Rebecca Black 0

Dog Owners for OFF Leash Dog Walking in Capilano River Park

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We, the responsible dog owners who walk our dogs in Capilano River Park, want the right to walk our dogs OFF leash in the park. We represent a very large demographic of park users who choose to recreate with our dogs both on and off leash and believe it is important to the physical and social well being of both our dogs and ourselves. Dogs gain valuable socialization skills off leash which contribute to them becoming better canine citizens. They are able to receive a more appropriate and satisfying exercise experience with their owners off leash. We recognize our responsibility to respect other park users and to keep our dogs under control and to pick up after them. We will have a leash and bag handy at all times. We feel, and studies will back this up, that our park is a safer place due to the presence of our dogs. Dogs generally stay on the marked trails and there is very little interaction between whatever wildlife inhabits the park. There have been very few bear incidents as bears generally give them a wide berth. We believe the parks should be shared spaces and rules prohibiting dogs only foster a feeling of intolerance towards what many of us consider our family members. With a growing population of dog owners in the community, our parks should be looking at ways to meet dog owners needs not penalizing this healthy form of exercise. Traditionally, a great many park users have walked and run with their dogs off lead in this park without incident. Steep stairs and rooty trails often pose a hazard for the dog walker when the dog is leashed, making this a potentially dangerous practice. Walking dogs off their leash works very well for most dog owners and it would be a huge loss if on leash only walking was enforced.

With the exception of the high traffic areas around the dam and the fish hatchery the rest of the park is large enough to accommodate both people and off leash dogs.
We request a proper survey of park usage be done to determine how the community chooses to use this park before making changes and enforcing on leash requirements.


North Shore Dog Walkers


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