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Friday, March 4, 2011

SF Dog Politics Comes Unleashed; Rally Planned Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM

click to enlarge Even Cujo might be too squeamish for these meetings
  • Even Cujo might be too squeamish for these meetings

For those with a taste for the bitter, litigious, and inordinately complex world of San Francisco dog politics, there's a lot to look forward to over the next few days.

Two of the four public meetings planned by National Park Service officials on their new dog rules for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are taking place in San Francisco. The first will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Seven Hills Conference Center at San Francisco State University. At 4 p.m. Monday another meeting will be held at the Fort Mason Center.

Meetings of this kind have, in the past, been occasions marked by fervid advocacy from both pro-and anti-leash law activists, including a 2001 meeting at which then-Supervisor Gavin Newsom led a pack of dog owners in a civil rights era-style chant of "No Leashes!" 

There's plenty of reason to expect passions to run similarly high this weekend and Monday; at the Monday meeting, dog owners are organizing a rally to protest the GGNRA's proposed leash laws. At the first public meeting, which took place Wednesday in Mill Valley, some 300 people attended.

What's that you say? Still blissfully ignorant of the Dog Issue? Barrels upon barrels of ink have been consumed in press accounts of San Francisco's interminable dog wars -- including some recent contributions this week -- and we won't regale you with all the details here. Go here for a rundown on the GGNRA's proposed leash laws, which dog activists say are too restrictive; you can check out our January 2010 cover story on the issue here.

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Peter Jamison

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