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2 stray dogs that 'appear frightening' lead to closure of Metro Vancouver trails

A trail in Garden City Park in Richmond, B.C., is seen in this undated image. (City of Richmond) A trail in Garden City Park in Richmond, B.C., is seen in this undated image. (City of Richmond)
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Select trails in a Metro Vancouver park are temporarily closed as a team tries to capture two stray dogs.

The City of Richmond issued a warning Wednesday saying some trails in Garden City Park would be inaccessible until further notice. The city confirmed with CTV News Vancouver that the trails remained closed on Thursday.

"The closure is part of a strategy to rescue two dogs that remain at large in the park," the city's warning said. "Efforts to catch the dogs by city staff and the BC SPCA have been unsuccessful to date due to the dogs' tendency to sometimes appear frightening, the park's challenging undergrowth, and interference with capture efforts by park users."

In an emailed statement to CTV News, the SPCA said it first received a report about the two dogs on May 8. Then, in the last week of May, the agency received a report about the animals "more closely approaching humans and pets."

A team from the SPCA has been patrolling the park regularly since the first report and has been working to build trust with the dogs to ensure a "humane and safe rescue."

The city said barricades and signs would be placed in eastern sections of the park, which is just north of Granville Avenue.

The playground in the park is still open, but users are advised to "remain vigilant" and stay away from the dogs if they're spotted. Dog owners should keep their pets on-leash at all times, the city said.

Schools and daycares in the area have also been given safety information by the city and the SPCA.

"Stray animals can act unpredictably out of fear, hunger or even pain if injured," the city's statement said. "While the city and BC SPCA appreciate that the community may want to help, interactions with the dogs at large can place both the animals and humans at risk. It is extremely detrimental to ongoing efforts to bring these dogs into the care they need."

The city asks members of the public to not feed the dogs or leave food in the park. Anyone who spots the animals is asked to call 604-709-4668. 

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