WARNING: This article contains graphic photographs of injured dogs.
Residents near Calgary’s off-leash dog area have renewed concerns about the safety of temporary green spaces after a dog’s chest was cut open by a piece of metal sticking out of the frozen ground last week. .
The city has said it will clear the area ahead of its opening in the spring, and will do more cleaning during the summer, continuing to remove rubbish if residents solicit it. However, some residents say that even after repeated cleanings, dangerous debris remains, wondering why it’s open to people and pets.
“The park seems to have the budget to clean the bike paths in the winter, but they can’t clean up the debris,” said Kevin Stanger, who raised early concerns about the area. I think it’s very strange to offer such a park.”
Stanger’s concerns rose again last week after a 5-year-old husky mix named Rooster was seriously injured in debris at an off-leash dog area in northeastern Calgary’s Aurora Business Park.
Last Thursday, Susan Smith, a 15-year-old dog walker, walked one of her regulars, the Rooster, in the off-leash area just south of 96th Street NE above Nose Creek Parkway. and fetched.
While Rooster was hopping after the ball, he fell, as Smith described, onto a grid-like piece of metal sticking out of the snow-covered ground. When Rooster limped back to Smith, she noticed blood on his leg.
Smith called Rooster’s owner and took him to the animal hospital. A worker told her to go to an animal hospital near her because Rooster’s wounds were so bad.
“It was horrible,” said Smith, describing the wound as “the scariest thing you’ve ever seen.”
A few days later, Smith returned to the off lead area with the caution tape. She planned to mark the metal object, but she realized the city had already surrounded it with an orange plastic fence.
concerns raised months ago
Before the off-leash area opened last spring, Stanger, a longtime resident of the nearby Coventry Hills neighborhood, voiced his concerns to the city.
Stanger said he took several photos of the potentially dangerous debris and said there were objects sticking out of the ground, from barbed wire to rebar. He shared these images with CBC News.
One of the photos, he said, shows an object that the rooster will encounter months later.
Stanger described the off-leash area as a former dump site.
Stanger, who has a background as an environmental expert in health and safety, said he conducted an analysis of the region. He sent his findings to the city and suggested moving the off-leash location. He notified the county. Ms. Jasmine Mian, Head of Ward 3.
In an interview with CBC News, Mian said he met with concerned residents over the summer and saw several objects in the off-leash area. She immediately requested the crew to clean the area again.
But Stanger said many hazards remained after the summer clean-up, some hidden behind tall grass.
Veterinary bills over $3,000
The rooster stayed at the veterinary hospital for more than a day and underwent surgery for about three hours, owners Glyn Pearson and Catherine Raine told CBC News.
The couple said the Rooster, a dog that is “very athletic” and “fun-loving”, is expected to survive, but will take several weeks to recover.
The family’s veterinary bill is about $3,000 and will have to return to the hospital in a few days to have the tubes removed and some stitches done later.
Mian said she could not discuss legal issues between her family and the city, but offered her condolences for what happened to Rooster.
“Unfortunately, there are always risks in these kinds of areas,” she said. “Dumping people is always a concern, so we need to do some analysis to see what is appropriate going forward.”
The unleashed area remains open.
Calgary Parks Community Specialist Alan Joyner said the object the rooster encountered was fenced off, but crew members were unable to remove it from the frozen ground.
He explained that the crew went through and cleaned the area before it was opened to the public. He also said there was a cleaning round at Mian’s request in the summer.
“So obviously when we were there … we were happy that there was no risk of user unacceptability,” he said.
Of the object that injured Rooster, he said it had been “hidden for some time” and was “exposed in a rather unfortunate way.”
I’m looking forward to
“All the options are on the table,” Mian said, adding that she plans to meet with residents about the areas that have been unleashed.
The city councilor said residents have been asking for more off-the-lead areas for years and this location meets the criteria. I explained that I would like to see the off-leash area completely tidied up so I can use it.
However, it is sometimes closed.
The rooster’s owner said he hopes the remaining debris will be cleared, noting that objects that hurt dogs can pose a danger to children and cyclists.
“Our city has an obligation to keep public spaces safe,” said Raine.
As for Stanger, he believes the off-leash area should not be left open and should be closed due to safety concerns about the wreckage remaining.
“The bottom line, as far as I know, is that the city has neglected its general duty of care,” he said.