Petition Supporting Off-Leash Dog Parks In Buncombe County
Whereas, we, the undersigned constituents of Buncombe County, respectfully urge you to authorize and establish “off-leash” dog hours in Buncombe County parks and jogging trails.
Just as other taxpayers enjoy local and convenient public swimming pools, jogging trails, golf courses, soccer fields and playgrounds, Buncombe County dog owners, who are levied a special dog-tax every year, need space to exercise, train and enjoy their pets in an off-leash environment.
Buncombe County dog-owners desperately need daily access to parks and grass athletic fields that allow off-leash dog activities such as running, playing catch, obedience training, fly ball, canine Frisbee, etc. Such activities are essential to the health and well-being of both dogs and their owners.
To accomplish this, we propose the Buncombe County Parks and Recreation department set aside two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon/evening for dog-owners to use the parks and recreation spaces within Buncombe County to exercise their dogs off-leash.
In creating specific hours (two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon/evening) for dog-owners to use parks, jogging trails, and grassy athletic fields, we hope to accomplish multiple goals:
1. to establish off-leash dog hours in parks, jogging trails and grass athletic fields that allow dog sports where well-behaved canine can exercise fully in a clean, safe environment.
2. to develop beautiful, well-maintained spaces, open to all dog lovers and friends who are willing to uphold the park's rules and restrictions.
3. to view dog parks as a community project, in partnership with the County of Buncombe, designed to satisfy the needs of the whole community.
Unfortunately, a few, inadequate off-leash dog parks currently exist in Buncombe county areas. Dog-owners often must travel great distances to go to the few dog parks in the county adding unnecessary car traffic on our roads. These few dog parks are small, fenced-in spaces that do not adequately provide running and playing spaces for any sized dog.
Further, dog parks will benefit the greater community in the following ways:
1. “A good dog is a tired dog”. The cardiovascular benefit provided by healthy dog to dog play is great for dogs’ behavior longevity and weight control. Dogs are social animals whose mental health is improved by interaction with other canines. Happy, healthy dogs are calmer and better behaved, reducing nuisance barking and annoying behaviors exhibited by unexercised canines.
2. Specific hours for dog-owners to use the parks will increase general park utilization and build stronger communities.
3. Increased park utilization can help to reduce crime. Dog owners tend to be people who appreciate the effort park regulators expend in providing a place for them to vigorously exercise their dogs, and take an "ownership interest" in the spaces provided them. As a result, they help keep local areas free of illegal activities.
4. Dog owners want to ensure a clean park for all the dogs attending. Feces pick-up and disposal is an integral part of retaining a clean and heathly park. Owners watch for and pick up their animal’s feces, and peer pressure effectively keeps parks clean.
5. Those who care enough to use dog parks for vigorous exercising of their dogs are usually registered voters, educated, affluent people who are very attractive to local businesses. Such citizens attract others like themselves to live in the area, continuing the trend to increase revenues to local business and to the tax base.
We urge your consideration in constructing adequate “off-leash” dog hours in every local area possible in Buncombe.
Sincerely, the Undersigned