Dog park proposals sent back to administration

A coalition of dog owners succeeded in convincing city hall to reconsider a controversial set of guidelines for off-leash dog parks.

The proposed guidelines were to go to council for approval next week but the dog owners found a receptive audience among members of the senior political committee.

Several members of the executive policy committee were critical of a consultant’s report that produced the guidelines.

"I don’t think (the report) went anywhere near far enough to deal with the issues," said Coun. Grant Nordman.

The dog owners coalition said the consultant had done a poor job, with inappropriate consultation, full of error and unfounded assumption.

"The analysis appears to be sloppy," said Donna Henry, spokeswoman for Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups (WINDOG).

Henry’s group wants Winnipeg to establish four mega-offleash dog parks across the city, with community parks in every ward and several smaller off-leash parks in neighbourhoods across the city.

The group wanted the city to shelve the consultant’s report and conduct more consultations with dog groups and prepare another proposal for council’s consideration.

Henry said the proposed guidelines didn’t go far enough, a position shared by the senior politicians.

"This report did not do a good job in thoroughly consulting with a broader cross-section of dog owners and dog people across the city," Coun. Jeff Browaty said, adding Winnipeg doesn’t provide enough amenities for people who own dogs.

The committee sent the proposals back to administration for review and another report in July.

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