Who let the dogs out?!

Saanich would like to, apparently.

This summer, pop-up off-leash areas will come to various Saanich parks in a new pilot project called ‘Paws in Parks’.

Currently, off-leash dogs are permitted in most Saanich parks but the district has no formal off-leash dog areas. With over 170 parks in Saanich, dog parks are among the fastest-growing recreational amenities in city parks.

‘Paws in Parks’, the pilot recommended by Saanich’s Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee (PTR) will test the idea of establishing fenced dog parks in Saanich of different sizes for two-week periods in July and August.

The concept was born after the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association (CBRA) requested a fenced area for dogs in Cadboro-Gyro Park, in hopes it would reduce pressure on the beach.

During a council meeting on Monday, May 17th the ‘Paws in Parks’ pilot was unanimously approved, with an approved budget up to $30,000.

The new fenced-in parks will be open from dawn to dusk, have dedicated staff and be monitored by animal control.

At the end of the pilot, the staff will prepare a report for council which will gauge public reception of the possibility of introducing more parks similar to this as well as options for moving.

To support the pilot and ensure an accurate report, Judy Brownoff, a councillor with PTR Saanich, recommends those visiting the parks speak with the staff during their visit.

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