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Citizens push for off-leash hours in Denver

A citizens’ initiative in Denver would, if voters approved, allow dogs to be off leash in sections of almost all of the city’s parks from 5 to 9 a.m.

Proposed by Ronald “Byron” Williams, and still requiring the city’s approval, the initiative would go on the ballot in November if Williams is able to collect 4,000 signatures on petitions.

“We’re considered to be an extremely dog-friendly city, and we need to live up to that and do something about it,” Williams told the Denver Daily News.

Williams began work on the initiative after becoming frustrated with the lack of dog parks in Denver. He believes designated leash free hours would be a good compromise, allowing dogs some time romp off leash while not significantly impacting those using the parks for other reasons.

The city considered and scrapped a similar plan earlier after complaints from nearby neighborhood groups.

Denver is now working on a “dog park master plan,” a final version of which is expected to be approved this month.

“ The plan would implement a fee for existing dog parks, use that money to pay for additional park rangers who could write tickets for people who illegally have their dogs off-leash, and identify possible new areas that could be used for off-leash dog parks,” the Daily News reported.

At first glance, that seems more like plan to build revenue than to provide some running room for dogs.

Williams initiative, if approved, would likely lead to more immediate, and less expensive, results and make Denver — except for that nasty pit bull ban — a dog-friendlier city.


Comment from Jonathan Gilbert
Time May 20, 2010 at 9:58 am


Comment from Christine
Time May 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

“Extremely dog-friendly”? Really? I guess if you overlook them euthanizing hundreds of pit bulls, including people’s family pets, maybe they are…

Comment from Byron Williams
Time May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Hi – I’m glad you found this article. This is a big issue in Denver and many other cities and it’s time we find a commonsense solution. I would invite your readers to visit for more information.



Comment from joel
Time May 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

byron, did you give up? i would like to help. i just moved from nyc where the off leash laws are like those you are proposing for denver.

Comment from joel
Time June 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

oh, and byron, my phone number is 646-246-4096.

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