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Karen Jensen, Published June 15 2009

Children at risk in 45th Street dog park

I was out visiting the 45th Street dog park the other day with my dogs, and there was a woman with several children and a collie dog already at the park. It quickly became apparent that this woman was a day care provider and not the mother of these children.

There were several things about this situation that were greatly alarming to me, and if I were the parent of any of those children, I would immediately pull my child from her care.

First of all, the children were running at my dogs and any other dogs that came into the park, getting right into their faces and reaching out to grab, pet and hug the dogs. This is inevitably going to result in a dog bite as soon as the child does this to the wrong dog.

I was the one who had to tell them not to chase my dogs before the woman stepped in to do anything. She then solved the problem by sending them all to play in the playground, while she stayed in the park with her dog. Two of those children were under the age of 4. When they would come back to the park area, they would open both gates, creating the potential for dogs to get loose.

This irresponsible “caregiver” is not only endangering the safety of your children, but also creating a situation where the safety of my animals is at risk.

I encourage any parents with children in private day care to be diligent about finding out what your children are doing all day and the level of care they receive, before they end up in the hospital getting their fingers or their face sewn up.