Leash laws to be enforced in Conservation Areas

Leash laws to be enforced in Conservation Areas

Hamilton Conservation Areas are active places in the spring season as many different user groups head out to enjoy the warmer weather. Dog-walking is one of the many activities that users of our conservation areas enjoy. HCA welcomes dog owners and their dogs to all Hamilton’s conservation areas — providing the dogs are kept on leash.

Most of our customers who walk their dogs in our conservation areas have been very considerate and kept their pets leashed at all times; however, we are experiencing some problems. There have been several incidents this year where visitors and staff members have been bitten, threatened or attacked by off-leash dogs.

Dog owners are required by the Conservation Authorities Act of Ontario to keep their dogs leashed at all times. We are desperately seeking your assistance in asking you to keep your dog on a leash while in conservation areas.

Some of our visitors and conservation area staff have required medical attention after being attacked by unleashed dogs. Public safety is the overriding concern of this policy. Dog safety is a secondary concern. Dogs running loose have attacked leashed dogs, some requiring serious veterinary attention. Dangerous, fast-flowing currents, near-freezing water temperatures, thin ice and wildlife, such as coyotes, can also pose a danger to dogs allowed off-leash. Dogs off leash disturb environmentally sensitive areas. Many small mammals and ground-nesting birds have been lost to unleashed dogs.

HCA asks for everyone’s co-operation in making our conservation areas safe and enjoyable for all.

HCA staff and Hamilton By-law Enforcement will be patrolling areas frequented by dog owners who allow their pets to be unleashed. Violators could face charges, or be banned from conservation areas, under the authority of The Trespass to Property Act and/or City of Hamilton By-laws.