TRURO, NS –
Piper the dog is welcome at the Marshland Drive Off Leash Dog Park – but children… not so much.
“Some parents are adamant their children should be allowed to go anywhere, unfortunately they’re not” says Doug MacKenzie, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture for the Town of Truro.
This off leash dog park has a number of rules. One is that children under the age of 12 are not allowed inside – even if they’re accompanied by an adult.
“This is a place that was build and designed for dogs, for off leash dogs and their owners. There are plenty of places in the town of Truro for parents to take their children” MacKenzie says.
The town says the park isn’t a safe spot for children to play. It has direct access to a large marsh area, and often has very large dogs roaming free.
Despite the rules – children are still showing up here.
“It will at some point result in an injury to a child or an injury or perhaps death to a dog that makes a mistake, this needs to be a protected space for dogs and dog owners” said MacKenzie.
Local dog owners, like Dawn Holt agree with the rule, but think it could be adjusted.
“12 years old I’d think they should be able to be in there, but I think 6 or 7 years old is young to be in there” she says.
“It’s a good rule. I mean Bella here is great with kids but she carries sticks the size of logs so there’s always a chance of injuring someone so it’s better to air on the side of caution” says Skylar Blackie, dog owner.
If children continue to come to the park, the town says they will look at taking more action.
“We may have to look at heightened enforcement to make sure people get the message that this is not a safe place for young children and this is not a place their welcome to be” added MacKenzie.
“I’d sooner them have people clean up after their pets then enforce that rule” Holt said.
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