Glen Byle and Lucy, the newest member of his family.

Glen Byle and Lucy, the newest member of his family.

Family petitions for dog park in Trail

Support has been growing for Glen Byle’s petition

A Trail resident is petitioning the city to create a fenced off-leash friendly dog park.

Glen Byle has lived in Greater Trail for over 14 years, and with the recent addition of a new puppy to his family, he wondered why there is no such facility.

“I just got a puppy about six months ago, and we were just looking for a place where she could play with other dogs, where she wouldn’t run off in the excitement, and there wasn’t anything in Trail,” said Byle.

Byle has visited pet shops around Greater Trail posting posters and petitions in search of support from residents for an off-leash dog park.

His questions were brought up at last month’s council meeting by Coun. Colleen Jones, who queried staff about the possibility of creating an off-leash dog park and potential locations.

“The idea of an off-leash dog park does come forward intermittently over the years,” said Corporate Administrator, Michelle McIsaac. “But we haven’t received a really strong push for it, because when we consider our locations and the fact that an off leash dog area would be required to be fenced.”

McIsaac pointed out that dog-owners already walk their pets off leash along the foreshore between the bridge and Gyro Park as well as in areas by the airport and selected trails managed by the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society.

“So with that and recognizing budgetary constraints, the idea of a fenced off-leash dog park hasn’t risen on the parks and rec side of things.”

The problem with open, unrestricted areas is they do not provide a safe space for canines that can run off or onto highways, or be threatened by aggressive dogs and other predators.

Dog parks can be a sanctuary for the owners of many breeds who need extra exercise and outdoor stimulation in order to be able to relax and behave well at home.

But like many spaces, it depends on the type of dog and person visiting the park, in addition to the park itself. Much depends on how the dog park is constructed, managed and maintained.

According to Whole Dog Journal, “If most owners are chatting with each other or on cell phones, rather than supervising their dogs’ activities, there are bound to be problems.

“If owners are oblivious to their dogs’ inappropriate behavior and allow mounting, bullying, and aggression to go uninterrupted, it’s not a healthy place for you and your dog to hang out.

“Consider visiting the park on different days and at different times of the day; there may be knowledgeable and more engaged owners gathering at a different time.”

Since putting up his petitions, however, Byle says support has been growing.

“I’m hoping people show their support by signing it, and there’s a bunch at the pet stores, dog groomers, at the Royal Theatre, and I did a post on Instagram looking for supporters.”

Trail council passed a motion that staff prepare a report for the feasibility of an off-leash dog park, and Byle hopes to see progress in the next couple months.

He is considering fundraising and pursuing grants, and ultimately hopes to get a dog park on the city’s list of capital projects.

“There are quite a few locations that would work for a dog park, and there are pros and cons,” added Byle.

“But it’s a great socialization opportunity – for dogs and people.”

To lend support, residents can contact Glen by email at: glen@bluegreenc.ca.



sports@trailtimes.ca

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