HALIFAX – If you own a dog in the Halifax area, you probably already know that you are no longer allowed to let your dog run free in Africville Park. The city stopped this December 31, 2014, but dogs are still allowed on a leash. Many people were upset and disappointed with the decision.
A new off-leash park opened on January 1 at Halifax Mainland Common near Westridge Drive and dog owners are preparing for it.
The first phase of the new off-leash park is surrounded by a high fence just behind the Mainland Common football fields. There is also parking nearby. Dog owners have flocked to the space and seem elated.
“It’s a nice big open space for them to run around,” says Stewart Zaun, owner of two pugs. “These guys like to have some kind of hills and more character that will hopefully come with time.”
Dog owner Mary Coholan said, “I think the city has done a good job finding a place like this. I know it already existed and they listened to us in this workshop. I went to each table and said we needed lights in the winter at 5:00 pm ”
There are lights, park benches, and picnic tables. Wendy Miller and her dog Oreo love the new facility. ” She loves that. She is five months old and has been coming here every day since it opened and it is a great park for her.
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But it was not without some problems. The park is smaller than that of Africville. There has been at least one incident that has injured a dog, and that’s why Sherry Levy is reluctant to let go of her dog Bailey.
“I’m just a little bit shy that he will grab onto one dog and the other dog get aggressive with him – someone might get hurt,” she says.
The second phase of the park will be adjacent to the new one. Trails will be built in a wooded area and will include shelters.
But if your dog can’t wait, there’s always a private dog park near Lucasville Road, where the dogs are separated into two zones, gentle and active, and business has run smoothly. “We check all dogs for hits and temper and we kind of check people too,” laughs Ken Walker, who operates the park with his wife Darlene, the owner of Paws in the Park.
80 members use the 9-acre, 1.5-year-old park daily or on weekends, which they say is well worth the average, a dollar per visit. “Absolutely, it’s worth it,” says member Tom West. “It’s a very beautiful place, your dog is safe. There are no runners or cyclists. We do our exercise. Mandy is exercising.
Private park rules include: no dog treats in the park and no leash on dogs.
The park was cleared of snow shortly after Tuesday’s snowfall and there are lights for the night walks. It is safe for humans and dogs, with a fence and a locked entrance.