Dubuque pet owners might soon have more places to walk pets - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque pet owners might soon have more places to walk leashed pets

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Pet owners in Dubuque might soon have more places to walk their pets. That's if a new proposal is passed by the Dubuque City Council Monday. The new proposal would allow pet owners to bring both cats and dogs on leashes to four different Dubuque trails. The trails include; Heritage Trail, Powerline Trail, Northwest Arterial Trail and Southern Levy Trail.

The proposal is a part of the Animal, Description and Definitions Ordinance. The current ordinance allows owners to walk their pets at 4 permitted locations. Those locations are Granger Creek Nature Trail, John G. Bergfeld Recreation Area, Medical Associates Greenbelt Park, and Miller Riverview Park. The city also allows unleashed pets in the cities pet park. Robin MacFarlane is owner of That's my Dog!, an obedience and behavior training center for dogs in Dubuque. In 2012, she approached Dubuque City Council about allowing dogs in more parks throughout the city.

MacFarlane says if the city council would approve the proposed change to this ordinance, it would be steps in the right direction. However, she does believe leashed pets should be allowed in more city parks.

"If you take a look and actually map out where dogs are welcomed in the Dubuque community everything is on the outskirts," she said. "Their is literally nothing in the center of town. So if anybody wants to take a walk with their dog, unless you live along one of those trails you have to get in your car and drive there."

Marie Ware is the Dubuque Leisure Service Manager. She says the proposed changes could help elevate confusion.

"As we worked on the pets ordinance related to parks. When we worked on that through last year and this spring with the city council, the question became 'are dogs allowed on trails or not, and some other areas,'"she said. "The council stayed with the current ordinance where dogs are only limited to four different areas, plus the pet park, within our city. But the question became 'What about trails?' Although trails are currently a part of our parks and recreation area, it is much clearer if we are able to, within the ordinance, go into further definition of what those all are."

Through the proposed changes, Ware says it will be clear as to where leashed pets are and aren't permitted.

"If a person has dogs on trails currently, they are not supposed to according to our current ordinance," Ware said. "This will assist us in being able to absolutely inform all of our people, citizens and our visitors to whether they are or are not allowed."

If the proposal is approved, trails will have signs that say where pets are allowed and where they're not allowed.

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