Some hackles were raised Friday morning at the Claremont Pooch Park.
Claremont City Councilmember Jed Leano arrived at College Park with his dogs, Blue and Sally, only to be informed by a film crew with the Burbank-based production company Shot Glass that the park was closed for filming.
Mr. Leano protested that the College Park, including the Pooch Park, were indeed open and that he and other citizens had the right to bring their dogs there.
“That is when he told me that they had an aggressive dog and it was not safe.” Mr. Leano said. “I told them to get the dog out of a public park.”
Shot Glass did indeed have a filming permit but it was exclusively for the south parking lot and not for the entire park. Eric Jackson, the film’s director, said that they were making a commercial for a client’s social media presence.
“A film crew had been standing at the entrance to the Pooch Park telling residents that the park was closed for filming. The park is not closed. I (kindly) instructed the crew they were not to turn anyone—human or canine—away,” Mr. Leano posted via social media.
“It was all a misunderstanding,” Mr. Jackson said. “We thought we had a permit for the whole park.” He said that an extra had brought a German shepherd, but it was too aggressive so he asked the dog’s owner to take it home. He also said that Mr. Leano was the only one who was upset.
However, Mr. Leano refutes that, claiming that an email from the city clearly stated that the film crew had a permit for the south lot only. A sign with the city of Claremont’s logo and the human services department phone number posted at the parking lot entrance clearly stated that the south-west lot was closed, but north west area and east parking will remain open.
“There was no misunderstanding, they [film crew] were told that the park was open [to the public],” Mr. Leano said.
Because the incident happened early in the morning, many dog owners were turned away during the only cool hours of the day, which is a problem since the forecast on Friday was for temperatures in the upper nineties.
Just after 10 a.m. things appeared to be back to normal with the Shot Glass crew taking a break from their filming schedule while a handful of dogs and their human companions enjoying the park. Still Mr. Leano was not happy that people had been excluded from a public space in Claremont.
“The real tragedy is how many people came and left,” Mr. Leano said. “For Claremont dog owners this is the only time they can use the park.”