Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey is a favourite spot for a walk with the family dog.

Metro to jack fines for bad dogs, other parks offences

Regional district takes new steps to curb canine chaos

Higher fines of up to $1,000 could soon be slapped on dog owners who let their hounds break the rules in Metro Vancouver’s regional parks.

The regional district’s board will vote on proposed bylaw changes at the end of this month, which are to apply in Metro’s 22 regional parks, such as Tynehead in Surrey, Campbell Valley in Langley and Pacific Spirit in Vancouver, but not municipal parks.

The aim is to crack down on aggressive and dangerous dogs that pose a risk to people and other pooches.

Park officers will be empowered to order owners to muzzle or leash an out-of-control or dangerous dog, or remove it or ban it altogether – owners who refuse could be fined $1,000.

An unleashed dog or one caught in a no-dog area can trigger a $500 fine, while failing to pick up your dog’s droppings can set you back $250.

Officials say those are maximum penalties that would be applied in extreme cases and officers are likely to stress education and warnings first.

“In my personal opinion, I think they should be fined right away,” said Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin, vice-chair of Metro Vancouver’s environment and parks committee. “It’s long overdue.”

Many parks already have off-leash fenced dog zones but Metro is also defining trails in some parks where dogs will also be allowed off-leash.

Some leash-optional trails are to be included in Capilano River, Lynn Headwaters and Iona Beach regional parks, while the rest of the trails would either require leashes or ban dogs altogether.

“We’re trying to make everybody happy,” Martin said.

The region rejected demands from some wildlife watchers who wanted to ban dogs altogether from Iona Beach, a major migratory bird stopover.

Martin said people who don’t want to encounter dogs running off leash should avoid the leash-optional trails in those parks.

She said owners will now be expected to ensure their dogs behave appropriately in off-leash areas or face enforcement from parks staff.

It’s hoped that will rein in the chaotic anything-goes dog interactions in off-leash areas, but Martin conceded that will depend on adequate enforcement.

Other bad behaviour in parks will also come with higher fines, which are five to 10 times higher than the old ones.

Smoking, damaging park property, setting off fireworks and dumping garbage are among the offences that can also trigger fines of up to $1,000.

Liquor consumption, being in a park after hours or creating undue noise or disturbance is worth $500.

The bylaw also gives staff the ability to restrict the emerging use of long boards, kite boards, electric bicycles, as well as the projected rise in motorized wheelchairs, in the name of public safety.

Metro officials say they get a mix of public complaints – from those who fear aggressive dogs as well as owners demanding more dog-dedicated park space.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Abbotsford scientist says more oversight needed after last-minute report stops soil permit

City staff recommended permit approval before a scientist warned proposal would harm fish

Housing, camping big election issues for Abbotsford homeless

Members of Drug War Survivors spoke on issues important to them in the upcoming election

ABBY ELECTION HUB: Everything you need to know in one spot

Interviews, Q&As, info on how to vote, stories on the issues and candidate bios all in one place.

Cascades swept by Mariners

Men’s, women’s volleyball teams open with losses

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

Disney on Ice returns to Vancouver with Moana in starring role

Eight shows at Pacific Coliseum in late November

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Former B.C. cop sentenced to jail ‘in the community’ after caught in Creep Catchers sting

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

5 races to watch in B.C.’s municipal elections this Saturday

This year’s election results across more than 160 cities in B.C. will start pouring in after polls close Saturday at 8 p.m.

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada said Friday the consumer price index in September was up 2.2 per cent from a year ago compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.8 per cent in August

Most Read