Onlookers Horrified as Dogs Maul Squirrels in Washington Square Park
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
GREENWICH VILLAGE — Squirrel-mauling dogs have upset people in Washington Square Park and forced officials to launch undercover operations to catch the illegal hunters' owner.
The Parks Department has undercover officers in Washington Square Park following reports that a woman was letting her dogs attack and kill the park's squirrels.
The department issued a summons to an unidentified woman who other park goers claim was letting her two large dogs off the leash to hunt down the critters.
"Our parks enforcement patrol has deployed additional patrols and undercover officers to the park, and they are prepared to issue additional summonses for injuring park animals if she is observed encouraging her dogs to kill squirrels," said Philip Abramson, a Parks spokesman.
The Parks Department would not identify the woman.
Park Enforcement Officers reportedly found five dead squirrels and one who survived an attack with broken legs, the blog Animal Tourism first reported.
The official cause for the woman's summons was for leaving her dogs unleashed within the park, Abramson said.
Park goers said Wednesday they were glad the woman was cited.
"That's disgusting," said Julie May, who takes her dog, Laila, to the dog run at the south side of the park every day, of the alleged attacks.
Dogs are not allowed off the leash anywhere else in the park. A $1,000 fine can be issued for hunting, trapping or wounding an animal in a city park.