Keep the Peter Misersky Dog Park open

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On Monday evening, February 3rd, 2020, it was decided by Guelph City Council to close Peter Misersky Dog Park, Guelph's only fenced-in, leash-free dog park, as well as to cancel all plans to move forward with opening two other locations at both Lee Park and Bristol Street.

$100,000 in tax payers' money has been spent building the park and ultimately wasted now that, less than five months later, City Council has capitulated to resident's complaints, and voted in favour of closing it, stating that they would revisit the issue and look for a more suitable location to host a dog park in 2021.

While resident's concerns are not wholly without foundation, their grievances have often been exaggerated to suit their position, and users of the facility are frequently left with no voice at all. I have started this petition in an attempt to correct this oversight.

This decision will leave dog owners without a secure, fenced-in facility for at least another year while City Council attempts to find another location they deem suitable. The facility is in frequent use and offers a great many benefits to both dogs and dog-owners alike, including being highly accessible to individuals who may not own a vehicle or that have debilitating conditions that hinder their ability to access parks outside of residential areas. It also brings people in the community together and allows them to bond over their love of dogs. Most importantly, it allows dogs to play and to socialize with other dogs in a safe environment, away from busy streets and threatening wildlife.

It would be a mistake to close this facility permanently while a more suitable location is found. At the very least it should remain open until a replacement has been offered and opened.

The final decision regarding the closure of Peter Misersky Park and the cancellation of Lee and Bristol Parks will be made by City Council on February 24th, 2020. Until then, those wishing for the park to remain open have been encouraged by Mayor Cam Guthrie to voice their concerns by sending an email to clerks@Guelph.ca.

While this is undoubtedly important, and I implore you to do exactly that, I am also writing this petition so that those who prefer not to use email can also have their voices heard, and so that it can be circulated with greater ease. Prior to the final decision, it will be sent to City Council for their consideration.

Please sign with your name, what the dog park offers to both you and your dogs, any concerns you may have, and pass it along to friends, family, neighbours, as well as anyone who might be interested in this issue.