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Pets must be on leash at Quinte Conservation trails

All pets must be on leash while touring Quinte Conservation Area trails.

The Quinte Conservation executive board voted unanimously for the change at their last meeting.

“There have been an increasing number of complaints from the public about off leash dogs on the regular trails and owners not cleaning up after their pets,” said general manager Terry Murphy. “We met with our insurance company and were advised to either fence the Pooch Path or make all of our trails on leash trails.  The expense of fencing the trail means that is not an option for us.”

Terry Murphy

Terry Murphy

All dogs will be required to be on a leash at all of the Conservation Areas effective April 24, 2015.

“We have also had complaints about off leash dogs at other local Conservation Areas and other misuse of the areas such as littering and fires,” Murphy said. “The board has authorized staff to hire a security company to lay charges against those people who are not using the Conservation Areas properly.  Quinte Conservation wants everyone to use common sense when visiting Conservation Areas.  Anyone witnessing inappropriate behaviour on Conservation Authority property can help by calling the police. Users of all areas are asked to be prepared to take their garbage with them when the leave.”

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency.  It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County.

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  1. Paul says:

    Doggies just wanna have fun but leash’s do keep them safe .

  2. Marnie says:

    Emily, Terry Sprague wrote an excellent article about coyotes in the Gazette a year or so ago. Unless you plan to stake out a toddler in the way Africans stake out a goat to bait a lion I don’t think you will lose one.

  3. Wolf Braun says:

    Marnie: “We have no way of knowing what they ingest when they run free in public spaces.”

    LOL… you should see what my 5 year young/old Chocolate Lab Niko puts in his mouth…. pretty much everything… dead fish, deer leg carcass, half a left over sandwich on the trails, dead birds, Timmy cups, stuff toys etc.. It’s crazy what he’ll drag around for a half hour or more. Of course he rolls in dead anything to give him ‘new’ scent. He’s been known to chew on sticks of wood and swallow. Of course you know when and how he brings that back.

    All our animals are protected against ticks. Nonetheless they still get them starting now. We’ve already removed one. If they are black-legged we et concerned. In the course of the tick season my wife and I generally find 2 or more tick on ourselves. Even when we wear the proper clothing and check ourselves after a hike. Again, we look for black-legged ones. They’klll,kijllllre the ones than give lymm.

  4. Emily says:

    The coyote issue in Prince Edward County is a whole other story. This severe problem is being ignored. When a toddler or young child is attacked (heaven forbid) then we may see some change in attitudes.

  5. ADJ says:

    Marnie I was kidding about the bear spray but Emily needs a reality check.If your dog was a hunter type dog like a little dashchund or beagle this is prime rib to a coyote. Without getting too graphic a coyote will quickly kill a small dog and then carry them off elsewhere to eat it.Even a large breed can be badly mauled and torn up before you had time to intervene.
    I just wouldn’t risk it for the time spent off leash. I think more of my dog than that.

  6. Marnie says:

    You are a responsible pet owner Wolfe and it is clear that you would not allow your dogs to annoy others. If you saw them heading towards another hiker I am confident that you would call them back. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who lack your good manners. The best they manage is a shout of “they’re friendly”. When I asked a woman at the PERCA to call off her dog one day she told me it was getting older and was quite deaf so there was nothing she could do. Ticks are everywhere but long grass is a favourite hang-out and it pays to avoid it. Another cogent argument against dogs running free relates to what happened to that poodle in Belleville last year. The dog was in its own yard with the owner’s father present when someone threw a caustic substance in its face. The vet bills have been huge and the dog has had repeated eye surgeries. Part of the vision in one eye was lost. There are a lot of crazies out there. We need to keep our dogs in sight and under our control at all times. We have no way of knowing what they ingest when they run free in public spaces.

  7. Wolf Braun says:

    To each their own !

    Our larger dogs are well trained. They don’t stray out of sight. We keep them on a lead in our yard when they need to go out for business only because we live next to the Parkway and don’t want them chasing something onto the road. They have all their shots. So do our 3 indoor cats.

    Ticks are not just in tall grasses anymore. They are now everywhere.

    We’ll just avoid the Conservation police. 🙂

  8. Marnie says:

    If it is inhumane to keep my dog on a leash in public spaces I am happy to plead guilty to this “mistreatment”. He is not running into long grass where he can pick up ticks, he is not leaving a mess that I cannot pick up because he was not in my line of sight when nature called and he is not annoying others. I understand what you are saying Emily but if I feel that my dog must run free then I should take him to a dog park where freedom rules and in doing so show respect for those walking their pets on-leash in conservation authorities and other public spaces.

  9. Emily says:

    I am sure you a wonderful caring companion. I was just presenting the other side and that restrainment isn’t always a humane treatment.

  10. Marnie says:

    Here’s one for you Emily. When I unleash my dog on private property he is free to run but he doesn’t. Instead he heels at my side because that’s where he wants to be – with me. I am not restraining him. We are partners and greatly enjoy a walk together. It is pleasant to walk on public trails and when I used do this with my dog we both enjoyed the change of scene. My dog is not a dim-witted robot. True to the traits of his breed he is a devoted companion. I try to be a good friend to him too by keeping him safe and preventing him from annoying others.

  11. Emily says:

    What is the purpose of taking a leashed dog to a conservation area? Is it for the delight of the restrained animal or for the pleasure of the owner? Living a life being physically restrained is not a pleasant one but hey unless you have experienced it the debate is mute.

  12. Marnie says:

    ADJ I would not use bear spray, pepper spray or any other product of this sort that might cause harm. This could lead to trouble for you.

  13. Marnie says:

    Leashed dogs have every right to be walked in public spaces, emphasis on the word public. These areas are not for the exclusive use of those who are blissfully certain that everyone loves to be mugged by their dogs. How many of those free runners are fully vaccinated? I don’t want strange dogs going nose to nose with my dog not just for safety reasons but because I have no way of knowing if they might be carrying disease. Someone could have adopted one of these dogs from a shelter only a few days earlier. Ever hear of Parvo Emily? Do you even own a dog? Actually, I have taken your advice. I walk my dog on private property because I am sick and tired of the thoughtlessness of those who unleash their pets to poop wherever and annoy others whose dogs are leashed. But hey, it’s all part of being free.Rules are for other people.

  14. Emily says:

    Listen to you people talking about what weapon would be best suited. Walk your leashed dog around your yard for God’s sake! Why do you need to walk a leashed dog in the free range? The dog is still being restrained not by choice.

  15. ADJ says:

    Yes your probably right Marnie….would bear spray be a better choice?

  16. Marnie says:

    ADJ I would try an air horn instead. Once while walking my dog at the PERCA I was set upon by two Golden Retrievers. The owner was a good distance away. They appeared friendly but were easily twice the size of my dog. We ended in a group hug and I was waving my arms in an effort to shoo them off. The irate owner marched up and said he certainly hoped I was not hitting his dogs. He was quite incensed. It might be best not to brandish any sort of club plastic or otherwise at a strange dog (or owner). The dog could respond by attacking you as it might feel threatened. The owner might attack you too. Sad to say it is not the dogs that are at fault it is the owners. We need to show greater respect for one another.

  17. ADJ says:

    Don’t you just love it when a big dog zero’s in on you when your walking two small leashed pets in the Conservation Area. The owner is 100yds. away hollering “don’t worry, he doesn’t bite” Regardless your concerned for your own safety and the safety of your pets.First off they go for the crotch then they try to “playfully” maul over your dogs.
    Question: Would I be within my rights to carry a plastic bat or cut-off hockey stick to ward off these advances or would it initiate a heated argument and possibly a more physical confrontation and/or lawsuit? Think of others and don’t take that chance.

  18. Emily says:

    Good points. Just wish our society was less restrictive. Everything is governed to the point of exhaustion.

  19. Marnie says:

    I appreciate the other side of the debate Emily but I cannot agree with it. Too often I have been mugged by “friendly” dogs while trying to walk my dogs on-leash in public places. At Wellington beach I watched a woman badly frightened by one of these “friendlies” running towards her while its owner vainly tried to call it back. The dog was not going to attack her but obviously she was frightened of dogs and believed that it might. My sincere wish is that the dog lovers who insist on allowing their pets to run free in public spaces never know the heartbreak of losing a beloved best friend or having it badly injured as the result of an encounter with the wrong dog. In today’s world, even if their dog merely knocked over an older person or a small child in its enthusiasm and some minor scrapes and bruising resulted they could face legal action.Believe it or not this has happened.

  20. Emily says:

    Marnie, just give some consideration to the other side of the debate. There are many that do not agree with your view.

  21. Marnie says:

    Wolfe, that is a whopper. There has been at least one small dog killed as a result of an injury at the Belleville dog park and several others have been hurt. Check it out. Also a dog that had been running at the Picton dog park spotted a cat nearby and killed it. The idea that dogs would all love to play together as one big happy family is false. They are pack animals and every pack has a leader. What may start out as play soon tranforms to a fight for dominance and territory. How do you think the leader of the pack becomes leader? It is not by popular vote. There are Alpha dogs and they do not play well with others. It is foolhardy to assume that all dogs are friendly and just want to play.

  22. Wolf Braun says:

    My experiences are much closer to Emily’s. I come across leashed dogs a lot who would love to chase (play) with my dogs. My dogs love to be chased (play). In the last 25 years I’ve never seen any of my dogs (Sheps, Labs, Mutts, etc)try to pick a fight.

    In fact, I have never seen dogs fight at the Belleville dog park, or any other dog park for that matter, where all dogs are allowed to run free. It’s all play. You never see aggression at the dog park(s).

  23. Marnie says:

    When a pair of dogs running free together encounter a strange dog, even if it is off-leash there is the very real chance of a fight. Do you like everyone whom you meet? Dogs don’t either. The idea of a group of strange dogs running gloriously free together with no sign of aggression is straight out of Disneyland. That’s why it is unsafe for those of us who leash our dogs to enjoy public spaces such as the local conservation area. There is always some “born free” owner who is absolutely certain that everyone is delighted to have their dogs in their face.

  24. Emily says:

    Probably reacted like that because of being leashed and knowing it could not freely acquaint making it nervous and responding naturally.

  25. Marnie says:

    How nice – for them and their owners. Did you hear about the recent incident in Belleville area where two of those free as a bird dogs ran up to a leashed large breed dog who reacted by biting and injuring one of them severely? The fun stopped there for all concerned.

  26. Emily says:

    2 border collies were having the time of their life today at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area. Free as a bird as the expression goes.

  27. Marnie says:

    I do not profess to be an expert Mark but neither am I dumb enough to let my dog loose in a public space to annoy others or come to harm as a result of my thoughtlessness. BTW what are you still doing here? I thought you found us all too boring for words. Why not stop taking pot shots and say something relevant.

  28. Chuck says:

    Bill, you will continue to pay taxes. County vehicle could very well have been at the winery on business. But why a water manager would need a vehicle at home out of County is mystifying. If on the rare occasion he was called in just pay the mileage.

  29. Mark Rose says:

    Pure comic relief, Monty for sure. Add dogs to the list of things that Marnie is an expert on.

  30. Monty says:

    Reading the “dogs on leash” thread is almost as entertaining as the “I pay taxes so I’m not clearing the hydrant in front of my house” thread a few weeks ago. Wow, people, take a pill.

  31. ADJ says:

    Might mention that coyotes and fishers absolutely love to catch a tender morsel like a fat little well fed pooch while it runs free in a Conservation area.
    “uh Ma’m, was your dog running loose? Well I only let him off the leash for a minute. Boo Hoo

  32. Bill says:

    My apologies in advance as I wasn’t sure where to post my comments?
    I read in the Gazette with total disgust how Mr. McCauley and Mr. Roberts said there was no misuse of County vehicles. I consider those comments a slap in the face to the taxpayers who are continuously flipping the bill for this neglect. For example I personally sent Mr.McCauley an email with a photo of a county vehicle parked at a winery (right in front of the wine tasting sign). There were numerous people standing around shaking there heads in disbelief so thats when I decided to take the picture and send it along. Still to date I have never heard one response back from Mr.McCauley. So don’t tell me or any taxpayer who has seen this blatant abuse that its not so, wake to HE** up. I am not going to continue to pay taxes for this wasteful spending ALL the time if you Mr. Mayor want to condone it then you pay for it! This is only ONE of the numerous complaints that have gone forward regarding vehicle misuse

  33. Emily says:

    And that has what to do with pets leashed or being able to run gloriously free?

  34. kawartha dave says:

    Sure would like to see County Live change their polls and/or questions a little more frequently. They make it look like it is done daily with “Yesterday’s answer” shown underneath but lately it is lucky to change twice a week. What’s up guys??? Anybody home.

  35. Gary says:

    My, life is so complicated and scripted isn’t it. Reading this I wonder how are canine friends have ever survived up until now. Lol

  36. Marnie says:

    Now that would be an interesting scenario Gary. Unleash the dogs in a Conservation area and let them challenge one another. The owners would soon be in fights too. When dogs run in groups a pack mentality develops and one of them is bound to challenge for leadership of that pack. You refer to our dog friends. If we are true friends to our dogs we do not put them in danger so they can be “free”. Unless you own one of the muscle breeds good luck with letting him or her run with the big dogs.

  37. ADJ says:

    (adopted a new handle for convenience.)
    We had a couple visit our Park who seemed to think her dogs were above the rule of leashing whenever they were on a walkabout. Repeatedly I had asked her to leash and she would for the five minutes it took for me to walk away.The final straw was when I witnessed her dog off leash again taking a huge crap BEHIND her and out of her sight of vision.That done it…she got her marching orders and was not permitted on the property again.
    Some people just don’t get it…rules are for everyone but usually because of someone.

  38. Gary says:

    Perhaps leashed dogs should do so on private property and allow our canine friends the opportunity to run free for a change on conservation areas. Everything is restricted to the point a dog can’t even experience a good run. If only we could hear our fore fathers.

  39. Marnie says:

    You’re right Paul and it is up to us to keep our best friends safe. That means on a leash in public places. Besides the vet clinics are already reporting lots of tick bites. We risk this if we let our dogs run in wooded areas and tall grass.

  40. Paul says:

    I love Dogs they are the Best, Best Friends humans can have. Most Dog owners love their friends and train them to act properly in public, sadly some don’t take the time to teach their Dogs these manners thus the reason for leash’s… Love your Doggies their the best…

  41. Marnie says:

    I am not fully convinced that dogs large or small “need” to run free but if they do it should be on private property. Wolfe, your concern for fellow hikers is commendable (wish you were the one I had met on the trails) but maybe you have simply been lucky so far. Under today’s bylaws if your large dog were to act in its own defence against one of those ankle-biters you could find a muzzle order or a destruction order placed on it. It may not always be fair but it is now the law. Always beware of a dog owner walking a pet on a retractable leash. They are accidents waiting to happen. These metal leashes have caused a lot of nasty gashes on people’s hands and legs. The world would be a lot safer place if people just followed the rules and accepted the fact that we must respect the rights of others. Terry got it right. Leash those dogs before someone is injured or loses a beloved pet.

  42. Wolf Braun says:

    That’s correct. It is Terry Murphy. Apologies to Mr. Short

  43. Gary says:

    Wolf: I agree that large dogs need to run free. And Terry Shortt was a former councillor. Terry Murphy is the manager. He got this one wrong I think.

  44. Bobbi M says:

    Yes, dogs do like to run free. I like to wear no clothes…lol. But being a responsible member of society, and out of respect to my neighbours and community, I keep my dog on a leash in public places (and also wear clothes!) because this is what should happen when people have to share space (cities, towns, neighbourhoods). What people do on private land or in the middle-of-nowhere is up to them. When I use public spaces, or intrude into other peoples’ “space”, I am mindful of other people. I hope that other people respect their neighbours and fellow users as much as I do…that’s part of life, and one that is sadly declining- being considerate of other people. Having your dog leashed in a public space is not unreasonable.

  45. Wolf Braun says:

    We now are back to one dog. We’ve always had two but lost our Sadie to cancer in February. We’re looking for a rescue German short-haired retriever. No rush.

    We walk our dogs on trails where we know there are going to be few people. These places are ‘our’ secret. Our dogs are off lead and spend more than 50% of their time off trail but always in sight. 🙂

    When we see another person with a dog coming in our direction we call our dogs and put them on their leads. We’ve had dogs as long as I can remember. Have never had an incident yet. Touch wood.

    However, it always seems to be that people with their “ankle biter” dogs take the time to give us a lecture about keeping our dogs on lead. While they are lecturing, their own dog is running after our dogs and barking their heads off. We listen politely, thank them and move on. Funny how many people keep small dogs on retractable 20 ft leads so that they can chase our dogs who are on 8ft leads. 🙂

    Our hikes tend to take an hour or more. We always carry bags with us and pick up “trash” dropped nilly-willy all over the trails by other hikers. The two most common items we pick up are Timmy coffee cups, pop cans and those helium birthday balloons that float across Lake Ontario. Plus food wrappers. Why do people have to hike while eating? And then litter. People are pigs! No other word describes them better.

    I guess the best solution is to hike on private property. We can do that on our farm friend’s property but the variety is limited and much shorter. Big dogs need to run. It’s cruel to not give them that opportunity.

    I agree with Gilbert about Terry Short. He loves his authority role.

  46. Marnie says:

    Dogs should not run free. It is both irresponsible and dangerous. In accordance with the rules I have walked my dog on leash in several public places including Conservation Authorities. Invariably, I’ve met up with those “if you love something set it free” people who think it is fine to allow their dogs to run off-leash. These dogs come bounding up to me and their owners always yell “he (or she) is friendly”). How stupid is that? My dog is leashed. Suddenly he sees two or sometimes three dogs running at large descending on him. He feels vulnerable and may act to defend himself. If one of those “friendly” and illegally at large dogs is bitten by my dog it is my dog that is labelled dangerous, quarantined and possibly put down. People should show a little courtesy and common sense by keeping their dogs leashed in public places. Some others enjoying those nature trails may be frightened of dogs no matter how friendly they are supposed to be. Those who want their dogs to run free should let them do so on their own property. Instead they spoil it for everyone else by allowing them to run in public places – often far ahead of them. These dogs poop wherever and the owners do not pick it up because they have no idea of where it is. Nice surprise for someone else. I no longer take my dogs to public places. I’m sick of the selfish people who ruin it by allowing their dogs to annoy those who are obeying the rules. If you love your dog you do not set it “free”. You protect it by keeping it leashed unless in a dog park or other securely fenced property where it is legally allowed to be at large.

  47. Jacqueline says:

    I find that humans leave more waste than dogs. I pick up human waste and garbage as I walk my dog and dispose of it appropriately. I also pick up, or bury the poop from irresponsible dog owners. It’s unfortunate that because some dog owners neglect their duties that others have to face the consequences. Last summer I had to leave the beach at Little Bluff because of the noise from a boat moored off shore that was playing human “music ” at full volume. It was offensive and unbearable. My dog is better off leash and I always clean up after her. Empty beer bottles, water bottles, and other human waste ruins our natural habitats more than any dog.
    Perhaps year round garbage cans in parking areas would help?

  48. Emily says:

    Dogs like to run free! Society feels now they have to control everything.

  49. Bobbi M says:

    Hooray! I’m happy to hear that dogs are now required to be on leash. The number of times that other dogs have run up to my leashed dog and created mayhem has been too numerous to count. I’m thankful that I can finally take my dog for walks again through the conservation area behind our house without fear of an unpredictable dog taking a lunge at my dog or fear of paying vet bills if my dog responded in self-defence. Thank you for addressing this, Quinte Conservation!

  50. Gilbert says:

    So Quinte Conservation will spend money on a private security firm rather than building a fence? And encourage people to waste money and time by calling the police over a dog running around? Terry Murphy, if you read this, please answer: why start a war against the most frequent users of your trails instead of including them in a conversation? Disappointing.

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