Point Isabel, the single busiest spot in the entire East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), is famously peaceable and self-policing. With nearly 1.5 million human visitors and probably that many dogs every year, though, incidents do happen. Here are tips on how to respond.
FIRST, don’t escalate. If a person is a jerk or a dog is a nuisance, walk away. If someone doesn’t clean up after a dog or lets it dig, feel free to remind them what the rules are and leave it at that.
SECOND, know how to get help or report problems. Carry these numbers:
911: Medical or public safety emergency, park visitor acting belligerent or windsurfer in trouble
Contra Costa County (CoCoCo) Animal Services (925-608-8400): Stray dog, person bitten by a dog, serious dog-on-dog injury. (In addition, report dog bites to EBRPD Dispatch.)
EBRPD Dispatch (510-881-1833): Car break-in, person bitten by a dog, serious dog-on-dog injury, chronic bad behavior by park user or dog. (In addition, report dog bites to CoCoCo Animal Services.)
Point Isabel park supervisor (888-327-2757, option 3, extension 4550): Concerns about Point Isabel specifically
EBRPD main switchboard (888-EBPARKS or 888-327-2757): General park district information.
THIRD, understand and help communicate the rules about dogs at Point Isabel.
Point Isabel is an off-leash park, and park visitors tacitly accept risks associated with off-leash recreation – up to a point. As at all EBRPD parks, dogs must be within their handler’s sight and under control at all times, and any dog that acts aggressive must be leashed immediately.
If a dog attacks and injures another dog, the owner of the aggressor is at fault. He or she is required to give the other owner contact information and may be liable for vet bills.
FOURTH, look out for each other. When people or their dogs are injured, they may be upset, distracted, and in a hurry to get to a doctor or vet. You may be able to help by getting contact information for them from the owners of other dogs involved, taking photos and video as appropriate, or even offering a ride to the doctor or vet.
The nearest 24-hour emergency vets are PETS Referral (510-548-6684, 1048 University Avenue in Berkeley) and Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital (510-848-5041, 2126 Haste Street, Berkeley).