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Harlingen seeks dog park ordinance

August 22, 2018

Free Version

Harlingen seeks dog park ordinance

By RICK KELLEY

Staff Writer

HARLINGEN — Four years after the Harlingen Rotary Bark Park opened for canine business at Victor Park, city officials are working toward establishing an ordinance for dog owners that might pack a bite.

The rules for bringing dogs to the park are posted on signs, but that might not be enough, officials say.

“You’ve got people who have the dogs, and they really don’t know the proper etiquette for dog parks,” said Javier Mendez, the parks and recreation department director, on Tuesday. “We’ve had some instances where people have taken their dogs that are in heat, and we’ve had some issues.

“We’ve had dog fights,” Mendez told the parks and rec board. “Even though the information is there on the sign, we need to pass an ordinance to be able to enforce it. That’s the whole purpose.”

Mendez stressed that his research into writing the new draft ordinance, which still must pass the city’s legal team and the city commission, is about the expectations the city has for dog owners in controlling their animals’ behavior.

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com

Premium Version

Harlingen seeks dog park ordinance

By RICK KELLEY

Staff Writer

HARLINGEN — Four years after the Harlingen Rotary Bark Park opened for canine business at Victor Park, city officials are working toward establishing an ordinance for dog owners that might pack a bite.

The rules for bringing dogs to the park are posted on signs, but that might not be enough, officials say.

“You’ve got people who have the dogs, and they really don’t know the proper etiquette for dog parks,” said Javier Mendez, the parks and recreation department director, on Tuesday. “We’ve had some instances where people have taken their dogs that are in heat, and we’ve had some issues.

“We’ve had dog fights,” Mendez told the parks and rec board. “Even though the information is there on the sign, we need to pass an ordinance to be able to enforce it. That’s the whole purpose.”

Mendez stressed that his research into writing the new draft ordinance, which still must pass the city’s legal team and the city commission, is about the expectations the city has for dog owners in controlling their animals’ behavior.

“When we created the dog park, we never created an ordinance or any regulations,” Mendez said, “so that was the purpose of this, to create those so that we can enforce certain rules and regulations out there. And, of course, when we build a second (dog park) at Lon C. Hill Park, this would follow through with that.”

After the meeting, Mendez said the city also wanted to ensure those using the dog park were operating correctly and within the city’s rules.

“Another thing we want to make sure of is people are not using it for commercial purposes and they’re not having training out there,” he said. “We want to make that clear as well.”

The board approved sending the draft ordinance to the city attorney, revising a contradiction that stated the dog park would be open from sunrise to sunset and also from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The board decided on the latter times for the sake of clarity.

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