Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Dog Park Fee Foolishness
You know, some days I just read the paper and shake my head. But today, when I read about the City of Calgary's wonderful idea to consider charging pet owners an annual fee to use local off leash parks, I just laughed. Never one to miss a media scrum, I see our "top dog catcher" Bill Bruce has provided his lovely opinion about his favorite topics, Fees and Social Engineering projects. ( For more on old Bylaw Billy, check out this post.)
As a dog owner that lives in the Deep Southeast, I can confirm that there is definitely a shortage of off leash parks in Calgary. We have to trek to Southland Park for a reasonably clear park to walk the dogs. Now, I don't need anything fancy, just a clear track of grass with a fenced in area. No playgrounds, swimming ponds or dog beaches required. This does not cost money...just land.
Some people will say "I don't have a dog, why should my taxes pay for these parks"? Well, there are 100,000 dogs in Calgary and they all need to be walked somewhere. A healthy city must include a ton of green space and open area's for dogs and their owners to walk in. Remember, we are not in Manhattan folks.
I would not pay a cent for the use of an off leash park and hope that common sense prevails with this foolish idea. If they proceed with it, I wonder what is next? Charging parents fees to allow their kids to use the playgrounds? What about fees for couples who use the sidewalks for romantic after dinner strolls? Think about it.