Off-leash proposal for all city parks a bad idea
City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is usually doggone smart, but he’s barking up the wrong tree with his proposal to allow dogs to run free at night in all city parks.
Minnan-Wong floated a plan last week to make every city park a leash-free area between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., saying most parks are empty at night, and that it would end the need for dog owners to travel further to off-leash dog enclosures in other parks.
Another favorable argument is that it would legitimize what some dogs owners do at night, which is to let their dog run free in their local park.
Those are valid points, but I think it will make it even easier for dog owners to abdicate from the icky business of picking up after their pooch.
An admission here: I do not own a dog, mainly because I am revolted by the idea of picking up its feces (hot and fresh!) in a plastic bag.
No matter how many dog owners indignantly reply that they pick up after their charge, a lot of them don’t, and the evidence is all around us.
I live next to a huge schoolyard that also serves as our neighbourhood park and is used as a dog walking area. I have often seen, uh, evidence that people aren’t picking up after their dogs.
Worse, there is someone who bags up the mess, and then drops the knotted bags at the entrance to the schoolyard, instead of using one of the trash cans on the school property or taking it home.
It’s been going on for years. I have always wondered why the person bothers to package it, only to drop the bundle on the ground, and would like to ask them why, if I ever get the chance.
I have long suspected that the culprit picks it up because there's someone else around, who might see them walk away from it. But when no one is looking, the package is dropped.
I think a lot more of this sh.. will go on if dogs have the run of the parks after dark.
If they are off-leash and bounding into the darkness, they are more likely to do their business out of sight from their owner. Even if the boss sees where the dog squatted, some will be tempted to not see it, if you know what I mean.
There’s enough dog doo around now, without creating a situation where it’ll only get worse.