Truro dog park no place for chil­dren

In­ci­dent in On­tario where child was in­jured prompts re­minder

Truro Daily News - - Colchester County - BY LYNN CURWIN lynn. curwin@ truro­daily. com

Fol­low­ing a re­cent case where a small child was bit­ten by a dog at an On­tario dog park, the pub­lic is be­ing re­minded that chil­dren 12 and younger should not be in­side the fenced-in area of the Marsh­land Drive Dog Park.

“We don’t know of any child be­ing hurt at the Truro park, but this is a place for dogs to be off- leash in safety, and peo­ple shouldn’t have to worry about their dog hurt­ing a child,” said Grace Smith- Weather­bee, one of the peo­ple in­volved in putting to­gether rules for the park.

On Sept. 23, a three-year-old girl suf­fered sev­eral punc­ture wounds when she was bit­ten, and dragged about 25 feet, by a husky-type dog at a Mis­sis­sauga off-leash dog park.

That park’s reg­u­la­tions only stated chil­dren were to be un­der the su­per­vi­sion of an adult.

“Some dogs aren’t used to chil­dren, but even dogs that are good with them can make a mis­take while play­ing and knock down a small child,” said Smith-weather­bee. “We did re­search be­fore open­ing here, and found most places had rules say­ing small chil­dren weren’t per­mit­ted.

“Peo­ple are go­ing to these parks to have a safe place to be out with their dog.”

Rule 15, on signs posted both out­side and in­side the fence at the park, states chil­dren 12 and un­der are not per­mit­ted in the dog park.

Smith- Weather­bee said it ap­peared the rule had been scraped off the larger sign at one point, but it has been added again.

Some peo­ple have told her they’ve left the park when peo­ple showed up with chil­dren.

Joel Dawe, act­ing di­rec­tor of parks, re­cre­ation and cul­ture, said they do get some re­ports of smaller chil­dren in the dog park.

He sug­gested – if peo­ple feel com­fort­able do­ing it – they point out the rule to oth­ers.

“There’s sig­nage at three spots in the park,” he said.

“We’ve got a num­ber of places kids can go, but only one where dogs can run free.

“Ex­cited dogs could bump into a child and hurt them. We don’t want a child to be hurt, and then have dogs suf­fer be­cause of it.”

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