Cleveland Heights Approves Historic Legislation

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On the same day that Ed Fitzgerald applauded Cuyahoga County for its commitment to prisoner re-entry programs and education funding, the Cleveland Heights City Council applauded itself for a bold legislative step forward. They approved a pilot program to allow dogs in Cain Park.

In Cleveland Heights, dogs have been banned from all city parks since 1973. So this is sort of a big deal.

But don't rejoice just yet. According to the regulations of the Pilot Program — which was proposed after respondents to an online survey tentatively expressed support — dogs will only be permitted in Cain Park from April 15 - October 15, and never during highly attended events.

There are some other specifics too, via the Sun News:

—Any dog must be on a leash that is extended no farther than six feet and must wear a collar or harness of proper size and strength for the particular dog.
—Any dog must be under the control of a person who possesses physical strength and experience sufficient to exercise reasonable restraint and control of the dog.
—Any person bringing a dog into a public park shall promptly clean up waste from the dog and place it in provided receptacles.
—Any person bringing a dog into a public park shall confine the dog to paved pathways.
—Dog-walking shall be suspended during the Cain Park Arts Festival and other widely-attended events as determined by the city manager.

That's right, folks. Dogs will not be allowed on the grass.

A representative from a Cain Park dog committee addressed council:

"What (we requested) is a departure from current policy, and we appreciate your willingness to revisit a law that might have made sense 40 years ago, but one that many Cleveland Heights residents feel isn't working today," she said.

Yes, 1973...when the curs mated with lusty woodland rodents on the hour and pooped with such loft and endurance and pizzazz, when the leashes were weak and the fangs were sharp, when the grass was mowed just so, and the dirt-specked paws of the poodles and schnauzers were laced with poison, when—

The Pilot Program is one stupid step shy of demanding that the poor beasts wear diapers.

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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