EDITORIAL: City’s off-leash dog areas need to expand

Dogs need a place in the wilderness—even if it is urban wilderness—where it is OK to run without a leash.

The Police Beat column that ran in the Alberni Valley News last week about walking dogs off leash on city trails has caused some concern and a flurry of opinions from dog owners.

Many people who own dogs have complained that the fines seem unfair, as they have been walking trails inside the city’s boundaries with their dogs off leashes for years and have never been told they can’t.

RCMP Inspector Mac Richards said in the column that the bylaws affect city-owned trails only, not those within the boundary of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

We understand both sides of the story: dog bites and dog fights from animals that are not leashed are frightening and painful for all concerned. Even dogs that are friendly can be startled by someone coming around a corner on a path and react instinctively.

We are fortunate that the City of Port Alberni created an off-leash dog park in the first place, but we feel it isn’t enough.

Dogs need a place in the wilderness—even if it is urban wilderness—where it is OK to run without a leash.

It’s time for the city to come up with a suitable place. Designate a trail where it is OK for owners to take their dogs without a leash, and mark it so people who don’t care to encounter off-leash dogs will be forewarned.

Until that time, it is up to dog owners to obey the leash laws that are in place. While your dog might be friendly, or good with children, you don’t know whether other dogs are friendly or whether children are good with other people’s dogs.


Just Posted

Alberni lacrosse players compete in national tournament

The B.C. bantam team finished fourth out of twelve teams

Port Alberni RCMP recover stolen tool chest

Police still searching for the rightful owner

Kuu-us Crisis Service celebrates 25th anniversary

Port Alberni-based business sets sights on national realm

Vehicle fire extinguished near Cathedral Grove

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

McLean Mill’s steam engine done for the season

McLean Mill Society to consult with community about future of steam

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Most Read