You'd figure that it would take quite a few, because dog owners DO pay taxes, we DO deserve to get some benefit from those taxes, and the indiscretion of a few bad apples shouldn't make every dog owner suffer for the few. If there are complaints - increase the monitoring at that particular park - and increase the fines at that park so that the people who are being bad will stop being bad. That makes sense, don't you think?
Well here in the Halifax Regional Municipality - the bureaucrats and elected officials don't seem to want to do their job that way. They have shown time and time again - that they have a hatred for dogs and their owners that borders on the submlime - and they're showing this proclivity once again with the very well used, and much loved Robert Drive Park dog park in Dartmouth.
It's a super popular park for people to take their dogs to because it's completely fenced in - and dog owners who aren't completely sure that their dogs have perfect recall like the fact that this park is fenced in - so this park gets a lot of use - and is getting more use all the time as word gets out.
The city told no one that the park was supposed to be closed for the month of May so that the park could "reseed" itself - so they blamed dog owners and have closed the park now for the month of June, and have extended it into July - but they've also added something else to the Off-leash parks strategy page on the City's website about the Robert Drive Park dog park and said the following -
HRM has recently received complaints concerning dog owners who are abusing their off leash privileges at the Robert Drive off leash sport field. The signs at the entrance to the field clearly show that the field is open from Nov 1- May 1 and from June 1 - Nov 1. The field is closed to off leash use in May to allow for grass to regenerate in worn areas of the field. It's evident that some dog owners have continued to use the field during May. The field has been severely impacted and will likely be closed to off leash use during the month of June in order for the grass to return.
Complaints have also been received concerning dog owners who have unleashed their dogs while children are playing in the field. Please remember that children come first. If you arrive at the field and children are playing then please wait until they have left the field before unleashing your dog. It is also evident that some dog owners are not cleaning up after their pets.
The field is a shared resource. It is not intended for the exclusive use of dog owners. The HRM Interdepartmental Off Leash Parks Committee will be meeting on June 19 to consider the future of the sport field for off leash uses. The field may be closed permanently for off leash activities if dog owners continue to disregard these basic rules.
A regular user of the Robert Drive Dog Park - Tara Bayne - contacted the city, and animal control, to try and get some statistics to see what the complaints were that had been called in and how many of them there were.
And guess what. There have been TWO COMPLAINTS called in about this park. Two complaints from the public are going to close this park. The HRM Interdepartmental Off Leash Parks Committee is going to meet and contemplate closing this much needed and well used dog park based on TWO COMPLAINTS.
Can you believe this?
How many dog owners are there in the HRM? How many dog owners use off leash dog parks in the HRM? And TWO COMPLAINTS are going to close down one of those off leash spaces?
Can you spot the inequity here?
Do you think that perhaps the City is listening to the wrong demographic on this subject?
I hope I'm not the only who's feeling sick to their stomach right now.