Dear Editor, 

The City of Marinette is considering banning dogs from public parks. Increasingly dogs are a part of our local pet families. To restrict dogs from public parks is a step backwards in becoming an attractive community to an increasing number of dog lover households.

However, I agree that responsible pet ownership and the privilege to be in public parks rests in good citizenship. Dog waste left in public parks is not good citizenship. I would like to recommend a reasonable solution.

Marinette has a leash law. Having a dog in public on a reasonable length leash, under the control of the pet owner, is enforceable. A person tethered to a dog knows what is happening with their pet and is visibly tied to the problem. You can see who is responsible for the pick-up. While this does not solve the problem, it is observable and enforceable. I recommend recommunicating and reinforcing the leash law.

The rest of the solution is based upon appealing to all citizens as the solution. I believe the best deterrent is when people hold each other accountable. Call it peer pressure, or a social conscious, it is the feeling of responsibility, to each other, that is often overlooked. Feeling that certain behaviors are socially unacceptable is a powerful force. We recommend that the city council consider asking for help from the pet community and citizens with dogs to create an environment where responsible pet ownership includes keeping your dog on a leash when out in public and picking up dog waste with every deposit. This solution applies whether you are in the park, on the trail or across the street in an empty lot. This solution will not be perfect, but more effective that creating a ban that is not enforceable.

I am asking that the City of Marinette consider asking the pet community.

 

Rochelle Anderson

Director of Operations at Mighty Pet