Off-leash dogs rush to greet a dog owner with her own dog on a leash. (Tim Collins/News Gazette staff)

Langford resident calls for action on off-leash dogs in Thetis Lake Park

Some pet owners lack responsible approach

The perennial debate regarding off-leash dogs in Capital Regional District parks ebbs and flows, but never truly goes away as those who favour off-leash freedom for their furry friends face off with those who take a more restrictive approach to dog ownership.

A recent complaint from Langford resident David Citra offers a new twist on the debate by suggesting that those who wish to walk their dogs in the region’s parks be required to purchase a $1 ticket from a machine, much in the way that they would purchase a ticket to park their car.

“I wrote my letter to the CRD out of frustration and concern. I have been walking in Thetis Lake Park for 12 years and during that time I’ve seen the situation getting progressively worse,” Citra said.

“I love dogs and have been a dog owner myself for well over 20 years, but I can’t walk in Thetis Lake Park without being growled at by off leash dogs with no owners in close proximity. I’ve had large dogs jump up on me, and even had a recent incident where an off leash dog grabbed my pant leg while growling. The owner’s explanation, when she finally arrived, was that her dog was afraid of people wearing hats.”

Citra suggests that off leash dogs be banned from the trails entirely as the narrow passage for walkers makes it impossible to avoid off-leash dogs. In other areas of the park, he maintained that off leash areas should be made available within reasonable date and time parameters.

Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton, one of the members of the CRD parks committee, noted it’s an issue that has been on the CRD’s radar for a considerable time.

“Our bylaws right now say that dogs have to be under control at all times and that dog owners have to pick up dog droppings. At Thetis Lake dogs are not permitted in the Prior Lake beach and dock area between June 1 and Sept. 15, but during the off season things are more relaxed,” Seaton said.

“That doesn’t mean that we can’t bring in some rules, especially on issues where people with several dogs are walking them off-leash and preventing others from enjoying the park.”

Seaton noted most dog owners are responsible and it’s only a small percentage causing problems. He suggested that people try to look at the way they’re handling their animals from the perspective of others and how they see the dogs that are running free. “It’s all a matter of education.”

A comment Citra echoed. “I agree that education is important, and that’s why my idea of charging a permit fee for walking your dog should be considered. The kiosk selling the permits could have the rules for keeping dogs under control posted, and the revenue from the permits could be used to hire another staff person to walk the trails and help educate people on taking care of their dogs and fine those people who insist on acting irresponsibly.”

Terry Lueng, who was at Thetis Lake on a morning walk last week had two dogs with him in the park, both off-leash.

“It wouldn’t matter to me whether I had to have them on leash or not. There are a lot of dog walkers who have six or seven dogs with them, but it’s all fine,” said the pet owner. “It’s just a matter of having your dogs under control.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Mommy’s Inside Voice: Santa is real

The holidays are a truly magical time of year

Musicians, community programmers wanted for summer concerts and events

City of Victoria adding to roster of pre-qualified, local musicians to perform June to September

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Most Read