Mount Shasta parks district to consider banning dogs

Skye Kinkade

Dog owners who let their pets roam off leash at Mount Shasta parks are jeopardizing the public’s right to have dogs at the parks at all.

The Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District board will be discussing the possibility of banning dogs at Shastice and Mount Shasta City Park at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, said administrator Mike Rodriguez.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Main Lodge.

Rodriguez said for years, the district has been asking people to keep their dogs on a leash while enjoying the parks. However, complaints are coming in more frequently and the problems of loose animals and dog poop left on the fields has gotten worse over the summer.

“I want to keep a balance. The parks are for everyone, dog owners and non-dog owners alike,” Rodriguez said. “But we ask people to keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after them.”

Last year, the park district installed several stations that include plastic bags so people can easily clean up after their animals. There are also signs posted that inform people of the rule that dogs remain on a leash. However, the stations were vandalized and all the plastic bags were taken.

“People seem to walk right by the signs,” Rodriguez said. “Many just ignore them completely.”

He’s been researching what other cities have done about their dog problems. Those, including Redding, that have banned animals completely have had a difficult time enforcing the rule, he said.

Siskiyou Humane Society’s shelter manager Kim Latos said Mount Shasta has one of the only city parks that allows dogs and she hopes the public will understand that letting their pets off leash is impacting other people’s enjoyment of the facilities. She said Mount Shasta Police Department’s Community Services Liaison/Code Enforcement Officer Bill Pierce is enforcing the leash rule and believes locals are abiding by the regulations.

Rodriguez emphasized that there is a dog park at Shastice where dogs can run without leashes in a large yet fenced area. That is the only area of the park where that is allowed, he added.

Though the meeting’s agenda hasn’t yet been set in stone, Rodriguez said the MSRPD board will be discussing dogs in the park and possibly taking action on the subject. They’ll also be discussing the Siskiyou Ice Rink’s operations for the upcoming year after a presentation from Friends of the Rink.