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Our View: Dog attack unfortunate

The death of a small dog attacked by a large dog at the Ashland Dog Park on Sunday was tragic, but it was also an exceedingly rare occurrence. There is likely little that can be done officially to prevent it from happening again, although adding one sign might be helpful.

The incident occurred in a small fenced-off portion of the park that was created to keep smaller dogs segregated from larger ones. But there are no signs stating that, and it's left up to park users to negotiate use of the area.

In this case, a German shepherd attacked and killed a smaller dog despite attempts by several people to separate the animals.

City Parks Department officials say the park is not staffed, and it's the responsibility of dog owners to control their dogs. Parks staff are investigating the incident, and if the German shepherd is determined to be an aggressive dog they could ban it from the park. Park rules posted at the entrance indicate potentially dangerous dogs should not be let off-leash.

Park regulars told the Tidings that users frequently negotiate use of the small-dog area so large and small dogs aren't there at the same time.

It might make sense to add a sign to the small-dog area stating its purpose and asking users to keep dogs separated by size. Beyond that, dog owners must be vigilant, and owners of aggressive animals should keep them leashed or stay away from the park when other dogs are present.