Some frequent dog walkers in Elysian Park said they have noticed an increase in the enforcement of off-leash laws. One person named Natasha said officers and their vehicles have been a common sight in and near the park – which runs along the eastern edge of Echo Park and Elysian Heights – since Feb. 13. The officers have issued warnings, $250 tickets and taken other action against offending dog owners, said Natasha by email:
“Is this a way to collect taxes, harassing dog owners? There is also a rumor that they arrested a dog owner who was giving them a hard time. Watch out!”
Senior Lead Officer Joseph Orlanes with the city’s Office of Public Safety, which patrols the parks, said enforcement of off-leash laws has been stepped up in Elysian Park but that has been the case for the past several months now. Also, he said he was unaware of anyone getting arrested as a result of being ticketed or warned about leash-law violations.
Orlanes enforcement was increased following complaints from Recreation and Parks staff as well as residents. “This has been ongoing and will continue,” he said.
Update: New photo above shows an Angeleno Heights woman who was cited for leash-law violations on Sunday, Feb. 13. The woman said she was ticketed even after she had put her dog back on its leash. Another member in her group who did not have a leash for his dog was temporarily handcuffed by an officer and then released.
“He kept asking what’s going on,” the woman said of the man who was handcuffed. “He kept being shut down. They decided that he was not cooperating” and handcuffed him. She said all three persons plans to challenge their tickets.