The Eno River Association loves bogs but their wildlife camera recently spotted two groups of people walking their dogs off leash in the backwoods of Eno River State Park, so they thought it would be a good time to remind everyone how important it is to follow the leash law.
This regulation is there to:
Protect the wildlife. There have been many cases of wildlife being killed and injured in our state parks by pet dogs. Even chasing the wildlife is detrimental as they are burning up calories that are hard to obtain in the wild.
Protect the people. Obviously dog bites are a concern, but more often it is a friendly dog running up to a person who is afraid of dogs that can be the problem. Rational or not, it is not fair to people using the park. It’s also a problem when a friendly dog comes up to a person allergic to fur.
Protect the dogs. One of the most common complaints about unleashed dogs is dog fights. Leashed dogs are easy to pull apart. Several times a year the park rangers get reports of lost dogs that have smelled something interesting and wandered off into an unfamiliar environment. Not all of those dogs are found.
Even the best behaved dog off leash is setting the example for other dog owners whose dog might not be so well behaved, but who think letting their dog go is acceptable, too. Many national parks have banned dogs from their hiking trails because of the failure to keep them on leashes. Keep your pets leashed on the Eno and other state parks so dog owners don’t ever lose them as a place to walk them.