In light of recent stories on the Traveler about dogs in national parks, it's pertinent to note that unleashed dogs recently killed two Canada goose goslings at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California.
On April 18, the park received a report of an attack on the goslings on the shoreline at Crissy Field by off-leash dogs that were not under the control of their owners. The attack reportedly resulted in the death of two of the goslings, a park release said.
The incident is under investigation. This incident is just one of many over the past year that highlight the need for dog owners to maintain control of their animals at all times, even in those areas where dogs are currently permitted to be off-leash, the park release said.
There have been at least nine incidents in the past year in which park visitors or employees were bitten by dogs, most of them off-leash dogs. At Fort Funston several months ago, a fight between two off-leash dogs resulted in a dog being stabbed by the owner of one of the dogs. Last year on Crissy Field, a U.S. Park Police horse was attacked and badly injured by an off-leash dog that was not under control.
Owners of dogs that harm or harass wildlife, threaten or attack park visitors or employee, or fight with other dogs may be cited for violation of federal regulations. Anyone witnessing these kinds of occurrences should immediately call Park Dispatch at 415-561-5505. In the event of a safety emergency, call 415-561-5656.
"Our park welcomes millions of visitors each year. Every visitor is responsible for following the rules," said Golden Gate Superintendent Frank Dean. "Visitors with dogs are responsible for preventing their dogs from damaging park resources or attacking wildlife or people. We will use existing federal regulations to prosecute owners whose dogs create the kinds of problems that have occurred throughout the park."
Dog owners are encouraged to take advantage of training classes, including one offered by the San Francisco SPCA, that teach basic dog obedience skills needed to maintain control of dogs around wildlife, other dogs, and the public.
Federal regulations governing protection of wildlife and visitors are found at the park's current dog walking information web page.