Regina year-round dog parks set to welcome pups with gates wide open

The City of Regina says the gates will be left open to adhere to public health orders.

City officials had closed parks over COVID-19 concerns

A man walks a number of dogs in Edmonton. Dog Parks in Regina are re-opening on May 15. (Emily Rendell-Watson/CBC)

Regina's year-round dog parks are set to reopen, but beware the open doors if you have a new puppy. 
The Cathy Lauritsen Memorial Off-Leash Dog Park and the Ross Industrial Off-Leash Dog Park opened at 8 a.m. CST on Friday.
People are asked to maintain a safe physical distance of two metres, avoid shared surfaces such as fences, benches and handrails, don't share waste bags and use at your own risk.

"We're also asking people to do a self-assessment before they enter the park. So if they're not feeling well to leave and go home immediately instead of entering into the park," said city spokesperson Janine Daradich. 

The city is also leaving the park gates open at all times. 

"This is being done to adhere to the public health orders as the gates are considered high touch points," Daradich said. 

Even when the gates are closed, the city recommends having their dogs trained to understand voice commands, she said. 

"If they feel that this won't work for their dogs then we would ask them to keep their dog on a leash while they're at the park," Daradich said.

"This is something that we have to do in order to adhere to those public health orders."

A dog plays fetch with its owner in Toronto. The City of Regina is opening some off-leash dog parks but with gates to remain open. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

For the first few days the park is open the city will have "ambassadors" out on site in high visibility vests, she said. 

"They will be there to make sure people understand the new rules of the park and they'll answer any questions if they can," Daradich said. 

Dog parks were originally closed because there were high touch points, she said. Now that Saskatchewan is reopening, the city reevaluated and worked with the Saskatchewan Health Authority on the protocols. 

Seasonal dog parks continue to be closed because the gates would require people to touch a high touch area and the parks are smaller, making it harder to physically distance, she said. 

"It's felt that it would be harder for people to follow the self-distancing rules in that space so they won't be opening at this time."

A dog is seen at a park in Winnipeg. The City of Regina is asking people to not share items such as dog waste bags in its off-leash parks. (Louis-Philippe LeBlanc/CBC)