http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...nes-californiaS.F. hot under the dog collar
In a city where the canine lobby has plenty of bite, the debate over leash laws and park 'petiquette' is at a particularly high pitch.
By John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
February 17, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO One supervisor calls it the political version of a pit bull attack. The mayor says grimly he'll probably solve the homeless problem first. Often-rabid opponents face off in city parks, public meetings and on the Internet, and sometimes resort to shoving matches and name-calling. Canine politics here can be dog-eat-dog.
In this city named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, the 120,000 dogs outnumber children. And while the debates are not unique leash or no leash, dog parks or people parks San Francisco's arguments are particularly high-pitched. The dog lobby is a political tour de force, with a network to make even the GOP proud. Most parks have pro-dog groups. The leash debate draws huge crowds at hearings, which go on forever and require overflow rooms. Canine political action committees hold Q&A's with would-be officeholders. In the last mayoral race, candidate Matt Gonzales even inspired a group called "Mutts for Matt."