No Dogs Allowed signs in Gatineau Park go astray

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by Trevor Greenway on February 3, 2011

NCC signs like this one are mysteriously going missing.

NCC signs like this one are mysteriously going missing.

It seems Gatineau Park dog walkers aren’t taking a National Capital Commission ban sitting down, with 19 “No Dogs Allowed” signs going astray at NCC parking lots since December.

According to NCC spokesperson Jean Wolff, the case of the missing signs has cost the NCC more than $4,000.

“The signs seem to be disappearing and it’s becoming a bit of an issue,” he said.

Wolff said that 13 signs have gone missing from parking lot Nos. 13, 15, 17, trail Nos. 1 and 13, as well as several other Park access points on Meech Lake and Brown Lake Roads. Of the 13 missing signs, six were completely uprooted, with the poles and stabilizers removed as well.

The vandalism rekindles the debate as to whether dogs should be allowed in the Park at all. Wakefield resident Adam Shapero was fined more than $100 on two separate occasions a few years ago for having his dog in the park. While he understands the policy, he says the NCC should allow dog walking on selected trails.

“I think it would be nice to have designated areas for dogs,” said Shapero, owner of the La Grange bed & breakfast in Wakefield. “It’s a big park.”

Another Wakefield dog owner, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted she broke  the no-dog rule on several occasions this year and in the past. While she agrees that dogs shouldn’t run free in the park, she thinks well-behaved dogs should be allowed to run unleashed beside owners.

“Some dogs don’t stay with their owners and they chase deer and skiers, and in those cases I totally agree that they shouldn’t be allowed to run free in the Park,” she said.

“My dog is well-behaved and he stays by my side. When I call him, he comes back. If you are going to have your dog off his leash, he has got to be well-behaved.”

She agrees with Shapero that there should be designated areas for dogs in the park, and she recommends the NCC launch a pilot project to try a dog area out for a spell, to get feedback from the public.

Meanwhile, Wolff urges the public to report any Gatineau Park vandalism by calling the NCC at 819-827-2020.

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Gatineau Park “No Dogs” Signs Disappearing | OutdoorOttawa
02.04.11 at 1:03 pm

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