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City looks at cracking down on dogs running free at Pioneer Park

Dogs are only allowed off leash in the water at Pioneer Park according to city bylaws.
April 27, 2016 - 11:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - It might be in education, or it might be in enforcement, but changes to how dogs are handled at Pioneer Park are coming.

Complaints from park users about dogs allowed to run off-leash is leading the city to consider stricter enforcement of the parks leash rules, city parks planning supervisor Mike Doll says.

“How that gets resolved, that's a whole other issue, somthinng needs to change for sure,” he says. “It basically looks like a dog park, but it’s not intended that way, just dog friendly.”

He’s not sure whether there will be an education plan or enforcement, but Doll says he thinks something will come soon.

“If it’s strict enforcement you’ll piss off a lot of dog owners,” he says. “The flip side is where people are just going to picnic and being bombarded by dogs.”

Dogs are allowed off-leash at the park, but only to play in the water, Doll says. The park itself is considered an on-leash area for dogs.

In a memo about the issue to city council this week, parks director Byron McCorkell wrote 'complaints indicate the off-leash opportunity is being abused and incidents are occurring away from the water'.

The memo was in respnse to a letter from Laura Carroll, a retired psychiatric social worker who raised concerns about the future of Pioneer Park, which may include potential plans for a basketball court, beach volleyball and picnic shelter.

Carroll is worried the plans could disrupt the use of pet owners who are also seniors or people with disabilities, because it's the only park that’s pet friendly, has beach access and is accessible to people with mobility issues.

Doll notes the list of potential amenities at the park are a wish list developed in consultation with residents a couple years ago, with all of the ideas coming from public suggestions. He adds that nothing is planned for the short term, and any plans would still have to go through council.

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