To the Editor:

It has been my experience quite a few times while hiking in the wonderful parks and open spaces that Ridgefield has to offer to have dogs run up to me with no owner in sight or hearing. Most of the time these dogs are friendly but there have been notable exceptions. Sometimes I even have dog biscuits with me to try and make friends with those who are barking while overly excited and causing me to be stop and be very still.

The Ridgefield Walk Book 2016 Edition on the inside cover, item 6 states “Dogs are permitted on Open Space Land provided they are on a leash at all times”.

Perhaps the Ridgefield Conservation Commission took some liberties when they published the book and were not strictly referring to Town code. Our great Animal Control Officer Kris Zulkuski has clarified for me that Town code 262-8 actually states that "Dogs and other pets are permitted on open space land provided that such pets are under the control of their owners or keepers at all times.".

If I can’t see you or your dog ignores your commands how can you be in control ?

I love dogs but also know people who have previously suffered severe trauma involving them and an encounter with a out of control animal is actually quite harmful. Dogs chasing wildlife is also a problem.

Please consider this in your walks if you have a dog.

Roger Restaino

Prospect Ridge, Oct. 11