Jerry Donaldson, the self-proclaimed Cadboro Bay Dog Walker, and his “pack” enjoy a morning on Cadboro Bay beach. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

Despite the light rain, on Tuesday morning dog walkers made their daily pilgrimage to Cadboro Bay beach to mingle and exercise their pups. Each time a friend arrived – human or canine – the conversation paused and joyful greetings rang out in the cool air.

On this day, they discussed the Saanich council meeting the night before that was dominated by public input on Coun. Karen Harper’s request for a review of the District’s bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches.

About two-thirds of residents were opposed to a review, Harper told Black Press Media on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Councillor calls for review of off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches

Jerry Donaldson, the self-proclaimed Cadboro Bay Dog Walker, was among those opposed. He’s been using the beach for 30 years. Five years ago, he started a dog walking business as a retirement project. He takes his “pack” of about eight pups down to the beach every day.

On Monday, Donaldson, who has four dogs of his own, was one of many residents who provided input on Harper’s report that he felt was based on “valid concerns” about migratory birds. However, he said the case was “weakened” when other “side issues” about dogs were brought in.

“The situation that she [Harper] presents is far from accurate,” Donaldson said during the public input period of the Monday evening council meeting.

He emphasized that the dog walkers who frequent the beach are respectful and mindful of their pooches’ behaviour. Donaldson, for example, doesn’t let his whole pack off-leash at the same time, always picks up after them and “leashes up” if people voice concerns.

“It’s about coexistence,” said Louise Egan, a Gordon Head resident with a 16-year-old miniature pinscher named Tobias tucked in her raincoat. She brings her dogs down to Cadboro Bay beach on a daily basis.

Egan, who also addressed council during the Feb. 24 meeting, agreed that while Harper’s motion was brought up under the guise of environmental stewardship, the focus has shifted to canine behaviour on the beach.

READ ALSO: Public input regarding off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches dominates council meeting

Off-leash play is important for dogs because a leash changes their behaviour, Egan said while a playful Aussiedoodle wove between her legs.

Egan pointed out that the dog meet-ups don’t just benefit the canines, but the owners have become friends and look out for one another. If a member of the group doesn’t show up for a while, the others check in to make sure they’re alright, she said. She emphasized this camaraderie while addressing council.

Donaldson said Saanich dog walkers who oppose the bylaw review don’t plan to go down without a fight. Council will vote on Harper’s motion for a staff-review of the bylaws on March 2.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

beachesDistrict of SaanichDogsSaanich

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

 

Jerry Donaldson, the self-proclaimed Cadboro Bay Dog Walker, and his “pack” pause to greet other dog owners on Cadboro Bay beach. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Legion in Langford keeps things clean with hand sanitizer donation

Legion aims to draw in new members and volunteers

Driver slapped with $483 ticket for excessive speeding in Saanich construction zone

Police traffic unit reminds drivers to slow down in McKenzie interchange

Victoria police investigating chop-shop found in Beacon Hill Park

Police asking public to register bikes with them in case lost or stolen

Island Health issues Victoria overdose advisory

Health authority warns of increase in overdoses from opioids and stimulants

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read