Letter: What if Malvern’s field has gone to the dogs?

I am sure there are a number of reasons why the Malvern field is closed sometimes (“Why is Malvern’s field closed sometimes?” June 27, 2017), one of which is off-leash dogs and dog walkers.

I was Phys-Ed Head and Athletic Director at Neil McNeil between 1981 and 2002. As you know, Neil McNeil also has a large field that is locked during the night and on weekends.

In the early ‘80s we did not lock the field and we were happy that the local community used our field.

However, as the number of dogs and dog walkers increased, so did the number of individuals who did not pick up after their pet.

Ninety per cent of the people who used the field were respectable in how they left it, but it is amazing the mess that 10 per cent of irresponsible dog owners and walkers can make.

Every year after the winter snow left, the field was a mess. Every Monday we had to check the field for dog droppings before Phys-Ed classes could start.

The last straw for us at Neil McNeil was when over one weekend a little girl riding her bike was bitten by on off-leash dog and the parent complained on the Monday that we as a school needed to control the dog problem on our field. So we did, by locking it at night and on weekends. I am sure if you ask the Malvern Phys-Ed department they would also say they have the same problem.

-Al Baigent

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