The Town of Comox has declared the Northeast Woods to be a leash-free zone, after recent confrontations between dogs and an aggressive elderly couple. Photo by Terry Farrell

The Town of Comox has declared the Northeast Woods to be a leash-free zone, after recent confrontations between dogs and an aggressive elderly couple. Photo by Terry Farrell

Northeast Woods in Comox deemed leash-free

Due in part to the recent rash of threats to unleashed dogs in Comox parks, the Town has designated the Northeast Woods as a leash-free area.

“It’s a temporary measure, until we get a report back from staff, about options and costs for a permanent off-leash dog park,” said Mayor Russ Arnott. “So, for now, we are making the Northeast Woods area leash-optional.”

READ: Dog attacked with bear spray

The choice of the Northeast Woods as a temporary site is practical, as it has been used as a leash-optional area by local residents for many years, despite its official designation of “leash mandatory.”

“It’s been working quite well in that area for a long time, even though officially it is a ‘leashed’ area,” said Arnott. “I think it’s fair to say we are [appeasing the masses]. But we are also being mindful of those who are in the area who maybe have an expectation that it is leashed only. With the recent events, we want people to know that they may encounter off-leash dogs.”

In recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of an elderly couple armed with bear spray, approaching dogs and dog-owners in an aggressive manner, threatening to spray the off-leash dogs.

READ: Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats

Arnott reiterated that the Northeast Woods off-leash designation is only temporary, but it may lead to a permanent designation.

“Who knows? One of our staff reports may very well come out and indicate that is an area where we just keep it as [leash] optional.”

The Northeast Woods is the only area within the town where the leash designation has been changed. Arnott is hopeful people make use of the off-leash designation at Northeast Woods, but he is realistic about the entire situation.

“Let’s face it, people are going to walk their dogs, and they are going to let little Rover run around for a bit, and for the most part it doesn’t do a lot of harm,” he said. “These things are complaint-driven. It’s not like we are going to have the bylaw officer sitting in a car outside the park waiting for people to take the dog off the leash. But really, it comes down to the dog owners being responsible. If they are taking their dog for a walk and they are going to Port Augusta Park, or Aspen Park, and they let the dog run loose, and it’s an aggressive dog, or it’s defecating and they are not picking it up, we will have to take a more serious approach in those parks. But for now, I have to say I think people are pretty good with their pets.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read