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Posted on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Police end off-leash dog frolic at Slauson Middle School

By Danielle Arndt


Ann Arbor Public Schools officials and neighborhood residents report that police officers were at Slauson Middle School informing canine owners of the city's dog-related ordinances Saturday. file photo

Ann Arbor police officers issued a verbal warning to dog owners gathered at Slauson Middle School Saturday for the neighborhood’s weekly "unleashed hour."

Police will be enforcing the city’s ordinance pertaining to dogs and dog feces, school officials said Monday.

The city’s code calls for pet owners to leash their dogs and for the pet’s leash to be in the owner’s hand at all times while on public property. Additionally, the code states dog feces must be removed by the owner immediately.

Slauson Principal Christopher Curtis emailed city officials Friday after an article and subsequent column from middle school athletic director Rusty Fuller detailing dog use at the school appeared on

“He did send a letter to the city attorney confirming, yes, this is a problem at Slauson,” said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis of Curtis. “The district is very happy that the police will be monitoring the situation. ... We were not looking to penalize anyone.”

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials were told police would be at the middle school for the next couple of Saturdays to observe dog owners and to inform them of the ordinances and how the feces is affecting students’ abilities to play and participate in physical education, Margolis said.

John Lawter, an Ann Arbor parks commissioner, dog owner and participant in the off-leash hour, said the police officer Saturday was very polite and courteous, but essentially said the unleashed hour could no longer go on.

“Everyone was pretty disappointed because we knew this was basically the end of this gathering," he said. "I hope the positive effect is that it can galvanize our group into finding a legal alternative.”

Lawter added the officer told people at Slauson that if the party continued, citations would be escalated to trespassing complaints. Letting dogs off their leashes is a civil infraction, punishable by a $25 to $500 fine.

Saturday was cold and drizzly and not a well-attended day. Lawter said he hopes the police officers are as patient next week with people who may not have received word yet.

Daniel Rivkin, who has been living in Ann Arbor and participating in “dog days” for 19 months, created a Facebook page for people to share ideas about responsibly running their dogs in the city’s open spaces.

“We asked the officer to look into the faces of our dogs and tell us if they looked like criminals," Rivkin said jokingly.

Margolis added Slauson is not the only school with a “dog poop problem.”

“All of the playgrounds have issues,” Margolis said, adding that's especially true of the schools located within neighborhoods. “This is not new. The poop cleanup (by athletic directors and school P.E. instructors) has been going on for a long time. … Every spring the issue is heightened.”

She said while she could not judge whether Slauson is the most heavily used by dog owners for exercising their pooches, she recognized the Old West Side does not have many large open spaces for public use, and the dog park is on the south side of town.

“The fact that there’s 50 to 70 people gathering every Saturday speaks to the need,” Lawter said, adding people have been bringing their dogs to Slauson for about 10 years. “I agree that having it at a schoolyard probably isn’t the best place, I agree that stepping in dog crap is not the best thing, but I disputed the athletic director's comments that we are the ones responsible for those cases.”

In his April 27 guest column, Fuller writes, “Enough of the excuses and proclamations by dog owners that they clean up everything; this simple truth is THEY DON’T.”

Lawter said this is simply not true of the off-leash group.

"I would anticipate that without us, there will be more stuff left behind because we were so diligent and paranoid."

A subcommittee of the Parks Advisory Commission is looking at developing off-leash options in central Ann Arbor parks, although the "where" and "when" have not yet been formalized, Lawter said. reporter Pete Cunningham contributed to this report. Contact Cunningham at or by phone at (734) 623-2561.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, May 5, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Yes, the dog park is on the south side of town. You put your dog in the car and drive there. I took my dog there 99 days out of 100 (had to be super bad weather for me not to) for 3 years until we moved and got a fenced in yard.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Feces and the 3 Cs do not mix.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 6:30 a.m.

Great news the AAPD is enforcing this. I love dogs, but I'm tired of the entitlements dog owners think they have in the city's public spaces. It's nice enough they allow dogs on these fields so follow the rules. If the park commissioner is involved then why not build a dog park where letting your dogs run unleashed won't be a problem and the rest of us don't have to worry about stepping in dog crap or getting bit. The AAPD were pretty nice about this it seems. Here in Chicago they'd slap them with a $500 fine without question, regardless of how cute your dog looks.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

How about the law abiding dog owners pick up Waterworks park too on their way to Slauson? Several years ago the city posted signs to "Stoop & scoop" but they where stolen.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

@Tru2Blu76, re: "Especially, they should know that ALL police enforcement actions are, by necessity, selective! ... when someone takes an action which creates a public nuisance or public hazard, if any LEO observes this or if it's reported to police: they will take action." Exactly. They WILL TAKE ACTION when someone creates a public nuisance! And in the absence of any evidence of a public nuisance, guess what? They will do what they have been doing for years — they will apply the No Harm, No Foul rule. The fact that our local Law Enforcement experts, the AAPD, have consistently found this situation to come under the heading of No Harm, No Foul, should tell the internet trolls something. But now, faced with the current troll pressure, the AAPD is coming down on the Dog Party, since yes, it is technically in violation of a rarely-enforced (because it rarely needs to be enforced!) ordinance. Trolls 1, Common Sense 0


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

Repeating the same thing multiple times doesn't make it true. For your post to have even a shred of relevance, or any basis in fact, several things have to be true: "And in the absence of any evidence of public nuisance...." Who said there's an absence of evidence? Your post is based on the assumption there's been some kind of police investigation into the matter, which then turned up "no evidence." Are you suggesting that A2 PD has entered onto school property, engaged in investigatory behaviors, found nothing, then chose not to take further action? What proof do you have this has occurred? In Michigan, minor misdemeanors have to be witnessed by the officer for the officer to initiate enforcement action. In the absence of an officer to witness the problem, there needs to be a private complainant, who will sign an complaint and show up to testify if necessary, for a citation to be issued. Also, the city police don't routinely patrol private property, which is what that school yard technically is. Your argument of "selective enforcement" doesn't hold water, as it assumes that officers have routinely been a) patrolling private property; b) routinely witnessing violations;and c) routinely ignoring violations. "Local law enforcement experts...have consistently found this situation to come under the heading of No Harm, No Foul..." See paragraph 2 above.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

@ elGato, re: "unbelievable no words" Exactly. I couldn't have put it better myself — no words, just emotional hate.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.

@ Macabre Sunset: "many of the law-breakers seem to have moved to Vets Park. Our softball field had a lot of feces in the outfield tonight, which hasn't been the case in the past." Once again, an erroneous link is being made between the highly-visible, and very responsible, Dog Party folks, and the loners who don't clean up because no one is watching. To date, there has not been one single claim that the obsessive Sat. AM crowd has been seen leaving poop behind. Rather, every indicator points to their leaving the place cleaner than they found it. All other accusations have simply been internet-troll attacks. And get real folks! Do the math! The Dog Party is a once a week thing, with a duration of less than one percent of one week! One hour out of one hundred and sixty-eight hours! And has been said time and time again, the Dog Party is populated by a group of people who call out, "Poop Alert, Poop Alert!" whenever they see the act. As John Lawter pointed out, in the absence of the once-a-week scrupulous cleanup that Slauson has, to date, received, the Dog Party section of the field will now end up a lot dirtier. As filthy as the kiddy-soccer section, I might add. Be careful what you wish for!

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 5:43 a.m.

"and very responsible, Dog Party folk" Taking your dog to a place that's posted "NO PETS ALLOWED" is not responsible. How can you possible claim that willfully violating the law is "responsible?" The ignorance and arrogance of these people is astounding.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 2:24 a.m.

unbelievable no words

Macabre Sunset

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

What's really annoying is that many of the law-breakers seem to have moved to Vets Park. Our softball field had a lot of feces in the outfield tonight, which hasn't been the case in the past. These people say they care about the community, but many of them do not. It's time to start issuing fines.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

@ JRW, re: "the code states dog feces must be removed by the owner immediately." I don't see the issue. This is the code. End of story." Exactly. End of story. That is why Pete Cunningham, who wrote the original story, had no problem with the Dog Party folks, nor did the police all these years. And since, as has been mentioned earlier, ALL laws are enforced selectively, the police, not being stupid, have subscribed to a No Harm, No Foul attitude relative to this harmless gathering — just as they rarely give tickets for jaywalking, or driving five over. Then the internet trolls got hold of the story, and started ranting, with absolutely no basis in fact, about how the Dog Party folks don't pick up their dogs' poop. Trust me, given the spotlight that the Dog Party has been in for years, not picking up poop would have had them shut down in a heartbeat. But now, thanks to the internet...


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Wow. The longest, most impassioned thread I have ever read on And it's about crap. Thanks for today's laugh!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Well. I'm glad that issue is settled. Even in dog parks, owners should be responsible for removing their dog's poo.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

"The city's code calls for pet owners to leash their dogs and for the pet's leash to be in the owner's hand at all times while on public property. Additionally, the code states dog feces must be removed by the owner immediately." Need some police officers to check out the paths in Gallup Park sometime on a sunny weekend day. Dogs are often off leash, and poop is rarely picked up on the walking paths. I guess some dog owners feel entitled to let their doggie do his or her business where others can step in it while it sits there and stinks. Gross and illegal.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Uresgoddess: There is no comparison between wild birds and pets. Wild birds along with other wild animals "do their business" in nature. It cannot be controlled, unlike pets with owners who don't pick up their poop on walking and biking paths. What a silly comparison. In addition, the poop that the geese leave around at Gallup park doesn't stink like dog poop.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

I'm sorry, but how did you notice the doggie poo with all of the goose/duck poo covering (or so it seems) every square inch of the place?!?!?! Or, did they finally figure out how to make the little wild critters do their "do-do" all in one place off of the beaten path?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

"The city's code calls for pet owners to leash their dogs and for the pet's leash to be in the owner's hand at all times while on public property. Additionally, the code states dog feces must be removed by the owner immediately." I don't see the issue. This is the code. End of story. If you are in violation of this code, expect to be cited and ticketed and fined. Using school property or other public spaces not designated for off leash dogs is a violation of the city code. If there aren't enough open spaces near your home, then the dog only runs and poops on your lawn, not in some one else's lawn or in a public space! Maybe potential dog owners should think twice before getting a dog if the only option for running them off leash and pooping is in an illegal space. Don't get a dog and then try to sneak around public spaces leaving poop around for others to clean up.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Related: many people have recently put up comments about our reduced police force being a factor in our "rising crime rate" but with this police action, there are more comments about "excess police attention" and "selective enforcement" than anything. One would think that, in this university town with "high intellectual standards" that: people would know by now how police forces function. Especially, they should know that ALL police enforcement actions are, by necessity, selective! No one complains about police selectively going after drunk drivers, but when they go after people who are just violating ordinances because it brings pleasure to themselves and their pets: we witness THEIR selective protests. One more tip to help "clear up confusion" about police policies & practices - when someone takes an action which creates a public nuisance or public hazard, if any LEO observes this or if it's reported to police: they will take action. Really amazing, right? Dogs, except under carefully restricted conditions, have no freedom to run free. Allowing one's dog to run free even in remote areas "off the grid" is controlled by game law enforcers. Most of us face the facts: dogs, by their nature, present hazards and can be a nuisance to others at times. They therefore must be under the owner's control. It's the price we pay for having such animal companions.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

I happen to agree TRU. I have an Alaskan Malamute and a large, fenced in back yard. Malamutes have a wandering radius of app. 28 miles. She can never be let off lead in a park, or anywhere else, except our back yard. When you adopt a dog, it is your responsibility to care for her and her needs. It is also important to respect the rights of the general public.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

I agree with you except for the part where assuming Ann Arbor has smart people in it...even if it is a university town, people are dumb as rocks!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Think of all the fossil fuels used to haul tons of dog food, cat food, cat litter into Ann Arbor, not very green. All the fecal run off or plastic bags with fecal waste hauled to and deposited into land fills. Don't think that moving to the country that it's going to be ok to let your dog run any where it wants either. Every where I bike to I'm met with dogs running in the roadway. Get the training you need and understand that you pet is a domesticated animal and not a native species.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7 p.m.

It would be cool if dog waste could be converted into fuel, would it not?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

@alterego, re: "Poop flows into the river when it rains." And if those dogs don't go to the Party they will never poop? Got it.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.



Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Poop flows into the river when it rains.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Out of curiosity, since this had been going on for awhile, is this something Slauson and AAPS officials have been trying to get the city to do something about, or have they just been "grinning and bearing it" all this time? I just don't get this "it's my tax dollars, deal with it" mentality. It's a city ordinance. It is a shame that police resources have to be used for something like this because of this "rules are for other people" mentality.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

I appreciate a good cliche, thanks, thecompound! I type and talk very fast -- That first sentence should have been "I don't know if Slauson..."


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

@ DNB, loose lips sink ships, LOL


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

I suspect they've been grinning and bearing it - this is not the first time the police have taken a few weeks to enforce the regulation, it's just the most recent.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

I don't if Slauson, or AAPS knew about this large, rogue, off-leash dog group that met there every Saturday. The staff at Slauson, Rusty Fuller, Jon Strite, and several teachers have known there's a problem with p**p for many years. I've had three kids go through Slauson, and two are currently students there now. I've have more than one kid step or slide in it during gym, or one of their many "Fun Fridays" events. I agree it's a shame that police resources have to be used. I'm glad public attention has finally been brought to this problem. John Lawter can thank himself for that. Posting a video on YouTube, and his interview with, bragging about HIS rogue doggy party on Saturdays. THEN, he sends another opinion piece to that was posted this morning ... arrogance on his part, still.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Guess what people? Some dog owners actually do the same this at a CEMETERY, Fairview cemetery off Pontiac Trail to be exact. I had an experience last year walking through there with my dog on a leash and a group of 4 or 5 big dogs literally ran at us forcing me to turn around and run the other way while screaming "are you people nuts?!" Just the other day, as I was leaving this cemetery that has a SIGN that says no dog exercising, I saw the same person with her dogs unhooking their leashes. I was not there with my dog, only smelling lilacs. I really don't understand who these people think they are who don't have to follow the rules. And I am disgusted that they would do the in a CEMETERY of all places. How disrespectful is that. Sheesh!!

Honest Abe

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

The city of Ann Arbor is worried more about enforcing dog owners than lets say..umm, the rapist/attacker from last summer!!?? Seems they believe if in the ole "out of sight, out of mind" approach. Thought I would never say this, but maybe it is time for a party change in this town.

Ron Granger

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

That is a tired, old argument. There will always be crime. There will always be children starving in the world. Etc. That doesn't mean life stops, or that we ignore basic quality of life issues. Or that criminal or anti-social behavior of a more minor nature should be ignored. Or that we stop planting flowers.

Ron Granger

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Dogs don't pay taxes, people do.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.



Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

I just want to point out that many people who own dogs, big or small... understand that dogs need to be socialize and having a place to meet consistently with the same dogs to bond and play, its in their nature to play in a pack. As for kids and poop in their parks, deal with it you are outside! We all pay for these schools and parks we should get to use them how we like! #firstworldproblems


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Just because your taxes go toward funding something doesn't mean you can use as you like.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

#and #this #is #not #Twitter


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Even in dog parks, people should pick up their dogs' poo. How hard is that?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Are you serious? You think it's ok for dogs to poop on the school yard where signs are posted. oh and guess what? That's why we have dog parks


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

why do these people continue to go here? regardless of the rules and regulations, they've been repeatedly asked to stop, yet they continue to do so. To me, this is nothing but an undeserved sense of entitlement and arrogance beyond reproach.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Now that this crime against humanity has been dealt with, let's turn our focus on the killer cats that are still allowed to roam free and destroy birds!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Awesome. Its about time. I also own a dog, and as a responsible dog owner, we have a dog license, and we have a paid tag to go to the dog parks, and we never walk off leash. This weekly gathering at Slauson is both against the law, and unsafe. There is a reason that the dog park asks for proof that you have a license, that your dog has rabies shots, and is located in its own area where kids and adults don't use for other purposes. Now, how about enforcing that at our other parks as well.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 5:35 a.m.

"It would be better if our community had free dog parks located in convenient places where people didn't have to drive to them." Lazy, entitlement attitude. Typical Ann Arbor.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

@cinnabar7071 I can think of all kinds of things the government should not supply me. But I also think it is fair to ask that some of the parks that the government is already providing to residents be used in a manner that is consistent with the demand for those parks. There clearly is a demand for a dog park and providing one might solve the problem of people using the school grounds as a dog park. It might even be cheaper than other options.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Woman in Ypsilanti is there anything the gov't shouldn't supply you?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

It would be better if our community had free dog parks located in convenient places where people didn't have to drive to them.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

There are at least 2 dog parks in Ann Arbor. I go to one regularly. After lobbying for years to get these parks some dog owners are too lazy to drive to them. If we don't use them the county and city will close them and not mow or empty garbage/poop cans. It seems the problem of picking up after one's dog is not only in places where dogs are not allowed, but also in the dog parks. We regularly take extra bags with us when walking in the dog park so we can pick up after inconsiderate owners. Some of us act as police and remind people to pick up after their dogs. I wonder if these same people would allow their children to poop in the grass and leave it for others to pick up. Another thing, it is not necessarily only large dogs that need to run. Smaller dogs need exercise also. I have known large dogs that were extremely lazy! Just watch an adult rothweiler some time.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 5:34 a.m.

"have unpaved parking lots" Oh, no, not unpaved parking lots!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

Well said, Charlie. However, large dogs are not generally "lazy". Laziness is a human trait. Most large dogs tend to be more "laid back", which is a trait I appreciate.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Um. *lazy*? I don't like going to those dog parks because they are too crowded, have unpaved parking lots, no water, etc. and they charge money. Our community needs free parks for dog owners!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

If you want to let your dog run loose, move out to the country. My folks have several acres for their dog to run and swim as much as it wants. Interestingly enough I've never seen or stepped in any dog poo walking any area of their property.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

It's refreshing to see so many individuals concerned with the letter of the law. That means that none of these posters ever speed - even one mile an hour - over the posted speed limit because that would be endangering everyone else in the vicinity. They always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks instead of honking their horns or hurrying by to get through before the pedestrian is in their way. I'm not saying what happened here is right or wrong. But I will say that name calling and generalizing these individuals as scofflaws is probably hypocritical by most of these posters. (In case you are wondering, no, I don't have a dog. And I really hate stepping in dog poop.)

Wolf's Bane

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

We're talking about feces. Not speeding.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

So speeding cars aren't dangerous?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

this is beyond illogical. aside from the slippery slope you use, you're making a false equivalency between traffic laws and city ordinances regarding pet ownership. it's "arguments" like this that do nothing but bog down a legitimate discussion about public ordinances.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

The issues are not related. Dog feces are toxic waste, they harm the environment and the water table, and dogs can be dangerous, spread disease, and pick up disease. I AM a dog owner. Your comparisons don't hold water.

J. Zarman

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Want to let John Lawter and others on the city's Park Advisory Commission know that you care that ordinances are observed, and that no commission member contributes to problems at school district open spaces? Attend a Park Commission meeting and air your concerns. The Commission meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m., in City Council Chambers, 100 N. Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 -- May 15 is the next meeting. Meetings are open, and public commentary is welcome. Call the city's Parks & Recreation office for more information: 734-794-6230.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

First off, it's ridiculous it took an opinion piece from Mr. Fuller on for any action to be taken by city police. I know I'm not alone in wishing police would enforce the laws consistently rather than picking and choosing when to do it. It has been well known that a large group gathers at Slauson for some time and it should not have to resort to this for anything to be done. My next concern is what is going to happen after the next two Saturdays of police warnings? Are they going to continue checking out Slauson on Saturdays and start ticketing people? What about the other six days of the week? Are those days being checked? Summer break starts in a month. Are these folks going to return and think it's okay because school's out? I agree with the above poster that maybe Ann Arbor needs an animal control officer or two to enforce these laws. If the Saturday off leash group wants to claim the poop isn't theirs, that's fine but also irrelevant. Be it Saturdays or some other day of the week, it's clearly obvious by what's being left behind that people ARE taking their dogs to Slauson to do to their doggy business and not picking it up. A school athletic field that hundreds of kids use should not be the community urinal for your dogs, and it's sad to me that some of these folks still seem to place their dogs and themselves above that line of thinking. I own two dogs. Love them to death and walk them twice a day. I don't live in Ann Arbor anymore and live in a place with the freedom to walk them off leash in the woods if I choose (and more times than not I do). I can sympathize with these dog owners because when I do visit Ann Arbor, leash walking isn't always my favorite thing and having a place to let the dogs be dogs is nice. It's good to socialize the dogs and meet other people. But the kids shouldn't have to suffer because there's no place near you yet. You can still drive to a dog park or leash walk them until a new park is made.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Sparky, do you pick up your dogs urine? If so....How do you do that? Urine is not the problem. It is the feces.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

I have seen this thing happen before. The cops will go out for a couple of weeks and then things can return to how they were. And perhaps in the meantime the dog haters will realize that it isn't really the Saturday people who are letting their dogs poop there. It is the night time dog walker who knows no one can see him or the dog. However, if this motivates people to change the law so dogs are allowed off-leash in the parks or if the city decides to offer more conveniently located and free dog parks, then it will ultimately be a good thing.


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Really? If the laws are changed "so dogs are allowed off-leash in the parks", that will be a good thing? Your tune might change when one of those off-leash dogs bites you or your kid, or a pack of those off-leash dogs attacks your solitary dog. This comment isn't coming from a "dog hater" but instead from a dog owner that would rather walk my leashed dogs thru a park and not worry about other dogs running up and sticking their noses in places that neither I nor my dogs appreciate. Look, the city ordinance requires a leash. So quit griping and use the leash or go to a dog park. It doesn't matter if the nighttime poopers or unleashed daytime poopers are to employees are the victims and are entitled to be really mad about this. The self-righteous indignation of leash law conscientious objectors apparently knows no limits.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

It is not about the dogs it is about the people. Most of the folks that do the dog gatherings do it to be able to meet with their dog loving friends to chat. Maybe we need a dog friendly coffee shop...wait, I know; let's encourage Zingerman's to set up their coffee trailer at the dog parks. Maybe this would help to encourage people to use the dog parks.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4 p.m.

"let's encourage Zingerman's to set up their coffee trailer at the dog parks. " No you need to demand they do this, it is your right!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

That's actually a great idea. Hmmm....

Wolf's Bane

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

What about setting up a dog park at the under utilized West Park? It is perfect for a dog park.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

LOL! These are probably the same dog owners who lobbied for a dog park, but is to far away so they decided to just do want they wanted to do and unleash their dogs on school property, probably feeling mightier than thou while doing so. Now, the city has to use scarce resources by having police officers monitor the park. I think those who skirt the ordinance should have their picture, along with the dog, posted in for all to see. And John Lawter, really? Mmm...wonder what would happen if this were a bunch of minorities with pit bulls....oh, sorry, the same thing would had occurred. Good grief.

Nice in A2

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Wonderful news. I love dogs (I'm pretty sure I am a dog considering the way I behave when someone throws a ball or says "want to go for a walk") but I am also a bit allergic to them. I remember walking through that area once and a large dog jumped on me while their smiling owner said "sorry". In West Park I have been menaced by two dogs who circled me in pack attack behavior while their owner said "how are you doing?". And I have been bitten twice, each time on the back of the leg and each time while the owner says "don't worry he doesn't bite". I have also had amazing good times with dogs. If my wife wasn't also allergic I would have one at home right now. I wish they all could run free but they just can't. I'm very glad that there is a dog park and I hope we get more of them.

Red Floyd

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Any PEOPLE who pooped on the playground wouldn't be allowed there either! I don't see what the confusion is all about...


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Unless large groups of "cool" people got together to do it, in which case it would "speak to the need".


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

What happened to the idea of putting a dog park at South Maple Park ? That's just 1 mile straight west of Slauson on West Liberty.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 5:30 a.m.

Old West Siders can't walk to that one, so they wouldn't approve of it.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

I want to thank Christopher Curtis, the AAPD, Liz Margolis, and Rusty Fuller for putting a stop to the Free Ann Arbor Dogs group's weekly contamination of Slauson's playgrounds and soccer fields. This group must come to the realization that they have an assigned dog park SWIFT RUN DOG PARK located at Platt Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Phone: (734) 994-2780. Now, please give our kids a break and let them enjoy the summer at Slauson without dog feces!

Lemmy Caution

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

The dog owners who refused to pick up their own dog droppings inside a school park are totally responsible for the closure. End of story. It's part of the responsibility of being a dog owner. And apparently dog owners also need to remind their fellow dog owners to do their duty. There are dedicated dog parks in this city, of course. Why not go there? Just not all at once, please.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

I think the city of Ann Arbor needs to hire a Dog Warden. Someone who is available 24/7 and with the power to give a ticket to anyone who does not obey the dog ordinance. Every day I see some dog people letting their dog of the leash at Allmendinger Park to run. These dog people have no control over their pet. Once off the leash the dog does his own thing. Men, women, children, grandparents, other leashed dogs, birds and even squirrels are at the mercy of the running dog. It is a shame a few selfish people, make it impossible for other tax payers to use their park. I hope the dog owners realize that if their dog bites someone, the dog owner is legally responsible. Regarding dog poo: would DNA ID the dog/owner???


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

We used to have that -- Ann Arbor in their infinite wisdom of where to cut money got rid of any of these folks years and years ago....


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

"John Lawter, an Ann Arbor parks commissioner, dog owner and participant in the off-leash hour"..... I got to this point in the article and my bottom jaw hit the FLOOR. REALLY??? Talk about a feeling entitled. How does someone in his position get it in his head that he can disregard an ordinance? I am beyond words.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Carolyn you MUST not know who JOHN is.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

For years, the police wisely took a No Harm, No Foul approach, since the Dog Party folks always left the place cleaner than they found it. Then Pete Cunningham wrote his cutesy piece, awakening all of the internet haters. Cunningham did say, "Good luck finding an officer who will write that ticket. Really, there's no need. The owners know they're technically breaking the law, so they self-police." "What's better than having one dog owner making sure his dog is cleaned up after? Thirty or 40 watching like hawks, with extra plastic bags in tow, just in case." But it didn't matter at that point, it was on the internet. Then the trolls started suggesting things like getting the dog owners on camera to "shame" them. So this Sunday, my wife and I were walking two dogs, on leash, along the tree line when one of the volleyball players charged all the way across the field, brandishing an iPod in video mode, and yelling at us.  This vigilante action was supposed to shame us, but there we were, two fresh poop bags in hand, along with a third old one that my wife had found abandoned in the woods. We were doing exactly what I told City Attorney Postema we all do — leave the field cleaner than we found it!   And we're supposed to be the problem?  I don't think so! Want to enforce some City Ordinances? How about the one for open alcohol on school property, so that I don't have to get chased by drunk haters!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Apparently there was not enough self policing at Slawson. Regardless, I think that keeping the dogs away from schools is a good idea, not just because of the poop issue. At a recent soccer game between kindergarteners, a dog (apparently a soccer fan) thought the kids water bottles were placed on the side of the field for his personal refreshment needs. Between this sort of thing, and the dog fights that I have witnessed over my many years of Rec and Ed activities, as well as drop off/pick up at school, I question why it is necessary to subject my kids to other peoples dogs.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Self entitled west side dog owners 0. Concerned citizens 1.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

*high fives bobslowson*


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Did I miss something in this (or a previous article)? Probably. But, what part of the "NO PETS ALLOWED?" sign in the photo is not clear to dog walkers?


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 3:57 a.m.

@a2girl...then they get upset went they get a ticket &towed and say "I didn't see the sign"


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Silly me. After a cup of coffee, I am starting to wake up. I think the people walking their dogs on property that is clearly marked as off limits are the same people that park their cars in tow away zones around the schools because it is inconvenient for them to walk a block. Just a hunch.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

It goes like this: The dogs don't read, and they are taking their canine-obedient-drone-slave humans for their alloted walk.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Good to see it only takes an AA.Com article to get the police to do their job . . .


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Actually it was one "article" that seemed like it could've been ghost written by Mr. Lawler, and then Mr. Fuller's opinion piece that brought some facts and common sense to the discussion. And if I hear that "The fact that there's 50 to 70 people gathering every Saturday speaks to the need" I'm going to throw up. Yeah - it speaks that you need to get in your Volvos and drive to one of the two off-leash dog parks like everyone else.

Greg Humbel

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:07 a.m.

On to the other Parks... Like county Farm. What is it about the leash law the don't understand !


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:04 a.m.

When Rush Limbaugh made his comments about Sandra Fluke, I stopped buying products/services from his advertisers after they continued advertising on his show. I'll be one of those to vote "No" on The Ann Arbor Public Schools Tech Bond. Sorry dog haters, the Saturday "Flash Mob" was not the problem anymore than its a problem at the 10-15 other places already mentioned above. It was (any perhaps in the future after "the heat" has died down) a positive neighborhood activity.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

I always love the old "You're all dog haters!!11!" comment. That makes me LOL. Really says something about the poster.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Only on the Old West Side can a "positive neighborhood activity" involve a collective, intentional, arrogant disregard for the law, which is by extension a display of disrespect for the rest of the citizens. But then, it's not a surprise, coming from that part of town.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

Whaa! Whaa! Who cares?

Julie Hathaway

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

What is so hard to understand about the leash law? Why is this even a topic for discussion? We have a law; obey it. If you don't like it, seek to have it changed. Lawter's comment is mind-boggling. A schoolyard "probably" isn't the best place??? Stepping in dog crap is "not the best"??? And what does it matter whose dog is responsible??? NO unleashed dogs should be there, ever. I have children at Slauson. I also have a lovely dog. She poops in our tiny, unfenced backyard, on a tether. I walk her in the neighborhood, using a route that takes me past three trash cans, just in case. A couple of times a week I drive her out to Paw Run where she runs free: happy, leashless, and legal.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

Wow..common sense..but alas, not rampant in this town...people are entitled to do what they want...and let's face it...most of those dog parents [not owners because that would be mean] would rather have a dog as a companion than people. I have 3 little dogs and like you I walk them, pick up behind them, don't let them go on private property...but I may be considered a obeying the law.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.



Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

You leave your dog's excreta in someone elses's trash can? Wow.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 10:30 a.m.

Oh, and let John Lawter, an Ann Arbor parks commissioner, be the community service leader and supervisor, also supplying and managing pickup tools, receptacles, and disposition responsibility!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

Two words: Community Service! Give any violator of dog off-leash 10-hours of community service: 2-hours on Saturdays, for 5 consecutive Saturdays, at different schools around town. The specific service would be picking up dog waste and trash on public school grounds. Make this a win for the kids at the schools!

Jonny Spirit

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

2 Words NO DOGS! This is not a problem if people follow the rules.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 9:17 a.m.

I just read the word "apalled" more times in this comments section than I have collectively up until this point. Lol @ Ann Arbor.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

I admit I only scanned quickly, but I only saw it once. And THAT poster spelled it correctly. LOL indeed.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

If someone writes a letter and a column for the paper about all the off leash violators at Bird Hills...which is much annoying and destructive...will the cops come shut that down too? I hope so.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

How will this stop them (dogs) from using the area as a toilet? I mean, just because the owner has the leash in hand, doesn't stop them from pooping.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

having them on a leash won't stop them from taking a poop...but NOT having them in a school yard with definitely keep them from pooping on the school grounds.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

I am so tired of people with dogs off leash! Burns Park is full of them, and dogs are always running over to "say hi" to my dog because they are "so friendly"! Well, we are NOT friendly and don't want your dogs charging up at us! I call the police regularly to report the huge number of dogs in the park, but they don't seem to have any impact. Maybe if they actually fined people, we could afford to build some dog parks with the money.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:16 a.m.

As a sub in many elementary buildings, I am appalled at the amount of dog droppings left thoughtlessly behind by dog owners. Can you imagine dealing with students stepping in the stuff, when they're running at top speed, with friends? Of more concern are the special needs students, who may have perceptual problems, or emotional reactions to such an event. Please think of living creatures, other than your dogs, when using school property. Thank you A2 Schools & Police Dept. for this effort.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

Wow, who knew this was such a harsh dog town? I just moved my dog here from his birthplace, London England, where we lived for a decade and where he could roam leash free in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent Park, St. James Park and Green Park....all in huge tourist areas with precious flowers and playing children.. See below! I guess that is because the Queen loves her Corgies. Does our mayor have a dog? If not, let's buy him one and hope he at least follows Central Park in New York City, where dogs can be leash free in the early mornings and dusk!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Don't worry Jenbackinthehood, most people in Ann Arbor really do like dogs. Still, it would be nice if the Ann Arbor parks department could either create free dog parks or have designated off leash times at the regular parks. Then people might not feel a need to have their dogs on school property.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

Jenbackinthehood I guess you have been called on this one. Try again!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 9:14 a.m.

@michigan man- Where does she say she doesn't like it here?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

From your post I assume that British dog feces does not have bacteria. Hyde Park is 350 acres and Kensington Park is about 275 acres. I lived in London long enough to know that on any given Saturday there are more dogs running freely in Slausen playground than in Hyde Park. And how big is the Slausen playground? One or two acres? And if you disagree with my anecdotal observations you may want to consider this: Hyde PARK Kensington GARDENS Regent PARK St. James PARK Green PARK Slausen SCHOOL Notice the difference? Do dogs run free on SCHOOL playgrounds in England? My two-plus years living in Cambridge, Oxford and London says no.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:29 a.m.

First thing, this isn't London, thankfully. Second thing, much to his dismay, the Mayor doesn't rule by decree.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

I live across the street from one of Ann Arbor's many parks. Dogs run free off leash in the evenings and owners are always there picking up after there business. Never have I come across waste left behind. This is a town of educated and caring people. It shocks me so many people have contempt for the dogs and their owners at Slauson (which I have never attended). You have bigger things to worry about than dog poop on your kids shoes!


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

It's not even about dog poop to me. Does it not ever occur to anyone that many, many people are severely allergic to dogs? That dogs can cause people, especially kids, serious asthma attacks? Why should anyone enjoying a public park be subjected to some abysmally inconsiderate dog-owner's pet suddenly running up to them while they're out for a walk? How is someone who's minding their own business in a park supposed to avoid or anticipate your free-roaming mutt? What about some consideration for others? I keep my pets to myself, and I expect everyone else to do the same. Putting it off to "contempt" for dogs is baseless.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

WIY: My kids play in the dirt all the time. They play with dirty things too. They don't play with poop. Dirt is not poop. What don't you get about that? It's absurd on its face to even make the comparison. But please stay steadfast in your defense of poop and the rights of everyone, including animals, to poop wherever they would like. Maybe a flash mob on your porch or lawn to poop there?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Women in Ypsilanti What! You go out on ANY school playground you want. And find ANY kind of poop besides dog poop! Then get back with us. By the way I just love to see dog lovers kissing their dogs after they have licked their butt! And these are the same people that would cringe if an eyedropper of oil was spilled in their yard.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

CAinA2 - trust me, you will never convince anyone who feels that their children must be kept away from dirt in all forms that lightening up about dogs is ok. But you can have the satisfaction of knowing that most likely there are all kinds of wild animals pooping everywhere their kids play so even if they were to get rid of the dogs, they precious little kids will *still* be playing in poop. (and fwiw, there is evidence that it is actually good for them)


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

"This is a town of educated and caring people." These same "educated and caring people" are the ones that pass the laws and hopefully enforce them.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

Nope, I cleaned my kids. You apparently left poop in yours for two years and thought they liked it or appreciated your disregard. It's not being "uptight", it's being hygienic and you don't seem to understand the difference.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

I go in the park all the time. I don't walk around looking for poop, but I've never stepped in it.'re up tight. Your kid had poo in their diapers for two years and it never hurt them.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

I don't want poop on my kids. Not their poop. Not somebody else's poop. And certainly not dog poop. If you don't mind poop, maybe the dogs can come to your yard. Most dog owners are responsible. Some are only responsible when being watched. Some are irresponsible. I don't have contempt for dog owners. I have contempt for scofflaws.

Ron Granger

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

"Never have I come across waste left behind." I can believe that only if you never enter the park. Otherwise it defies believe that there is 100% compliance.

Max Maximus

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Slauson's green spaces belong to the school- not the neighborhood dog owners. Kudos to Rusty Fuller for speaking the truth. Anyone who knows him (or Dr. Curtis) knows of their integrity. I know the majority of the dog owners are responsible, but the minority who don't pick up are responsible for the issue reaching this point. So I'll say it again- Slauson's field belongs to the kids and they deserve to have it poop free.

Fat Bill

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

I think it is almost cruel to have a big dog in town. These dogs thrive out in the country. If you live in town and have to have a dog, get a little fella who is happy to run around on your own postage stamp size lawn...


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 9:12 a.m.

Many breeds of large dogs require less exercise, so what facts are you basing your opinion on?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

I guess there is such a thing as bad publicity. Selctive enforcement for now. I doubt they will be sending officers out on home football Saturdays. They are too busy selectively the no open intoxicant law on those days.

rusty shackelford

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Who among the "city fathers" undone next by Cunningham's aw-shucks purple prose?


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

Dogs really shouldn't be on school grounds period, unless one is needed for a disability. I love dogs enough to not own a large or working dog that needs tons of exercise if my living conditions are not accommodating. Ninety-five percent of the dog breeds out there are not good in town breeds.

Ann English

Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

One morning in the fourth grade, there was a big black dog in my classroom. We never found out how it got there, and for most of our 20-minute French class, it stayed in the classroom. It was well-behaved and not a distraction to the lesson. Eventually a middle-aged man came in and carried (yes, CARRIED) that dog out of the room.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

oyxclean-- Amen!


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

In our NE neighborhood we have Newfoundlands, a Great Dane (!), a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and a plethora of other dogs approaching 100 or more pounds. I feel sad for these dogs. They are not appropriate pets for town!


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

ever notice how dogs don't leave their name on what they pinch off? tell me how they're gonna prove this one in court? good luck on that! i can see the leash deal only maybe.. what a waste of resource!

Ron Granger

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

DNA tests are now inexpensive and they are routinely used to match dog fecal matter to the source. And if it is a match, you just send the bill to the owner.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

Believe it or not this was already done in by a condo association - if doo was found it was sent for DNA testing. All dogs in the association had sample DNA profiles. If your dog was found to be the culprit you faced expulsion or fines.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1 a.m.

"tell me how they're gonna prove this one in court?" Dah! A picture is worth.... Lots of phone cameras out there!


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Next target Walter,Carbeck,Faye and Haisley! There are getting to be more and more in that neighborhood that let their dogs wander up everyone's lawn OFF the leash!

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:24 p.m.

This may not be the place to ask, but if you folks could keep an eye out for my bear and my mountain lion, I let them both out to frolic some time ago and they haven't come home.

Basic Bob

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

@Tru, I thought it was an anaconda ;)


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

Good one Craig! I've had the same problem with my 24-foot long, 150 pound python, have you seen it around, by chance? ;-)


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

Hey DNB, keep it clean. Who Craig frolics with is his own business.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

Was that also your cougar, Craig?

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

Take your dogs a move on. Fence in your yard and have your dogs pee and poop in your own grass. Hey how about use the DOG PARK!!!!!! It's even better to see them on the sports fields like the fenced in baseball diamonds. These people just don't care. I also love the dumb people that take there golf clubs out on school property and hit there 9 iron around making huge divots in the outfield so the players can roll there ankle running after a ball. Hey people go to the GOLF COURSE!!!!!

Jonny Spirit

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

At least they could use the sand trap


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

I really hate it when the golfers poop on the grass and the dogs play golf.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

Sign says "No Pets Allowed". Why are they even having a "on leash" discussion?

Tom Whitaker

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:24 a.m.

Ever hear of a service animal? They aren't considered to be pets.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Right !! Talk about mixed messages. "NO PETS ALLOWED" & "DOGS MUST BE LEASHED AND IN YOUR HANDS...." What's up with that?


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

"Ruh-roh!" And that's Astro, *not* Scooby-Doo.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

"I hope the positive effect is that it can galvanize our group into finding a legal alternative." Hmm...because there weren't any legal alternatives to begin with? Like actually going to a dog park? As I mentioned in a comment on the last article, if a person is going to be a responsible pet owner they have to prepare for whatever costs will be necessary for taking proper care of their animal. If you don't live somewhere with enough land for your dog to run then you have to take it somewhere and may have to spend some money. That's something you should have considered when taking on this responsibility.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

As a dog owner sympathetic to other owners, I must agree with obviouscomment just the same. You need to assess what you can provide a pet before getting one. That's in terms of your living quarters, your local ordinances, your time, your financial resources, your ability to train and care for the animal, among so many other things. Not doing so can be irresponsible to the pet and, in this instance, was irresponsible to the school, the students who play there and the community. Please pick up after your dogs.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

How anyone could ever have considered a public park as their dog's personal toilet is beyond comprehension. Such a lack of basic human consideration for others should be rewarded with a night in jail and forfeiture of dog ownership rights for life. Please, no mercy next time.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

I'm really glad I no longer live in the city but moved to Pittsfield Township. The city has a crime problem, a pan handler proble, a parking problem and a government that defies understanding. You can count on the police to set up speed traps for going five over at 2AM and to hunt down evil dog owners but you can't control pan handlers or prevent crime. You can waste money on awful art and the ugliest city building I've ever seen but you can't fully staff your fire department. Politicaly correct seems to also mean administratively incompetent. I used to go downtown a lot but rarely do so anymore as it's just too much of a hassle and has lost its charm.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

Don't forget that there is a serial rapist still on the loose. Apparently, the cops have.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

We also suffer grievously from others being so ready to tell us our faults.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

A lot of the things you mention also occur regularly in Pittsfield Township.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

Why is Lawter still a parks commissioner???? It is unlikely that every dog constantly has eyes on it while loose. Very likely one Lawter's pals dogs crapped in the school yard.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

How about my cat, can he be unleashed?

Ron Granger

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

A2 law allows your cat to frollic, poop and spray anywhere he'd like. Try and keep him out of the kids' sandboxes.

Ron Granger

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

Don't Tase my Poodle Bro!


Wed, May 2, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

tasers are becoming legal. Go figure.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

No worry, it would poo so they won't.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

"9.47(1) Dogs must be leashed and in your hand." It really says something about certain dog owners when the law has to specify that you must actually be holding the leash.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 5:29 a.m.

I noted with amusement that the ordinance said the leash should be held in owners hand. A week ago, I was with a friend at a park in Ypsi Township. The sign said dogs must be leashed. Well, her dog WAS leashed but she let the old dog limp and roam around with us. I pointed out that dog was not under control, she said, 'Hey, the sign ONLY said the dog must be leashed, never said you had to HOLD the leash'! LOL

Tony Livingston

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

The city picks and chooses which policies to enforce according to who the violators are and how much money is involved. We will see how long they are out there to enforce this.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

No, the City enforces ordinances more stringently when issues are brought to their attention and enough people push the issue. There is no way the city can spend all of its time enforcing every ordinance to the fullest extent. There isn't enough time in the day to do that. Society relies on citizens being mindful of the ordinances and behaving the spirit of good citizenship. When there are individuals or a group who are not doing that, and it is brought to the City's attention, they need to act. The people who were ignoring the ordinance because they thought it was stupid and inconvenient have been brought to account as it should be.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Isn't it odd that a parks commissioner is involved in, if not the leader of this illegal and disgusting activity? I would have expected something better from a civic leader and public official.

E Claire

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

@DNB, can you imagine if this group ran their dogs each week in the Big House. Maize and Blue...and Brown?


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

In addition: It was mentioned in the first article that John Lawter is Associate Director, Plant Building and Grounds Services with the University of Michigan. What would be his reaction to a large dog group racing across UM property every Saturday.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

It is pretty sad that a Parks commissioner has been involved in this sort of abuse of a park. I know, it's a schoolyard, not a park, but it's still sad.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Fantastic! Now let's take care of all the violators at Bird Hills. Good job, Chris and Rusty. It's a shame that, although they're a principal and teacher at a Middle School, in this case it was adults that needed to be educated. It's also a shame that the City has to be pushed so hard just to get a law enforced.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, May 1, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

I agree. Closing down the "Free Ann Arbor Dogs" group is a good start, but the Bird Hill's violators need to be shut down as well.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 4:13 a.m.

I second that.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

Thanks, Mr. Fuller! Our Slauson kids will be very happy to hear this.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

uabchris really?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 3:20 a.m.

Now its war against ALL other animals that feel the need to relieve themselves in nature - birds, squirlles, mice, raccoons, etc. I bet in A few weeks its dirtier than ever...