So, it’s dusk and I am standing at the end of the Three Sisters development at the out of bounds barrier looking at the new map of the future development when a car pulls up behind me.
No one gets out for a while and then someone decides to go to the other side of the road. I get back in my car and start to turn around when I see them let a pit bull out, followed by a young woman who let the dog run into the banned part, which is a wildlife area.
She followed it, then a man got out and I wound my window down and asked him to please put the dog on a leash. He did not appear to speak very good English, but after a few gestures he understood well enough and went back to the car for a leash. I explained it is forbidden to take a dog into the off leash area and that it is bad for our wildlife.
The young woman came back, she seemed to speak good English, with the dog, which looked very menacing, and said I was being mean. I said, No, I wasn’t being mean, but did care about our wildlife and there had been lots of articles in the papers about dogs running loose in wildlife corridors.
She put the dog on a leash, but who knows what they did after I left. It struck me that it was a regular occurence.
I am reporting this to bylaw, with the licence plate, but I do not wish to be a dog policeman for the Town. I think it behooves bylaw officers to place their cars at dusk in places where they ought to know sneaky people take their dogs off leash.
It is a huge problem in town that does not seem to be being addressed. Perhaps Three Sisters could put cameras in place where the number plate can be photographed.
Maybe the Town could do this, as with their photo radar. Something has to be done.
I hate for it to be my duty, it takes courage and sometimes I lack it, as there’s nearly always push back. But I see it all the time, in so many places, especially along the canal next to a wildlife area.
I can only think it will take the people of Canmore who care about our wildlife to tackle these people head on, have the courage to say a dog should be on leash and take the numbers of cars if they see people letting their dogs run wild.
People who come to live here do so because of our wonderful wildlife. Selfish dog owners will diminish this precious commodity in our valley, where there seems to be as many dogs as people.
I love dogs, by the way, and say kudos to those people who do abide by the laws and use the proper areas assigned for off leash exercise.