Liability concerns postpone dog park decision

December 26, 2011 by  

The potential problem of dog biting is holding up final approve of a Manchester dog park. The board of directors has given its okay for a pooch playground, but a few board members want to keep the project on hold until questions of liability are resolved.

Alysia Duke, president of the Manchester Dog Owners Group (MD0G) tried to impress upon board member John Topping that the dog owner would be responsible should his or her pet bite another dog or person at the park. Topping wanted more reassurance as he asked Manchester Attorney Ryan Barry to investigate the liability question further.

Dog bites and other injures at dog parks may be avoided by not allowing children to wander about by themselves, explains the Animal Humane Society(AHS.) Discourage your child from making loud noises or egging on dogs to chase them, as this could lead to serious injury. Some dogs, especially those who are not used to children, may confuse playful running and screaming with prey behavior. Manchester city officials might consider asking print companies to run fliers and poster printing with dog park safety tips provided by the AHS.

The board originally approved a resolution to build a dog park off Spring Street. The 2008 agreement clearly stated no taxpayer dollars would be used to construct or operate the park. Although MDOG has raised $40,000 for the park over the last four years, it has asked the board to extend the resolution and have the city help fund some services. Phase 1 of the park construction would be extended to until the end of 2012 with final completion in 2014.