Dog owners are continuing to speak out about the lack of off-leash parks in Regina. Last year, the city approved three new year-round sites, but so far there has been no word on where or when they will open.
Patricia Czaplicki and her two-year-old German Shepard mix Freddy are frequent visitors at the newest fenced in dog park in the city’s east end. It’s only one of two all-season off leash dog parks in Regina.
“We were able to bring on the East Industrial site a couple of years ago as an inter measure until we could work with the development community to get some other locations,” Janine Daradich, Manager of Recreation, Planning and Parks with the city of Regina said.
READ MORE: Regina opening up another off-leash dog park
But the city has yet to move forward with more sites, and it’s becoming a growing concern for some residents.
“We live in the city, we have dogs that need exercise,” Czaplicki said. “I really wish that there were more, quite a bit more of these year round.”
Czaplicki isn’t alone. Amanda Racette has been coming to The Cathy Lauritsen Memorial off-leash dog park for more than 10 years. She says the lack of off leash areas means having to drive across the city.
“I know this one is always full,” she said. “So it would be nice if I could even walk my dog to the dog park, instead of having to make an event of it, make a plan to make sure I’m here on time, before it’s dark, those types of things,” she said.
While Regina also has five seasonal sites, other cities like Saskatoon have 10 year-round off-leash dog parks.
It’s something Nicole Foulston thinks should be more of a priority here in Regina.
“It’s an extra 20 minutes to take my dog to the dog park whereas if I take them for a walk, I can walk an hour, but they still don’t get the same level of exercise,” she said. “I’d love to have one in each point of the city.”
Other residents say more upgrades to the existing off-leash dog parks would be nice.
“I don’t know if it would be asking for a lot but some lighting would be nice for when the days are short and it gets dark early,” dog owner Kurt Anthony said. “Some fresh water for the dogs would also be nice, instead of having to drink out of the creek.”
Last year city council gave the go-ahead for three new year-round dog parks, one in the north, east and south but Daradich says conversations are still being had and the city isn’t in a position to make an announcement.