Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey is a favourite spot for a walk with the family dog.

Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey is a favourite spot for a walk with the family dog.

Metro to jack fines for bad dogs, other parks offences

Regional district takes new steps to curb canine chaos

Higher fines of up to $1,000 could soon be slapped on dog owners who let their hounds break the rules in Metro Vancouver’s regional parks.

The regional district’s board will vote on proposed bylaw changes at the end of this month, which are to apply in Metro’s 22 regional parks, such as Tynehead in Surrey, Campbell Valley in Langley and Pacific Spirit in Vancouver, but not municipal parks.

The aim is to crack down on aggressive and dangerous dogs that pose a risk to people and other pooches.

Park officers will be empowered to order owners to muzzle or leash an out-of-control or dangerous dog, or remove it or ban it altogether – owners who refuse could be fined $1,000.

An unleashed dog or one caught in a no-dog area can trigger a $500 fine, while failing to pick up your dog’s droppings can set you back $250.

Officials say those are maximum penalties that would be applied in extreme cases and officers are likely to stress education and warnings first.

“In my personal opinion, I think they should be fined right away,” said Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin, vice-chair of Metro Vancouver’s environment and parks committee. “It’s long overdue.”

Many parks already have off-leash fenced dog zones but Metro is also defining trails in some parks where dogs will also be allowed off-leash.

Some leash-optional trails are to be included in Capilano River, Lynn Headwaters and Iona Beach regional parks, while the rest of the trails would either require leashes or ban dogs altogether.

“We’re trying to make everybody happy,” Martin said.

The region rejected demands from some wildlife watchers who wanted to ban dogs altogether from Iona Beach, a major migratory bird stopover.

Martin said people who don’t want to encounter dogs running off leash should avoid the leash-optional trails in those parks.

She said owners will now be expected to ensure their dogs behave appropriately in off-leash areas or face enforcement from parks staff.

It’s hoped that will rein in the chaotic anything-goes dog interactions in off-leash areas, but Martin conceded that will depend on adequate enforcement.

Other bad behaviour in parks will also come with higher fines, which are five to 10 times higher than the old ones.

Smoking, damaging park property, setting off fireworks and dumping garbage are among the offences that can also trigger fines of up to $1,000.

Liquor consumption, being in a park after hours or creating undue noise or disturbance is worth $500.

The bylaw also gives staff the ability to restrict the emerging use of long boards, kite boards, electric bicycles, as well as the projected rise in motorized wheelchairs, in the name of public safety.

Metro officials say they get a mix of public complaints – from those who fear aggressive dogs as well as owners demanding more dog-dedicated park space.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

Police shut down 240 Street after a single vehicle accident. (The News files)
Maple Ridge man dies following crash

Police believe he went into medical distress before accident

An early morning fire forced the evacuation of a Maple Ridge apartment building on Saturday, April 3 (Deborah Hampton/Special to The News)
City of Maple Ridge thanks volunteers for response to Easter weekend blaze

Emergency Support Services volunteers stepped up to help displaced residents

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Most Read