Stroll along the public walkway at the Qualicum Beach waterfront on a summer day and you will likely see unleashed dogs on the beach.
On Aug. 18 near the Visitor’s Centre, one of those unleashed dogs charged full tilt from the beach, over the wall and onto the walkway to go after my leashed dog. In the ensuing chaos I was bitten and later treated at urgent care.
Town of Qualicum Beach bylaw 649-2009, clause 23, states, unless leashed or within a designated off-leash area, dogs are not allowed to be at large in the town. Schedule A shows that from June 15 to Sept. 15, off-leash is not permitted on the waterfront between Beach and Grandon creeks. Off-leash is never allowed on the walkway.
I realize no matter what the rules, some dog owners will not comply and that the “Town” probably doesn’t have the resources or the resolve to enforce its bylaw.
Perhaps with increased awareness more dog owners would choose designated off-leash areas. Enhancement and strategic placement of the existing signage to make it more visible, and the addition of signage where none exists (from Beach Creek to Sand Pebbles Inn and from Grandon Creek to Bay Street) may help with awareness.
Please spare all others and make me the last dog-bite victim in Qualicum Beach.