Two of four goats leased by the Arnold Arboretum for weed and invasive plant control in its Peters Hill landscape were attacked by an off-leash dog that jumped over their electrified enclosure Wednesday afternoon. The goats survived the attack but sustained injuries, and have been removed from the Arboretum for veterinary treatment. The dog was retrieved by Boston Animal Control for quarantine and its owner fined for the incident. The goats on Peters Hill are part of a new pilot program aimed at reducing the use of chemical controls for more environmentally-friendly and sustainable horticultural practice. The Arboretum plans to continue the program despite this disturbing incident.
This unfortunate and violent incident illustrates the potential dangers caused by dog owners who allow their animals to roam off-leash at the Arboretum, a violation of the law as well as park regulations.* In addition to incurring injuries to staff, pedestrians, and bicyclists, off-leash dogs also pose threats to leashed dogs and wildlife species in the landscape.
The staff of the Arboretum requests the public’s help in ensuring the safety of all by keeping dogs leashed at all times in the Arboretum landscape. Please report any off-leash pets to Boston Animal Control (617.635.5348) or Boston Police (617.343.5630).
*The City of Boston Municipal Code, Section 16-1.9: No person owning or harboring a dog shall suffer or allow it to worry, wound, or attack any person, nor to be so unreasonably noisy as to disturb the peace, nor shall such person suffer or allow it to go upon the premises of another without the permission of the owner or occupant of such premises. No person owning or harboring a dog shall suffer or allow it to run at large in any street or public place in the City, nor permit it to go upon any street or public place unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding ten (10′) feet in length.