March 2021 Letter to the Editor

Regarding Off-leash dogs in parks

A proposal is circulating for the City of Denver to allow off-leash dogs in Denver parks between 9pm and 9am, starting in Council District 1, with a goal of expanding the program to all of our parks.

The proposal fails to require additional education or training in exchange for off-leash privileges, as Boulder did when instituting their Voice and Sight Tag program. This is, frankly, not very reassuring to those of us concerned that this change would increase the number of untrained off-leash dogs in the neighborhood, which is already a problem due to poor enforcement of existing leash laws.

I love both of my dogs — and I know that untrained, off-leash dogs running up to us or other park users can create a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

If they choose to move forward with this proposal, I urge Councilwoman Sandoval and her colleagues on the City Council to consider putting additional resources towards better leash law enforcement, requiring additional education and training prior to granting off-leash privileges, and keeping some parks within each district free of off-leash dogs at all times, to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy them.

Emily Kelly-Fischer, Highlands


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