The city has taken a step to rein in the exuberance of community canines at the cemetery in the wake of complaints.
The caretaker and city staff raised concerns about problems with dogs running through Shuswap Memorial Cemetery. They were worried dogs may be roaming around during burial ceremonies, so signs were put up requiring all dogs be kept on a leash.
“This measure has had limited success,” stated a report from Maurice Roy, manager of permits and licensing.
Although the dog control contractor has been monitoring the area and speaking to dog owners about the problem, the option of a municipal ticket for obstinate offenders was not available.
“Formally listing the property in Appendix B as ‘dog on leash’ provides the needed enforcement tool,” concludes the report.
In response, an amendment is being made to a city parks regulation bylaw which will add Shuswap Memorial Cemetery and its public trail network. It will be included in an appendix that lists parks that permit dogs only while they are on a leash and in the custody and control of the dog owner or designated person.
The cemetery and its trails will join Marine Park, McGuire Park, Klahani Park and Blackburn Park as areas where dogs are allowed but only on leash.
On the Foreshore Trail, dogs must be on a maximum two-metre leash, except during the period of May 1 to June 30 each year when dogs are prohibited during bird nesting season.
At Fletcher Park and Jackson Park (in North Canoe), dogs are not allowed. Dogs are not allowed at Canoe Beach Park, but they are allowed at the adjacent dog beach area.
At city council’s Feb. 10 meeting, Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond asked if public input is required for the amendment and staff told her no, not in this case.
She said she would support the change.
“It (the cemetery) is a place of honour and reflection and we can’t have people feeling intimidated by dogs running around off leash and out of control.”
Deputy mayor Debbie Cannon said she’s been walking at the cemetery a few times when there have been dogs running around, so she, too, supports the use of leashes there.
Mayor Alan Harrison and Couns. Kevin Flynn and Chad Eliason were absent.
The remainder of council voted unanimously in favour of the amendment.