A Regina city council meeting may be going to the dogs on Tuesday as councilors prepare to vote on a proposal to build up to six new off-leash dog parks.
Several dog owners at Cathy Lauritsen Memorial Off-Leash Dog Park on Monday were happy to hear that city council is sniffing around at the idea of building more.
“I think it’s a great idea, I don’t think that this dog park is accessible for everybody,” commented Sarah Grismer.
She said she is lucky because she lives just a few blocks away from the only year-round off-leash park in the Queen City.
“I think that there should definitely be one in the north, northwest and east ends,” Grismer said, noting that it is fairly easy to get to the current park from the south end of Regina.
A report to city council recently recommended adding three more fenced off-leash parks including one in the south end, one in the north or northwest end, and another in east Regina. Another two or three unfenced dog parks may be added as part of a pilot project with the Regina Humane Society.
“I think a couple more would be good, preferably one where there’s no access to the river or the water, because our dog likes to jump in the water,” said Darren Cyca, as his dog Maggie joyfully ran through the mud.
He added that it would be nice to have a park that didn’t get quite so muddy in the spring.
“I think that’s great because I live in the east end, so it takes me like 20 minutes to get here, so it would be nice to have one closer to home,” said Lynn Scott, as she walked her dog Angel.
She noted that there are plenty of empty spaces in the east end that could be used as dog parks.
In comparison to Regina’s single off-leash park, Saskatoon currently has eight off-leash dog parks and Winnipeg has 11. The city does open up some of the outdoor rinks as off-leash dog parks in the spring when the Cathy Lauritsen Memorial Off-Leash Dog Park is often flooded.
Zuzana Connelly said she is quite happy with one off-leash dog park in the city.
“One is very good, because I feel like dogs get to meet and socialize,” she said with her dog Elva by her side. “If there were more dog parks, I don’t think they would be as busy and that’s the whole point, for the dogs to kind of play.”
Kim Beingessner loves the idea of more dog parks, because she said more people are getting dogs.
“It’s an awesome idea, I’m very excited,” she said. “They should be everywhere, north, east, south – purple, green – everywhere, it’s way better than walking your dog, he gets so much more out of it.”
Her main issue with the current dog park is that some people don’t pick up after their dogs.