Dog owners in Durant are in a messy situation.
Members of Durant’s city council say some owners aren’t picking up after their pets, so dogs could be banned from all city parks. Dog owners say it’s not fair to punish everyone for the actions of a few.
A group of dog owners who are opposed to the ban met in Feldhahn Park Wednesday, to walk their dogs and talk about what to do next.
“I’m here once a day, twice a day, as often as I possibly can,” said Holly Cherveny. “My taxes pay to maintain it. Why would I not be able to use it and to use it with my dogs?”
“I want to be able to walk my dog around the park every day,” said Bill Miller, a former Durant City Council member.
The council is just one vote away from banning all dogs from city parks after the city received six complaints in about six months. A third reading of the proposed ordinance that levies heavy fines against those whose dogs are caught in city parks, is set for Monday night.
“Where else are we going to go?” asked John Dean, a Durant dog owner. “You don’t want to walk in the street. You don’t want to walk in town then people in town will get mad because your dog is pooping on their lawn.”
City Council member, Doug Beland, says the council has no other options. He says six complaints is a lot compared to the city’s size and population.
“I would say there’s probably three, or two or three or four people that are ruining it for everybody,” said Beland. “If someone can come to me with a better solution or come to the council with a better solution, we are quite open to it.
Under the ordinance, fines are $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second, then $200 or even criminal prosecution.
A final reading is set for Monday night. Beland says he encourages anyone to attend the meeting to express their thoughts.