While others think that there are more dogs than kids in S.S.
On the outside looking in last week at Armstrong Field were Heather White and her three-year-old Rottweiler, Tank, after the city posted signs saying pet owners could no longer exercise their dogs in the park.
"My son is 17 now when he was five," she said. "Kids used the park, but not now."
A lifelong South Side resident, Ms. White said in her experience, there are more people in the neighborhood with dogs than have children. She added that Armstrong Park is underutilized and that most of the children in the neighborhood go to Ormsby Park where there are more organized activities and Citiparks staff.
Valerie Molter was also outside the fence walking Simba because although she saw the signs saying dogs were forbidden from the park. She didn't know if the signs pertained to the small patch of grass outside the fence on Sarah Street.
Ms. Molter agreed the dogs needed a place to run. "I think it's going to be a wasted park."
Since the signs went up at Armstrong Park on 12th and Sarah streets on Friday, June 19, Ms. White says she's been warned twice by Animal Control officers about having Tank in the park and now avoids the field.
"If you're a dog lover and you have to walk past this spot now it will break their heart," she said.
There are dogs in all the other city parks, she added, not just the three off-leash parks in the city (Allegheny Commons Park, Frick Park and Riverview Park). "This is the only park where they put signs up."
Ms. White said Armstrong Field was where pet owner's got to know each other and came to socialize. She said that dog owners always cleaned up after their pets at the park.
Both women agreed that Armstrong Field has gotten to be known as a dog park in the area. According to Ms. White, some real estate companies are advertising their properties in the neighborhood as being close to a "dog park."
"That's what we call it," Ms. Molter said. "It's the dog park."
Although she's spoken with Councilman Bruce Kraus about the possibility of an off-leash area in South Side Riverfront Park, Ms. White would like the councilman to find another place for a dog park in the area. She didn't feel the riverfront park would be a good place for the dogs "with all that goose crap down there."
Instead she would like to see the area where the old ice skating rink is in South Side Park on 21st Street converted into a dog park.
"The old ice skating rink is an eyesore," she said. "Why can't they make a small area for a dog park?"