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A controversy has been unleashed over, um, unleashed dogs.

It all started with a query about the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District arrest log, which certain elements in our fine city pour over, making sure no mugging, burglary or car theft goes unexamined. With all of those crimes unfolding daily, the questioner expressed a certain incredulity that police would bother locking up dog walkers. The said crime took place Jun. 8 on Idaho Avenue, N.W.

“I am astounded to see the police have arrested someone for an unleashed dog.  Isn’t a fine sufficient especially when we have rampant car thefts and car break-ins in the second district and all over the city?” Mary Rowse dashed off in an email to the Second District’s Yahoo group, CC:ing the police chief, the mayor and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary M. Cheh.

“Hello ms rowse….,” responded Assistant Chief of Police Diane C. Groomes.“we do issue a citation of 50 dollars for an unleashed dog..it is a ticket vs one being transported to a holding cell….once a citizen pays the fine it goes under a collateral offense….”

That pretty much unleashed the unleashed-dog horror stories. Alec McRae in American University Park seems to have the most harrowing tales:

“In my personal observation and experience as a senior citizen recreational walker and slow jogger in my neighborhood, I have regularly seen unleashed dogs, threatening and harassing pedestrians, including myself, causing traffic hazards, fouling up the streets and residents’ private properties, and attacking other dogs as well as cats.”