Jerry Andree, Township Manager

Jerry Andree, Township Manager

No level of government has more impact on daily life than local government. That’s why my colleagues and I at Cranberry Township are passionate about pushing the limits of excellence to provide the best possible services to our residents and customers. However, being well-served is not a passive achievement; it is a collective undertaking. Through this blog, we offer our personal reflections on that assignment. And we hope it will help engage you in joining us on that same collaborative mission.

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Oct 07

Dog advocates help Township become more pet-friendly

Posted on October 7, 2019 at 2:09 PM by Jerry Andree

Suppose you lived in a town with wonderful parks, but you were told: “Sorry, your children can’t play here.  Those are the rules.”  You’d be very unhappy about your town’s rules.

As it turns out, a lot of people in Cranberry think of their dogs as being members of their own family.  They treat their dogs with the same respect they show one another, and they feel discriminated against because their four-legged children haven’t been allowed to play in the parks.  After all, those are the rules.  

Cranberry’s Board of Supervisors heard their complaints and, about a year and a half ago, encouraged a group of dog owners and dog business owners to get together and work on changes to those rules.  That group, now known as the K-9 Connections Committee, held a series of meetings with Township staff and department heads to figure out how to make Cranberry a more pet-friendly community.  

Their work involved a number of moving parts – park access, leash rules, noise control, and more.  And in each instance, they had to balance the rights of dog owners to enjoy their pets in public places against the rights of others to enjoy those places free of dogs.  

This past month, the Board heard and approved an initial series of recommendations from the K-9 group which focused on access to Township parks.  As you might expect, those recommendations were both detailed and nuanced, striving to balance the potentially conflicting interests of dog owners against those wanting nothing to do with dogs. 

In essence, dogs on leash will soon be allowed along the nature trail and play areas of the newly constructed Disc Golf Course at North Boundary Park.  Signs will be placed at a number of points stipulating the conditions of access.  A corps of volunteer “Ambassadors” will be on hand to offer guidance to dog owners.  And, should it become necessary, persistent violators will be issued citations by the police department.  

Meanwhile, in response to a newly donated parcel of property adjacent to Cranberry’s Public Safety Training area, the Board initiated a new master plan for the north end of Community park which included relocating Rotary Dog Park to a bigger, better, flatter, shadier, and less isolated area of the park.  

I am convinced, as a result of the K-9 group’s hard work collaborating with one another as well as with Township staff, that dogs and their owners will find themselves in a much friendlier, more accepting community.  And for that, we owe the Committee members a huge debt of gratitude. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how Cranberry is doing at accommodating pets.  Write to me at: jerry.andree@cranberrytownship.org  


Comments

Shawna Francis
October 7, 2019 at 2:37 PM
That’s exactly how a lot of people feel about their dogs these days, myself included! Thank you for this message and for being open to ways to facilitate changes in this area. Makes me proud to live in Cranberry Twp.

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