Tulsa City Councilors Vote To Require Dog Leashes At Parks

Wednesday, July 31st 2019, 11:39 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The Tulsa City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to change an ordinance when it comes to dogs at city parks.

Now dogs must be on a leash unless they are at one of the city's two dog parks.

A viewer recently sent News On 6 a video showing two dogs without leashes on River Trails, as they were heading from South Tulsa to Gathering Place.

The viewer said a 14-year-old girl was bit while on her bike. City leaders hope the change will prevent situations like this from happening.

"I think this will make everybody, dogs and people who are using the parks, feel and be safer,” Park and Recreation Department Director Anna America said.

Dogs can still roam free at Biscuit Acres at Hunter Park, or Joe Station at Newblock Park.

Mel Austin welcomes the new rule.

“Mostly because I don't really trust people,” Austin said.

She said her dogs, Jasper and Peach, are always on leashes when they’re not at home.

"I wouldn't want my dog to get lost, get hit by a car. People drive really crazy, especially with the scooters out here. You never know what's gonna happen,” Austin said.

Another change to the ordinance: No dogs are allowed at the Oxley Nature Center or the Redbud Valley Nature Preserve, with the exception of service animals.

"We've had some incidents where dogs were on leash, but got real excited when they saw deer, started barking, scared everything away,” America said.

The ordinance used to say dogs needed to be on a leash or "under the owner's control." City leaders hope the change will clear up any confusion.

"There's always the safety of children and other animals, especially smaller ones and stuff like that, so I think it's a good idea,” Austin said.

The changes take effect immediately, the city said. If you see a dog without a leash at a city park, the parks director said you should call police. They may ticket or fine the owner.

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