Bylaws and Issues affecting Hawkwood – Owning Cats and Dogs

Hawkwood is a great place to live for people, and a pretty good place for cats & dogs, too.  Admittedly, living in a “concrete jungle” as a pet can be challenging, but some simple rules and tips for pet-owners can make life better – for both pets and people.  First of all, make sure you cat or dog is licenced or identified with a chip or tattoo.  This makes owner identification much easier should they escape your yard.  Secondly, make sure your pet is spayed or neutered.  While coming home to an unexpectedly pregnant pet is rare in the city, having the pets fixed is a health benefit for them in the long run.  And the most important thing you can do is make sure your pet isn’t a nuisance to other people, property and other pets.  Cats are not allowed to be outside of your house or yard so please keep them indoors (they don’t need to be “outdoor” cats).  Also, make sure your dog is on a leash at all times outside of your yard except in the designated off leash areas.  Hawkwood has four off leash parks: Hawkcliff Park, the two green spaces above and below Hawksbrow Drive and the green space beside Hawkwood Hill.  Contrary to popular belief, both on & off leash areas contains features where dogs are not allowed.  This includes every playground and tot lot, all soccer pitches and baseball/softball diamonds and school property.  Another misconception is that pathways in off leash areas (all of Hawkwood’s off leash areas have them) are truly off leash and those dogs don’t need to be on a leash on the pathway.  The fact is, when the dog is on the pathway, it must be on a leash.  If it criss-crosses a pathway in an off leash area, it should be on a leash to prevent conflict with other pathway users.  What this also means is that the Pipeline Right-of-Way (P/L ROW) that bisects Hawkwood is not an off leash area, especially where it opens up to the two school fields.  Again, having off leash dogs in a confined space such as the P/L ROW can lead to unwanted contact with other pets and people who use that space – not everyone or every dog loves to be run up to by other dogs.  These situations can be avoided by simply keeping your dog on a leash.  And if you are in any off leash area, your dog must be under your control.  What this means is your dog must return to your side when you call it. Bylaw Officers will often challenge dog owners to do this and if the dogs don’t comply it could mean a fine, so please train your dog to come when called.   Finally, please pick up AND dispose properly any dog poop that your dog decides to deposit anywhere.  Carry at least two baggies with you – because Rover sometimes can’t make up his mind! – and make sure you place that now-filled baggie in your garbage bin or one at the park.  Do not pick up the poop, tie off the baggie and drop the filled baggie on the ground – what purpose does that serve other than making a bad situation worse?  Following these simple tips and rules will make Hawkwood an even better place to live for both non and pet owners alike.

Helpful Links:

Responsible Pet Bylaw:

Responsible Dog Ownership Brochure

Responsible Cat Ownership Brochure

Off Leash Ares in Calgary Communities:

P.U.P.P.Y. (Pick Up Pooch’s Poo Yourself) Program

Off-Leash Ambassador program