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Tag: patterson park

Armed with ham, transit chief rescues dog

Toby

(Click picture for the video.)

The head of the Maryland Transit Authority’s police force went above and beyond the call of duty over the weekend when — in the midst of plenty of other snow-related challenges — he took the time to rescue a lost dog.

Colonel John Gavrilis, lured the dog over to his vehicle after spotting him along Moravia Road near I-895 in Baltimore.

The dog, it turned out, had run off during a walk with his owner in Patterson Park on Saturday.

“The dog was just in the middle of the street, so I got a ham sandwich out that I had packed with me and I lured him into my car,” said Gavrilis.

Shortly after that, Gavrilis spotted a WJZ news crew on Boston Street — and got the dog some airtime.

Jason Grady, meanwhile, the owner of the dog, named Toby, had put a  photo and notice of the missing dog on Craigslist.

Once the three-year-old hound turned up on the news, emails and phone calls started pouring in — to WJZ and at Grady’s home in Bolton Hill.

Grady had this message for Gavrilis, upon the return of his dog:

“Thank you Colonel … sorry about your sandwich …”

Off-leash hours to be discussed tonight

Officials from the city Recreation and Parks department will be presenting and discussing plans for off-leash dog hours at Riverside Park at tonight’s meeting of the Riverside Neighborhood Association.

Baltimore opened its first enclosed off-leash dog area, at Latrobe Park in Locust Point, last month.

The city is considering establishing off-leash hours in unfenced areas of several other parks, including Riverside, Patterson, Wyman and Herring Run.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, at the corner of Randall Street and Battery Avenue, across from the park.

BARCStoberfest 2009

DSC06858The weather cooperated beautifully this time around as BARCStoberfest — delayed for a week due to rain — drew large numbers of dogs and their owners to Baltimore’s Patterson Park for a day of contests, activities and a fund-raising walk held under crisp, clear skies.

Contests were held for best costume, owner-dog lookalikes, best kissers and more. In addition to those official contests, we’ve got some unofficial awards:

 

Best leg warmers — second place:DSC06907

 (Official Lifesavers entry?)

 Best leg warmer — first place:

DSC06876

 (And a pretty dazzling flyball player, to boot.)

Best non-portable urinal:

DSC06853

(Toilet trees — for the man who has everything)

Cutest dog — scruffy division:

DSC06928

(If Hollywood ever needs another Benji…)

Best Hannibal Lecter imitation:

DSC06908

(Actually this fella was a sweetheart, all 195 pounds of him)

 Highest Flying Dog

DSC06887

(Chi Chi — flyball star, Karma Dog, and  friend of Ace)

 Cutest dog — wiener division:

DSC06922

Rescheduled BARCStoberfest is Sunday

BARCStoberfest — rained out last weekend — will take place this Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Baltimore’s Patterson Park, in the area around the pagoda.

The festival’s costume contest, a perennial favorite, starts at 1:30 pm. Dogs can compete in any of several categories: Best Halloween Theme,  Best Hon/Best Boh, Matching Dog & Human and Most Original.

A Best in Show winner will be selected (by audience applause) from the four category winners. There’s a $15 entry fee for each category, and prizes in the contest are donated by Dogma.

Other contests at BARCStoberfest include most unique pet trick or talent, best tail wagger, best singer or howler, best kisser, fastest treat eater and smallest and largest dog. There’s a $5 entry fee for those competitions.

The 5th annual BARCStoberfest is a festival for animal lovers that helps raise funds for BARCS, which takes in 12.000 animals a year.

BARCStoberfest moved to next Sunday

Due to poor weather conditions for both this Saturday and Sunday, BARCStoberfest has been moved to Sunday, October 25th. Same time, same place — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Patterson Park — and the delay allows those participating in the Strut Your Mutt walk to raise even more money.

Meetings scheduled on off-leash hours

dparkThe Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is holding neighborhood meetings to get more input on creating off leash areas for dogs at some city parks.

Tonight, city officials will hold a second forum on creating off-leash hours and a fenced-in, off-leash area in Patterson Park. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Wolfe Street Academy on the corner of Gough and Wolfe Street in Upper Fells Point.

Later this month, city Recreation and Parks staff will appear at a meeting of the Riverside Action Group to hear neighborhood opinions on where to locate an off-leash area in Riverside Park in south Baltimore, and which hours to specify as off-leash.

That meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, 1530 Battery Avenue.

First city-backed dog park opens this week

DSC05414

 
A looooong time coming, and then delayed some more, Baltimore’s first city-funded dog park will open this weekend — and there’s even more good dog news on the horizon after that.

The Locust Point Dog Park ‘s grand opening is scheduled this weekend in conjunction with Locust Point’s Star Spangled Festival, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday. Mayor Sheila Dixon is expected to attend — primarily to show off the new dog park.

DSC05429The fenced in dog park includes a big hill topped with fake turf, trees (though dogs will only be able to look at them longingly — they’re protected by fences) and even a water feature: A sunken trough, fed by a water spout (in the foreground of the photo above) runs the width of the park.

The most dramatic feature though will be a giant dead tree, shaved of its bark and set atop large rocks, stump and all. It was being hoisted into place earlier this week.

The effort to start a dog park within Latrobe Park was started by a citizens’ group, then taken over by the city last year, which funded the park, but won’t be responsible for its upkeep. That duty will fall to the citizens’ dog park committee. 

The opening means dogs will have two fenced-in places to legally run unleashed in Baltimore. Canton Dog Park, with a large dog and small dog area, was built by a citizens’ group. The Locust Point Dog Park isn’t divided into large and small dog areas.

DSC05423Here’s the rest of the good news: Soon, up to four city parks will have designated off leash areas.

The city council gave the Department of Recreation and Parks the authority to create the off-leash areas earlier this summer — just after lowering the off-leash fine to $200, down from a $1,000 fine the council says it inadvertently passed into law.

Sources tell ohmidog! that the off-leash hours are being considered for Riverside, Wyman Park (and a separate area at Wyman Park Dell), Herring Run Park and Patterson Park. There would be morning and evening hours, possibly as expansive as from 5 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.

The exact hours and boundaries for the off-leash areas haven’t yet been determined at all the parks. A group of Riverside Park area pet owners met with city Recreation and Parks Department officials Monday night, and parks officials are meeting with Patterson Park residents Oct. 1 to discuss off-leash hours

A fenced-in dog park, long sought by dog owners in that area, is still a possibility at Patterson Park. The city will consider plans for both options. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Wolfe Street Academy School on Wolfe Street in Upper Fells Point.

Use of the off-leash areas, and of Locust Point Dog Park, will probably carry a fee. In addition to the basic city dog license,  a special fenced run/off-leash tag will be likely be required to use both the off leash areas and the dog park. Those will eventually become available  — through BARCS — at an expected cost of $20 a year ($10 for seniors). Forms to get the basic dog license will be available at the park on opening day

When the changes go into effect — this year if the city moves swiftly, maybe next year if it moves at its usual pace –  expect some increased enforcement of the leash law in those areas, and during those hours, that aren’t leash free.

All in all, though, it looks like — thanks to the hard work of many humans — brighter days are ahead for Baltimore’s dogs.

Freedom won’t be free at Patterson Park

park

 
Letting your dog off leash at Patterson Park — if and when it becomes legal — will most likely carry a fee, city officials said at a Thursday night meeting to discuss proposals that range from creating off-leash hours to building a dog park.

Described by Baltimore Sun Unleashed’s Jill Rosen as heated, the meeting drew about 100 people, and resulted in some news: Park rangers will be given the authority to issue citations for off-leash violations, and enfocement will be increased, according to city Department of Recreation and Parks Director Wanda Durden.

But as for what manner dogs might be permitted to play off leash, that, after years of pushing, still seems up in the air.

One suggestion is to build a fenced-in, 20,000-square- foot dog park along Baltimore Street on the western end of the park.  That proposal, drafted by Friends of Patterson Park Dog Park, calls for, rather than full time dog parks, two zones, both northwest of the lake, for off-leash hours — one for small dogs, the other for large ones.

Otheres prefer the idea of designating certain areas to be leash-free during certain hours.

While the city hasn’t figured out the what, when and where, it did have plenty of rules ready, among them:

An annual fee of $20 for those who wanted to use the off-leash area, as well as proof of a city dog license and current vaccinations. A limit of three dogs. Professional dog walkers can’t use the area for business. No dogs in heat. No dogs under four months old. No children under 8 years old. Children 9-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Dog handlers must be 16 years old or older. Dogs must wear a collar or harness with an ID tag, a special off-leash tag and rabies tags.

The city of Baltimore’s only existing dog area is Canton Dog Park, built by private citizens. The first city-funded dog park, in Locust Point, was supposed to open this summer, but with delays, September is now looking like the earliest it might open.

Update: Off-leash hours at Patterson Park?

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks will be meeting Thursday with a group of dog owners and other concerned citizens to discuss off-leash areas and fenced dog runs in Patterson Park.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the General Wolfe Middle School, Wolfe and Gough Streets.

The City Council approved a bill in May to allow off-leash hours to be established in city parks, but the Department of Recreation and Parks has yet to implement any.

This meeting was called at the urging of concerned citizens, and the Friends of Patterson Dog Park, a group formed in 2007 to advocate on behalf of making Patterson Park safe and accessible for all users, including dog owners.

Say Chow (or ciao) to those $1,000 fines

 

Baltimore’s $1,000 fine for letting a dog of its leash is, effectively, a thing of the past — if even that.

A city council committee yesterday — saying the amended penalty was passed by mistake — approved lowering the fine to $200 on a first offense, and promised that, for all 35 of the $1,000 tickets issued between the beginning of April and May 8, violators will have to pay no more than $200.

The new three-tiered fine — $200 for first offense, $400 for a second, $600 for a third — still requires approval by the full council, but little opposition is expected.

In opening the hearing, at which more than a dozen dog owners testified, Council Member James Kraft said, “This fine, very frankly … was a mistake. We were amending provisions of the law that were dealing with cruelty to animals and we increased penalties because some of these penalties were very old penalties. They weren’t acting as deterrents.

“Inadvertently, because that section had a lot of other provisions in it, that thousand dollar fine went across a much broader spectrum than we knew.”

Upon learning of what they had done, Kraft said, the council took steps to ask that the fine not be levied against violators.

Nevertheless, 35 $1,000 citations were handed out by the city’s office of Animal Control, with support from the police department — 23 of them since April 28.

“For those who have said that maybe this was a fundraising measure on behalf of the city, please be advised it clearly was not,” Kraft said.

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