, and criticized me, calling me "sad", because I counted unleashed dogs. In the course of a back and forth conversation, she stated she had a dog, always kept it on a leash, EXCEPT when she determined she didn't need to.

I recently took a walk in Boston with a friend who has a dog. I always thought he was responsible, and kept his dog on a leash. However in a small grassy area in his neighborhood, he let his dog run free. When I pointed to the sign on the grass and reminded him of the leash law, he said it's ok, everyone lets there dogs off the leash in the area.

I've seen it in the Arboretum too. Dog on a leash, but then the owner removes the leash.

From my perspective, most dog owners feel entitled to do whatever they want, but think they are responsible dog owners, because they know better than the leash law, or the posted signs.

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I'm sorry you were so traumatized by some comment I made a year ago. I could easily post here that I have never let my dog off leash ever but I'm choosing to be honest and say that yes, sometimes I do let my very timid, small dog off leash in places where I am certain that he will not bother anyone. As I posted elsewhere here, I don't go to Peter's Hill or take my dog to the Arboretum very often so I'm not familiar with the scenes of canine mayhem that you and others describe and I am 100% certain that my dog has never appeared in your "count." In the wake of this incident and to support enforcement of what is apparently an out of control problem in the Arboretum, I will no longer let my dog off leash there ever. Happy? Maybe now you can find a more effective way to channel your deep unhappiness about this particular issue.

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Uh, and this is why some dog owners (I have a dog too) get a bad rap. You get all defensive and haughty when called out and try to pathologize and blame others. Really? That just makes you look like an idiot. I'm not saying you are, but you then come across as the one being unreasonable and blaming.

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Wow Sally. According to you....
I am traumatized and deeply unhappy.
You have a dog that is timid and small.
You only let the dog off the leash when you carefully check to make sure everything is ok.
You don't go the Arboretum often so its ok if you don't follow the rules.
You claim will now keep you dog on a leash 100% of the time and that I will now find a new way to channel my deep unhappiness.

I'll let the readers figure out if you are an entitled dog owner with a bad attitude. I think the answer is obvious.

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I am sorry that our conversations here have caused you such distress. I also hope that your relationship with your friend has not suffered damage due to your discovery that he is also an "entitled dog owner with a bad attitude." I'm sorry also that you seem disappointed in my decision to keep my dog leashed at the Arboretum--perhaps you're concerned that this will affect the results of any future "counts?" Perhaps you could try counting picnickers, discarded beer cans, or people playing ball games.

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I am neither pleased nor unpleased by your alleged decision to keep your dog on a leash. . But you only said you will keep the leash on in the Arboretum. So may I assume you will continue to take the leash off in other locations?

Your obsession with my counting dogs on and off leashes shows how you approach the issue. You promote the idea that there is no problem, then you admit you are part of the problem, but you get upset because I actually try to quantify the problem.

Your continued defensive sarcasm is mildly amusing but not really useful in solving the problem.

xxxooo
Anon

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As a dog owner, I 100% agree with you. I long ago gave up on the Arboretum, Millennium Park, and the Common, for that matter. They're just overrun by offleash dogs being overseen by oblivious assholes.

I'm so sick of somebody calling out "he's friendly" from almost out of earshot, sometimes out of sight, and so often out of range of any recall command their dog may or may not have. Their "friendly" offleash dog then barrels directly at my leashed dog at full speed, causing my dog to go into full on snarling fight-or-flight mode, and causing me to half strangle my dog to prevent either dog from getting hurt. And then they always treat ME like the bad guy.

So, yeah. Assholes ignore leash laws. Fuck them.

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Minor nit -- there are 2 legal off-leash areas in the Common.

(which is not to disagree with your main point: people are incredibly self-centered about letting their dogs run)

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And there are offleash dogs in all the rest of the Common, too. For a long time, the stretch along Charles was kind of a defacto offleash area, and that's where I mostly saw offleash dogs. In fact, I expected the addition of legal offleash areas to make the problem better, but as far as I can see the yutz dog owners took it as tacit approval and now just let their dogs roam anywhere.

But yes, there are legal offleash areas there.

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Dog owners just feel so entitled that they do whatever they want without regard to the rules

It's not just dog owners, isn't this the way everyone behaves in Eastern Mass?

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I love most dogs, and most animals for that matter. I save my ire for the exact breed of entitled dog owner you talk about. Just the other day, this woman was parading her very handsome dog through the local Whole Foods without a care in the world. It's a grocery store, for Pete's sake. The pup was perfectly well-behaved and didn't soil the store, at least not as far as I can tell, but lady, leash Fido outside like everyone else, or leave him or her home. And PLEASE don't give me any lectures about service dogs. Anyone can get a letter from some doctor saying pretty much anything. This was not a service dog, this was a pet. And the owner was inconsiderate and oblivious. Management should have done something, but I imagine they're preemptively cowered by the threat of some kind of entitled-yuppie outrage-a-thon on Twitter.

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As someone who works with a population that has a high usage rate of ACTUAL service dogs, fake service "emotional support" animals make me RAGE. Keep your goddamn pet at home and stop making it harder for people who legitimately need assistance to be taken seriously!!!!

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Hey, I know what you mean, and there surely are a few people who abuse the system. But, as a clinician who works with PTSD and vets, and others with psychological issues, I've seen how important emotional support service dogs are. And, in some cases, they are also trained to let their owners know that they are about to experience seizure activity--most often related to TBI caused by IEDs. Most people with emotional support service dogs have them for good reasons that are not necessarily obvious.

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with PTSD. More like these folks. Very funny article. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/pets-allowed

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What you say about emotional service dogs being important is very true, Slapshotgoon. Even a person who has an ordinary pet, as opposed to an emotional service dog, however (or any kind of pet, for that matter), finds having a pet is very important to him/her, whether s/he has emotional problems or not, because pets become so like and so part of the family, if one gets the drift.

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Dogs are ok off the leash 0% of the time. That's why it's against the law. It's pretty clear:

When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash

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I walk my dog off the leash in the city. I let him go swimming at the beach during the summer when the beaches are closed to dogs. I play fetch with him at the park off the leash. All you little whine bags on this site can go pound sand!
(I do pick up his shit every time.)

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This is the very essence of mean dog crone. Note the sense of entitlement, the imbecilic rebelliousness and the intense emotional cling to pampering poochie, as if nothing else could be more important.

Oooo she picks up the shit... now that gives her a pass for everything.

And yet, Mean Dog Crone is oblivious to private property behavior ethics as if they are something men dreamed up to thwart free will.

Can I go over to Mean Dog Crone's house, put my muddy boot feet up on her coffee table and smoke a pack of Pall Malls while chugging 40s of 211?

Probably not.

Mean Dog Crones don't generally ascribe to the social contract.

Their behavior is hilariously consistent from one mean dog crone to the next. They were assholes in the graveyard I mowed in the mid 90s and they are assholes everywhere I find them now.

It should be noted that there are women who observe the various mutt rules thoughtfully and it makes them nearly heroic alongside their repulsive sisters.

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I am glad you pick its shit up every time. Kudos to you.

However, your attitude is the problem, not your dog frolicking.

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By all means just don't bitch n moan when I barrel through your dog if it's blocks my line of travel when I'm full speed jogging. Or better yet as it chases me (since most dog owners are terribly out of shape, I'm there everyday trust my data ) and I lead it far far far away. Why would anyone want to barrel a dog, well when you are running/biking, minding your business and some mutt jumps in front of you all of a sudden and you have to smash into a tree to avoid it then yea you'll say f*** em and their owners.

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One of these days someone will drop kick your worthless yappy shitpooch for attacking them and it'll be completely deserved.

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The summary "When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash" is inconsistent with the text of the law, which requires leashes in "any street or public place." Obviously, your dog can be off leash anywhere the property owner permits it.

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This makes me ashamed as a dog owner. And enraged too. I don't go to the Peter's Hill section ever so I really haven't seen as much of this behavior in the Arboretum but I just about lost my
mind last winter with how filthy the streets, the SWC and Franklin Park got with dog shit that people decided would be cleaned up by magical fairies.

These are such magical looking birds--the last time we were at Turtle Pond, one flew right over our heads. I hope someone was actually caught and held responsible for this, but it doesn't sound like it.

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Do you let your dog off leash?
Do you fail to clean up after your dog?
No?

Then you've got nothing to be ashamed about.

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to parse the crap out of anything I post. As I've confessed here before, I do occasionally let my dog off leash in certain areas but I guess I have my own rules on this--I admit--wrongdoing. I do not do it ever when there is anyone around, including other dogs. He is very small and would never rush up to anyone or another dog, but I understand that even a small dog can startle or frighten someone. And he does not go out of my sight, ever, so I am not letting him poop "unseen" or harass wildlife--he really stays at my side on whatever path we are on. Not cleaning up after dogs is my biggest pet peeve--I was on the beach last week when an elderly dog let loose while the owners "weren't looking." It was like something out of a horror movie. Cleaning it up after they blithely left the beach was a true joy.

So no--I am not ashamed of my own behavior in this instance but as you can see here, we are judged as a collective, just like children eating at restaurants, bicyclists, etc. I just want people to act with decency and common sense and not give other people a good reason to loathe us. Get it?

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I'm sure not unlike yourself most dog owners that break the rules think, "Well, here's why MY dog is different..." That is why behavior rarely changes- no one actually sees themselves as part of the problem.

There needs to be patrolling and ticketing of people breaking the rules, and more areas where dogs are allowed to go off leash. But until changes are made, people won't change their behavior because of a few signs.

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...to pick a fight and have your head explode over someone saying to you, "If you don't do these bad things, you've got nothing to be ashamed about". You are a piece of work, Sally. Get it?

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My favorite dog SWC encounter was with some oblivious lady with unleashed dark coat dogs at night decide to dart in front of me, I have to skid to avoid running it over , like cmon lady ppl bike on this path and here you are waddling around as if it's your own, she then tries to huff n puff and scare me,meh I'm not really fearful of yuppie hipster transplants (except maybe when they get all privileged n litigious )

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The dog owners on the SWC are a pretty mixed bunch. I tend to encounter a lot of older Spanish-speaking ladies with chihuahuas. The worst IMO are the people of all stripes who use those damned extendable leashes while chatting on their phones--not only is the dog all over the path but there's a freaking wire running between it and the oblivious owners.

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What is it going to take for people to stop letting their dogs hurt people and other animals in the arboretum. I could just cry thinking about the loss of that beautiful bird.

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and Millinium park are covered in dog shit and over run by entitled dog owners.

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is pretty clean. There are scofflaws but I can walk for a few miles, both on and off paths and not see anything. It's far from "covered." I'm sure no one is picking up after the deer and coyotes though.

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I have to say--I don't think I've ever seen dog poop in the Arboretum but I don't go to Peter's Hill and it sounds as if the problem is concentrated there. It seems as if this needs to be addressed ASAP. I know there's a movement afoot to create a dog park nearby (West Roxbury?) but I wonder if there's any area in Roslindale that could be considered.

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I have been walking daily for six months with my rescued pitbull, starting from the Visitors Center, never at Peters Hill because she doesn't do well with off leash dogs running up to her. She is ALWAYS on a leash and I ALWAYS pick up her poop. During the deep snows this winter it was really noticeable how many people just left behind dog poop. I am guessing Arboretum staff do a fair amount of picking up shit during the busy season.

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How about some fines and enforcement and ejection of entitled owners?

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I own a dog and stopped going to Peters Hill due to the presence of off-leash, out of control dogs. If people want dog owners to cut the shit, the leash law needs to be enforced and violators need to be fined.

I don't think dog owners stand out as particularly entitled or jerky in Boston. Doing so would be an impressive feat.

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Sounds the same thing millions of domestic cats do. Get let outside, they go kill birds. Sometimes babies still in their nests. Why is it only bad when a dog does it?

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No domestic cat is slinking into the Arboretum and taking down a great blue heron.

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That would honestly be a pretty amazing house cat to take on one of those.

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Cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds per year per this national geographic article. Nobody gives a shit about that.

One dog kills one heron and and it's a freakin' genocide to you people.

I think it's quite obvious that you all are canine-ist! Just look at the photo in that article. The cat is about to ambush an innocent family of...that's right. TURKEYS. The TLF can't even stop this!

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You do realize that rats kill birds, too.

You do realize that rat poison kills raptors, too.

No cats means a hell of a lot more mice and rats. More mice and rats means more rodents attacking bird nests. More mice and rats means more rodent poison resulting in raptors eating poisoned rodents and dying.

Of course, in the quest for hating on cats, nobody ever adds all this up on the other side of the ledger.

Nor do they factor in what happened the last time cat haters like yourself got their cat demonizing ball rolling at speed.

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So, I take it your yard has never been littered with headless birds an entire summer season! The neighborhood cat(s) killed just about every bird that visited my yard. Took in my bird bath and feeders to save them.

It got to the point I noticed a bird with it's head still attached and was amazed.

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Never.

Might have something to do with the fact that cats that don't have homes and cats that stay out at night do not exactly dominate the food web in my area.

See also: coyotes, fishers

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You let your dog off the leash the instant you get into the Arboretum, I'm gathering?

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Don't have a dog. Haven't been to the arboreteum in years. No dog in this race.

and link didn't work. Trying again here:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/29/130129-pets-cats-killers...

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I don't really agree with the point you're trying to make, but here's a more fun link for you. Merry Christmas.

How much do cats actually kill?

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Again, cats are not the only ones who prey on birds - rats do too. When rats and mice have no predators, people poison them, raptors eat poisoned rodents, and raptors die.

All of these "cats are killers and should be eliminated" things are not looking at the entire ecosystem that humans have created.

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You missed the point Adam. Can you read into a comment without the need for it to be spelled out for you. Or if a comment does not go along with your point, you have a snide remark to say about it. Then all your little minions come out and pound away at the thumbs up button for you.

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I had forgotten to give Adam a thumbs up.

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No they just kill the baby birds.

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Cats also kill rodents, but not much complaint about that.

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Rodents are also a nuisance, which is why people brought cats into control them.

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Well, there is no leash law for cats let outside, although I, and the Humane Society of the US among many others, strongly recommend not allowing your cat outdoors.

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I leash my cat if I have to take her out of the house. Maybe there should be a leash law.

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HSUS? Now, there's a reputable, credible organization

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Humane_Society_of_the_United_States#Sp...

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Cats should be spayed neutered because they propagate fast

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I'm a completely overinvested cat owner and I'll just say it: anyone who lets their domestic cat outdoors in the city is a shitty pet owner, too. Keep them INSIDE where they are SAFE, and have the bonus of keeping the bird population safe.

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Meh, those little brown sparrows are invasive pests anyways, as are the pigeons, I'm not getting ANY fancy birds in my parts lol

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I know more than one person who stopped their membership because arb management let it turn into a dog park. Maybe they're starting to realize that running a de facto dog park is incompatible with their mission.

Can we have our arboretum back now? Or will it take the death of a child?

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Unless you thnk they should hire a bunch of dog officers, get them camouflage, and let them seize off leash dogs. Because that might be the only thing to stop the asshat owners.

My apologies to good owners, but there is a reason I hate dog owners, and it is crap like this (along with the crap I sometimes almost step in.)

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The arbs people could tell dog owners to leash up or get out with the same alacrity with which they address juvenile tree climbers.

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Nab the dog who killed the heron. When his/her person comes to claim him, 30 days in jail for cruelty to animals. (bangs gavel)

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...but not so fond about LOTS of dog owners (ditto cats and cat owners).

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Seize a few off-leash dogs, impound 'em, let the owner go through a lot of expense and trouble to get 'em back, and let 'em worry themselves sick about poor Fluffy in the meanwhile. After they pay a hefty fine, take mugshots of them and their dog and tell them that a second offense means losing the dog permanently. Let 'em wonder what that means.

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lbb I would love to watch you try to "seize" by dog. Lucky for you the Arb isn't too far from the Faulkner.

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Just bear in mind that people have a right to defend themselves from your dog, and a felony assault conviction could crimp your lifestyle.

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Let's do it, unleashed entitleds vs civilized boston , meet at Peters hill after work, it gets sorted this Friday , you aren't scared right?

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I'm not gonna do any seizing, cupcake, that'll be done by animal control officers who have dealt with meaner dogs than yours and tougher people than you. I'll just point and laugh.

Seriously, get your head out of your ass. You're blustering and threatening because people want to curtail a practice that you are NOT ENTITLED TO. You're like a two-year-old stomping and screaming "CANDY NOW! CANDY NOW! CANDY NOW!" Do you expect anyone to take anything you say seriously?

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when you complain to them they will tell you the city park rangers are responsible for enforcing the rules. But maybe Harvard needs to provide their own security since Rangers seem to be never present or ineffective. I would visit and enjoy the arboretum more if it banned dogs or at least enforced leash laws. Dog owners simply cannot be trusted to follow the rules. I would say on recent visits to peters hill 9/10 dogs are off leash. The death of this beautiful heron is simply unacceptable and so sad.

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I love when a bicyclist stops to tell me about the leash laws and city ordinances in the City of Boston. What about all the daily defiant bicyclists in Boston who never obey traffic laws and then get pissed at you when they come flying up on your car's right passenger side without warning. For Christ sake you have roads now with bike lanes everywhere, then use them rather than coming dangerously close to running down humans at the arboretum. What's it going to take? A Nun holding a baby gets run down at the arboretum and 2 innocent lives are taken.

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Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect - We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own ancestral homeland's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions - The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a turkey contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth!

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This article is about the death of a noble, beautiful wild bird and therefore has nothing to do with turkeys. You sure like to talk about tyranny conveniently forgetting that it was the very state government itself which has coddled the wild turkey population to their current point of nuisance. If it wasn't for the government, you'd be living in the Northeast Kingdom somewhere.

92 days until Thanksgiving FYI.

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We'll take you bitter vicious lies & petty jealousy laced slander in stride and grant you much deserved pity for what is clearly an inferiority complex.

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.

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I'd say "Project much?", but "Lighten up, Francis" seems more apt.

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LOL.

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A humorous character account playing angry birds angry about the death of their fellow feathered cousins and you're taking them seriously?

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Just for once, try not to be an inappropriate, irrelevant douchebag.

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Thezak didn't even post on this topic yet?

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has been a de facto dog park for years. Everyone knows that. Never have I seen a Park Ranger patrolling, if they even exist anymore. And now, the unleashed dogs and their owners have been spilling across Bussey St. to the main Arbs. I have had my own unpleasant encounters with them over the years. I'm very sorry this magnificent bird was taken down. Maybe people will pay attention now. But, will there be any enforcement, Harvard University?

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I wouldn't expect the Aboretum staff to be able to stop visitors from letting their dogs off leash.

We all share a responsibility to publicly shame the offenders. I recommend doing it often.

While you're at it, you an also visit your local CVS, where it seems anything goes and dog owners bring their pets in, all day, every day.

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Take pictures of the people and the mutts, post 'em on a website, put 'em on flyers, name and shame.

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Surprised that they haven't publicly identified the dog's owner. Are they certain it was someone's dog and not a fox or coyote?

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report, they are looking for witnesses. That may imply that no one saw the dogs. There are coyotes in there at night. I can hear them.

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When I've asked dog owners with off leash dogs to leash their dog it's my head that is nearly bitten off. Mainly because I don't want any dog that I don't know coming up to mine. Unless I know the dog stay away from me and mine.

If more folks were to push back on irresponsible dog owners then maybe they would get the message. But most folks want to avoid any kind of hassle and so ignore them or actually assume that there is nothing wrong with unleashed dogs even if they keep their dogs leashed.

The Arboretum staff are not police. They rent (albeit for a very long time) the land which is Arnold Arboretum. For any enforcement the legal action has to be taken by the city.

The Arboretum staff has for several years been asking people to leash their dogs. They don't shout the request with giant signs. As for following rules of the park I think it comes down to the honor system and peer pressure.

I should mention that I've read comments here from people who believe that they should be able to let their dogs off leash. I suppose they're not responding today because the death of a beautiful bird by an off leash dog pretty much ends any argument they might make before they make it.

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You will find signage posting dog rules everywhere with dog scofflaws ignoring them near at hand.

You have several flavors. Dumb lazy guys are reasonably common. I had one mutt try to eat my spinach pie as I sat having lunch up on the Wenham Canal. There are also high strung guys who yell commands at the things to seem more masculine.

In a way, this is slightly preferable to the slobbering baby talk middle aged crones favor. The crones are the absolute worst combining residual entitlement, bitterness and dog love hysteria.

https://youtu.be/A5IZobXdJyE

My theory on the bitterness is that the dog is a stand in for failed relations with someone, usually a man. It seems like an abstraction too, as many use these tennis ball tosser devices because they don't want to touce the mutt slobbered ball, even though it's beloved poochie.

They are basically so loathsome that I smile and thank my stars I'm not waking up to one.It's kind of infantile too.

Then you get the pro dog walkers who charge yuppies 60 to 90 bucks a mutt and run through places with up to seven of the things in tandem.

As much as I like canids and respect people with a clue about owning them, modern mutt pests are the epitome of the ugly american in our time.

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recently to mention the dog walkers I've seen there--this particular one had NINE DOGS with her--all off-leash and shitting everywhere. She had zero control over them, "didn't see" as literally three dogs took huge dumps, and then blithely walked up the path. I called her out and she went back and cleaned up at least one but ugh...if she's there every day, you can imagine.

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Not trolling I promise, but whats the problem with a dog killing and eating a bird? Thats kinda how it works doesnt it? We are the ones that try to feed them dried crap pellets instead of raw meat.. Seriously whats wrong with a dog killing a bird?

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Herons are "beautiful" and "majestic" while rats, pigeons, etc etc are not. Classic case of "fluffy bunny" syndrome - If they were a pest or nuisance, no one would give a crap, but since they're pretty, it's a national tragedy.

People will get mad at this, but it's true.

And to throw my $.02 in as a former dog owner, keep your damn dogs on a leash.

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"Some animals are more equal than others"
#Factsoflife

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believe a better way to look at this issue is that the Great Blue Heron was killed because of an irresponsible dog owner who let his dog off leash in an on leash public park. The "bird" would probably not of been killed if the killer dog was on leash.

This is not about FIDO running around the dog owner's backyard and killing a pigeon, although pigeons have rights too.

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but if someone showed up in the Arboretum with a saw and started hacking away, that'd be wrong, right? It's a sanctuary, not a wilderness.

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To interfere with or destroy migratory birds, for one. There is also a leash law, to prevent harm to other dogs, wildlife, and humans. There are laws in place for a reason--do some basic research and you'll see. Also, I guarantee you this dog did not eat this bird. Coyotes live in the Arboretum, and they don't attack Great Blue Herons.

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...and I know of at least one person who has gone to prison for it in this here Commonwealth. You "just-a-bird"ers better keep that in mind.

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...it's Boston, not the call of the fucking wild. Seriously what kind of numbnuts advocates turning dogs loose in a city to hunt for their food?

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You are constant burr under my saddle but that made me LOL. Call of the Fucking Wild...ha!

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Off-leash dogs are not allowed in any City of Boston park (except for designated dog run spaces).

http://m.cityofboston.gov/Parks/rules.asp

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I'm pretty sure it was sick and dying already if it managed to get caught by domestic dogs. They're pretty common in the warmer parts of the US and they're rarely killed by dogs. Turkey vultures, crows and raccoons kill a ton of babies and eggs, and gators will eat them if they can. Cats also kill a lot of the babies since many of them nest in shallow water, but dogs are super noisy so the birds hear them coming and fly away. These birds are also pretty aggressive with their bills, and will fight back if forced to. If you're really worried about the flight of the Great Blue Heron you'd be way better off banning crows and raccoons from the park.

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not the issue. The issue is that a dog owner was letting his dog run off leash in a park where the dogs should be on leash.

For the life of me, why is this difficult to comprehend?

And how in heaven's name do you know the bird was sick and dying? Good God. This was the resident (notice the word "resident) Blue Heron in the park and I am reasonably sure that the park's staff kept an eye on it in sickness and health and, in this unfortunate instance, death.

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there is a slight exaggeration here. In past years I would see the heron often. This year I have only seen one three times and I walk there twice a day with my leashed dog. I assumed it was because the ponds there are more brackish this year than other years and less attractive to the heron "fishing."

I believe in obeying the leash laws. It is for everyone's safety including the dogs. When people let their dog run free, it reflects badly on all dog owners, since people can't seem to see the difference between those who care and those who are jerks.

And while I'm on the soapbox, can I ask parents to not let their kids run up to a strange dog without supervision and asking the dog owner if it is okay to pat the dog. I'm tired of having to be responsible for someone else's kids.

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And bitches ARE one, if it happened to be a female dog that killed me.

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I did a bit of research on this… Herons, actually, are slow to lift off if they are frightened, or molting. I'm not advocating for either leash, or unleash, but I do have a dog. Google heron flight. We are not getting the full information on this event or all the facts. If there was a witness, I would have hoped that person would have tried to prevent this from happening. If the dog guardian is aware, he/she needs to have some integrity, and explain what exactly happened.

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I've stopped walking in the Arb primarily due to dogs off-leash. I LOVE dogs; however, it's the owners' constantly shouting their names as I am trying to enjoy being outside with nature and exercising that really put me over the edge.

You know - they don't have to have the areas open for pedestrians, do they? Couldn't they close the gates at any time?

We are fortunate to have the Arb - we should all be good stewards - that includes dog owners. There are many who follow the rules - don't get me wrong. Would love to see that there's a spot in Roslindale for a dog park to allow for off-leash exercise - but the Arb isn't your dog park.

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is open. Many of the fences came down years ago. So it is impossible to prevent access.

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I've seen dog owners walk their dogs on and off leash through Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge where dogs are prohibited for obvious reasons if you have any sense of common decency. Dogs urinate on the graves and dog owners think nothing of it! We've also seen dogs go after birds and bark at cemetery visitors. People who walk in the cem. regularly always alert the groundskeeper who promptly kicks them out. Clueless dog owners' sense of entitlement is off the charts.

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This is very unfortunate and sad. I do love dogs. However, the off-leash dog issue in parks where they should be on a leash is a problem that has been going on for awhile. I love to run on trails but pretty much have given up since encountering (and I hate to say it) dog (the-rules-don't-apply to us) entitletards with the hostile attitude to match at Wilson Mountain Reservation (where I had six off leash dogs, from one owner, accost me), Millennium Park (dog jumping on me as I tried to run), and a park in Wellesley where I was tripped up and knocked over by an unleased dog who was not being owner curbed (and the owner with her hubby and kids in tow chastised me for somehow being the problem.)

The only way that this will be made better is if the rules are enforced by park staff walking around on a regular basis but that herein lies the problem.

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...I had no idea there was even a rule that they had to be leashed. The Arboretum has obviously been lax in enforcing this. As the other posters mentioned, it would be much more pleasant to walk in the arboretum if there were not so many dogs running around.

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to enforce the rules, Anon.

But, I agree.

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Rules may be enforced by the institution that mandates them.

Laws should be enforced by police and other public servants (e.g. Animal Control).

It's not a rule that dogs may not be off-leash in the Arboretum. It is a law. Arboretum personnel should tell dog owners to put their dogs on leash, and if they refuse, staff should call the police and Animal Control.

If the problem is so out of control that this means a steady stream of calls to police and Animal Control, so be it.

It would take a pretty heavy crackdown (yes, probably including impoundments and arrests) to solve the problem, but the problem will only get worse until something more serious than a strident flyer is attempted.

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are considered a system of "rules". So, to further continue, one may say it is a rule of the law that dogs at the Arboretum be not off-leash.

Aside from that, I really do not give a damn who enforces the rules, laws or whatever you wish to call 'em. I would just like to see more enforcement of said rules and laws.

And, again, I don't know if you know how many staff the Arboretum has to enforce the rules of law, but apparently they do not have the extra person power to go all swat on the assess of the rule and/or law breakers.

I do agree with you that something has to be done, however. A public park should be able to be enjoyed by everyone.

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If only there were a group of people who were responsible for citing dog owners, some sort of...park ranger or animal control officer person perhaps? Oh wait they exist they just never give these entitled dog weirdos thecitations they deserve. Even the process is ludicrous since it requires a verbal warning be given first before a citation can be written. Surely they will remember all the verbal warnings. If you have a dog in boston and don't have the space for it then you are SOL, idc about your dog's aerobic needs or yall emotional bond. Keep your dumb dog leashed. I wonder if that heron is protected so the state or feds can get involved :)

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Human beings have killed way more birds and animals than any of our dog species. Free roaming cats are estimated by the Audubon society to kill millions of birds every year.

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What does that have to do with an off-leash dog killing a blue heron in the Arboretum?

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...since James Holmes killed 12 people, you won't mind if I kill just three or four? Because way less?

Your "logic" is the dumbest thing since dog sweaters.

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on the natural death (via coyotes, or some other predator) of the heron to whip dog owners into shape.

If there are no witnesses to the attack, how are they sure that it was someone's dog or dogs? It could have been that the heron was attacked, killed, and the killer coyote was spooked by a biker or late night walker/runner, thus abandoning its prey.

Also, for people who are describing the arborteum as covered in dog s*** and who actively avoid it as a place to visit and as a running locale, are you kidding?

I run in there a few times a week usually on the Bussey Hill and Bussey Brook Meadow side, but also in the wild west of dog territory, Peter's Hill, and have seen plenty of off leash dogs, but more often than not, they are leashed. In traipsing around the arboretum I've never run into issues.

All this being said, if you are running and a poodle starts chasing you, start walking, or try to smack it. They are very prey driven and will get all up in your business.

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I mean maybe it can't be concretely ruled out, but then we don't know for a fact that Adam didn't kill the heron to generate a hot topic. Sure, he might deny it, but if we don't have video proof, it's all hearsay, right?

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regardless of the snark, it is odd that they are seeking witnesses, yet they are able to confirm that a dog/dogs killed the bird.

One would think that the owner would have been very close by and been able to have been apprehended/at least talked to.

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"On the evening of Wednesday, August 19, a great blue heron frequently seen in the ponds at the Arnold Arboretum was attacked and killed by off-leash dogs. The incident was witnessed by an Arboretum visitor and reported to staff the following day. This shocking and preventable death has deeply affected the Arboretum community, prompting the launch of a public information campaign in the Arboretum landscape to promote understanding and request visitor compliance with local leash laws."

http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/attack-great-blue-heron-highlights-conc...

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I cherish our parks and am mostly responsible with my dog. I have problems with speeding bikes, and children who run up to my ferocious pet with no warning, hanging on the tree branches, and speeding down the hills on skate boards, or sleds. People leave the most trash or many bottles in which the regular dog walkers usually pick up. We all have are "pet" peeves. Do you all know you are not allowed to bring food and eat in the Arboretum (except for lilac Sunday)? Bicycles are not suppose to be on the non paved paths. Bicycles are not allowed at Millennium either (according to the signs). I am very upset about the heron. I love them. We, however, have enough to worry about than dogs off leash. Chill! I'm sure everybody on here complaining breaks the law in one way or the other. The park should be a place everyone can enjoy. It is the job of every one of us to be polite.

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Every unleashed dog I see running towards me at a park means I have to stop relaxing and go on alert. Is this the one that's going to bite me, like that dalmatian did, despite the owner's assurances that it was friendly? I mean sure, the scar looks cool, but I don't need another one. Or is it "only" going to steal my burrito off my picnic blanket, like the one that "never" does anything like that, and whose owner ran away instead of apologizing or offering to replace the purloined lunch. #firstworldproblems? definitely. But not nearly as entitled as people who believe their dogs to be above the law.

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was an undercover ranger, enforcing the "no food in the arboretum" rule.

He got a promotion for that bust

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You can rest assured that, by evening, revenge was probably yours - and Montezuma's, too. Either that, or sweet pampered puppy spent the night in the family bed launching chemical warfare bombs every few minutes.

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All this arguing is ridiculous. You live in Massachusetts. There is a leash law. Period. "When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash."

I have two small dogs and we have stopped walking in many areas because of large "friendly" dogs chasing us and growling. There was a dog attack a few weeks ago in the corridor.

If you can't leash your dog you should not have a dog or you should move to the woods and be off leash as much as you like.

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You live in Massachusetts. There is a leash law. Period.

I don't believe there is a statewide leash law, but I would be happy to be proven wrong if you provide a citation.

"When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash."

No leash law is going to say that. It's fine to let your dog off leash when it's on someone else's property, so long as the property owner allows it.

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which basically says there is no leash law except in places where it is posted.

Is there a leash law in Dover?
No, there is no leash law per se! We do have a by-law which mandates the owner to be in control of the animal at all times. If the animal is not within sight of their owner, they are not in control. Various open space recreation properties in Dover have different rules regarding dog walking so please check the rules for specific properties that are available on this website.

Pretty similar case here, since no unleashed dogs are allowed, but there is no state law which says dogs have to be leashed when not on your property.

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Most dog owners don't know how to look them up.

The DCR has two large types of property that are fine with leashlesssness. The large state forests like Willowdale don't care.

The WMA's (Wildlife Management Area) don't usually care and some are designed for hunting with dogs.

Abandoned railroad lines that belong to the DOT don't have any restrictions nor does the Fowl Meadow Burma Road run.

Many towns have town forests with minimal rules. If you really want to give your dog great olfactory experiences in interesting places, you can do a bit of legwork.

But entitled mutt owners want all access everywhere, every time. In most .cases, urban mutt nuts are mainly concerned with helping poochie empty bladder and bowels as efficiently as possible because they actually loathe the chore.

My neighbor's wife and daughters have a shopworn pit bull, 'Duke" and part of my daily entertainment is listening to one of them berate, cajole or scold old Duke to pinch his damned loaf.

This all starts to fade as an issue when you are out of the cramped urban core places. The Dover 'under owner's control' rules are also prevalent in Duxbury. It's a very clever legal snare.

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unleashed cat just runs away and never comes back.
unleashed dog poops.
house cat poops in a box.
unleashed friendly dog bit me once...

meow.

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