Dog concerns on council’s agenda

Published 5:34 pm Friday, March 7, 2014

Washington’s City Council is scheduled to hear concerns about dogs on the city’s waterfront as part of its meeting Monday.

Kathy Farrance is among those listed as speakers during the public-comments section of the council’s meeting. Her topic is listed as “dogs on the waterfront.”

Concerns about dogs on the city’s waterfront are nothing new. There are ordinances that denote where dogs are allowed or not allowed in the city. Dogs, except for service dogs, are not allowed on the boardwalk that begins at the North Carolina Estuarium and continues eastward to the east end of Moss Landing. Dogs on leashes are allowed on the promenade along Stewart Parkway.

If a dog’s owner (or walker) fails to remove feces a dog leaves on the promenade or adjacent city property, the owner is in violation of the city’s animal ordinances and subject to a penalty.

In May 2010, several people brought their concerns about dogs on the waterfront — and other areas in the city — before the council.

The appearance of several people who spoke about dogs and other animals at the council’s May 2010 meeting was, in part, sparked by comments about the presence of pets and their sniffing at booths at Saturday Market, which takes place on the western end of Stewart Parkway along the Pamlico River.

At that meeting, Karen Tripp, a resident of East Main Street, said the owners of animals that visit the waterfront should be held accountable for their animals’ actions. Tripp said she and friends take it upon themselves to clean up after other animal owners fail to clean up after their dogs defecate on the waterfront.
“We do not want to lose the privilege of walking our dogs on the waterfront. We pick up other (dogs’} poop,” she said.
Ron Fortescue complained about people walking their dogs at city-owned cemeteries and allowing them to defecate on graves. Allowing that is disrespectful to those buried at the cemeteries, he said.
Dogs, whether on a leash or off a leash, are not allowed in city-owned cemeteries.

Some speakers said prohibiting dogs on the waterfront could drive potential visitors to area that allow dogs on their waterfronts. Others suggested the city add areas where dogs are allowed on leashes. The McConnell sports complex adjacent to Warren Field Airport was suggested as a place where dogs on leashes should be allowed.

Washington’s City Code prohibits dogs or cats, including those restrained by leashes, from going onto any city-owned or leased athletic centers, parks, wetlands boardwalk or cemeteries (Oakdale and Cedar Hill), except for specified areas.
The public areas where dogs and cats may be walked follow:
• North bank of Jack’s Creek between Brown and MacNair streets;
• Next to the Pamlico River on the west side of the Jack’s Creek Bridge across East Main Street (across from Armory Pointe Apartments);
• Between Maple Street and the Eastern Elementary School grounds;
• Pet owners may walk their pets on leashes along the Stewart Parkway promenade.
The code requires pet owners to remove feces deposited by their animals on public streets, highways, sidewalks, public property or on private property without that property owner’s permission.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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