Every dog has its day, except in Mt. Lebanon

Published Sep 18, 2013 at 9:24 am (Updated Sep 18, 2013 at 9:24 am)

Residents near Williamsburg Park in Mt. Lebanon are at odds about allowing dogs in the park, an issue that came up for a vote Sept. 10 by Mt. Lebanon Commissioners.

The vote on a pilot program permitting dogs in the park during restricted hours ended in a 2-2 tie, hence failing.

Residents in the 4th Ward have been hashing over the pros and cons since January on permitting leashed dogs in the park before 9 a.m. and after dark.

Yes, dogs need a place to run, exercise and to complete their daily business.

And, yes, those concerned with sanitation and safety issues also have a strong point.

A dog may be man’s best friend, but not if that very same dog leaves a few reminders that it was there.

Not all dog owners or walkers have fun-loving, jovial pets, making those unfamiliar with the animal a little tense. Children often cause a distraction resulting in the dog becoming agitated. All sorts of scenarios can be projected and not everything can be covered.

For now, the pilot program to permit leashed dogs in the park is on hold, but there are other areas in the county that offer an alternative, even if that means getting the dog in the car and driving to South Park. It’s a great place to let the dogs run sans leash.

A city in Southern New Jersey offers an alternative—an annual pay-to-play area. Pay up front and the dog can run at leisure. It’s a money-making project and somewhat restricts usage by those looking for a free ride.

Not everyone loves dogs, and that is understandable. And not everyone love cats, and that, too, is understandable. Dogs and cats both leave behind droppings. Hopefully, at least the dog owners will do the right thing and clean up the mess. Who goes after the cat’s deposits? And lest we forget, the ubiquitous wild deer that roam the South Hills and always let the world know they passed this way more than once.

There has to be a compromise. Let’s just hope that cool minds can work out the logistics and let the animals share the space.

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