On Thursday, June 15, 2017, The Town of Greenwich installed large signs at the trailhead of Mianus River Park stating – Park Restricted, Greenwich Municipal Code 7-30-3 No Commercial Use of Parkland and 7-31-10e Prohibits Advertising/Profit-Making Use of Parkland.
Without any prior notification from the town, and on that same day, dog walkers who travel those trails with their client’s dogs on a daily basis – were cited and given tickets for walking dogs.
Although many companies “profit” from the use of Town of Greenwich Parks property (summer camps, personal trainers, babysitters, food vendors, etc.) the Town is using these municipal codes only to target and ban dog walking companies. Why should only dog walking companies be targeted, while other profiting businesses are not?
Professional dog walkers using the park were told these signs apply to all town parks in Greenwich, including Greenwich’s only dog park on Grass Island. Companies were advised that the signs, and enforcement of the codes, were in response to isolated complaints from local residents who do not like seeing the dog walkers and their groups of dogs in the park.
Read the article written by the Greenwich Free Press, regarding July’s Town Parks and Recreation meeting discussion about the dog walker ban HERE.
We fear that the continued enforcement will:
- Inconvenience hard working dog owners who rely heavily on dog walkers to exercise their dogs
- Deny Greenwich residents use of parks by not allowing them to use parks through a proxy (dog walkers)
- Force successful area dog walking companies to close and leave employed dog walkers out of a job
- Force dog walkers to walk client dogs on dangerous, busy streets with no sidewalks
- Limit the exercise and socialization necessary for a well behaved dog
- Stigmatize Greenwich as an anti-dog town, harming its reputation and decreasing home values.
Our solution is for the Town of Greenwich to:
- Require dog walking companies and individual dog walkers to register with the Town and buy an annual permit. ideally, a portion of the funds from the permit would be used towards the maintenance of the trails and revitalization of the Greenwich Dog Park
- Require dog walkers to wear a badge or carry a permit when using parks;
- Establish reasonable hours for use of parks by professional dog walkers;
- Require dog walking companies to ensure all client dogs are vaccinated, licensed and tagged;
- Require insurance for all dog walking companies
Our Request: We hope to have your support in requesting the Town of Greenwich lift the dog walker ban from town parks by offering an annual permit to dog walking companies while supporting the reality that the Town of Greenwich has a need for the services of these dog caregivers for the convenience of residents and health of our furry four-legged friends.