Unleashed Fury

Unleashed Fury : The Political Struggle for Dog-Friendly Parks

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The question of whether dogs should be allowed off the leash in public places has become a major political issue in cities and suburbs across the United States. In the last two decades, 'leash-law disputes' have burst upon the political scene and have been debated with an intensity usually reserved for such hot-button issues as abortion and gun rights. This book investigates what has changed in American community life, social mores, and the relationship between humans and dogs to provoke such passionate responses. At its heart, the book details and evaluates the handling of three leash-law disputes, all of which were exceedingly divisive and emotionally intense. Two of the cases took place in San Francisco, a city with a reputation as one of the most dog-friendly in the United States until 2001-2002, when officials curtailed off-leash walking. The other case study occurred in 1998 in Avon - a wealthy suburb of Hartford, Connecticut - when town officials unilaterally imposed a leash law at a popular off-leash park. This book is not only a revealing study of Americans' conflicted attitudes toward animals and the difficult balance between individual rights and the public good in our communities. It is also a useful source of information for both dog owners and local government officials who are faced with leash-law disagreements.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 203 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 340.19g
  • West Lafayette, United States
  • English
  • 1557535752
  • 9781557535757
  • 2,090,045

Review quote

Unleashed Fury: The Political Struggle for Dog-friendly Parks,

Julie WalshUnleashed Fury book coverIn the last 15 years, hundreds of dog owner groups have risen up across the United States to defend dog owners rights to exercise their dogs off-leash. As local governments have stepped up enforcement of leash laws, dog owners have organized to defend what they see as the fundamental need to exercise and socialize their dogs. A tired dog is a good dog, is the new axiom for many dog owners. As a result of dog owner activism, the number of dog parks nationwide has soared from about two dozen 10 years ago to more than 1,600 today, according to Julie Walsh, associate professor of political science at American International College in Springfield, Mass., and the author of an excellent new book, Unleashed Fury: The Political Struggle for Dog Friendly Parks (Purdue University Press, 2011). The creation of over one thousand dog parks across America is a significant achievement, writes Walsh, in her well-written, well-researched book, especially given the lack of a national organization that could provide intellectual and financial support to the movement. But, dog parks are not the whole story. The fight for dog friendly parks also encompasses access to parkland that is not solely dedicated to dog owners and their dogs.Historically, multi-use parks have been the ONLY place where people could walk their dogs, yet today these areas are most endangered. In fact, retaining off-leash access to multi-use parks has been a much tougher political battle and dog owners have lost many cherished off-leash areas in these campaigns. The fight to maintain access to multi-use parkland is important, writes Walsh. Dog parks alone cannot fulfill the rising need for off-leash recreation. In fact, open space continues to decrease. Moreover, these places are worth fighting for because of their demonstrated ability to build communities at a time when communal structures in American cities and
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About Julie Walsh

Julie Walsh is an associate professor of political science at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. She has gained firsthand experience of the politics of leashing, attending organizational and political meetings about the issue and informally speaking with people who have fought against leash laws and/or to establish dog parks.
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