Local News

N.C. State Bans Dogs At Popular Raleigh Forest

Posted June 2, 2005 10:12 a.m. EDT

— New rules affecting dog walkers took effect Wednesday at a popular Raleigh forest.

North Carolina State University officials imposed a ban after asking pet owners, for years, to keep their animals leashed while at the university-owned Schenck Forest.

"We've been working on this problem for five years," said Sgt. Jon Barnwell of the North Carolina State University Police.

N. C. State surveillance video showed 84 percent of those with dogs allowed their pets to roam free on weekends.

"We gave dog owners the chance to police themselves," Barnwell said. "They failed to do so, so we need to step in and take appropriate measures."

Under the new rule, a first-time violator will get banned from the forest for a year. Second-time violators can be arrested.

Andy Keaton does not own a dog but thinks the new rules are a little far fetched.

"I do think that's a bit extreme, I really do," Keaton said. "I would think maybe a couple of warnings, and if someone didn't abide by that, maybe a fine."

Even in the forest, police say there is no hiding. They will patrol on horseback, bicycles and undercover on foot during busy walking times -- 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. during the week and all day on weekends.

Local dog owners have other options. The city of Raleigh operates a free dog park at Millbrook Exchange Park. In April, the city council also set aside money to build two more -- one at Oakwood and one at Lake Johnson.

Cary leaders also have plans to build a dog park that would charge a fee.