By Jill Hayward
Barriere resident Cliff Lengkeek says he is concerned that the signage and enforcement of the leash law in the municipality of Barriere’s Parks is not being enforced. He recently sent a recent letter to Mayor and Council.
Lengkeek’s stated, “As long as I have been walking in the city parks no one has bothered to enforce the leash laws. Recently it has reached an all time problem as some of the people who walk in the park, after being told there was a leash law and asked politely to leash their dogs, have ripped down all the pathetic paper signs and have used verbal abuse when asked to put their dogs on leash. Now it has reached the point where my service dog was bitten twice in one week by dogs who were not only unleashed, but not under any control whatsoever by their owners who were repeatedly screaming for their unleashed dog to come, without any acknowledgement from the dog. The one bite to my dog from one of the unleashed dogs required surgery and six stitches.
“I might point out it is an offense in British Columbia law to interfere with a service dog on duty. Not only is the leash law out of control but the problem of people’s dogs pooping all over the parks. The owners pretend not to notice and clean it up because their dogs are unleashed and a distance away from them, and the owner conveniently turns and pretends not to notice. If their dogs were on a leash they could not possible miss this and might pick it up.”
He noted that after the snow melted this year the circle pathway in Fadear Park by the Bandshell was so fouled by uncollected dog feces that several area residents spent many hours of their own time picking up the mess because they couldn’t walk in the park until it was cleaned up.
Lengkeek continued by saying, “Obviously to me, whoever is in charge of enforcing Barriere’s bylaws are not doing their job at all. If they would spend a couple of hours walking the park between nine and eleven they would be able to confront 70 per cent of the problem. I propose that council make sure that not only their enforcement officer do their job, but to put proper metal signs similar to the ones already being used for motorcycles and ATVs.”
He concluded by saying the District needed to give his request their immediate attention, “before something terrible happens and lawsuits happen”.
During last Monday’s Council meeting Lengkeeks letter was discussed and staff have been instructed to order and place more metal signs around the park noting the dogs on leash only bylaw.