Park space is to be shared

Saanich News editorial in response to dog walkers blatantly ignoring the rules at Saanich parks

Didn’t we all learn about the importance of empathy and sharing back in kindergarten? It seems silly that Saanich pound officers are having to hand out tickets to dog owners who apparently missed those lessons.

These officers aren’t just getting push back from some owners; every week they’re getting an earful from enraged dog walkers who say that banning dogs from certain parks is unfair, who feel discriminated against, and who say issuing tickets for blatantly disobeying the bylaw is simply a tax grab for the municipality.

Let’s put empathy in a different context.

Just as a lot of people have fears of snakes and bears, there are also many people who are terrified of dogs, big or small.

You might be agitated or upset if somebody let their off-leash boa constrictor slither through the grass at Gyro Park and come up to your family to say hello. You know nothing of that animal’s temperament or how friendly it really is.

Just because dogs are a more acceptable domesticated pet than a snake and you choose to be an animal owner doesn’t give you the right to impact on someone else’s ability to enjoy a public space. Especially if that space is somewhere that has restrictions on animals.

These restrictions give every park user (dog lovers included) a little bit more peace of mind that they, and others, can fully enjoy their time in the sun.

Saanich has more than 160 parks in its stockpile and only six of them don’t allow dogs in the summer. With such an overabundance of dog-friendly parks, there is no reason dog owners need to bring their pet to a restricted area.

Your dog will be just as happy playing at Arbutus Cove beach as it would be playing at Mount Douglas Park beach. Its enjoyment of a public space should not supersede another person’s ability to share that same park.

Empathy doesn’t need to be a deep, emotional movement. It’s as simple as having courtesy for those around us.

Sharing really is caring.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

Victoria fills more than 100 motel rooms with homeless population

Mayor says staffing is the biggest issue impacting opening of Royal Athletic Park

Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days cancelled due to COVID-19

The pirate-themed fair will take place in 2021

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read