Alderman wants more off-leash areas in Calgary



robin kuniski/for metro calgary


Kim Donahue plays fetch with her dogs Kobi, Miikka and Banditt at the Southland off-leash park yesterday afternoon.


According to one city alderman the abundance of dogs in Calgary is putting pressure on local off-leash areas and he hopes council can plan for more.

Ald. Ric McIver, who sits on the community and protective services committee which oversees the hound havens, asked for a report on city off-leash areas to be prepared for tomorrow’s committee meeting with the hopes of developing a plan to ensure more parks are in the works for Calgary dog-owners.

“There’s in the neighbourhood of 100,000 dogs in Calgary and while there’s several dog parks, in some cases they are literally being loved to death because there are so many people using them,” said McIver.

“It’s a need that isn’t being filled adequately by the city.”

Kim Donahue takes her three dogs to the dog park at Deerfoot Trail and Southland Drive SE daily, and she has certainly seen the increase in the number of users in the off-leash areas.

“Some times are better than others, but on the weekends if the weather is nice, it’s insane,” she said.

Donahue, who has owned dogs all her life, said that in most cases the overcrowding doesn’t cause major problems. However, when you have an out-of-control hounds the close quarters exacerbate the situation.

McIver told Metro one new off-leash area is being slated for just south of Highway 22x and 52 St SE, but also hopes the report tabled tomorrow at the committee meeting provides a plan to create more.