LETTERS: Drawbacks and implications to allowing dogs on the promenade

Editor:

Re: John MacKillopp’s letter where he contends that geese droppings are more of a problem than dog feces, it is strange that he chose to ignore the scientific fact that ‘a dog fecal event is 6,940 times more toxic than a single bird fecal event’.

The Environmental Protection Agency has deemed pet waste a non-point source of pollution, which puts solid pet waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella can be spread by contact with infected dog waste.

White Rock City staff included in their report to our elected officials the following drawbacks and implications to allowing dogs on the promenade:

• The limited and narrow width of paved areas along the promenade would place pedestrians and dogs in close proximity to each other, which could create conflicts and negatively affect pedestrian comfort,

• The presence of dogs on the Promenade (or if they access the Beach) could interfere with the habitat of migratory birds,

• Dog waste deposition on the Promenade, and its potential negative impacts to users. Also dog waste on the grassy areas adjacent to the Promenade paved surface. Even as dog owners pick up dog waste deposited in grassed areas, there would still be dog urine and fecal residual in these areas, which are popular areas for sitting and people placing down blankets for picnics,

• Existing infrastructure; specific dog waste issues could include challenges in keeping the Promenade surface clean, given that most of it is constructed with pavers. Due to this condition, dog waste will likely get embedded in the joints between pavers which in turn will require additional cleaning attention and time.

Good advice not taken by council. Why burden the White Rock taxpayer with additional costs and change a dog-free promenade that was successful for many years for residents, visitors from the Lower Mainland, and tourists from many countries?

Dog owners have all of White Rock and South Surrey to take their dogs, except for school grounds. Why take their poor dogs onto a narrow walkway with a noisy train blasting its horn, bells ringing and lights flashing?

It is interesting that Mr. Mac Killopp lives in Surrey and feels the need to chime in on a White Rock issue. Perhaps he would like to donate a couple of the special doggy doo garbage containers to help White Rock taxpayers fund this folly.

Patricia Kealy, White Rock

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