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Salt Lake City Council Eyeing More Space For Off-Leash Dogs

The Salt Lake City Council is considering expanding the number of places dog owners can take their pets off leash. The council voted Tuesday in a straw poll to designate off-leash areas at Fairmont Park in Sugar House, Rosewood Park in Rose Park and Rotary Glen Park near Hogle Zoo. Those areas would be sections of the park that would likely be fenced in. Polly Hart is Director of Millcreek FIDOS and lives near the Utah State Capitol. She supports the council’s intension to free up more space for off-leash dogs to roam, but she’d like to see more options.

“We have an abundance of fenced-in areas around the county but there is a shortage of places where people can actually walk with their dogs and get exercise,” Hart says.

Hart petitioned the council to open the Avenue’s section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to off-leash use. Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold says about 50 percent of Salt Lake City residents own pets and that number is growing. He says the council is looking at how to add new space in an innovative way, how to make the process for adding new off-lease parks less difficult and possibly designating off-leash hours.

“So maybe we would take a part of Riverside Park for example by the Jordan River and say weekday mornings from 7 to 9 it’s off leash but no other time,” Penfold says. “It requires a lot of compliance and monitoring because people get use to thinking it’s off-leash all the time. But it really is designed to say it’s off-leash for a time when other users aren’t going to be impacted.”

Penfold says the council will be looking at the issue over the next six months. He predicts the city will have more off-leash space this spring. 

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