Should Off-Leash Dogs Be Allowed at Parks? Opinions in South Boston Were Split

A community meeting in South Boston is addressing the safety issue

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A child being bitten by a dog at a South Boston park has prompted a meeting with members of the community and city leaders regarding whether pets should be allowed off-leash.

The signs at Medal of Honor Park say dogs must be leashed, but the rule is not widely followed. How concerning that is depends on who you ask.



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"That's why I've got a pocket full of treats here. Anytime a dog's off-leash I just try to get as far away as possible," said Alec Hildreth, who frequents the park with his dog, Logan.

Dog owner Nicole Brennan, who said she has two dogs at home, is less concerned.

"As long as the dog is trained and you know how it reacts to children, it's perfectly fine," she said.

The use of the green space became the topic of conversation at a community meeting Wednesday after a child was bitten by a dog there a few weeks ago.

Boston Councilor Ed Flynn posted about the meeting on social media — saying the incident has raised safety concerns.

Selina Giannone, a mom of an 11-week-old baby and owner of a 3-year-old dog said she doesn’t mind seeing dogs off-leash.

"It's an unfortunate situation. Rarely does it ever happen," she said.

Flynn said there is a nearby dog park specifically for off-leash pets, but many say the two spaces aren't comparable.

"We've had not great experiences there, unfortunately. We tried bringing her down there, but she got kennel cough," Giannone said.

"There's no lighting. There's no shade," said dog owner Tim Luce. He is hoping the meeting will help everyone find common ground.

"For the most part the dogs here are well trained and people do a good job, but at the end of the day, they're dogs," Hildreth said.

"Hopefully what comes out of the meeting is people do have discussions about other areas for dogs," Luce said.

The meeting started at 6 p.m.

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