May 17, 2018 10:36 pm
Updated: May 18, 2018 1:41 pm

Quinte Conservation may ban pets if dogs aren’t kept on leashes

Quinte Conservation is stepping up enforcement on dogs not kept on leashes.

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Quinte Conservation general manager Terry Murphy says there have been growing issues with dogs off leash on their properties, and it could lead to pets being banned from their trails and properties.

“It’s been getting worse this year. We’ve had several people phone us and say they’ll never use our areas again because they were attacked by a dog.”

Murphy says some incidents have been serious.

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“One man was attacked by a dog. He had to go to the hospital for stitches and rabies shots. (We) couldn’t find the owner. The owner took off.”

READ MORE: 10-year-old Nanaimo girl seriously injured in dog attack; father claims dogs’ owners ‘just took off’

Murphy says dogs need to be on a leash at all times. Starting this weekend there will be increased enforcement of existing by-laws that allow officials to fine or ban people in extreme cases that don’t obey the rules.

“We will be having a security company patrolling the trails starting this weekend and we will be laying charges,” Murphy said.

That enforcement will also include people not removing their pets’ bagged waste, according to Murphy.

“If wild animals eat those blue bags they’re going to die,” he said.

READ MORE: All dogs, on and off leash, banned from popular Joffre Lakes Park

Quinte Conservation’s general manager says they’ll monitor the stepped up enforcement for about a year to see if it’s been effective.

If it hasn’t, Murphy says a pet ban could be the last option.

“We don’t want to do this but safety is really important and we don’t want the areas to be just for dogs.”

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