Letter: Loose dogs a problem in parks


Lovely night over at the Fish and Game pond. Good to see lots of people from Morinville getting their exercise in such a beautiful place; however, one person thought allowing her three dogs to be off leash was a way to enjoy the evening.

As far as I know there are no off leash parks in Morinville, yet when out walking my dogs on leash I often see people allowing their dogs to run around, pooping and peeing. The park area by the lake set off warning bells for me as kids are there riding bikes and not really paying complete attention. There are often geese, muskrats and gophers. This is not a good situation for other dog owners or for the dog owner who allows their pets off leash. The main highway is right there.

Even the owner who claims their dogs are well behaved can never be sure of every outcome. I personally respect the leash laws and scooping laws, yet I am left to ask the question – does this law only apply to me?

Sadly this ruined a peaceful outing for me, witnessing this disrespect again.

Kelly Parnett

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  1. I agree. My kids are terrified of dogs, all dogs, despite knowing basic dogs safety rules. They don’t care how well behaved a dog is, they will panic (I know I need to work with them on this) and usually end up falling off their bike or crying. This is why I don’t take them to off leash parks.

  2. So my question, without taking away the validity of the letter writers concern in any way;

    Why is there no dog park? One would find it easier to enforce the bylaws if one could point and say “over there” instead of “drive to the SPCA in North Edmonton”.

    There is a crude oil pipeline running through the north and eastern portions of the community. We can’t build on it. We can’t let trees grow on it. We can’t do anything on it but watch the grass grow.

    Perhaps the town council could discuss the possibility of using some of this space for a dog park with the lease holder? Good PR for the pipeline company, dual use of otherwise unused land, and no more excuses for minor scofflaws.

    Just a thought.


    Thomas Kirsop

  3. Can’t agree more.

    On my way to work today I saw a lady walking a Havanese type dog on a leash and then her large German Shepherd walking off a leash crossing the main road only to let them both roam and run freely in the St. Jean Baptiste park. I have seen this lady multiple times in the last month.

    I can’t even walk my dogs because people don’t respect these leash laws. My leashed dogs don’t like to be approached by larger dogs off leash. I mean who would want to be run up on and have their butt sniffed like that? It is not fair to me or my pets.

    Leashes are also meant a protective measure. Let you dog off the leash & what if he decides to bolt off, chase a cat & get hit by a car…OR, a animal like a duck is trying to protect their young & attacks the dog. Dogs at the end of the day are dogs. They can’t communicate like humans. You can’t predict their actions. You never know what they might do.

    Personally I am not a believer in dog parks but if this is what is going to stop the off leashed dogs around town so I can walk my own, then please build one.

    I really wish the peace officers would ticket these people. I am so sick of it.

  4. I’m pretty sure the bylaw states that a dog can be off leash as long as they are under control.
    In other words, if a dog responds well to voice commands etc. then they do not have to be on a leash.
    Now I understand that everyone’s idea of “under control” is different, but technically some of these dog owners are not actually breaking the law.

  5. i let one of my dogs take a swim in this pond(a lot of owners do). my dogs are well trained and hear on command. if i see people coming i take my dog to me so others can feel safe. now one person ruins it for everyone?it’s maybe time to move away from morinville… nothing for kids, nothing for dogs… great family community!

  6. i forgot, yes there are dog owners out there that are not very responsible. i see 1 dog roaming around all the time through our streets,he pees and poops everywhere. owner doesn’t care. another lady let her dog walk off leash all the time through morinville.
    at the pond there are owners that didn’t train their dogs very well, they don’t listen when called, run over to other dogs and so on and yes, i’m not happy about that either!

  7. Having been attacked by a dog, (still have a scar), I am terrified of any dog running loose, big or small, therefor I very seldom use the trail alone, and when I do I use my Nordic Walking Poles, it gives me a little security.

  8. I agree with Kelly. I haven’t walked the Walking Trail for over 2 years now because of all the off leash dogs. Yes there is a bylaw that you can walk your dog off leash but the dog has to be under your control at all times and beside you. The dogs on the Walking Trail are so far ahead of their owners, there is no way that the owner has control over that dog. My 9 year-old dog has been attacked by an off-leash dog at least once per year while walking him in town, the first time occurring when he was 1 year old. This has caused him to be defensive and he immediately becomes aggressive when meeting another dog while on walks. I have only seen 1 dog owner in town who has control over his dog off leash and therefore, don’t have a problem with him walking his dog off leash. The rest of the dog owners just think they do. If your dog doesn’t immediately respond to your command, then you DON’T have control. If your dog isn’t beside you, then you DON’T have control. I would like to see a fenced-in off-leash area for people in town so the rest of us can use the town’s outdoor trail systems/parks in safety.

  9. Kelly’s letter does not say her dogs were ‘out of control’ I often walk around the Fish and Game and have done for many years, I have never seen a problem.
    Pretty sure I know the lady in question and she and her dogs are always pleasant to meet.
    The fact is the byelaw allows this, it seems to me Kelly is one of those people always looking for trouble and if there is none will invent it to suit.

  10. Jenni said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I am most prob the lady with the 3 dogs that this letter writer is referring to! And i would like to first say that I have walked my dogs in this area, (ALWAYS picking up after them), twice a day,EVERY day for the past 4 years and I have never met such an offensive and aggressive person as the above letter writer! He was a very aggressive male who I had never seen or come across before and came straight for me hurling abuse at me, I have one dog on a leash at all times as I don’t trust him to come back when called and the other 2 off leash, I informed the letter writer that the law said they have to be under my control – which they clearly were – to which I received an aggressive and offensive reply, I was extremely distressed by this male and his extreme aggressive behaviour towards me and have never come across any negative attitude in the last 4 years Of walking my dogs in Morinville!
    It’s not only dogs that should be kept under control!


  11. Me and my boyfriend often walk our german shepherd puppy and our older dog around the fish and game, both off leash. Both listen, are well trainined and by all senses under control. We often run into the lady in question and her 3 dogs and it is always a pleasure. All very well behaved and friendly.
    I also was disgusted to hear of the run in she had with the letter writer and how aggressively he approached a lady walking alone with her dogs. Having never seen this man myself, may i suggest approaching my boyfriend and myself with the same aggressive threatening attitude as opposed to a lady walking alone? Can i also suggest getting a life. Thank you.

  12. I totally disagree with a fenced in area for dogs. I’ve been stopped multiple times by the bylaw telling me to put my dog on a leash and she listens every time. Go give some one breaking a law a ticket. Designate one or two place for a dog park. We have over a dozen parks in town I’m pretty sure we can figure this out. It’s not a reason to publicly oust someone enjoying a night getting excercise. And you can communicate with dogs k. Williams. This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy walking our dogs if your sick of it.

  13. Here’s an idea, how about make a dog park… Problem solved and then we don’t have to hear minor compliments about “dogs”. It’s really pathetic that this is the topic in our newspaper. Here’s an idea, lets concentrate on who’s vandalizing and stealing items out of cars. Or better yet why we can still smell the dog food plant when we were promised it would go away. I seriously think some people need more hobbies then complaining about dogs getting exercise!!!

    • It’s a topic in the local paper because someone chose to write a letter to the editor about it, Mandy. That’s what newspapers do. We publish letters from people. You are free to write one about people stealing stuff from cars if you like. Then people can post comments that people ought to lock their cars, or that there should be a curfew, or police should be stationed on the streets at night. The comments are like letters, too. They are the varied opinions of the people who live here.

  14. Give how high our taxes are… Maybe it’s time we stop buying new signs and street lights. Maybe buy somthing the town wants. There seems to be a over welming amount of people that want a park yet the town won’t do anything.

    This park should be closed off by a fence on all sides. This way the dogs that can’t be off leash can go play as well.

  15. Ill try this again since my last post seemed to disappear.

    There seems to be a overwhelming outcry for our dog park yet the dog won’t do anything. Maybe next year our taxes won’t get spent on new signs and fancy street lights. Maybe just maybe the town will listen to what the PEOPLE want.

    As for the dog park of one ever gets built it should be completely fenced so that the dogs that can’t be on a leash can go have fun to.

    BUT if we ever got one we would then see a letter to the editor about big dogs playing to rough with little dogs.

  16. So I think a few phone calls to the town planner who ,as he told me doesn’t know of any planned dog park . The town plan from a few years ago states that in by 2013 Morinville along with sturgeon would have a dog park set up . ?????

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