Dog owners march at Trout Lake to save off-leash park in Vancouver
Dog owners gather at John Hendry Park/ Trout Lake to protest a possible shrinking of the leash-free premises, in Vancouver, B.C. on Sunday April 27, 2014. dog owners are proposed to changes by the Vancouver Parks Board for Trout Lake, specifically the off leash area which they plan to shrink by about 75% and to put fencing around the perimeter. Carmine Marinelli/Vancouver 24hours/QMI Agency
"Putting everybody in a small-enclosed area is just going to lead to more aggression, more conflict between owners. It’s not good for the dogs."
— Jennifer Despins
Up to 200 dog owners with their furry friends in tow marched at Trout Lake Sunday afternoon to demonstrate that there are many who oppose proposed changes to reduce the size of the park’s off-leash area.
Jennifer Despins brought her dog Stella to the park hoping to convince the Vancouver Park Board that better signage and enclosures are better than reducing the space from 29,000 square metres to 6,000.
“We chose — when we bought our house three years ago — to move here because of Trout Lake,” she said.
“It was a close walking distance off-leash park.
“What’s great about the park the way it is today is that dogs can play and wrestle together. But if that’s not their thing we have a space to just swim, throw the ball and that’s what we like to do.”
She said making the park smaller would only drive dog owners away, and would increase the number of conflicts between dogs and owners who stay to use a smaller space.
“There are ways we can work and strike the balance with people that aren’t dog people simply by moving pathways and doing proper things,” Despins added.
“Like better signage and enclosures without actually having to reduce the size of the park.”