Fifth anniversary of KinDOG off-leash dog park
By Liz Dadson


Kincardine council

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Grand opening and ribbon-cutting at KinDOG (Kincardine Dog Owners' Group) off-leash dog park in Kincardine, August, 2009

The Kincardine Dog Owners' Group (KinDOG) off-leash dog park is a great asset to the municipality and is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.

Kincardine councillor Jacqueline Faubert, a member of KinDOG, brought an update about the dog park, to Kincardine council in committee-of-the-whole, Wednesday night (March 12).

Faubert, who was not a member of council at the time, and Teri Morris brought forward the idea of an off-leash dog park to council in March, 2009, and the facility was opened in August of that year. It is located at the south end of Kincardine, just off Bruce Avenue, west of the Legion Ball Park.

Comments from users of the dog park have been complimentary, said Faubert. "People love the park and travel a distance to use it."

Among the comments:

  • "Best dog park in Ontario"
  • "Beautiful park - we travel from 45 minutes away"
  • "A small dog park needed"
  • "Great addition to the community"
  • "Improves my quality of life"
  • "We live out of town and come to your park - be appreciative - you are lucky"

Faubert said that KinDOG is a group of individuals and businesses in Kincardine committed to enriching the quality of community life through responsible pet care awareness and the establishment and maintenance of a recreational area where dogs and people can interact in a clean, safe and pleasant environment.

The group encourages and educates the community about responsible dog ownership; raises funds for off-leash park amenities; monitors use of the dog park and possible maintenance of the park; serves as communications liaison with the municipality, the neighbourhood and dog owners; and provides volunteer efforts in Kincardine.

Faubert said about 50 respondents replied to a survey about the park, with 31 per cent saying they use it every day, 28 per cent once a week, 24 per cent once a month, and 17 per cent three or more times a week.

The top reasons were to socialize with other dogs, daily exercise for dogs, and socialize with people.

Faubert said more elderly people were using the park this winter since it was easier to navigate than other areas because of all the ice and snow.

As for the rules at the park, Faubert said they exist but there is no real "bite" to them.

"We need better enforcement," she said, adding that KinDOG currently works well with recreation director Karen Kieffer and the parks and recreation department if there are issues.

Among the improvements the group would like to see at the park, are:

  • Better availability of water, working tap
  • Bath facilities
  • More garbage cans
  • Rain shelter/concrete pad with electrical for light
  • Agility equipment
  • Composting
  • Better clean-up (poop and trees, mulch/pea gravel for paths)
  • Accessible paths
  • More benches
  • Staff approval for all renovations necessary for safety of all


Faubert said a separate area set aside for small dogs would be great, preferably beside the existing park.

To do this, and other improvements, she requested council approve the creation of a stewardship group for the dog park which would fund-raise, investigate and put up a small dog area, and research and investigate bylaws to deal with rule non-compliance.

"You're doing a great job, keep going," said councillor Ron Coristine. "This park is an asset to the community for dogs and dogs owners."

"I'm sure Karen (Kieffer) can help you find a location for the small dog park," said deputy mayor Anne Eadie.

Committee-of-the-whole agreed with the creation of a stewardship group for the KinDOG off-leash dog park which will liaise through the recreation director.

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