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Poll: Should Cleveland Heights Allow Dogs in Parks?

Tell us what you think.

Some residents have a bone to pick with the City of Cleveland Heights — they want the dog ban lifted from city parks.

Cleveland Heights resident Fran Mentch to attend the to support the idea of allowing leashed, furry friends in parks.

And resident Kerri Whitehouse had a suggestion — remove the ban for six months to a year in as a trial period, with the ultimate goal of allowing dogs in all Cleveland Heights parks.

Whitehouse, who is a member of the Cain Park Neighborhood Association and chair of the Dog Project Committee, said permitting dogs would promote safety in parks and reduce crime, two of the primary goals of the Cain Park group.

And she mentioned other benefits. Dogs would encourage foot traffic and park use.

"Pets are I think really a cherished family member, and I think going dog-friendly would not only encourage bonding time for the whole family, but it would also help attract people who are considering moving to Cleveland Heights as well," Whitehouse said.

She said the 10-person Dog Project Committee would, as part of the initiative, come up with ideas to encourage responsible dog owners who pick up their animals' waste and control their behavoir.

She noted that not everyone in the Cain Park Neighborhood Association agreed with the idea, and the dog committee is a specific group in the association.

Do you think Cleveland Heights should allow dogs in parks? Tell us in the comments and take our poll.

Richard Hollis June 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM
There are some responsible dog owners/walkers. I think that for the most part the responsible ones are the ones who walk their dogs, Let's try it for a while and see how it goes. There will always be people who complain about dogs. Perhaps they have never had an incredibly devoted friend, who does not talk back, waiting for them when they get home. They can visit my house and get loved to death.
Carla June 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I agree that it would be a good idea to give it a trial period and see how it goes. It would have been nice if the trial idea had been an option in the "poll." Yes, the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but we have two problem-types in our neighborhood: neighbors who leave barking dogs outside, sometimes for hours at a time; and the lovely folks who scoop their doggy's poop, and then deposit the bagged feces on other people's tree lawns. Really disgusting.
Garry Kanter June 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM
That's a nice invitation, Richard. Maybe instead, *you* should consider getting a dog?
Richard Hollis June 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM
If your neighbors leave their dogs outside barking outside, call the CHP. As for the other less appealing issue, I had a neighbor come sashaying up my driveway when my family was eating Easter dinner swinging around her bag of poop. She put it in my garbage. I guess that is better than leaving it on my tree lawn. If that is the option, I would rather have the raw product.
Michelle Simakis (Editor) June 30, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Good point, Carla. Adding the "trial period" option to the poll.
Rachel DeGolia June 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Dog walkers and their dogs are an important part of keeping our neighborhoods safe and sociable because they're out on the streetsire than anyone else. I vote YES to allow dogs on leashes in the parks!
Garry Kanter June 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM
That was one of the reasons given at council for making the change. Ya gotta wonder what the thinking was that outlawed dogs in the first place.
Greg June 30, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I think they should make a dog park. It's just a fence and some water. Would be used all the time
Ken Adams June 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
No. no. no. way too many people do not pick up after their dogs. I can't stand being in Forest Hills park and seeing a nice pile of what man's best friend left behind and what his owner was too lazy to pick up. Also people have the misconception that as long as their dog is well behaved they can keep it off leash. Way too many irresponsible/stupid people in the city. Keep the ban in place and put up a dog park. Good spot would be the vacant field behind the superior school house between superior and ehb.
Kristen Fragassi June 30, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I agree a dog park would be great. The South Euclid one revitalized that park - for the most part - responsible people and dogs present through out any given day. This dog park has had problems, but the issues are incidental compared to community involvement and service the park has provided.
Paul Gaffney July 01, 2012 at 03:19 AM
How many cities in the U.S. ban all dogs from all their parks? Not many. It's sad -- how did this happen here?
Simon Nash July 01, 2012 at 03:51 AM
The only way I'd be okay with dogs in parks is if the council requires every dog within CH boarders to provide a DNA sample and then fine dog owners who fail to clean up after their dogs. The fine would only apply to a dog's solid waste. Fines for owners who fail to collect and dispose of their dog's solid waste would be as follows: $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $250 for every offense thereafter. Registered dogs would get a highly visible dog collar which must be worn whenever the dog is outside. Any dog observed without the collar would require owners to either prove that their dogs are registered or get their dogs registered within a certain time frame or face a fine. This would make irresponsible dog owners more responsible, force irresponsible dog owners to give up their dogs or move or add to coffers of CH and perhaps help to lower our taxes (yes its unlikely but I can dream). Fines would not apply to dog waste left on the owner's property. And yes, I'm a dog owner.
Pauline Benjamin July 01, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I am not a dog owner, but I do support allowing leashed dogs in the parks. I hike Forest Hill Park (Cleve. Hts. and East Cleve. sections) almost daily. There are already many dog walkers in the park. Never had a problem with dog waste and I feel safer with the dog walkers about. It's also enjoyable to watch the dogs and their owners.
vernon July 02, 2012 at 12:52 PM
no no no!! 'Responsible dogowners" is oxymoron. Omn daily basis you see dog owners treating sidewalks, lawnns, and now parks, as doggie toilets. no one shoul down dogs if they don't have ayard for excercize and disposal. Even if the 5 % of dog owners try to clean up after them, there's still residue, meaning people cannot use park with contaminating blankets, shorts, etc. Dogs are detriment to neighborhoods, since dog's urine kills grass and trees, bark all night, bite (ALL dogs bite), and ruin life for all concerned. taxpayers did not spend thousands of dollars to create a doggie latrine, but a people park.
Richard Hollis July 03, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Trial option is on the poll.
Mike July 08, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Agree with your remarks. Also, while the poop-scooped issue may not apply to all animal owners, how do you address the animal urine issue? Don't these pets urine on trees, grass, and other places people may stand, sit, play and socialize? All animals mark areas with urine, and tend to go back to these same areas to 'urine'. You can't pick up urine? And what do parents with younger children do when areas they play in get full of shedding animal hair? I once owned a beautiful Husky Shepherd that would shed like crazy during the warmer summer months. I'm sure no parents want their toddlers and other ages of children covered in animal hair, and smelling like animal urine. I vote for an animal park for the animals and the families that truly want to bond with them. This is working nicely in California and other states as well.

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