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The Dogs and the City. Where to Walk a Pet?

A dog walk online-map was created in Kyiv

“I'm afraid to play with my child beside the house. My neighbor walks his alabai without a leash near the playground. Actually I love pets, but this dog is really dreadful. I’ve asked my neighbor repeatedly to keep his dog on a leash, but he is indifferent. And this despite the fact that last week his pet knocked me down when I was taking out the garbage. I still have bruises, but I consoled myself with the thought that it might have been worse”.

The street is not for everyone

Alina from Kyiv told us this story a few days ago. Although Happy Paw helps the stray dogs, we are regularly confronted with complaints about domestic animals and their owners. The main problem is dog lover’s practice to walk the pet in the pavements, children’s playgrounds and parks without basic facilities to ensure the safety and cleanliness. As a result, the dogs are promenading in the streets, scaring the people and leaving unpleasant feces.

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Citizens are certain that parks and streets are not suitable places for pets. The owners of the animals are confused: so where are these places?

Inaccessible dog places

The project of the charitable organization "Strikingly" was created to answer the question of animal lovers. Activists have found a dog walk online-map. It seems to be a solution to all the problems: open the map, find the nearest pet area and go for a walk with your doggie.

34-year-old programmer Artem acted accordingly. “I live in the Turov Street,” he told us. “The nearest dog place to me is situated in Voznesenskyy Descent. It’s about 2.5 km away or 30-minute walk. My Guy is not so patient”.

According to decision of the Kyiv City Council you can also walk your pet in the forest, waste areas, tree-planting, little-visited areas or on the river banks (except the beaches and public recreation sites). If all the dog-friendly places are situated at a distance of more than 400 meters from your home, you can play with your pet in the backyard of your house. In this case your dog has to walk on a leash.

Currently, the mass of dog lowers choose the last option.

Dog’s parks abroad

Pet parks are not uncommon abroad. Usually dog walk areas are equipped with water bowls, facilities for dog training and benches for pet owners. All the parks are fenced. Children under 16 are not permitted in without their parents.

Dog Run (New York, USA)

Dog Run was the first pet-friendly area in New York City. This park includes three swimming pools, areas for large and small dogs, hoses to spray off one's pet, picnic tables and free Wi-Fi. It recently underwent a $450,000 renovation. The most part of money was funded by the New York City government and fund-raising by dog run patrons. One such fundraiser is the Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade the run hosts to raise money to maintain the run. This is the biggest dog Halloween party in the United States, boasting an annual attendance of more than 400 dogs in costume and 2 000 onlookers.

Gan Ha'em (Haifa, Israel)

This park is positioned as the best place for families with dogs. There are not only pet facilities, but also cafes, shops, picnic areas with the benches and tables, conveniences for people with disabilities and even summer theater.

The Groynes (Christchurch, New Zealand)

The Groynes is a happy hunting ground for pets. The park has several fenced areas for different dog activities: a swimming pool, a training area, alleys for relaxing walks, a rough terrain mockup. Also there are picnic place and free parking for the pet owners.

Wasteless walks

All these parks have a common feature – they are equipped with bins for dog faeces. In Ukraine this practice hasn’t yet caught. Most people can find dozens of reasons not to clean up their pet waste. The main argument: "I will start to clean up, when everyone will."

The world experience proves: feces (as well as hair and dog bark) are pet’s owner property. They had to clean up waste otherwise feces will pose a health risk, attracts vermin, and releases harmful methane gas into the atmosphere.

Foreign dog lovers are stimulated to the cleaning in different ways: mostly with fines, more rarely in creative manner. For example, in Cambridge (Massachusetts) special methane tank Park Spark transform dog doo into light. To use this gadget dog owners scoop their pet’s poop in one of the supplied biodegradable bags, and then drop it into a large airtight tank. Then they turn a wheel on top of the tank, to stir the contents. Through a process of anaerobic digestion, microorganisms break down the feces and produce methane gas. That gas energizes the lamps in the park.

Meanwhile conscientious Ukrainian dog’s owners carry scoops and paper bags. Some of them bury feces in the ground and some people thrown out pet’s doo at home. A lady we have met online told us another convenient way. She puts a newspaper under her dog and wraps his doo in the packet.

Dog walking rules

It is clear that there are few places for dog walks in Ukrainian cities today. Therefore dog lovers and other people should seek a possible accommodation and learn their rights and responsibilities. Here are some dog walking rules provided by the decision of Kyiv City Council:

1) Children under 14 years are not allowed to walk a dog without adults.

2) If you walk with a dog in the yard or in the street it must be on a leash. All potentially dangerous dogs have to be muzzled.

3) The dog owner is responsible for the actions of his pet. If the doggie damages someone else's property, his owner has to pay injury compensation.

4) Dog owner has to clean up after his pet in any public place.

5) If somebody breaks these rules you can call the police.

That's all. Love dogs and try to be understanding.