Dog Project Committee proposes lifting dog ban in CH parks
Beast is a Cleveland Heights resident who enjoys walking on a leash. Photo by Christina Sanders.
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As summer starts, Heights residents are looking for places to enjoy the outdoors with their dogs.
The Dog Project Committee is a group of residents that formed as a result of the Cain Park Neighborhood Association’s efforts to encourage more neighborhood activities in Cain Park. Members attended the June 18 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting to petition council to lift the dog ban in Cain Park. The group proposed a test run of six months to one year, and eventually wants to make all Cleveland Heights parks dog-friendly.
“Dogs are part of the 21st-century family,” said Kerry Whitehouse, who spoke for the group at the meeting.
The committee hopes lifting the dog ban will reduce crime, increase foot traffic and encourage more families to spend time in Cain Park. Members are conducting a survey to gather information to develop a petition to lift the ban. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anticipating some problems if the ban on dogs is lifted, the committee wants to educate and encourage residents to pick up dog waste and ensure their dogs are practicing good behavior. “We have every intention to find a solution for problems,” said Whitehouse.
“I believe that allowing people to bring their dog to the park is a net positive,” wrote Jason Stein, Cleveland Heights City Council member, in his blog. [Read his blog here.] “Of course, the dog must be on a leash and the person walking the dog must clean up after the dog and dispose of the waste.”
The committee plans to research funding for dog waste receptacles and wants to partner with city council.
Andrew David, a Heights resident, was walking his dog Beast on Lee Road the day after the meeting. Asked to comment on the proposal, he said, "I think that dogs should be allowed in parks. They’re just as much family as kids are."
Yelena Tischenko is a senior majoring in magazine journalism at Kent State University and a Heights Observer intern.