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May 10, 2008
Dog owners and residents educated about responsible dog ownership at Withrow Park
Families, friends and dogs filled Withrow Park enjoying the first-ever Great City Great Dogs: A Partnership in Responsible Dog Ownership event. Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) joined representatives from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and Toronto Animal Services to deliver the message of responsible dog ownership in Toronto’s shared parklands.

In addition to learning about the City’s new off-leash area and commercial dog walker policies, participants also:
• discovered new dog-friendly training techniques and resources
• increased their awareness of safety programs related to people and dogs
• licensed their dogs on-site
• enjoyed dog demonstrations and joined in games and activities for dog owners and their dogs
• visited vendors at the “Barketplace.”

“Based on a recent survey from Ipsos Reid, Toronto Animal Services estimates that there are up to 215,000 dogs in Toronto,” said Councillor McConnell. “Responsible dog ownership is vital for meeting the needs of the city’s canine population and to provide residents with safe and beautiful parkland. I hope that with this event, we can educate dog owners, dog walkers, and residents on how we can work together to create a park environment that is respectful of the needs and enjoyment of all users.”

“Pet licensing is key to being a responsible pet owner,” said Eletta Purdy, city-wide Manager, Toronto Animal Services. “By ensuring Torontonians have their pets licensed, Toronto Animal Services is able to support and deliver valuable animal-related services to protect people and pets.”

Great City Great Dogs is a part of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s People, Dogs and Parks Strategy, which provides a consistent approach to the provision of off-leash areas within Toronto’s parks system and takes into consideration the interests of a variety of park users.

“Our parks and greenspaces are the fabric of our city that link neighbourhoods, communities and people together,” said Brenda Librecz, General Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “I hope that through events like these we show residents that these spaces can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline, 416-560-8726,



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