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Home Government Rye 10 Year Old Fights for Doggie Rights at Rye Town Park

Rye 10 Year Old Fights for Doggie Rights at Rye Town Park

Olivia Batal Petition

(PHOTO: Rye 10 Year Old Olivia Batal going grassroots. Batal holds one of Rye's disenfranchised – Kipper – while Kipper's owner Brenda McFarland signs Batal's petition urging Rye to expand doggie rights.)

Emails have been flying around town ever since Rye Town Park rolled back a rule that allowed dogs to be off leash before 9am. Well, dog owners are up in arms (and paws) including 10 year old Forest Avenue resident Olivia Batal who has written to Rye Mayor French and is busy collecting signatures on a petition to urge the re-instatement of the off leash rule.

MyRye.com caught up with this rebel with a dog, here is our exclusive:

MyRye.com: Tell us why you started a petition to allow dogs off their leash in Rye Town Park.

Olivia Batal: I started it because I did not like the (new) law because I want dogs to get exercise and don't want them to become lazy and un-playful.  If they are on the leash too much, it may lead to dogs becoming more aggressive. People may have to give away their dogs.

How many signatures do you have? How many do you expect to get?

Batal: I have 9 since yesterday [Saturday], and I will get 80 signatures.

Are any dogs putting their paw prints on the petition?

Batal: Yes, my dog Bandit.

[Note: Also, the author, Olivia Batal, states she was trained in persuasive writing by Mr. Illium, 4th grade teacher at Midland.]

Batal's Letter to Rye Mayor French:

Olivia Batal
Forest Ave
Rye, NY

June 25, 2011

Dear Mayor French,

I am very upset that dogs at the park can not be off leash.  My 2-year old Tibetan Terrier is not as happy as when he was allowed off the leash.

Here is one reason why it’s a bad idea.  Let’s pretend that you are walking your dog from your home to the park.  When you see no dogs at the park off leash you have to walk all the way back home with a sad and depressed dog. The poor little dogs cannot have their freedom away from being in a house outside.  Because of this law the dogs are going to get lazy and instead of running through the park and chasing their friends, your dog is stuck at home without any freedom and dogs in Rye will became lazy and very large. Children in Rye will have boring and large dogs.

My second reason that dogs should be off the leash is that dogs will change their habits if they’re on the leash too much.  For example, dogs will become aggressive if they are on the leash too much.  Another reason is if your dog is on the leash too much is that instead of having a happy and playful dog, every dog owner in Rye will have a lazy and bored dog.  Children and adults will be sad that their once lovable dogs will be bored and it may lead to people giving away their dogs.  I am speaking for my friends and their dogs and I will make sure this law is abolished.  Please understand that people’s lives in Rye will be a lot better and people will get more exercise with their dogs.      


Olivia Batal


  1. Sorry but I think the RTP Commission got this one right. Before 9am may not be too much of a problem but many dog owners still disobey the law and were letting their dogs off their leash in the middle of the afternoon. And believe it or not their are many people who are afraid of dogs. How about those people? What if they are people walking in the mornings and they like to walk through the park? Yet they are afraid of dogs? The park is not a dog park. Maybe look to disbrow park for a dog park. It is fenced in and all the dog owners have claimed they do clean up after their dogs so that shouldn’t be a problem for the Rec staff or kids using it. Plus plenty of parking.

  2. Elections have consequences they say – so could this be one of them – as in a vote blowback punishment on Rye City officials who’ve forced park operational changes?
    Remember those miserable string lines set up around all the large park trees last year, and all the accompanying forward thinking proclamations about the “environment” and “eco-sustainability” which led directly to reduced park access and disenfranchisement of hundreds of traditional peak season day visitors who were refused admission? Higher fees and car count restrictions were supposed to both “save the environment” and raise needed revenue to assure “operational break even” – and those that didn’t understand the needs for them were “misinformed” and/or “selfish.”
    And so I wonder if most of those disenfranchised on the July 4th holiday and other big summer days were truly “out of area” visitors as we’ve been led to believe. Or were they possibly made up of very angry modest income constituents of the same majority of the RTP board that just delivered this rebuff to its “you get to pay 50% of all park economic losses” partner – who also happened to be the 2010 season change provocateur – Rye City?
    Or, alternatively, have the newly instituted (and praiseworthy) 2011 cash reconciliation and control procedures implemented at the RTP entrance gate possibly somehow been “resented” – and this resentment has manifested itself as further operational interference complaints against those who forced the change – and the board majority has finally decided to inflict some reciprocal pain on the change agents by hitting their local constituents in a way they can’t fight back from?
    Demanding accountability has zero consequences, pushing for and getting actual accountability always has consequences, meritorious and not. I really hope this is not in fact the underlying case here.

  3. And here’s an even more likely culprit – yet another Rye City ambush tax certiorari apparently designed to make progress towards the 2011 Rye City / Harris Beach patronage billing obligations while classically shouting fairness every step of the way.

    “Rye attempt to tax property of beach eateries, Wainwright House, draws appeals”

    “The issue pits various layers of government against each other. Rye Town Park, despite its name, is located within Rye City. It is managed by a commission representing the city, the town and its two villages, Port Chester and Rye Brook.”



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