In August 2010, the City of Medicine Hat passed a new Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw, which outlined new guidelines in terms of pet ownership, bylaw enforcement, and penalties for individuals who contravene any provision of the bylaw. In the course of preparing the new bylaw, the Medicine Hat Police Service conducted a review of the city’s off-leash areas, which was compiled in a report on Offleash Parks Best Practices and Recommendations.
The report found that the current off-leash areas present in the city were unsafe, failed to promote adequate awareness, and severely compromised enforcement of the bylaw. These issues result from the number and size of the off-leash areas, the mixed use nature, and the lack of clear signage and identifiable boundaries. Because of the increase in licensed dogs in recent years, a relatively high per capita level of dog licenses (10 per cent), and an increase in the number of calls Bylaw Enforcement is dealing with, issues surrounding off-leash areas are likely to get worse in the coming years.
Off-leash Dog Areas Report
The Parks and Recreation Department was tasked with conducting a review of the current offleash areas. To read the full report, click the document link below: