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liability in public dog run

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I live in NEW YORK STATE, the County Parks Dept. built a public dog run (a 150'x 150' dirt field surrounded by a 6' fence) in which all dogs are allowed to run totally free. The run is located in one of the County parks.

There is No Parks Dept. staff at the dog run at any time.

The Parks Dept. posted a sign at the entrance to the run which says:

* Users are SOLELY responsible for the actions of their dog.

* Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Depending on the mix of dogs in the run at an
y time their could be 12 10 lb and 100lb dogs all running loose along with their owners.

People bring their kids (6 MONTH old, 3 year old, and up) into the run. Some of the parents allow their kids to wander around the run and play with the dogs while they stay at one end of the run. Also, some of these people do not even have a dog in the run.

I think that this is an accident waiting to happen and have written to Parks Dept. to change rules regarding who my enter run, their conduct while in run, etc. They have refused.

I have an 80lb dog and am a responsible dog owner. On behalf of the other responsible own
ers, I ask the following questions:

* Have NYS courts ruled that this is a dangerous sport so that everyone entering the run assumes the risk of getting hurt.

* Am I liable if my dog hurts a child in anyway (ex. my dog could bite him, could knock him down, dogs chase each other and knock people down, dogs fight and could bite someone).

* If I am liable, could the Parks Dept. require all adults entering the run to sign a liability waiver and have parents sign this waiver on behalf of their under 21 year old kids.

THANK YOU for any information that you can give me.

[This message has been edited by al0001 (edited July 06, 2000).]

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