Here is why a change in the City’s ordinance puts a smile on the faces of both dog owners and their four-legged champions.
An area at Mountain View Park in East Moscow will likely get a lot more popular among dog owners because it has been designated as an off-leash area.
"Give them a shot, see if it works," said Moscow Parks and Recreation Director Dwight Curtis
Moscow's City Hall Council Chambers was packed with dog owners Monday night. They came to show their support for a change in the city code that would allow well-trained dogs to run off leash in Mountain View Park.
"This is not for everybody in town to take their dogs there and let them off leash,” said Curtis. “That's not what this is for at all."
Moscow Parks and Recreation Director Dwight Curtis explained that the ordinance amendment would include a set of rules for dog owners and handlers. For example, the dog must be voice trained and the humans have to pick up after their pet.
"If there's another poop out there, we want to pick it up so we don't get bad graces with the other users of the park," said Moscow dog owner Chuck Boyd.
Dog owners that attended the meeting explained that despite the leash law, they've been using the park as an off-leash area for years. They said dog owners keep an eye on one another to make sure they're picking up after their pets.
"When we're there, in the park, and we see someone doing something that's totally wrong, we go up to them," said Moscow dog owner Virginia Rankin.
City Council members all voted to change the ordinance and make Mountain View Park leash-free.
"If you're the only person out there with a badly behaved dog it's going to become readily apparent," said Moscow City Council Member Art Bettge.
But they also expressed their doubts.
"The question is, can dogs and people co-exist in this park, because this is a people park first," said Moscow City Council Member Wayne Krauss.
Krauss said if the park is misused, the off-leash freedom can easily be taken away.
"This could go away just as fast as it happened," said Krauss
Now the city will have to take down “Dogs Must Be on Leash” signs and replace them with a list of rules for dog owners so they know what's expected of them when they use the off-leash area.
Mountain View Park is now an off-leash area, but it’s not a dog park. The City does have a small dog park near the Humane Society off White Avenue. Those two parks are the only places in Moscow where dogs are allowed to run off-leash.