Task force proposes dog restrictions

Posted: Friday, June 17, 2005

Doggie Do'sBy Linda Shipman

Where do you regularly walk your dog? Have you checked the most recent recommendations for dogs in public spaces at: http://www.juneau.org/parkrec/.

The new proposed regulations require dogs to be on leash or under competent verbal control, which means your dog must be within your eyesight and under verbal control at all times, regardless of distractions (such as wildlife, other dogs, food or other park visitors). If your dog jumps on, barks at or acts aggressively toward people and other dogs, chases wildlife, or will not consistently come to you immediately on command, your dog must be leashed.

On June 9, 75 percent of public testimony given to the Dog Task Force did not support the restrictions proposed at Sandy Beach, Brotherhood Bridge, Twin Lakes and the Rainforest Trail.

If you use Sandy Beach, your dog would be required to be on leash in the vicinity of the picnic area bordered by the hillside on the west, parking lot to the north, tide line to the east and the first creek to the south. The beach below the logs would be dedicated to off-leash exercise from Oct. 1 through March 31.

At Twin Lakes, you would be required to have your dog on leash at the South Lake grassy area and shelter and on the paved path along both lakes at all times.

Dogs would be required to be on leash on the paved trail of the Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei (Brotherhood Bridge) trail.

The Rainforest trail would be required to be on leash at all times of the year.

No-dog areas still include Auke Lake and Fish Creek East Pond Spur trails, the Police Station pond and Adair-Kennedy artificial field.

Juneau's recreation service parks would require canines to be on leash except for fenced sports fields (Adair-Kennedy Park's artificial field not included). Summer (March 15-Oct. 15) use hours would be until 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and during park hours on Sunday. They would not be open to dogs on Saturday. Winter hours (Oct. 16-March 14), the fields are open during park hours, but closed during the school day.

Special events, such as Fourth of July, Marine Park Plaza gatherings, Gold Rush Days, Rainball Softball Tournament and others as designated require dogs to be on-leash.

Areas may be closed or restricted by Parks and Recreation for the following reasons:

• Excessive dog waste on trails, parks or fields

• Dogs getting hurt or killed by cars, wildlife or other hazards

• Adverse effects on wildlife viewing, migration, nesting

• Repeated inappropriate dog behavior - with other dogs or people

• High fecal counts in adjacent water

Written requests to change the regulations would be sent to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, which would make recommendations to the Parks and Recreation director.

If you have comments regarding these proposed changes, please send them before 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 17, to: Kim Kiefer, Parks and Recreation Director, CBJ, 155 S. Seward St., Juneau, AK 99801.

In addition, the Gastineau Humane Society's Americorp volunteer, Amanda Neyenhouse, has been on local trails since mid-May, handing out an educational pamphlet and educating trail users about proposed changes. The GHS pamphlet reads:

"No Dogs Allowed. You see that sign often these days, but not in Juneau parks and trails. At least, not yet.

"Dog waste on trails, parks and other public areas, like city sidewalks, is a messy problem. And just because you don't step in it, doesn't mean no one else will!

"If you think of how many people walk their dogs you get a better idea of the problem.

"It doesn't just go away. Dog waste can take up to a year to decompose. It attracts flies. Germs flourish in it. Rain washes it into water supplies.

"There oughta be a law. In fact, there is a law. Dog owners in Juneau can be fined for not cleaning up after their animals (CBJ ORD 08.40.040 and 08.45.010). Beyond that, it's just plain good manners to do it.

"How? The answer isn't pretty, but it works. Look for bag dispensers at many public trails and parks or take a disposable plastic bag when you walk your dog.

"When you have to pick up dog waste, pull the bag over your hand, like a glove. After you've picked up the poop with your plastic 'glove,' pull it back, around and off. Then drop the whole thing in a waste barrel.

"Is that too unpleasant? Dogs could be banned from parks and trails altogether. If you value the companionship and exercise you get from walking your dog - clean up after it. Spread the word, so we can stop spreading something else."

This educational process will be followed by canine officers handing out warnings for several months in a continued effort to educate dog owners. After this grace period, tickets will be issued.

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