Doggy dilemma: White Rock mayor says fate of dog trial in hands of owners

Mayor said he’s concerned a number of people are ‘going to somehow sewer this entire process’

City of White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker says the dogs-on-the-promenade pilot project will not be extended if owners are not taking responsibility for their pets.

On the third day of the experiment, Walker contacted Peace Arch News to stress the responsibilities of dog owners who take their pooch to the popular walkway.

“We want to make sure that we’re clear with people so that they understand what their roles and responsibilities are,” Walker said Thursday, adding that there are a number of rules, but three major ones.

“Pick up after your dog. If your dog has a job to do down there, then so do you,” Walker said.

Walker added that dogs are not allowed, at any time, on the White Rock Pier.

RELATED: Mixed reaction after first couple days of dogs on White Rock promenade

“Absolutely no dogs. None, zero, on the pier. It’s off limits. Signs show that, people should know that, and yet people think it’s cute on Facebook to say ‘here’s me and my dog, he loved to walk on the pier today,’” Walker said.

Thirdly, dogs must be on a leash – no longer than three-metres – at all times.

“Our point is, you have to help us make this successful if you want it to run beyond the six month trial period,” Walker said.

The city initiated a trial to allow dogs on the promenade from Oct. 1 to March 31.

Since the pilot started, Peace Arch News has been notified by readers of several cases of dog owners not picking up after their pet. City resident Ric Wallace sent PAN a photograph of feces, which was bagged, sitting in the middle of the train tracks.

Walker said the city has received some complaints about the project since it started Oct. 1.

“We’re not only getting calls, but emails. It may or may not be the same people who have been doing it for some time.”

Walker said it’s up to the dog owners to do some self-policing and be responsible.

“We’re concerned that a number of people – it might not be too large – that are actually going to somehow sewer this entire process,” Walker said.

RELATED: Dogs allowed on White Rock Promenade during off season

Council is to review the details of the pilot project and determine the next steps in spring 2020.

“Part of the process of deciding whether this was successful or not is that dog owners need to be responsible for themselves, their animals, and the general public,” Walker said. “If not, then we’re going to have a very difficult time considering this anywhere near a success.”

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