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Proposal could ban dogs from some public places in Raleigh

Posted March 15, 2014
Updated March 16, 2014

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— John Goznell and his wife rescued their retriever, Elvis, about six months ago through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“I love him. He’s like a kid,” Goznell said. “He’s just grown on me and, you know, I spoil. I can’t help myself.”

In spite of chilly 30-degree weather, he took Elvis to Carolina Pines Dog Park in Raleigh for a recent morning game of catch.

Raleigh City Council is considering a change to limit the number of places where dog lovers like Goznell could enjoy being with their pets. A proposal would ban dogs from city playgrounds and athletic fields, such as baseball fields or tennis courts.

Goznell agrees with the plan.

“Playing fields are for playing sports; they’re not for dogs,” Goznell said. “They can cause damage to a baseball field. There’s any number of things—the grass, the sand.”

A ban would also outlaw dogs without leashes in city parks and set a new standard limiting leashes to 6 feet.

“We’ve had concerns raised by citizens, over the last four to five years, related to dogs running at large in particular areas,” Raleigh Parks Superintendent Wayne Schindler said. Many residents have also complained about dog waste in public places, he said.

Not everyone is receptive to the proposal.

“I don’t like the 6-feet rule. I like the retractable one,” dog owner Garrett Foster said. “Most of the times we’re out in an area like this where I’m on a sidewalk, there’s nobody around and she wants to go out into the woods.”

Wake County Animal Services Director Jennifer Federico thinks the rule may go too far.

“Really, the only one you’re punishing at the end of the day are the dogs,” she said.

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