The debate as been quite animated on the neighborhood community website Next Door. Like all good debates, this one has two sides; those that support the law and those that want to see the dogs run free. The loudest of "Doggie Freedom" crowd appears to be members of a group of neighbors who had been gathering at Pontiac Square Park just south of Russell. They have been gathering to socialize after work and allow their dogs to run free.
Pontiac Square Park is a public space and thus is covered under St. Louis City Ordinance 10.04.220, which reads as follows:
"No owner/guardian of any dog shall permit such dog to be found at large on the streets of the City or in any public place or on another person's private property, unless such dog is on a leash, not longer than six (6) feet in length and held by or under control of a responsible person so as to effectively prevent it from biting any person or animal. All dogs are prohibited from running or being at large unless under restraint as described above"
There are many laws and ordinances out there that I don't necessarily agree with. This is one that I think that it sucks that it has to exist, but it's needed. This ordinance is in place both to protect the humans of St. Louis and the furry residents.
Several of the dog owners letting their dogs go unleashed in Pontiac and voicing their opinions are stating that the owners congregating there are responsible dog owners and no one is being harmed by their actions. The dog owners who brought their dogs to Wentzville's Quail Ridge Park probably thought the same thing. Buddy's owner probably thought that too. That is, until Buddy was attacked and killed by another dog in the park earlier this year.Nick Andres, Buddy's owner, had this to say while talking about how he wouldn't be going back to the unregulated dog park.