San Bruno district decries stray dog walkers

School officials, in tandem with the Police Department, say they’ll be cracking down on people walking their four-legged friends on school property.

San Bruno already has a dog exercise area in the eastern end of Commodore Park, located near the intersection of Commodore and Cherry avenues, but dog owners are still using San Bruno Park School District property towalk their dogs. There is also an increase in dogs wandering off-leash, a violation on district campuses.

Dogs are prohibited from entering or running loose in any city park, school or recreation area outside the dog park, Police Lt. Noreen Hanlon said.

This fall, Superintendent David Hutt said, school officials will be stricter about reporting such violations to the police. First, the district is going to upgrade the outdated signs alerting dog-owners that the school grounds are indeed off limits. Then, the reporting will start in full force once the district has done its part to properly notify potential violators, Hutt said.

“We are going to be more vigilant than we have before to take care of this issue,” Hutt said.

The district appealed to the City Council and Police Department for help in enforcing these laws, a call that appears to have been answered by the police and the Peninsula Humane Society.

“Both the Police Department and the Peninsula Humane Society are willing to respond to calls for service of this nature,” Hanlon said. “However, it must be kept in mind that response times may be affected by other emergency-type calls. Dog owners in violation of this municipal ordinance may be cited by one of the two entities.”

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, according to district board trustee William Henderson.

The softball fields at Parkside Intermediate School see the bulk of illegal dog-walking. The relatively small field at Allen Decima Elementary was used for years as a dog-training meeting place and still sees its fair share of dog walking as well, Henderson said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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