Council mulls dog park request

Part of Ashcroft's pool park might be turned into a dog park, but more research is needed.

A portion of Ashcroft’s pool park may be going to the dogs as Council considers a request to turn a portion of it into a dog park.

“At present, Ashcroft is in the minority for supplying a place for people with dogs to go and let their dogs just play together an run and catch balls, etc.,” noted the request from Valerie Freestone.

Kamloops and Williams Lake are among several BC communities with dog parks.

Ashcroft administrator Michelle Allen advised Council that the Village has received other requests in the past for a dog park, and she did some quick checking into the requirements. Allen said they usually have a fence with a double gate, and they require maintenance.

In her letter to Council, Freestone noted that doggie bag dispensers are showing up around town. “I have noticed that the streets are much cleaner since these have been installed,” she said. “However, there should also be a garbage bin to dispose of these bags along side. After all, who wants to walk all around town carrying a full up poop bag.”

Coun. Helen Kormendy asked if picking up animal waste would be an issue for the public works crew.

Allen replied that animal waste does not fall under municipal waste and is not supposed to be going to a landfill, but the volume in small towns isn’t enough to worry about, yet.

Coun. Jerry Fiddick pointed out that there is a doggie bag dispenser in the area where people walk their dogs on the Dunes. He said he has heard complaints that there is nowhere to leave  the full bags. “Is it the same problem with pickup?” he wondered. If not, he said, perhaps a container could be put  next to the dispenser.

Council asked staff to do some more research into the idea of a dog park – to look up the costs and possible location, and determine how it would it current users of the area.

In her letter, Freestone said she could not enjoy the public parks where dogs aren’t allowed. “ ‘Leave your dog at home’, you might say, but like many others, my dog is my only companion and where I go, so does she. Nor would I ever dream of going to a park and leaving my dog behind.”