These are short notices of interest that have been moved from the top of our website:
If you’re not a member, please join A-DOG today!: Join A-DOG online or by mail, by clicking the link above. Annual memberships run from April 1 through March 31 of each calendar year. However, if you join in the second half of the year (after Oct 1), don’t worry…your membership will be extended through the following calendar year (currently, 3/31/2013)! With your new or renewal Full Membership, you will receive a gorgeous full color A-DOG bumper sticker! (It looks like the logo banner at the top of our website.) Thank-you to all our supporters! Read why our members support A-DOG here.
Show your A-DOG colors with high quality car magnets! Purchase your magnets using the link on the Home page, at Firefly Moon or Batiz (Mass Ave, Arlington Heights). Multi-pack savings are only available through our website at this time.
Higher fines for off-leash violations: Town meeting voted last spring to increase fines for off leash violations and the Attorney General approved the bylaw change. Depending on the number of infractions, they are now $75 to $200. These are much higher than similar fines in many other MA communities (each one we’ve found was $50 or less). While we certainly encourage our members to comply with the new off-leash hours and to never let an out-of-control or aggressive dog off-leash, we also believe that these fines are excessive. Please sign A-DOG member Wes Beal’s petition to tell our elected officials that we would appreciate their support for more reasonable fines.
Article 36 (2010) Implementation for Morning Off-Leash Hours: the program continues. In spring, 2010, Arlington Town Meeting passed a substitute motion sponsored by A-DOG Town Meeting Members. This bylaw change, now in effect for over a year, allows dogs off leash, under owner control, in parks under Parks and Recreation Commission authority. Certain areas are excluded, including parks right next to school buildings, near playground equipment, and any other site by exclusion of the Parks and Recreation Commission. See further details here. As we told our members when the program began: “A great step for responsible dog owners in Arlington! Please continue to exercise and to encourage responsible practices, including honoring the legal morning hours.” According to the available records, there have been few substantial complaints about the program and, after a successful public meeting last fall, the Park and Recreation Commission have supported its continuation. Originally, the Town Meeting Warrant Article establishing the off-leash recreation program was supported by Arlington’s Park and Recreation Commission, but not supported by a majority (4 out of 5) of the Board of Selectmen, as shown in this video of the Selectmen’s hearing . A-DOG continues to advocate for the continuation, and potential expansion, of this program (evening hours would require another Town Meeting vote) and urges you to stay in touch with your elected officials to continue to build Town support for responsible off-leash recreation.
Shop A-DOG! At our A-DOG CafePress shop, you can order fun items such as bumper stickers, magnets and pet bowls imprinted with our logo! Please wear our products to show your support! Keep checking for new items and send us your suggestions. And, please patronize Friends of A-DOG businesses.
A-DOG Wine Party at Menotomy Beer and Wine! See photos here.
A-DOG Marched in the 2011 Arlington Patriot’s Day Parade! More information and photos are shown here. We plan to participate next year so join us!
Help to Promote Responsible Off-Leash Recreation at Middlesex Fells. More information and details here
Arlington Speaks out for Off Leash Recreation! Arlington residents’ Letters to the Editor in support of responsible off-leash recreation, including the Article 36 Substitute Motion. Letters here. Information on the Article 36 Substitute Motion here.
Newton Off Leash Park Abutters Fail in Attempt to Challenge its Legitimacy. A group of abutters to an off-leash recreational area in Newton claimed that the city had used federal funding inappropriately. Their attorney said: â€œIt is my client’s position that conversion of Park use for the private and commercial exercise of domestic animals is not a public outdoor recreation use and requires the approval of the US Secretary of the Interior”. Read the article by Michele Biscoe of the Somerville Dog Owners Group.
Listen to the Radio Boston program “Is Boston Going to the Dogs?” aired on WBUR. If you like what you hear, send a contribution to WBUR and remind them of how much you appreciate such balanced and in-depth reporting. For the local perspective, read The Buzz Around Town, public comments on off-leash dogs. And, please add your own words in the “Comments” section.
MassDOG, a coalition of Dog Owner Groups (DOGs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A-DOG is proud to be involved in the formation of a new coalition of groups like ours from across the state. By joining forces, we will be able to help one another to promote the interests of responsible dog owners in our own communities, and will work to help encourage more dog-friendly policies and facilities in our state parks. See the new MassDOG website, and sign up to receive the MassDOG Woof newsletter! And, join the MassDOG group on Facebook!
A-DOG granted tax-exempt (501 (c)(3)) status. The IRS has ruled that A-DOG is a public charity that is tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3). Contributions to A-DOG, retroactive to May 8, 2008, including membership dues, should be tax deductible. (Always check with your tax professional to confirm.)
Arlington Residents: Sign our PETITION to help us to continue to demonstrate strong support for legal off-leash recreational options for responsible Arlington dog owners and their dogs. We believe that this petition helped us to gain off-leash morning recreation opportunities an also increased Town support for fenced dog parks, including the new one to be established at Thorndike Field. The Petition says:
“I hereby add my support to Arlington Dog Owners Group’s efforts to gain off-leash exercise and socialization options for dogs and their owners in Arlington. Specifically, I urge Arlington Town Meeting to amend the Bylaws to allow dogs off leash in parks across Arlington, under certain reasonable conditions and at certain reasonable times. In addition, I urge the Town of Arlington to act in a timely manner to establish legal off-leash recreational facilities such as the dog parks already allowed under current Bylaws. ”
Click HERE to access and sign the online petition. If you’d prefer to sign a paper option, contact us by email to arrange it. We have collected many signatures by ink beginning on Town Day and continuing with volunteer efforts. These lists are being merged together to present to Town Meeting and other town officials and employees. (So, you do not need to sign twice but, if you do, don’t worry..we will sort out the duplicates.)
And, please sign your full name, with a separate entry for each person. (If you prefer, you will be able to hide your name from public viewing on the website by choosing “anonymous”. ) Thanks!
Our Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, September 30 at the Community Safety Building (the Arlington Police Department headquarters) on Mystic Street, Arlington. Click here to read the Annual Report. It will also be available as a pdf file for download.
The winner of our nice gift basket, filled with dog toys, treats and other goodies, is Kouider Belguendouz, 47 Lockeland St. He’s shown here with his beautiful German shepherd, who attended our booth with Kouider and was, shall we say, quite impressed with the life-sized stuffed toy black lab, “Tulip”, who was out front to welcome visitors. Congratulations Kouider!! And, thanks to everybody who visited our booth at Town Day to join A-DOG, buy A-DOG T shirts, sign our petition, or enter our raffle. You all helped to make our first annual Town Day booth a big success!
LOST ARLINGTON DOG IS NOW HOME SAFE!
We posted a notice recently for new Arlington residents Marian Godfrey and Tom Gardner, whose dog Hewitt was lost after a collision with a cyclist on the bike trail. Tom let us know today (9/8) that he was found, and he’s safe! He was seen by somebody in Winchester who had heard about him and notified animal control authorities immediately. Tom wanted to express his and Marian’s gratitude to the network of people who supported them and who helped to spread the word about Hewitt. Here is his quote “I am so grateful to everyone who helped to put the word out. I am so impressed by the network and about how helpful and concerned everyone has been.
Arlington’s dog officer was terrific! What a great community!”
A concerned A-DOG member wrote to us about the following message from the Arlington Board of Health. She was concerned because she had seen several dogs swimming in the Spy pond water and wanted to make sure that dog owners are aware of the current reports of toxic algae:
“High levels of microcystis algae were detected at Spy Pond during water
sampling performed by volunteers from the Mystic River Watershed
Association. This particular type of algae can be toxic if ingested in
high doses and can cause skin irritation and a rash after wading or
swimming. The Arlington Board of Health strongly advises residents not to
swim or stand in the water and especially urges residents to keep pets
away from the water….” See the town website (Aug 13 notice) for the rest of this notice.