Germantown legalizes pups in village parks

Dogs have to be leashed, kept in designated areas

March 6, 2012

Germantown - Seeing dogs strolling through the park in front of their owners may not be a new sight for Germantown residents, however, it is now a legal one.

The Germantown Village Board voted unanimously to amend an ordinance Monday that now allows dog owners to walk their pets in parks, as long as they are properly leashed. The county park, as well as Schoen Laufen Park were the only designated areas dog walkers could legally take their pups for a stroll in the village. Now, all Germantown parks will allow it in designated areas at the various village properties.

The board directed the village's parks and recreation department to put signs up that make designated dog walking areas. Trustees were also provided a petition with 154 signatures of residents who supported the ordinance amendment.

"There are many communities allowing dogs in the park and our community hasn't done that in the past except in county parks," Trustee Al Vanderheiden said. "If you go into our parks there are already a lot of dogs and it's something that it looked the other way at and members of the public have come and said 'why are we treated differently?' "

In the ordinance amendment, the board requested that the parks and recreation department keep track of park cleanliness and public input over the next year. Then, a report will be given to the board to see the state and upkeep of the parks now that dogs are allowed in designated areas.

"I support trying it for a year," Trustee Terri Kaminski said. "I've been in the county park with my dog and for the most part it's successful."

Bag dispensers will also be set up at the parks for dog owners to clean up after their pets.

"There are people who don't clean up after their dogs or don't put them on leashes, but I think the dog community may have to police that themselves," Kaminski said.

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