Advocacy & Government Booklets

OVMA Position Statements August 2017

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OVMA 420 Bronte Street South, Suite 205, Milton, Ontario L9T 0H9 T. 905.875.0756 or 1.800.670.1702 (toll-free) F. 905.875.0958 or 1.877.482.5941 (toll-free) OVMA Position Statement – Off-Leash Dog Parks The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) supports retaining existing and creating new off-leash community dog parks when such parks are developed and utilized appropriately and responsibly. Off-leash parks offer dogs (and their owners) the opportunity to engage in activities that improve their overall health and well-being through exercise and socialization. Characteristics of appropriate and responsible off-leash dog parks include, but are not limited to: The area is specifically designated for off-leash dogs and suitable measures (e.g. the installation of adequate fencing) have been taken to protect others that may be in the area. The park provides dogs with enough room to run freely. The park is regularly inspected to ensure that there are no potential hazards (e.g. broken glass, kill-traps, etc.) to the dogs' health and well-being. The park provides appropriate waste receptacles. Appropriate rules governing the use of the park have been adopted and are clearly indicated on park signage. At a minimum, park rules should include: o A warning to all owners that they are responsible for their dog(s) and are required to understand that there are risks of disease and injury involved with leash-free parks. o Requiring park users to monitor their dog's activities and ensure that their dogs are not left unattended at any time. o Requiring that all dogs using the park have a valid rabies vaccination certificate and recommending owners discuss prevention of infectious disease and parasite control with their veterinarian. o Requiring park users to remove any solid waste deposited by their dog(s). o Requiring owners who know their dog to be aggressive to refrain from taking their dog into the park. (February 5, 2014 Board)

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