No answers yet on dog fencing at Vernon's Marshall Fields

No answers on dog fencing

The possibility of fencing off-leash dogs at Marshall Fields is still up in the air.

The matter has prompted numerous complaints about dogs running into the sports fields and spectator viewing area at the Vernon venue.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Victor Cumming suggested the matter be deferred to give city staff time to look into options.

Marshall Fields currently has fencing, but it stops at the west end of the ball diamonds, meaning the baseball viewing area, bull pens/pitching mounds and warmup areas are open to the neighbouring off-leash dog park.

City staff recommended council install an additional 340 metres of 1.2-metre high galvanized fencing at the ball diamonds at an estimated cost of $45,000.

The Vernon Baseball Association indicated it is willing contribute $10,000 to the project.

Coun. Akbal Mund questioned the need to defer the matter before voting on it.

Cumming explained: “the report as presented had a single option.”

Staff will bring the same report back to council, but with additional options to review.

The issue was raised in April after reports of incidents with dogs caused Coun. Kari Gares to call for "increased attention" to the area.

Dog control falls under Regional District of North Okanagan jurisdiction. Increased attention would require an RDNO officer to monitor the area, something council said isn't realistic.

In the report brought to council Tuesday, some of the concerns raised by ball players included:

  • dogs love to chase/take the baseballs
  • some dogs are very aggressive
  • not all baseball players like dogs
  • some people are allergic to dogs
  • dogs have urinated on equipment/spectator belongings

One player was quoted as saying: "I have stopped playing the sport I love due to this situation."

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