Tofino Council has finally decided to bring leash-free dog areas to the city.
Unfortunately, like a lot of Christmas miracles, we’ll still be going through some shenanigans to get these pups a truly happy ending.
Tofino is releasing a new community engagement strategy to pick where we actually want these off-leash areas to end up.
The top contenders at the moment are Tonquin Beach, Tonquin Connector Trail, Centennial Park, and South Chesterman Beach.
Manager of Protective Services Brent Baker is asking for suggestions for other potential locations. But he noted that they must be safe for both humans and dogs, away from traffic, and past residential zones.
“We have had some suggestions that, while they may seem very, very good, they’re in dense residential areas with lots of children,” he said.
So it’s time for dog owners to speak up.
Director of Community Services April Froment said they’re looking to create more than one off-leash dog area.
“There’s generally good support for one or more, and I would suggest it probably is more than one, off-leash dog location,” she said. “There’s probably no 100 percent right answer on this. There’s no perfect location, but we do need to consider any proposed location quite carefully.”
She added that it may be best for the district to try out a location for a year and “tinker with that overtime.”
No matter where is chosen, the most important part is that everyone can roam freely through it. A lot of areas could be suitable, so long as dogs aren’t ending up on the naughty list.
Mayor Dan Law put a heavy emphasis on this.
“An off-leash designated area should still be a safe place for everybody,” he said. “The dog owners are expected to still have dogs that behave and are not aggressive and violent and are safe.”
So during the holidays, to give your pups freedom, take some time to voice your opinions to the council.
And if your pup is a little too vocal with their opinions, maybe ask Santa for some training tips.