As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I am pleased to announce that after a period of consultation our main dog run on Mackle Road will soon be sub-divided for large and small canines.
Over the past year I have received many complaints that smaller dogs were being attacked by larger ones. While the incidents might no have been that frequent, the fact this was happening at all was of great concern. The vast majority of our dog owners are responsible individuals. At the dog run itself, people get along nicely and so do the animals. It is wonderful to see them run free and play together. But we have heard stories of dog owners who are allowing what amounts to acts of bullying by their pets. In some cases, small dogs have been seriously injured.
More than a year ago I established an ad hoc dog run advisory committee. I’d like to thank Abe Haim and Jason Balinsky, two of my constituents who took a leadership role from day one. They have helped steer this discussion in the correct manner, talking to owners at the dog run and holding two public meetings at City Hall.
Hats off to Beatrice Newman, our director of Public Works and foreman Thierry Dhaisne for working with us on this project. In the next few weeks fencing will be installed. Naturally, the larger dogs will get more space. The area itself is quite large.
This was the prudent thing to do.
We also hope to have a decision made soon on a second dog run on the other side of the city, near Meadowbrook Golf Course. Councillor Steven Erdelyi has been leading those discussions.
The other night I met with a number of dog owners on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. They’d like to see more access for dogs in our parks and I agree. In fact, this is an issue I have been advocating for many years and last spring we made a positive first step. While dogs are still not allowed in most public parks and playgrounds exceptions have now been made at Aaron Hart Park along David Lewis St., Harold Greenspon Park on Borden Ave., the green space between Marc Chagall Ave. and the parking lot of the Bernard Lang Civic Centre soon to be renamed Library Lane, the green space on Baily Rd. between Northluc and Cavendish, the green space on Baily Rd. between Lyndale and Glencrest, and a section of Kirwan Park between Blossom and Wentworth. Council wants to evaluate how this process went first before deciding on any future adjustments.