Most Davis County Cities Prohibit Dogs in Parks

Most Davis County Cities Prohibit Dogs in Parks

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LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Want to take your dog for a walk? In Davis County, you might want to avoid the city parks.

More than half of the cities prohibit dog owners from walking their pets in public parks.

Bountiful Parks Superintendent Jerry Wilson said none of the city's 30 parks allow dogs because most of them are built for sporting events and aren't suitable for animals.

"You need a big, large, open area," Wilson said. "Everything in Bountiful is landlocked."

Most dog owners in Bountiful comply with the rule, and those who don't can be issued tickets by animal control, he said.

Janine Larsen said she never had any problems finding a place to walk her dog when she lived in Salt Lake City, but she has been ticketed twice since moving to Layton several years ago.

"I think they're too strict and they give out too many tickets," Larsen said. "It's just irritating because (my dog) is a good-mannered dog."

"It's a safety issue," said DeAnne Hess, director of Davis County Animal Services. "When dogs get in large groups of people, they are hard to control because things might be going on that that don't usually take place in their own environment."

Todd Stevenson, a Fruit Heights city councilman, said it's an issue of cleanliness, as many owners do not clean up after their dogs.

"It's a difficult thing to try to balance the needs of the dog owners and the needs of the residents," Stevenson said.

Farmington is one of the Davis County cities where dogs are allowed in parks.

Leslie Mansell, secretary for Farmington City Leisure Services, said dogs are allowed in any of the 20 city parks as long they're on a leash.

Farmington resident Tina Tate was a dog owner for 12 years and walked her dogs on leashes regularly through Farmington parks.

"All my years with (my dogs), I never ran across a problem," Tate said. "I used to walk them around the park near my house and I've never been approached."

Bruce Cox, Centerville Parks and Cemetery supervisor, said owners are just asked to clean up after their dogs and keep them on a leash.

"I think there are a lot more that comply (with the rules) and are responsible than aren't," Cox said. "Those that don't like the rule don't comply anyway, but I do think there are a lot of responsible dog owners."

Salt Lake City Animal Control Officer Debbie Pedersen said rules concerning dogs in city parks vary throughout the valley, but there are dog parks in Salt Lake City, Taylorsville, Sandy and Holladay.

Dogs are allowed in any park in Weber County as long as they're on a leash, according to Shannon Werny, adoption specialist for Weber County Animal Services.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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