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Leash-free zone at South Fayette park discontinued following dog attack

| Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, 7:33 p.m.

Dogs remain permitted at Fairview Park in South Fayette, but a leash-free zone of the community park will be discontinued, leaders agreed at a meeting Nov. 16.

Rather than close off the section of Fairview Park to dogs, commissioners agreed to post signs indicating dogs must remain on leashes while in the area.

Part of the changes stem from a “dog-on-dog attack recently,” township spokeswoman Andrea Iglar said, referring to a an off-leash dog attack that resulted in $7,000 in medical bills for an injured dog. “Parks are becoming busier as we grow. There's more sports and more activity in the park. It was becoming riskier. That area, itself, still will be open to people walking their dogs, the dogs just have to be on leashes.

“The whole area isn't going to be closed off, dogs just have to be on leashes. We are inviting brainstorming and input from the community for ideas moving forward.”

Dog owners were able to purchase a registration tag to use the off-leash area.

“Right now, all of the township parks allow dogs, but they have to be on a leash,” Iglar said. “This area of Fairview Park was the only area where you could get a permit and then have an off-leash dog.”

An initial recommendation by the South Fayette Parks and Recreation director suggested closing the zone altogether to dogs.

Township leaders could create a similar dog-run zone in a different park or provide a fenced in area, Iglar said.

Matthew Peaslee is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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