Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dog Walkers Beware

I know that the golf course is a great place for dogs to run and this is especially true this time of year when they (like all of us) may be getting a little cabin fever.  I don't know what the Club's exact policy is concerning having dogs/pets on the property (I think that throughout the golf season pets are prohibited), but I suspect that the rule is relaxed in the winter, in terms of them being on the golf course, since there are no players or staff present. I do know, however, that there are concerns that I want to caution you about and two recent incidences that I want to bring to your attention.

First of all, I'm told by Glencoe Animal Control that there is a Cook County Animal Ordinance that apparently takes precedence over the fact that this is private property that states that Dogs/Pets Must Be Kept On a Leash when not on their owners private property.  I don't pretend to know about all the legal implications in this matter.  It would seem to me that, as a member of a private club, you could in fact be considered a partial owner, and this then should excuse you from this ordinance, but I'm not an attorney and I'm not making a judgment. For now I'll assume that the Ordinance applies. 

What's most important, however, and what I really want to get across and have you tell other members about, is that your pet could be severely harmed, or worse, and you can be fined.  A few incidences have recently occurred of which you should be aware.
In just the past week or so, on two different occasions, dogs were trapped in the open water areas on #13 pond.  One, a Labrador, after a long struggle, had to be roped and pulled to safety, the other, a smaller Spaniel, got out on his own but not until after a traumatizing struggle and when finally out, was nearly hypothermic.
Open, aerated areas on #13 Pond - Inviting but potential very dangerous!
The open water on this pond, and others throughout the course, are aerated for several reasons but primarily to prevent fish kill due to their shallow nature. Often this water is just above the freezing point and at the edges the ice may be very thick. Also, many times there are ducks or other fowl present.  The open water and the ducks may be very inviting to your pet, but the near freezing water and the thick ice can make it nearly impossible for them to get out.

Fortunately this story had happy endings for both these pets and their owners (not without a lot of stress though, for both owners and pets, and a citation for one) but it could just as easily been a tragic ending.

This should be reason enough for keeping your pets on a leash but there are other dangers on the course, and becoming more prevalent, and that is coyotes.  There apparently are a couple packs present, in areas adjacent to the course, and these packs have been known to send a female coyote out to exhibit play behavior with  unsuspecting dogs that may be roaming about.  These females then "lure" the unsuspecting dog, perhaps your pet, into the woods where other coyotes are present, at which time they will attack and kill it.  Again, I think it should be pretty clear, but for the safety of your pet and peace of mind for yourself, for the remainder of winter, Please Keep your Pet on a Leash when on the Golf Course!

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