Leashes required for dogs in City parks, Pathfinder

August 6, 2019

City of Bartlesville parks are an excellent place for area citizens and their pets to enjoy the outdoors. Cooper Dog Park, located just west of Lee Lake near Adams Boulevard and Silver Lake Road, allows dogs to run and play off-leash while their owners rest or picnic nearby.

But outside the fenced areas at the dog park, all dogs are required by law to be on a leash at all times while on City-owned park property, including Pathfinder Parkway trails. The requirement is one that some people are apparently ignoring — a decision that is affecting some law-abiding park-goers, says Parks Superintendent Bobby Robinson.

“We’ve been getting some complaints of dogs off-leash in the parks. In some cases, those dogs have acted aggressively toward people or other dogs that are using the parks,” Robinson said. “With the exception of Cooper Dog Park, dog owners must keep their dog on a leash at all times while they’re in City parks.”

And if Robinson’s reminder isn’t enough to inspire compliance, Bartlesville animal control officers (ACOs) can — and do — issue citations to dog owners violating the law.

“We’re putting everyone on notice that not only will citations be issued, repeat offenders — or, in the case of aggressive dogs — some dogs could be banned from the park system,” Robinson said.

Fines for violating the ordinances range from $100 to $249 — depending on whether the dog is licensed properly and has proof of vaccinations, both of which are also required by City ordinance.

According to Bartlesville Police Department Deputy Police Chief Rocky Bevard, ACOs are increasing patrol in City-owned parks, including Pathfinder, and are poised to issue citations for violators.

“We have received complaints about dogs off-leash in the City’s parks and are stepping up patrol in these areas to discourage this,” Bevard said. “People need to be aware that ACOs are watching for these violations and will be issuing citations when appropriate.”

What to do

If you are attacked by a dog:

  • Call for medical help, if necessary, by calling 911 or your medical provider.
  • Call Animal Control at 918-338-4001 for a report.

If your dog (or other pet) is attacked by another dog:

  • Contact your veterinary clinic for assistance, if necessary.
  • Call Animal Control at 918-338-4001 for a report.

If you or your pet are threatened by another dog or an aggressive dog is observed on City-owned property (but no injuries are involved):

  • Contact Robinson at 918-338-4154 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to report the incident.
  • Before 7 a.m. or after 3:30 p.m., contact Animal Control at 918-338-4001.
  • If the incident occurs at Cooper Dog Park, contact Robinson between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If after hours, contact Bark Park Buddies, which provides oversight of the park, at 918-766-1129.

In all cases

  • If possible, obtain the dog owner’s contact information, tag number or other identifying information.
  • Be prepared to describe the dog that attacked you.
  • Ask potential witnesses to remain in the area until a report is made.

Bevard encourages park-goers to carry their cell phones with them when they are on Pathfinder Parkway or any of the City parks so that timely reports can be made.

“The police department needs immediate calls and information when people encounter problems in these areas so we can more easily identify violators and enforce the ordinances,” he said.

Dogs are allowed at all City parks, which are open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., as long as they are made to comply with the leash, licensing and vaccination laws. (For more information about Cooper Dog Park, see www.cityofbartlesville.org or Cooper Dog Park Facebook.)

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy our parks, and that means that everyone needs to abide by the same rules,” said Robinson. “It’s really very simple: keep your dog on a leash, pick up after it and don’t let it act aggressively toward people or other dogs in the park. If everyone will just follow these few basic rules, our parks will remain safe, clean and enjoyable for everyone.”