Fanwood pet owners petition town to lift ban on dogs in public parks

A controversy is brewing in a Union County town over a 20-year-old law involving dogs in public parks.

News 12 Staff

Jun 16, 2022, 2:14 AM

Updated 739 days ago

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A controversy is brewing in a Union County town over a 20-year-old law involving dogs in public parks.
Fanwood does not allow dogs in its three public parks. But now a group of residents is trying to change this law. The effort comes as more people took in pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signs are posted in the Fanwood parks, but some learned the hard way.
“As I was training [my dog] to walk, I walked into the park and I got yelled at and the police showed up,” says Carolyn Brink.
Brink got her dog Beckett about six months into the pandemic. She is part of the group putting pressure on the town to let dogs in Fanwood’s parks.
But there are some in town who are OK with the law. They say that they are worried about children being attacked.
"Those dog owners who want to let their dogs roam because they think their dogs are friendly… You never know when your dog is gonna nip at a child and so that's my main concern,” says resident Renee Darko.
Those pushing for the change agree that dogs must be leashed, registered and vaccinated.
Others are hoping for a compromise.
“It signals to us we need more dog runs in the area. We need more places for our dogs and our pets to play,” says Katrina Kent.
Fanwood does not have a dog park. Of Union County’s 21 towns, only two others have banned dogs in parks, according to resident Larry Cohen.
"Linden, but Linden has two dedicated dog parks, And Roselle Park, but they have very tiny parks that just consist of playgrounds,” says Cohen.
Those pushing to let the dogs in say the Fanwood mayor and town council have been listening. A change to the law is expected to be introduced in the coming week.


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