The doggie factor

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The doggie factor

Postby Bathawk on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:20 am

Hi,

During my month's visit to the KW area I have been surprised at the number of dogs allowed to roam free at Snyder Flats and Laurel Creek. I have noticed a significant amount of ground disturbance in sensitive areas, particularly in Meadowlark (5 singing males) and Killdeer territories. The Osprey pair will also desert the immediate area of their nest while dogs are 'on walkies' with their owners nearby.

In the UK, wildlife conservation areas are usually recognised as such, and dogs are kept on leads. In fact, dog owners will point this out to the keepers of dogs which happen to be free. In such places there will be many more walkers without dogs who act as diplomatic 'advisors' to insensitive dog owners.

Okay, so Canada has a lot of open habitat without domestic dogs and cats, but let's not forget that wildlife 'lungs' near urban areas are very precious for the education and enjoyment of the local population. I understand 'conservation' to mean 'for the benefit of wildlife primarily, and humans secondarily'. Free-running domestic dogs should not be considered in the equation.

I've had a great time photographing wildlife since I've been here and met some very friendly people. I wish I could day the same about their dogs.

Best wishes

Nigel
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby GrAnD on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:06 am

I hear ya. As far as I know there is city by-law in place to keep the dogs on a leash at all times except designated areas. I know that there is one in Bechtel Park with is designated by the City as an off-leash. Now I'm not sure if Snyder's flats belong to Waterloo or Kitchener and latter has different policies. But in even in Waterloo people don't wanna keep the dogs on a leash as they must.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Cathie on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:21 am

I to agree...I tend to avoid Synder's Flats just for that reason..Annoying Dogs....with all that Synder's Flats has to offer, I would hope that someday soon, the City would address this problem, BEFORE we lose ALL who inhabit there.
Im glad you are enjoying your visit...and apologize for something that should have been taken care of years ago. There are many many areas to wander about, and enjoy the wonders of KW.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Peter C. on Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:19 am

GrAnD wrote:I hear ya. As far as I know there is city by-law in place to keep the dogs on a leash at all times except designated areas. I know that there is one in Bechtel Park with is designated by the City as an off-leash. Now I'm not sure if Snyder's flats belong to Waterloo or Kitchener and latter has different policies. But in even in Waterloo people don't wanna keep the dogs on a leash as they must.

Well, neither: it's in Woolwich Township, and they might have different by-laws for dogs (or no by-law whatsoever). Not that it would make much difference; both Kitchener and Waterloo have leash laws, and I've never seen a law so routinely ignored in my life.* It's worse than littering.

I can't see any hope of enforcement, either - nesting Killdeer etc. don't vote. Education (of the dog owners) is the only way, I suspect, and even that would be a tough slog.

And don't get me started on cats! :wink: (I love cats - inside!)

Peter C.

*Edit: Well, except for the speed limit on the 401.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Christopher.U on Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:02 pm

My understanding is that dogs are to be on the lead at all times at places like Snyder's Flats. I would love to see some enforcement out there.

(On this note, I had to chuckle at someone earlier this spring at Greenbrook pumping station who let her LABS!!! off the lead and then blew her stack when they made a bee line for the water and totally ignored her shouts to come out. They got nice and muddy :lol: I thought - sheesh, a water dog going for water? Who would have thought?)
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Gizzo on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:29 pm

Don't even get me started. I love dogs but you shouldn't have to fear going for a walk in a really nice area. I wish something could be enforced at a higher level.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:49 pm

I'm glad this topic has come up again. This is the second post referrring to it and about the tenth time this year someone has commented to me about Snyder's Flats in particular.
Those who know me, know that my dog "on a leash" was attacked by a dog (one of three off leash by the same owner) while at Snyder's Flats and later that year I was involved in another dog attack.I have a big problem with dogs being off leash in public areas.

I guess the problem is that we as a group recognize it as a problem and it's good we are discussing it but it would be much better if we at least tried to get something done about it.

I am usless when it come to politics and by-laws and stuff but one of us here must know who or what to contact to at least inform the bi-law people that there is a problem that emerging at Snyder's Flats. If people aren't going to go there because of off leash dogs we need to get the ball rolling to get the rules enforced.

I'd be willing to make the first call or send the first email or do something but I don't know where to begin.
Anyone know where to start?
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby wcleung on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:54 pm

There is another area newly fenced off for no-leash dogs in Kiwanis. That's very unfortunate, because that attracts even more dog-owners who rank the mere pleasure of their dogs above the survival of the birds (and the safety of others like bikers). I wonder if there's any place to voice a complain.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby GrAnD on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:21 pm

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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Cathie on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:03 pm

Alex Thomson wrote:I'm glad this topic has come up again. This is the second post referrring to it and about the tenth time this year someone has commented to me about Snyder's Flats in particular.
Those who know me, know that my dog "on a leash" was attacked by a dog (one of three off leash by the same owner) while at Snyder's Flats and later that year I was involved in another dog attack.I have a big problem with dogs being off leash in public areas.

I guess the problem is that we as a group recognize it as a problem and it's good we are discussing it but it would be much better if we at least tried to get something done about it.

I am usless when it come to politics and by-laws and stuff but one of us here must know who or what to contact to at least inform the bi-law people that there is a problem that emerging at Snyder's Flats. If people aren't going to go there because of off leash dogs we need to get the ball rolling to get the rules enforced.

I'd be willing to make the first call or send the first email or do something but I don't know where to begin.
Anyone know where to start?


I did sent a email today to the City of Waterloo..i wasnt sure where or who to contact...but to my surprise I received a call back to discuss this.....I missed the call, so will return it tommorrow..will keep you updated and hopefully we can make it a safe place for all again!
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Peter C. on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:26 am

GrAnD wrote:maybe this link could be helpful?
http://www.city.waterloo.on.ca/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=888

Thanks, that is very useful- I knew that something like this existed, in a vague, theoretical kind of way, but it's good to see it in black & white. Perhaps we could post copies at entrances to city parks, and memorize the relevant parts to quote back to people.

Unfortunately, doesn't apply to the main case at hand, Snider's Flats - I had a look at their (Woolwich's) website, and if they have any kind of dog control by-law, they're not publicizing it...
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Quentin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:10 pm

Many (10) years ago while living in Brantford, I had to contact the City with regards to a dog owner and the poop n' scoop bylaw.

At the time I was told if I was willing to testify in court against the owner in question, they could be charged under the bylaws.

Now... I never followed through; my intent went only as far as to inform the owner (we were neighbours) & I never had any further problems.

I am a dog owner, have been for many years. I adhere to all bylaws and simply cannot understand the mentality of other dog owners who seem to think it does not apply to them. Where I live, where I frequent... it is an overwhelming majority who totally disregard the leash + poop & scoop bylaws. The day my son & I were out on the Walter Bean trail I could not believe the number of dogs off leash. Unbelievable.

Perhaps similar bylaws exist in the Region of Waterloo.

Oh... and cats... I am so tired of having to clean out my gardens due to kitty doo.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Bathawk on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:18 pm

Hi again,

Thanks to everyone who has responded to this thread. It's a delight to see that the 'doggy factor' in conservation areas is a clear issue among local responsible folks.

Just to bring the subject right up-to-date, today I was harrassed by a large free-running dog at Snyder Flats. It's owner constantly yelled "Huron! Come here boy!!" 'Huron' didn't take the slightest notice and continued to menace me and pulled on my sweater sleeve.

As I approached the owner, with the dog still harrassing me, I shouted in anger that I would kick the "Frigging animal's teeth out" if control wasn't forthcoming. The owner simply stared at me in amazement and didn't offer any form of apology.

I would never normally be abusive in this way, but I was becoming concerned that the animal would become more vicious.

Yes, the bylaws must be enforced. The next time 'Huron' goes for someone a toddler might get her face torn away.

Thanks again for everyone's validation on this.

Nigel
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby mbaglole on Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:14 pm

Hey everyone,

I seem a bit late in terms of the overall conversation - but I must whole heartedly agree here. I absolutely hate when owners allow their dogs to run wild. The other week while at Snyder's Flats I was shooting a Red Winged Blackbird only to realize a giant brown dog came barreling down the hill towards me and attempted the leap of faith - and yes it scratched my face in the process. I was livid, and the owners were saying "oh my he jumped on the camera man down there" and just kept walking. If I had the opportunity, I would have loved to see the dog impounded and the owners fined heavily. Not only am I carrying well over $2,000 worth of camera gear - I don't want to get my eye torn out by some dog or hurt by being taken down by the dog. I am glad someone has raised this as an issue as it is becoming horrible at Snyder's Flats - last time I don't believe there was even a dog on a leash....

Enough of a rant from me, this is extremely frustrating and I hope we are able to get this dealt with :) As long as I am not the only one upset with the dogs - especially when you have been waiting for the opportunity of a bird landing in front of you - and it does, then flies away because some dog jumps after it....
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Wildlife Seeker on Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:30 am

I was speaking with my girlfriend today about this post and how much I enjoyed the overall concern for the wildlife and she mentioned that it is the responsibility of the humane society to hand out tickets to the dog owners who are disobeying this city by-law and if someone were to tell them of this issue and they made an appearance it might correct itself in a hurry. I am sure that if they were told that there are dog jumping at people there they would most likely make an appearance.

Good luck.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Cathie on Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:26 am

A phone number....519 669-1647...ask to speak to Lorna....Township of Woolwich
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:02 pm

I left a message
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Thu May 12, 2011 5:50 am

Since this made it back to the top of the board (thanx spam) I was just wondering if anyone has been back out to Snyder's Flats and has there been any change as far as the off leash dog situation.
Does anyone know if there are posted signs stating the all dogs must be on leash?
If nothing has changed it may be worth another round of calls.
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Karen on Thu May 12, 2011 6:24 am

No idea what is happening at Snyder's flats but I did see a lady get a ticket by a motorcycle policeman cruising at Lakeside last week. A lady had one dog on a leash and the other 'newfie' cruising...he stopped the lady and was filling out some paper work..she didn't look none too happy...so be it! :D
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Peter C. on Thu May 12, 2011 8:02 am

Bravo!
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Thu May 12, 2011 7:35 pm

I'd love to see one day where there was police or bylaw at Snyder's Flats. I don't care if people are ticketed or not but I think they should be warned that it is the law.
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby jstlouis on Sun May 15, 2011 12:45 pm

I was at Snyder's Flats last weekend, and there wasn't a single dog on a leash. Now, the dogs we encountered were all very well-behaved, and I didn't feel the least bit threatened by any of them, but I did get a little grumbly when it looked like they were going to scare off some of the birds we were looking for.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Mon May 16, 2011 12:58 pm

I decided to be a little more pro active regarding this issue.
My little dog was attacked at Snyder's Flats a couple of years ago by a dog who was off-leash. The owner had three dogs in total all off leash and none of them under control.
I own two dogs and consider myself an animal lover. I have no problems with dogs being off leash in designated areas. If we know the dogs are allowed to be off leash then we make up our own mind nad take our own chances.
Snyder's Flats has a leash law and nobody abides by it so I contactacted Lorna from Woolwich Township again and this is the email she sent me in reply.

...any suggestions?


Alex

Enforcement understands Snyder’s Flats is a concern for some people. I can tell you this area is being monitored with limited resources, due to the requirement of officer safety, we are hesitant to be there alone due to the hostility we as By law Enforcement Officers meet. The Bylaw Enforcement Division has been out there when alone as an “educational tool,” speaking to as many people as possible.

Most of the time when people do see us there and the dogs are off leash, they head back into the trails and do not come out.

I must say that our presence in any capacity will help ensure the word gets out that we do monitor on a random basis, again with limited Officer resources. We are given 56 hours on a weekly basis for 23,000 people.

If you have any ideas that may assist us with making this area more enforceable, we would welcome you input.

We appreciate the time you have taken to bring this to our attention, helping make Woolwich a friendly and safe place to live and visit. Please do not hesitate to forward any information that may help us monitor Snyder’s Flats to better accommodate everyone involved.



LORNA VANDERPLOEG

Lorna VanderPloeg MLEO(c), CPSO

Certified Municipal Law Enforcement

Certified Property Standards Officer

Council and Information Services

Township of Woolwich
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby fred.urie on Mon May 16, 2011 2:08 pm

Take a Police Officer with you and hand out tickets. If the Bylaw is not being enforced by the bylaw officer and the
police, then the township should be held liable for all damages.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby wcleung on Mon May 16, 2011 9:48 pm

It's sad. The trend is spreading to Kiwanis and Columbia Lake and even to Silver Lake when there aren't enough people around. I tried to "remind" these people there is a by-law, and they gave me these "What can you do? Do you want my dog to bite you?" look! I don't think education is the answer ...

I also find the comment "due to the requirement of officer safety, we are hesitant to be there alone due to the hostility we as By law Enforcement Officers meet" particularly intriguing. If the enforcement officers worry about their safety (because these people have unleashed dogs, probably a pitbull), how much more should a single birder/jogger (a lot of us female, small, and unarmed) feel hesitant to be there?

Suggestions: If the police station can receive life tweet or facebook postings, reporting to the police with timely response can also work. Else, the police station should have a depository of the photos of the dogs and their owners, obtained when people license their dogs. Birders seeing dog owners breaking the by-law should photograph the dogs and owners which serve as evidence for police to issue tickets. We can ID these dogs :-) The cost of the enforcement can be shouldered by the people who breaks the by-law -- just make the tickets expensive enough.

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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Southie on Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:26 pm

Personally I would like to see the use of our police force doing real criminal work...catching bad drivers...taking down the many crack houses in KW...catching vandalism and thieves...helping by law enforcement officers hand out a few $100 fines a complete waste of time and resources...not to mention my tax dollars
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby dale on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:38 pm

I too have been harassed by dogs at Snyder's Flats. Since this property is under the jurisdiction of GRCA, as is the Laurel Creek Nature Centre tract, perhaps GRCA should be encouraged to get tougher with dog owners who flout the rules. I know both properties are posted with notices that dogs must be leashed "at all times". However, since there is no penalty indicated and obviously no enforcement, the irresponsible dog owners get a free pass. Perhaps a formal letter from this forum on behalf of the group to GRCA might have more influence than a single phone call.
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby Alex Thomson on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Can't believe this has worked it's way to the top again.
After a couple of emails I have come to the conclusion that the people in charge of enforcing the by-law at Snyders Flats have no intention of trying to enforce it.
It has become quite evident to me that unless someone is seriously hurt by an off leash dog, they are willing to look the other way.

It would be so easy for them just to put up some bigger signs and write a couple of tickets here and there and people would start to respect the laws.
Laws without enforcement are useless.

So unless a group of us are willing to stand in the parking lot and do something about it, it will just keep on happening.
-Alex
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby wcleung on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:46 pm

Alex Thomson wrote: Can't believe this has worked it's way to the top again.
After a couple of emails I have come to the conclusion that the people in charge of enforcing the by-law at Snyders Flats have no intention of trying to enforce it.
It has become quite evident to me that unless someone is seriously hurt by an off leash dog, they are willing to look the other way.

It would be so easy for them just to put up some bigger signs and write a couple of tickets here and there and people would start to respect the laws.
Laws without enforcement are useless.

So unless a group of us are willing to stand in the parking lot and do something about it, it will just keep on happening.


If we're collecting a group to do something, count me in.

My email complains to the University of Waterloo (concerning Columbia Lake) and the City of Waterloo (concerning Kiwanis and the Centennial park) have also been unanswered. Complains to dog owners are ignored, except once when I was so upset that I told the owners I would call enforcement. They walked away arrogantly but at a distance they put the dogs on leash. Signs are up in Huron Nature Area, Kiwanis, the Arboretum, and everywhere, and are ignored. So, my feeling is that, it is the lack of consequence that's behind the problem.

Enforcement is so simple. A couple of officers *without uniform* ticketing offenders on a few random days in a month will do.

Debbie
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Re: The doggie factor

Postby abpho on Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:34 pm

I too hate it when dig owners to not respect other people's private space. However, I let my girl off leach on the trails. She has to listen regardless of being tethered to me. Having a non-obedient dog on a 30 foot led is stupid. It's worse in my books. Because it shows that the owner just doesn't give a .... My girl does not venture far and has excellent recall. As a responsible person I am always watcher her body language and scanning the trails for others. If I see other people (with or without dogs) she is either at my side waiting or on the leach (depends on the situation).

Just saying that there are two sides to every story. Just as there are irresponsible pet owners there are also irresponsible wildlife photographers. Just to lump every dog into one group is not just.

Closing comments: I have a really big beef with people not picking up after their pets. That is disgusting, selfish, and rude.
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