BOSTON (WHDH) - Off-leash dogs have caused concerns in South Boston, where some say the animals are being allowed to run free at a popular park. 

Last month, an unleashed dog bit a four-year-old girl. Now, parents are pushing for leash laws to be enforced, with some showing up at a community meeting Wednesday night where some dog owners said poor conditions at area dog parks have left them frustrated.

“We’re doing our best to get more dog parks here in South Boston, but I also need you to be a good neighbor to make sure that your dog is leashed in the interest of little kids,” said Boston City Council President Ed Flynn.

The Medal of Honor Park in South Boston is the site of the current discussion. 

On Wednesday, the mother of the girl who was bitten joined animal control and city council members to talk to dog owners within South Boston, asking them to keep their animals on a leash. 

“I’m not anti-dog by any means, but I should be able to walk across the park with my child without the expectation that a dog is going to come running after my child and bite them,” the mother said.

Under Massachusetts law, dogs have to be on leash unless they are on private property. 

While 7NEWS cameras were rolling Wednesday, animal control officers were out enforcing the state’s law. 

There are three dog parks in the South Boston area. But dog owners said they’re not ideal, driving them to use other open spaces. 

“It’s basically a glorified litter box,” said one person.

Dog owners, this week, said they’re hoping to find middle ground to keep children safe and to keep their dogs happy.

“I’m sorry that an incident had to happen to get to this point and I’m so sorry that you feel like we’re not being respectful neighbors but if we could potentially work together to get the resources for all of us to enjoy the space and cohabitate, I think both parties will be happy,” a dog owner said.

Boston police and animal control officers will be out in South Boston enforcing the state’s leash law in the upcoming weeks. Speaking this week, officials said they will continue enforcement efforts until they can find a solution to current concerns.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox