Cleveland Heights Approves Historic Legislation




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.

Follow Sam Allard @SceneSallard
Follow us @Cleveland_Scene

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.