Despite an impassioned plea from dog trainers, the city is standing firm in its decision to ban dogs from all city-run buildings.
Last week six people, each representing a different group that uses the Takhini Arena mezzanine as a place to train dogs over the winter months, asked council to force administration to reconsider its decision.
They argued that it’s been impossible to find an alternate location.
The city decided to ban dogs from all city-run buildings more than a year ago.
The groups that use the mezzanine, which has been used as winter dog training area for more than two decades, were granted an extension. But in April that extension ran out.
The city won’t grant another one, but it has offered to pay $5,000 for a consultant to work with the eight separate dog groups to help them better organize themselves, find a location and apply for grants.
It’s also set aside rolls of decommissioned soccer flooring from the Canada Games Centre for the groups to use once they find a suitable location.
While it probably would be cheaper to simply let the groups continue to use the mezzanine, it’s not about money, said Linda Rapp, the city’s parks and recreation manager.
“It’s a health and safety issue,” she said.
The city is concerned about people with allergies and the possibility of conflict with dogs. However, the city has never received any complaints about allergic reactions or unruly canines.
Nevertheless, it remains committed to moving forward with this policy, said Rapp. (Josh Kerr)