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New petition is calling for dogs to be allowed in Saint-Leonard parks

Click to play video: 'New petition started to allow  dogs in Saint-Leonard parks' New petition started to allow dogs in Saint-Leonard parks
WATCH: There are plenty of ways to enjoy Montreal parks but in the borough of Saint-Leonard, walking your dog is not one of them. Dog owners, however, are calling for change with a petition to allow their pets in parks. As Global's Bradyen Jagger Haines reports, the petition is gaining ground – Jun 8, 2022

The public is allowed to do a plethora of activities in Montreal parks, but in the borough of Saint-Leonard, walking a dog is not one of them.

Resident dog owners are at the end of their leash and are calling for changes to the “outdated bylaw.”

Read more: SPCA petition calls for an end to no-pets clauses in Quebec rental leases

A petition online started by former city councillor and Saint-Leonard resident Rosannie Filato is gaining traction with more than 1,000 signatures.

“Just being able to walk your dog is a fundamental right. We should be able do that in parks like any other citizen in Montreal,” Filato said.

Signs throughout the borough’s greenspaces clearly indicate man’s best friend is not permitted.

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According to the borough, the bylaw was put in place for security reasons.

Filato who lives across from Pie-XII park, says she can’t enjoy the greenspace with her Portuguese Water Dog, Potus.

She, like many other residents, is forced to drive to surrounding parks outside of the borough or stick to the sidewalks.

“I’m not alone. Citizens are saying the same thing — some go to Rosemont, Anjou , some are going to Rivière-des-Prairies,” Filato said.

“Especially in times of climate change, taking your dog for walk by taking your car first is absolutely ridiculous.”

Read more: Charges laid after puppy found locked in trunk of vehicle in Kingston, Ont.

Dogs and their owners have access to two dog parks. The borough said plans are on the table to build a third location.

Nick Colasurdo and John Segreti, who frequent the dog park with their dogs Bella and Luna, say while they enjoy the fenced-in park they dislike the fact that they have to drive to access the dog-friendly space.

“Can you believe it, with these gas prices we actually do that,” Colasurdo said.

“It’s ridiculous, I should be able to walk my dog everywhere,” John Segreti said.

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Read more: Montreal tenants fighting new landlord over right to keep animals

Filato says more dog parks aren’t the solution, comparing them to revamped parking lots.

“Its very hot with only gravel and no trees. It’s also not all dogs and not all dog owners that are comfortable in a dog park,” Filato said.

In a statement to Global News, borough officials said the topic will be discussed at the next urban planning meeting on June 21.

The borough also plans on holding public consultations in the coming weeks.

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