Dog rules enforcement urged at Point Pleasant Park
Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee has heard concerns about out-of-control dogs
The Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee says it's been fielding complaints about unruly dogs and careless owners, and wants the Halifax Regional Municipality to crack down on people who break the rules.
The concerns vary: children being jumped on, owners not cleaning up feces, dogs biting people. In one recent case a dog barrelled into the kitchen of a home that backs onto the park.
Large swaths of Point Pleasant Park are off-leash areas, although there are restrictions. Dogs are forbidden on Sailors Memorial Way after 10 a.m. and need to be on a leash along Cambridge Drive, from the upper parking lot to the Martello Tower.
Waye Mason, the councillor for Peninsula South-Downtown, sits on the advisory committee for the park and said there's a problem with a small number of dog owners.
"There's issues around making sure that people understand that an off-leash area is not an out-of-control dog area," he said. "The dogs still need to be under control [when they're] off leash."
The Halifax Regional Municipality, however, said it gets few dog complaints at Point Pleasant Park — just seven between April 18 and Oct. 31.
A spokeswoman for the municipality said bylaw officers patrolled the area 19 times during that period. Fines under the Animal Bylaw start at $200.
She said bylaw enforcement is complaint driven and officers will patrol an area if calls to the city mount. There are seven animal control staff.
Not everyone is convinced there's a dog problem. Several owners at Point Pleasant Park on Tuesday said they've seen few issues and that anyone walking in an off-leash park should expect to encounter dogs.
"People tend to be a little off put by dogs running at them, but they're the ones walking in a dog park," said Grant Chisholm as he prepared to take his Newfoundland dog Barley for a walk.
The advisory committee also wants new signs that better articulate the rules for people using the park.
Another pet peeve is owners that don't pick up poop. Gareth Barry walks daily in Point Pleasant Park and notes it's a problem along Sailors Memorial Way, which runs along the shore.
"Some people take their dogs on the front and they don't pick up after them," he said.
"I think that's very bad because you get a lot of families on the front with children and there's nothing worse than stepping in mess."