Ire brews due to dog doo

Despite what your dog may think, not all grassy, open fields are created equal.

Though San Bruno has an official dog exercise area in the eastern end of Commodore Park, located near the intersection of Commodore and Cherry avenues, dog owners are still flocking to San Bruno school campus fields to walk their dogs, according to district Superintendent David Hutt. There is also an increase in dogs wandering off-leash, another no-no on district campuses.

The unwelcome trend is not only creating a cleanup problem for the district, but a sanitary one for children and sports teams that use the school fields for games and practices, district board trustee William “Skip” Henderson said.

“Teams go out there to play softball all the time, especially on nice days, and there are landmines all over the place,” Henderson said.

Dogs are not allowed on school campuses. The softball fields at Parkside Intermediate School see the most four-legged foot traffic, while the relatively small field at Allen Decima Elementary — used for years as a dog-training meeting place — sees its fair share of use as well, Henderson said.

“Having someone constantly patrolling the schools for this kind of activity is not necessarily a priority for our Police Department, nor should it be,” Henderson said. “But we do need to have someone paying attention to this.”

District staff members are brainstorming ways — which so far include updating signs spelling out dog-walking laws and seeking help from the City Council and Police Department — to address the problem, Hutt said.

There are also plans to discuss how to properly notify a public that may be ignorant of the laws that are in place here, Hutt said.

“We’re going to have to take some action,” Hutt said.

The issue has recently been brought to council attention and will be discussed again at a later council meeting. Easton Drive resident Maria Araujo asked the City Council in June whether there were laws governing dog defecation around school campuses, and Mayor Larry Franzella asked city staff to report back with additional information at a to-be-scheduled meeting discussion.

tramroop@examiner.com


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