North Middleton Township officials are reminding residents that while dogs are allowed in municipal parks, they must be on a leash and any dog waste must be cleaned up.
Supervisor Robert Shearer said Thursday he heard complaints recently about dogs running free in Creekview Park, which is in violation of township rules. He didn't know whether similar problems exist at either Village Park or North Middleton Park.
The supervisors asked police officers to remind residents of the rules if they see violators while out on patrol. If necessary, police have the authority to issue citations to repeat offenders. Signs are posted at each park.
"This is a safety concern," said Shearer, explaining how loose dogs can present a hazard to other dogs and to children.
Once a dog ban
Supervisor Chairman Robert Reisinger said, at one point, the township had an ordinance prohibiting dogs from all municipal parks. He explained how that restriction was lifted about four years ago after dog lovers pushed for a place to walk their pets.
The supervisors first allowed dogs at Creekview Park on a trial basis and, when that was a success, decided to adopt an ordinance allowing dogs in all three parks.
Thursday was the second time this week that a local township addressed the issue of dogs in municipal parks. West Pennsboro supervisors agreed Monday to section off an acre from the township park and fence it in for dogs.
West Pennsboro officials had similar concerns about animal waste and the potential liability of allowing dogs to run free in a public park.
At North Middleton's meeting, Shearer said recreation advisory board members are concerned about erosion in North Middleton Park. The board is holding its June 22 meeting at the park starting at 6:30 p.m.
Shearer suggested the supervisors conduct an inspection tour of all three township parks to determine if there are any other problems. Public works and recreation employees will accompany the supervisors as they make their rounds.