Off-leash dogs rush to greet a dog owner with her own dog on a leash. (Tim Collins/News Gazette staff)

Langford resident calls for action on off-leash dogs in Thetis Lake Park

Some pet owners lack responsible approach

The perennial debate regarding off-leash dogs in Capital Regional District parks ebbs and flows, but never truly goes away as those who favour off-leash freedom for their furry friends face off with those who take a more restrictive approach to dog ownership.

A recent complaint from Langford resident David Citra offers a new twist on the debate by suggesting that those who wish to walk their dogs in the region’s parks be required to purchase a $1 ticket from a machine, much in the way that they would purchase a ticket to park their car.

“I wrote my letter to the CRD out of frustration and concern. I have been walking in Thetis Lake Park for 12 years and during that time I’ve seen the situation getting progressively worse,” Citra said.

“I love dogs and have been a dog owner myself for well over 20 years, but I can’t walk in Thetis Lake Park without being growled at by off leash dogs with no owners in close proximity. I’ve had large dogs jump up on me, and even had a recent incident where an off leash dog grabbed my pant leg while growling. The owner’s explanation, when she finally arrived, was that her dog was afraid of people wearing hats.”

Citra suggests that off leash dogs be banned from the trails entirely as the narrow passage for walkers makes it impossible to avoid off-leash dogs. In other areas of the park, he maintained that off leash areas should be made available within reasonable date and time parameters.

Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton, one of the members of the CRD parks committee, noted it’s an issue that has been on the CRD’s radar for a considerable time.

“Our bylaws right now say that dogs have to be under control at all times and that dog owners have to pick up dog droppings. At Thetis Lake dogs are not permitted in the Prior Lake beach and dock area between June 1 and Sept. 15, but during the off season things are more relaxed,” Seaton said.

“That doesn’t mean that we can’t bring in some rules, especially on issues where people with several dogs are walking them off-leash and preventing others from enjoying the park.”

Seaton noted most dog owners are responsible and it’s only a small percentage causing problems. He suggested that people try to look at the way they’re handling their animals from the perspective of others and how they see the dogs that are running free. “It’s all a matter of education.”

A comment Citra echoed. “I agree that education is important, and that’s why my idea of charging a permit fee for walking your dog should be considered. The kiosk selling the permits could have the rules for keeping dogs under control posted, and the revenue from the permits could be used to hire another staff person to walk the trails and help educate people on taking care of their dogs and fine those people who insist on acting irresponsibly.”

Terry Lueng, who was at Thetis Lake on a morning walk last week had two dogs with him in the park, both off-leash.

“It wouldn’t matter to me whether I had to have them on leash or not. There are a lot of dog walkers who have six or seven dogs with them, but it’s all fine,” said the pet owner. “It’s just a matter of having your dogs under control.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Needles far more prolific than public realizes, says local biohazard company

Leaving needles around ‘considered bad form among intravenous drug users’

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Touring art from war-torn Syria on display at Cedar Hill

Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art, Jan. 24 to Feb. 5 at Cedar Hill Arts Centre

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Most Read