I moved to Austin, Texas, just last month from the progressive and prosperous East Coast state of Maryland. I work for a business located in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Because I am able to telecommute, I was free to choose any place I desired for my permanent residence. A major draw for me to Austin was the recreational and dog-friendly nature of the city as a whole, and in particular, the large off-leash park at Auditorium Shores. To hear now that the size of that area will be significantly reduced and altered is a direct blow to my decision [“Turf Fight at Auditorium Shores
,” News, Dec. 6]. As a pet owner, shelter volunteer, and foster home for rescue dogs, I understand the need for exercise and enrichment. I also come from a city with very small dog parks, one in which the number of incidents in the dog parks is higher due to their smaller size and the contained nature of the dogs in them. I vehemently oppose the city's plan to alter Auditorium Shores and feel that a better solution is entirely viable, if the PARD, Council, and mayor are willing to further explore the options. You are fortunate here to have a city full of intelligent, involved citizens. You also have a reputation for your public support of health, wellness, recreation, and animal welfare. Take advantage of your resources, and make a decision that does not jeopardize the canine, human, and economic engines of this great city, lest you lose them all to another metropolitan place.