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

Lower turnout for Langley’s voters in 2019

Early voting was up compared to 2015

Aldergrove Secondary students create It-themed circus of horrors

Annual haunted house runs Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, as dry grad fundraiser

Kwantlen First Nations ‘overlooked’ in middle school plans

Majority of IR 6 residents sign petition against D.W. Poppy becoming a middle school

Harry Potter-themed house opens for Halloween in Langley

Each year the Halloween house draws inspirations from a different Harry Potter book in the series

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

UPDATE: Charges pending after two teens pepper sprayed at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Most Read