I am writing to you to bring awareness of an ongoing situation of public safety in and around Apache Junction.
Due to the last two years, my wife and I have been doing more walking, which our dog also loves. We started walking around our house on public property such as sidewalks and streets.
Over the space of less than one month, we had been charged by a dog off-leash several times, once by a Great Dane, had a dog jump a 6-foot privacy fence to charge us, not to mention other dog owners taking their dog off leash by a heavily traveled street which is a traffic hazard waiting to happen. That is when we would call the proper authorities. Which sometimes would arrive in a timely manner and sometimes they wouldn’t.
We then started going to the local parks, assuming that others would follow the law and keep their animals on a lead. We were so very wrong.
We stopped going to Prospector Park entirely due to people letting their dogs run free and the lack of response from those whose duty is to protect and serve.
Over the course of 14 separate visits in March of this year to Prospector Park we observed 12 occasions of medium to large dogs off leads. However, when there are small children present, not to mention retirees, even if a dog is friendly, jumping on a small child or someone with physical disability like my wife and knocking them to the ground can result in serious injury. That is when we would call the proper authorities. Which sometimes would arrive in a timely manner and sometimes not so much.
We even witnessed a dog off-lead attack another dog that was being walked that was on a lead. What would be the response if it had been a human that was attacked?
If the current statutes are to be believed, there are fines up to $2,500 that could be levied on those who broke the this law. If traffic control fines are in the $200-3$00 range I do not see why this subset of laws are being ignored by those whose job it is to protect and serve.
Perhaps if more of us average citizens keep bringing the issue up, this public safety issue could be addressed, making it safer for us and our doggie family members in the local parks that our taxes pay for.
Editor’s note: K.E. Williams has been an Apache Junction resident since 2007.
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