Panel creates subcommittees to take on city dog problems

Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Creating three subcommittees would be a better way to address dog-related problems in Juneau than a survey of the community, the city's dog task force decided Monday.

Task force member Karla Hart, a program coordinator at the state Department of Fish and Game who proposed the subcommittees, said a survey might divide the community into dog lovers and haters rather than resolve issues.

Another member, Gastineau Humane Society Executive Director Chava Lee, said survey answers are limited in scope and may not help address concerns.

One subcommittee will address dog parks and off-leash areas, another will deal with dog-related wildlife issues and the third will work on education. The task force still plans to gather information about what trails are popular in Juneau and gauge their use. Members would gather data by visiting the trails as opposed to surveying the public.

The task force embraced Hart's subcommittee concept and each member will sit on at least one of the subcommittees. The task force also is inviting members of the public to join the subcommittees.

The education subcommittee will develop a code of ethics for Juneau dog owners, summarize current dog-related laws by working with city and humane society officials and offer incentives to ensure voluntary compliance with those laws.

The dog parks and off-leash areas subcommittee will research the efforts of other communities and explore suitable areas in Juneau.

The wildlife subcommittee is tasked with reviewing literature relating to wildlife and dogs, identifying sensitive habitats in Juneau and publicizing them.

All subcommittees will draft recommendations and measurements for success for the task force to review. The task force will adopt recommendations on a permanent or trial basis by March and will review the success of the subcommittees' work in the fall of 2004.

The subcommittee to address dog parks and off-leash areas will be chaired by Sue McGregor of the Capital Kennel Club of Juneau. A meeting date has not been set for that subcommittee. The education subcommittee, chaired by Lee, will meet at 12:15 p.m. Dec. 29 in the downtown library meeting room. The wildlife subcommittee, chaired by Hart, will meet at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 5 in the same meeting room. The task force will meet again at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 12 in the meeting room.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com.



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