To the editor:
I would like to encourage the City Council and the residents of Salem to consider adopting a shared-use program for off-leash time for some or all Salem parks. Many other urban and suburban areas like Cambridge and Brookline have hours during the day — usually early morning — when dogs can be off-leash at certain parks. Most dog trainers and experts agree that dogs need time off the leash to properly interact with each other and get needed exercise. The onus is always on the owner to make sure their dog is sufficiently under their control and well behaved to handle this of course.
I propose that we run a pilot program at Forest River Park where dogs are allowed off-leash during designated hours. I think this will lead to happier dogs and owners. If this is clearly marked, people who are uncomfortable with unleashed dogs are free to utilize the park outside of the shared use hours.