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OpinionColumnistsMike Vogel

Subways going to the dogs

Is it just me, or have you noticed more dogs on the trains than ever?

The C train at the Times Square subway

The C train at the Times Square subway station.

Finally, the warm weather has arrived! Outdoor cafes, leaves on the trees — and fleas on the subway?

On the downtown C train, a woman carrying an uncaged dog enters the train and takes the last unoccupied seat beside me. The mutt is placed on the floor, and immediately starts scratching itself like crazy.

As I was doing shortly afterward.

Did fleas jump from that dog and bite me? I take a hot shower when I get home and it eases. But hey, it could have been worse. I could have been bitten by a pit bull.

Which is what happened to a woman last month on the 4 train. The dog chomped on her ankle and shoe, while riders screamed at the owner, “Get him off!” Why wasn’t the dog in a container? Because he was a service dog.

Is it just me, or have you noticed more dogs on the subway than ever? Emotional support/service animals ride with no restrictions, while others must be placed in carriers. Of course, many Fido-loving connivers fetch phony service-dog tags on the internet. Meanwhile, our subways are starting to look like a huge kennel.

I can hear the howls as I write. What do you have against dogs, Vogel?

Nothing. I like dogs. In their place. And unless you are blind (BTW, ever notice how Seeing Eye dogs are never rowdy?) or have another actual disability, that place for dogs is not the subway. Why not? Let me count the ways. Some people are allergic to dogs, whose dander or drool can set off severe reactions. Some don’t think it’s cute to have your loyal companion licking or sniffing them. Most just want to catch their train — not fleas.

And even more don’t want your pit bull biting them.

“There’s no reason in the world why that dog was allowed on board . . . let alone harassing one of my passengers,” said MTA chairman Joe Lhota. The transit system “is not open to people with dogs that aren’t service animals or enclosed.” Lhota added that it’s up to NYPD cops and MTA staffers on trains to handle this.

Meanwhile, I see more and more dogs down there. Cops and staffers? Not so much.

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.

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