Educate dog owners about rules, Ashland crowd suggests

Ashland will have to educate dog owners about being more responsible with their animals if it decides to loosen its restrictive stance on dogs in parks, according to most participants in a forum Monday.

Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission members are gathering public input as they consider whether to allow dogs in developed parks. They likely will examine the issue at their next regular meeting on Oct. 25.

For decades, Ashland has banned dogs from Lithia Park and most other developed parks. It has a fenced dog park where the animals can play off leash, and dogs can visit many undeveloped park properties, along with some wooded areas and trails. A dog owner can face a $142 fine in Ashland for taking a dog to a park in Ashland, not picking up pet waste or letting a dog roam off leash.

Most residents at Monday's forum were in favor of allowing dogs in more parks, although some were opposed to the idea. Many said Ashland needs to post signs in parks warning of the fines. If dogs are allowed in parks, there should be signs warning about fines for not picking up waste, and for not having the animal on a leash, they said.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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