Salty situation for dog walkers at Millard Creek

The City of Courtenay is hoping to quickly resolve an icy situation with dog walkers, after several people reported irritants and burns to their dogs’ paws after walking near Millard Creek.

Christine Kroshko, the manager of Pets in the City, a doggy daycare in Courtenay, said she was walking 10 dogs Monday on the boardwalk through the conservation area when she noticed a bad reaction from her companions.

“…Within a moment of stepping (on the boardwalk) the dogs began whimpering and limping. We turned back right away. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

She noticed the area was heavily salted and immediately pulled the dogs off the boardwalk and cleaned their paws in the snow.

Kroshko encountered other walkers who were carrying their dog out of the area because its paws were burned from the salt.

After the incident, she hand-inspected every single paw of the dogs involved (none of the dogs had further injuries), but said owners have to respond quickly.

“I feel bad, because some dogs are very sensitive and won’t vocalize to owners (they are hurt) and others are quite vocal – just like humans.”

As a protected wetland area, Kroshko noted the area is a very sensitive salmon habitat and is concerned with the amount of salt the city is applying.

“I went home and did some research, and there are coho, pink and chum salmon spawning there. There is a correlation to the salinity of water for spawning salmon and increased mortality and deformities.”

She reported the incident to the city and took to social media to warn other dog owners.

Anne Guillo, manager of communications for the City of Courtenay, said parks staff became aware Monday about the de-icing product used at the nature park.

“We were so sorry to hear that dogs were harmed on one of our trails. The city takes our responsibility to protect the sensitive ecosystem in this park very seriously.”

She added the city has been using the same de-icing product for some time, and is intended for walkway use.

While it is the first time they became aware of it causing an issue for dogs, staff believe the product was applied more heavily than usual in this area.

“To prevent this from happening again, parks staff have immediately discontinued use of this particular de-icer on walkways and are switching to a de-icer with a gentler formulation from this point forward.”

The city expected the shipment of the new product by Tuesday.

Just Posted

Courtenay council divided on proposed tax increase

Council votes 4-2 vote if favour of a proposed 2.5 per cent hike

Celebrating a centennial in Merville

In April 2019, the Merville Soldiers’ Settlement community will be 100 years… Continue reading

Eagle eye

Local shutterbug Tanja Kerr submitted another gem, this time of an eagle… Continue reading

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Sharpe defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Sharpe defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read