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Halifax asks dog owners to #RESPECT neighbours, keep pets from barking in off-leash park

Dogs romp near a sign posted by the Halifax Regional Municipality in an off-leash area in Shubie Park in Dartmouth, N.S. on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Two signs were erected after numerous complaints were received about dogs barking last summer.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
March 01, 2016 - 7:00 PM

HALIFAX - Halifax has raised pet owners' ire by targeting dogs who allegedly bark too loudly at a popular park.

The municipality recently erected a sign at the off-leash area of Shubie Park asking pet owners to "control your dog's barking" or take the animal elsewhere.

Critics argue that in dog parks, dogs should be allowed to be dogs.

"The Mime for Canines class I am offering is almost fully booked," one Twitter user, Andy Bowers, joked on Tuesday.

Another user, Sean Joudry, tweeted a doctored photo of the city's sign that read: "Please do not use this area if you can't make your dog less like a dog."

But city spokesperson Tiffany Chase said the city had received "a number of complaints" from homeowners who live across a small lake from the Dartmouth park.

"We visited the park 17 times," said Chase. "The sound of the barking does carry quite clearly over the water."

Chase said dog owners were unaware they were annoying the park's neighbours, and so the city put up the sign in mid-January in hopes they would reduce some of their noisier activities.

"We had noted that dogs tend to bark more when engaging in fetching activities. There are ways of reducing the activity level in that area."

Chase said the signs appear to be working. If complaints resume, though, the city would have to look at moving the off-leash area elsewhere, she said.

"It's really just about being courteous to one another," said Chase.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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