Dogs are tainting town’s “crown jewel”
Officials in Abington, Mass., say the town’s “crown jewel” has a Problem, with a capital P and that rhymes with D and that stands for dog.
They say dogs are posing a “serious health problem” especially around the pool area at Island Grove Park, which is often referred to as “the crown jewel of Abington.”
Dogs aren’t legally allowed to be unleashed at the park – but dogs are running loose, nipping at guests, and “depositing feces and urine in the public pool area,” according to the Enterprise, in Brockton.
“It’s an absolute health issue,” Park and Recreation Superintendent Mark Chirokas said at a meeting of the town selectmen. “It’s frustrating.”
Park and Recreation Commission Chairman Russell Esau said the problem came to a head in September when the board received “a complaint” from a resident.
That led to installing signs around the pool area and at Eager Beaver summer camp, also on the park grounds, reminding pet owners to clean up and keep their dogs on leashes.
But the signs don’t seem to have worked too well — especially at night when large numbers of dog walkers descend on the park.
Since 1975, the town has banned dogs from being in any town park or water unless they are kept on a leash, subject to a $100 fine.
Town Manager John D’Agostino said on top of legal concerns about possible dog bites, many dog owners do not clean up after their dogs properly.
“What happens is (excrement) is being deposited in barrels. Then it becomes a health issue with the employees who have to clean the barrels,” he said
The selectmen are looking at a couple of solutions, including the obvious one: BUILD A DOG PARK!
But they seemed more intent on the idea of cracking down on scofflaws by increasing the hours that the town’s animal control officer works from 10 hours a week to 15, and requiring the five new hours be spent handing out warnings and citations at Island Grove.
The selectman did say they will at least look at the idea of putting a dog park on a 64-acre town property known as Griffin’s Dairy.
As one person pointed out in a comment on the Enterprise article, there’s no dog park in Abington — not a one, even though there are 15 town parks, fields and facilities listed on the recreation department’s website.
“Typically more than 50% of households own pets and many of those are dogs, so please tell me why a town like Abington can’t set aside a small area for taxpayers with dogs?” the commenter wrote. “Come on Abington, make some room for your dogs!”
(Photo: From the Friends of Abington Park website)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abington, animal control, animals, concerns, crown jewel, dog, dog park, dogs, feces, health, island grove park, leashed, massachusetts, park, pets, selectmen, unleashed, waste