Peterborough Humane Society is deploying inspectors to Jackson Park to caution that dog owners keep their pets on leads after an unleashed dog knocked over a senior on Sunday.
Society inspectors will also warn dog owners to have up-to-date tags for their animals.
The warnings will give way to enforcement. Starting next week and continuing all summer, inspectors will charge dog owners in violation of leash bylaws.
The crackdown follows an incident last Sunday in which two men were seen walking a number of dogs off-leash, according to witness Paul Cleveland.
Cleveland says the dogs, which included a Lab, were jumping and running around in a very excited state when they ran toward a couple of senior citizens.
“The Lab went right into the back of the woman’s legs, knocked her straight up into the air, and came down on her head and neck,” Cleveland said. “She was totally shocked, very upset obviously, and in a lot of pain.”
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Cleveland and the woman’s companion went to her aid. Her companion took the dog owners to task for not having the dogs on leashes, even though there are many signs in the park indicating that it is the law.
“He looked at one of the young guys there and said, ‘This is why we have leash laws. This is why you have to have your dogs on a lead.’ And the guy’s reaction was, ‘Hey man, check your attitude,'” Cleveland recalls.
The humane society says the leash bylaws are in place to protect dogs and humans and are especially important in the spring.
“Like everyone else, (the dogs) get out, they enjoy themselves, and maybe they enjoy themselves a little bit too much,” says PHS Executive Director Shawn Morey. “It’s mostly for the health and safety of the dogs, but also for the health and safety of people around the community as well.”