Let me begin by pointing out that I am an animal lover. I was brought up with pets of all shapes and sizes – cats, dogs, hamsters, fish and the occasional rabbit – so I am familiar with the concept of responsible pet ownership. That is to say, giving the animal a safe home and providing adequate nourishment and exercise all the while respecting those who choose not to have pets. Part of being a responsible pet owner involves not imposing your pet on others who perhaps may not appreciate your animal.
Some friends of mine, former pet owners themselves, are currently having a significant problem with some, certainly not all, neighbourhood dog owners – their problem isn’t with the dogs; it’s the owners who are being disrespectful. My friends have put a lot of work and effort, to say nothing of money, into their lawn and garden. They would like to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labours without fear of coming across doggie “gifts”, or damaged flower beds. Regardless of whether owners pick up after their dogs or not, they would really rather not have people and dogs tramping on their property.
In an attempt to deter such rude activity they put up a low, string and post fence. It’s not going to physically stop anyone or any dog from walking on their lawn, but was meant to send a subtle message that they didn’t want people or dogs on their grass. Unfortunately this didn’t work at all. So they put up a sign politely asking people not to walk their dogs on the lawn and garden. Indeed this elicited a response: a bag of dog droppings was left taped to the sign! Very mature and respectful neighbours we have in our area.
According to the City’s website, the bylaw relating to dogs goes way back to the 1940s and, among other things, refers to damage to property. The website sums up the bylaw by pointing out that dog owners must pick up after their dogs, as well as ensure they have the proper licenses, and identification. But what if you don’t want dogs on your lawn at all? Can you opt out of the “it’s okay so long as they pick up after” concept by putting up a sign or fence? Will a complaint to the City result in an “if they pick up after their dogs, they’re within the law” response? Stay tuned.
It seems to me a person should be able to keep dogs off their property if they want. I’m not sure if ‘damage’ has been done or not, but either way, to take the time to secure a bag of dog poop to a lamp standard shows just what kind of mentality some scofflaw dog owners have!