Night-time dog-walking in Prospect Park — Brooklynian

Night-time dog-walking in Prospect Park

tl:dr - Do you walk your dog in Prospect Park at night? Do you let them off-leash? Where? Have any advice/horror stories/non-horror stories about it?

Also, is there some kind of "dog advocacy" organization that works with the laws pertaining to pets in public places? i.e. leash laws, dog parks, etc.

I'm still fairly new to the Flatbush/PLG area. I live pretty close to the park, and it's the most obvious place for me to walk my dog. From what I understand, dogs are only allowed off-leash during certain hours (5am-9am and 9pm-1am), and only in certain areas. I work fairly late hours, so the morning hours aren't an option for us. That leaves the night hours, when it's dark already, and then I have to walk under even darker bridges or down scary pathways just to get to the Nethermead (at least from my entrance), because apparently someone doesn't believe in lights. Even Wellhouse Drive can get pretty scary at night, when there's no one around, and the same for Peninsula Meadow. Add to that the fact that the officers who "work" the park are too busy harassing kids and driving around with their lights on for no reason to actually, y'know, protect and serve, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Case in point: I've already had some creepy guy stalk me through the park twice in the past 8 months (same guy both times). The cops did absolutely nothing about it, and wouldn't even get out of their car, once they finally showed up.

So, I'm wondering who decides the leash laws and which paths get lighting, because there's clearly some disconnect here. I can only walk my dog at night, and the least scary ways of giving her a chance to run are to either let her off-leash in areas where it's not allowed, or walk down dark paths and under a really dark bridge to get to the Nethermead. I'm usually by myself, and not every bad guy out there is scared of dogs. Granted, I'm prepared to do some damage if sufficiently threatened, but I'm no Incredible Hulk. And considering this is a public space (funded by tax dollars?), I should be able to use it without feeling threatened or scared.

Also, any chance anyone in the area would be interested in organizing a late-night dog-walking group? Or does one exist already that I don't know about?

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