One tough decision that state and national park administrators face is "Should dogs be allowed in these public spaces?" Although there are some valid reasons why responsible pet owners should be permitted to bring their dogs to state and national parks, officials must rule against our canine friends in this case to protect the environment, other people, and the dogs themselves.
Dogs pose a danger to the environment of a public park. According to the Boulder County Nature Association, “the presence of dogs in a park may scare away native wildlife.” If wildlife disappears, hikers will miss out on experiencing the diversity of animals found in natural environments. Another disadvantage for the animals that live in the park is that dogs may spread parasites or diseases. While many responsible pet owners keep their pets leashed, other owners allow their dogs to run loose, which causes damage to native plants in the park. According to a 2001 Gallup poll, “11% of Americans admit to being afraid of dogs.” These people cannot enjoy parks if dogs are permitted in state and national parks.
The parks are not free of danger for the dogs either. What if they are bitten by a venomous snake or rabid raccoon? There’s also the chance dogs might pick up ticks or diseases while visiting parks.
Even though I am a dog lover myself, I must conclude that my sweet little canine, Charlie, does not belong in a public park.