Proposed Door County Ordinance is Unnecessary

Recently Kritter Girl received an email letter from the Door County Humane Society in regards for a proposed ordinance that prohibits dogs from the Door County parks; presently the ordinance states that all dogs must be on a leash.
Local, state, and federal parks are easing restrictions across our nation and the County Parks Department is considering a restriction that doesn’t make sense.

Recently many parks across the nation have created special areas where dog owners can let their dogs run (fenced in) to exercise and just be a dog. In fact, there is such a dog park in Sturgeon Bay located in the industrial park for dog activities. Also recently federal park authorities have proposed that citizens may carry firearms in national forests for protection against predators, and the Door County authorities are planning to further restrict parks.
The ordinance to allow pets as long as they are properly restrained with a leash is sensible so all may enjoy the county parks without worry of unrestrained and uncontrolled dogs spoiling their enjoyment in the scenic parks available on Door Peninsula.
Many visitors from all over the United States visits Door County and many of them travel with their pets. Many motels and inns have loosened up pet restrictions across America and Canada, and Door County should be no exception in the movement of pet friendly establishments and community programs.
One example is the Feathered Star Bed and Breakfast Inn on Highway 42 in Egg Harbor, which I recently wrote about concerning wind turbines as an alternate energy source.
Door County should not pass an additional ordinance when it doesn’t enforce the one already in place concerning dogs being restrained on leash. An example is an incident that occurred two years ago in Frank E. Murphy Park off of scenic Bay Shore Drive. I was walking our dog on leash along the shoreline when two German Shepherds, whose owners were on the dock, bounded toward us and began to bark, causing Valerie, a rescued dog through Door County Humane Society, a White German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute mix, to become agitated. Fortunately Kritter Girl trained her well and was easily kept in control. When I yelled to the owners to restrain their dogs and informed them of the dog leash ordinance, they replied with derogatory and obscene statements. I immediately called the local sheriff’s office on my cell phone on the non-emergency line. Not only did I get a dispatcher that was not people friendly, no officer showed up.
Door County Peninsula’s biggest economy is tourism, next to farming and fishing. If the atmosphere of county friendliness is stained by restrictive ordinances, this could hurt the local economy, as if it isn’t hurt enough due to the national economy. The tourists will choose the many scenic areas to vacation in America and Canada.
Elected officials should perform their duties in a responsible manner and not implement unnecessary restrictions which restrict individual freedom.
The following is a transcription of the letter I received from the Executive Director of the Door County Humane Society, dated March 4th:

We need your help!  There is a meeting set for April 7th, 2010 at 8:30am at the Government Center in Sturgeon Bay to discuss a current ordinance allowing “properly restrained leashed” dogs in Door County Parks.  We believe changing this ordinance to ban all dogs in all county parks would be taking our county steps backwards in a time when the rest of the country is becoming more and more pet friendly.  If you believe that dogs should continue to be allowed in our county parks and that the ordinance should remain as is, would you consider emailing your thoughts to George Pinney, County Parks Department at or attending the meeting.

Each of you that owns a dog or has visited our county with your four-legged best friend knows the enjoyment of going for a walk with your dog in our beautiful county parks.  There are leash rules to protect the dogs and others enjoying the paths.  We are all expected to pick up after our dogs and be respectful of others enjoying the parks with us.

There is a community member trying to change this.  They have asked the Parks Department to ban all dogs from all county parks.  Counties across the country allow dogs in parks; changing this in our county would be damaging to our tourism as resorts, hotels and restaurants across our county are becoming more “pet friendly.”  This is the trend in many states across the country.  We receive calls at the shelter on a regular basis from out of town guests and Door County residents verifying that they can walk their dogs in the county parks.  This is important to dog owners. Where else would they go?  We do have amazing dog parks across our county, but that is a different experience.

Dogs and their owners need your help.  If you would like to help ensure our continued enjoyment of the county parks with our dog family members, please email, or write a letter to the Parks Department, Attn. George Pinney at 3538 Park Drive Sturgeon BayWI  54235.  I will be attending the meeting where this will be on the agenda.  Any of you that would like to be a part of this meeting as well, we would welcome it!  Again, it is on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 at 8:30am at the Government Center in Counsel Chambers.

Thank you,

Carrie Counihan
Executive Director
Door County Humane Society
920-746-1111 Ext 4

Door Peninsula residents, seasonal or year-round should voice their opinion on this proposed ordinance at the contact links provided above.
Limited government applies to ALL levels of government in the United States, so speak out and exercise your rights of free speech and against intrusive, restrictive and unnecessary ordinances, laws and legislation.