Over the last month, dog-owners have stopped going to Vetter Park ever since some nearby neighbors raised concerns to law enforcement officials to uphold the leash law that exists at the park. Up until this time, Vetter Park neighbors offered a 'blind eye' to those dogs that were left off-leash. For various reasons, allowing dog-owners this civil disobedience was no longer tolerated and hence Vetter Park has since been unfrequented.
As a Coronado resident and a dog-owner, I crave a community that can work together to co-create solutions to fulfill ALL of Coronado residents' needs and not just the few. This requires an openness to all perspectives, as well as a commitment to address the majority's needs to create a positive and fulfilled community.
Since enforcing the 'leash law', Vetter Park is almost always empty.
Below I have outlined some background information for the creation of the attached petition letter supporting off-leash hours at Vetter Park.
- The intention is to co-create a solution for the use of Vetter Park with ourselves, those that oppose any changes, and the Parks and Recreation committee.
- The intention as dog park users is NOT to support putting up a fence anywhere in Coronado.
- There are a number of dog park users who have young children who play at the park along side the dogs, and there must be a solution where the whole community can feel comfortable using the beautiful Vetter Park. The letter attached proposes selective hours at Vetter Park to be deemed as off-leash hours, thereby needing an amendment to the current code CMC-32.04.060 (C).
- Proposed Off-Leash Hours at Vetter Park: Monday - Sunday 6:30 AM - 8:30 AM & 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
If off-leash hours are granted, there are a number of issues that are valid to all members of the community, and below are suggestions to address these concerns (open to more suggestions and best practices):
(1) Who will monitor the off-leash hours? How will they be enforced?
- Currently there are both animal control officers as well as police officers enforcing the code at Vetter Park. There is also a large sign that reminds people as what the current code is, along with smaller signs around the park. The community is in support of any fines & violations of these codes by enforcement officers. The community is open to the enforcement practices at South Cays Park Dog Run as a comparable park.
- The community is less likely to violate the code if there is room in the code to fulfill our and our pets’ needs.
(2) Off-leash dogs can run in the street, attack other dogs, people and children. How will this be addressed?
- According to the ASPCA, there are a number of benefits for dogs to be off-leash and playing freely on a daily basis:
- Physical and mental exercise: physical exercise is beneficial to maintain and extend dogs’ relatively short lives. Mental exercise helps prevent unwanted behavior like digging through trash, tearing up a couch, etc. These behaviors aren’t just unwanted in and around our own homes but they can carry over to our neighborhood children. Having official off-leash hours can contribute to the overall health and well-being of the pet.
- Opportunities to learn and maintain social skills with other dogs, people, and children. Learning social skills helps to curtail aggressive behavior around other dogs and humans. This type of socialization occurs when dogs are allowed off-leash, not on-leash. Leashed dogs are more aggressive and tend not to have control over their behavior around other dogs.
C.C. RES-6082 differs from what is on Vetter Park's current sign. Why not borrow from an existing code and apply to Vetter Park?
Some guidelines for responsible dog-owners to comply with or else be fined!
(3) Disease transmission and hygiene issues are associated with droppings, etc.
- All Coronado Vetter Park dogs should be licensed by the city of Coronado / San Diego thereby assuring all dogs at Vetter Park would be properly immunized and other users’ exposure to potential disease will be minimized.
- Encourage and support Coronado police and animal control officers to fine anyone who does not pick up after their pet both at Vetter and in the greater community.
- Without a designated park for dogs to go to, it is more likely that dogs would relieve themselves at the borders of other parks and on the sidewalks around Coronado.
This is an invitation to share your ideas, suggestions, and concerns below and if possible please come share your voice this Monday, April 14, 2014, when the Parks and Recreation Committee
will meet to discuss possible off-leash hours to be implemented at Vetter Park.
Date: Monday April 14, 2014
Time: 4 PM
Location: Coronado Council Chambers
1825 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118