Buddy’s face lights up and a big grin, complete with an out-of-the-mouth tongue, covers his golden retriever face. Council told him that he will soon be allowed to roam the grounds while on leash at Polson Park.
The park could be open to our four-legged friends as early as October if two waste receptacles, five bag areas and signs are installed in time. Failing the installation, the pups will have to wait until the end of the year.
While Buddy is chomping at the bit to hit his new stomping ground, the decision was met with controversy as many Vernon residents are worried Buddy and his owners won’t be diligent enough at picking up the pooch’s waste.
“I wouldn’t want to see dogs there because people are going to leave things behind,” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal.
And she isn’t alone. The people of Vernon took to Facebook after the changes were announced, many of whom expressed outrage, noting that there are already plenty of dog parks in Vernon. Those for pooches in the park, however, felt it would make the park more friendly and inviting.
While some residents are concerned that allowing Buddy in the park will result in an inordinate amount of dog mess due to careless owners, the majority of dog owners are responsible enough to pick up after their pets.
For those that don’t, Coun. Scott Anderson has the solution.
“If you see somebody that’s not cleaning up after their dog, point it out to them,” he said.
Allowing Buddy in the park is part of the city’s initiative to make Polson Park feel safer. And, in this instance, the benefit certainly outweighs the messy cost.