We recently moved into a new community. There is a small community park just outside our homes and a larger park with rides, swings and slides a few hundred feet away. This community doesn't allow any pets unless they are emotional support animals and requires them to be on a leash when outdoors.
There are a lot of people who keep dogs and let them run around the parks. I see dog droppings in the park often. Me and my children are afraid of dogs and consider them dangerous and dirty. I have thought about several ways to proceed but none without significant disadvantages.
I can talk to my closest neighbors and ask them to always keep their dogs indoors or on leash. But I know it would be very cruel to those animals. They seem to be very happy running around. Some dog owners' kids play with them and seem to be very enjoying. This would also create an exclusion between my kids playing in the park and the dogs and their owner's kids playing in the park, that I don't want. I want my kids to be friends with the neighbors kids, not looking out of the window waiting for their turn to play.
I can press on the administration to enforce their rules about pets on leash and being only ESAs. I see that pets are an integral part of many households here. I am very much afraid the owners would be left with strong negative feelings about my complaints. I may be able to live in a passive aggressive environment but I don't want my kids being perceived as intruders (who don't let them have nice pets) by neighboring kids.
I can keep a pocket knife or a pepper spray with me and my kids. We may feel a bit more secure about dogs running around, at least initially, but I think there would be a very undesirable incident very soon. Again, I may be able to bear it but I don't want my kids to experience the trauma from any such incident.
How can I convince my neighbors to not keep pets except truly designated emotional support animals and keep them on leash in public spaces, without any significant negative side effects?