CANADA – Residents of Calgary will soon be able to let their dogs off-leash without worry in 10 newly-planned, fully-fenced parks. These parks will allow dogs to roam and socialize safely. We applaud Calgary’s support in creating places that support this pack animal’s true and social nature. - Global Animal
Calgary Herald, Jason Markusoff
Dog lovers could soon enjoy up to 10 more fenced off-leash areas in a city that currently has only two sites that offer the safety many pet owners have demanded.
After more than two years of consulting residents and working on how to improve the network of off-leash areas, parks planners are fine-tuning a list of proposed sites that should be fenced, as well as a slate of 15 new park areas.
Currently, only Auburn Bay and Southland in the southeast have dog parks where owners don’t have to worry about their pooches running off into traffic or a bicycle path. There’s an off-leash site in the northwest, Bowmont Park, that’s mostly fenced.
“Do I want to be on the Deerfoot every day for half an hour to walk my dog? I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Judy Williamson, who was among those who decried the removal of fences at the Cambrian Heights.
While she’s encouraged by plans to add more contained dog parks — including ones in the inner city — the owner of Siberian huskies Chili and Equinox said she worries about the length of time city officials will take to consult the public on these proposed sites before erecting new fences.
The list of proposed offleash areas that should be fenced will be revealed to a council committee Jan. 5.
Ald. John Mar, community services committee chairman, said the city needs to carefully consider new fenced-in dog sites. “Unfortunately, the wheels on the bus don’t turn as fast as people want,” he said.
The parks department will consult the public on the site proposals, based on a 25-page draft off-leash area management plan the city released this week. The city has had to consider the views of dog owners, the concerns of cyclists, other park users, residents and advocates for environmental conservation, said Heather Stewart of the parks planning branch.
Fences will be proposed in small to mid-sized off-leash areas, and they’ll all need to have ample parking and road access, Stewart said.