Animal Control officers are now writing tickets for off-leash dogs at Oakwood Park, where arguments about park use have become a proxy battleground for concerns about longtime locals being pushed out by wealthier newcomers.
“We’ve had officers go by the park and they’ve seen people walking their dogs off leash, which is against park rules,” said city Animal Control Services General Manager Brenda Barnette. Officers have issued three citations, she said, with fines for the first violation starting at $100. L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin’s office had requested patrols of the park, she added.
Earlier this year, the city Department of Recreation and Parks sponsored a dog-training program that allowed off-leash exercise at Oakwood Park during early morning hours, but ended it on Aug. 31 after numerous complaints. Some opponents reported frightening encounters with off-leash dogs; many more suspected they were being displaced from the neighborhood’s last public gathering space.
— Gary Walker