Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leash or Leash Free Decision Held Back

As someone who uses the trail through Warren park as part of the hiking trail system in this valley, having a leash-free area creates a great deal of fear and potential danger for people.
We don't know that your dog, barreling toward us and our young children, is friendly or attacking.

I have seen dogs disobey orders, I have heard "he's never done THAT before" after the dog has growled at us, or started aggressively barking at us; there are just so many potential conflicts that the owners are unable to address that having the two uses i.e. hiking and leash-free, are incompatible.
After years of reading meters for Hydro, I know very well that dogs can be unpredictable, yes, even yours. The owner's verbal assurances aren't worth the paper they are written on when it comes to our safety and comfort.
Of course I will never forget the shock and horror of the time a free-running dog attacked and killed our dog (in Burlington): the dog's owner was unable to first control, then unable to get his dog off ours until it was too late: he ended up chasing after his dog into the dark, while we were left to pick up the remains of our family pet.
I see leash free areas in neighbouring Burlington, fenced in, and not in Environmentally Sensitive Areas, so I certainly hope the staff report reflects concerns above and beyond convenience or a sense of "right" of dog owners.
Dundas decision on dog leashes will have to wait


The Hamilton Spectator

(Apr 20, 2010)

A decision on the freedom of dogs in Dundas's Warren Park won't come until late summer.

The city's public works committee heard from many passionate delegates on both sides of the leash-free debate yesterday before Dundas Councillor Russ Powers moved that the matter go to staff for a report due back in August. He asked staff to come up with alternative locations for a leash-free area in Dundas.

Dog lovers said the park has been leash-free for 23 years and Hamilton already has a shortage of areas to legally walk dogs off-leash. Brian Hinkley, representing the Friends of Warren Park, said users ensure the area is clean and safe and that a volunteer committee can address the concerns of the park's neighbours.

But nearby residents say the use of the park has skyrocketed in the past few years and neighbours are subjected to noise, clogged streets and unruly dogs.

The park abuts the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Dogs must be leashed in those areas and the Hamilton Conservation Authority has said it's going to step up enforcement after receiving complaints.

A group called Warren Park for Everyone urged the city to make it leash-only because it is within a designated environmentally sensitive area and is near walking trails.

mmacleod@thespec.com

905-526-3408

No comments: