A constituent has recently written in requesting that a dedicated leash free fenced-in dog park be established in the City of Guelph. What do you think? Is there a need in Guelph for such an area? Where would it be located? Do the existing leash free areas suit the needs of dog owners? Are there conflicts with dog owners, joggers, cyclists and families in your park?
We are writing to ask you to consider our request to establish dedicated, fenced-in, leash-free dog run areas in Guelph.
At this time, Guelph has no such provision. As a result there are conflicts between walkers, joggers, cyclists and dog owners. Most dog owners are aware that dogs need off-leash time for their (and their owners’) mental and physical health. The establishment of these areas could relieve tensions. They could also act as a “user-friendly” incentive for potential residents, and relieve the pressure to police the City’s parks.
Hamilton has a fenced in area, just behind its Humane Society Building. The result is that responsible, civic minded dog owners share time with each other and with healthy, happy pets. They provide a kind of responsible “ownership” of the area, policing it, picking up after their dogs, and generally ensuring that the place is self-monitored and run. The presence of people and dogs also acts to discourage vandalism.
There are several opportunities in Guelph to establish similar areas with the introduction of just one wall of cyclone fencing and a style/gate entrance.
Please consider our request to make Guelph a better and healthier place for all of us. JG
I appreciate your concerns for the conflicting use between casual park users and dogs running off-leash in designated leash-free zones, or in accordance with our Park Regulations. Your email is timely, as staff have been requested to investigate a code of conduct for joggers, cyclists and patrons of our leash-free areas, including opportunities to appropriately signed leash-free zones.
I am familiar with the type of leash-free areas you have referenced, and I have worked closely with formalized leash-free groups/volunteers in the past to establish fully enclosed dog runs. Recognizing facility upgrades with come with a cost, any approved recommendations to upgrade our current facilities will be subject to the availability of funds. Staff