Dog owners reminded to take the lead on proper trail etiquette

Failure to comply with bylaw may result in fines of up to $500.

With better weather upon us, people are spending more time outside enjoying the City’s many parks and trails. Of course, many citizens are also bringing along their favourite canine companion.

The Fraser Valley Regional District, which provides Animal Control Services to the City Chilliwack, would like to remind residents that all dogs within municipal boundaries must be leashed when in public. Keeping your dog on a leash is a requirement under the City’s Animal Control Bylaw as a means to ensure safety for both residents and their dogs.

This reminder is being offered at a time when Animal Control officers are seeing an increase in complaints about dogs being off leash. To address concerns, Animal Control Officers will be stepping up patrols throughout the city focussing on hot spots such as Sardis Park and the Vedder Trail. Failure to comply may result in fines of up to $500 and the possibility of your dog being impounded.

Dogs may only be off-leash if in a designated off-leash park. The purpose of these parks is to provide a fenced-in, leash free area where dogs can exercise and play in a clean, safe environment without endangering themselves or disturbing people, property or wildlife.

“We encourage residents to take advantage of the designated off-leash parks in our City,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, “but remember to take the lead and put the leash back on when visiting high traffic areas such as Sardis Park and along the Vedder Trail”.

Off leash dog parks in or near Chilliwack include:

• A large designated fenced area at Island 22 Regional Park, located at 45695 Cartmell Road.

• The Vedder River/Garrison Off-Leash Dog Park, located on Nord Road near the Canada Education Park. This park features two separate fully fenced off-leash dog parks (one park is designated for small dogs only).

• Cultus Lake Off-Leash Dog Park, located beside the Business Plaza (near 4125 Columbia Valley Highway).