Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are You Looking for Trouble Toronto?

Uproar in Toronto, Canada because, it seems, the city wants to enforce its leash law:

Dog walkers are sending up a howl: the puppy police are coming.

A single e-mail was all it took to incite dog walkers to civil disobedience at St. James Park.

For months, proponents of an off-leash area or off-leash hours in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood green space have been waiting for Pam McConnell’s office to set up a public meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve the issue.

However, in October, by-law enforcement officers began to appear during peak dog-walking hours.

At first, they simply asked owners to put their pets back on the leash. By November, the tone had changed. At least one dog owner was ticketed on Nov. 15, setting a canine cabal in motion as a flurry of e-mails warned dog owners of the enforcement action.

One anonymous dog owner had had enough. “Should you be approached by a bylaw officer while your dog is off leash, you should get the dog back on the leash and walk away,” she advised her fellow animal lovers. “I have it on high authority that these officers have no power or right to arrest or demand personal info. They are not police officers: they are glorified security guards. I recommend smiling, put the dog back on-leash, and walk away; he cannot demand anything from anyone.”

The Bulletin is monitoring the situation and will update thebulletin.ca if more tickets are issued.

Read the rest here.

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10:00 A.M. today, Prospect Park, a middle-aged strawberry blonde woman with an unleashed black dog was observed inside the Ravine fence. A few years ago the city (and the Prospect Park Alliance) spent years and millions of dollars restoring this area. For good reason, dogs must be leashed at all times there. It is too bad that dog owners view this area as just another off-leash park .

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