Poop problems prompt school yard dog ban
CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:02PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:08PM PDT
A B.C. school board has taken the unusual step of banning dogs from a Vancouver school yard over mounting concerns from parents.
Parents with children at Lord Roberts Elementary School in the city’s West End filed multiple complaints with the school board over neglectful dog owners who don’t pick up the mess their pets leave behind.
The school’s yard was designated an on-leash dog park earlier this spring, a decision that allowed dogs in an area of the yard before and after school hours.
An advisory council said children would step into dog feces outside the building and track in into the hallways and classrooms, including carpeted areas where youngsters would sit during reading time.
The Vancouver School Board voted unanimously Wednesday night to make the school property completely dog-free.
Other options included a six-month trial ban or banning dogs from all Vancouver school properties to avoid similar complaints elsewhere.
Eirikur Palsson says his son has stepped in dog feces several times in the school yard while playing games, and had to be removed from class to be cleaned up.
“I’m relieved about the decision. I don’t want to have to pick my son up again covered in dog feces,” he said.
School board trustee Fraser Ballantyne said the ruling is an unusual but important precedent.
Ballantyne said the problem of dogs running off-leash on school properties is growing. He said many dog owners are defiant about cleaning up after their pet and there have been altercations between concerned parents and pet owners.
“I think it's time the school board makes a statement that kids are more important than dogs,” he told CTV News.
Leashed dogs are allowed in many other school yards in Metro Vancouver.