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YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Owners Ticketed for Dogs in Parks


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YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Owners Ticketed for Dogs in Parks

By Angela Monroe. CREATED Mar 5, 2014

 PALM SPRINGS -- A Palm Springs resident stops at a Palm Springs park to use a water fountain, and gets a ticket for having her dog in the park.

Lynne wrote to KMIR,"...I was not given any warning but was cited for "dog in park."... Since it is posted that dogs actually are allowed in sunrise park, and even though i wasn't in the park but was at a water fountain, i would like you to investigate what the agenda is behind this surge of citations...."
It appears that several people were given tickets on Sunday for having their dogs in Sunrise Park in Palm Springs, despite the fact there are no signs prohibiting dogs.
We spoke to several people, and got to the bottom of what happened.
Lynn Blades is upset after being given a ticket for having her dog in the park, and yes, it was on a leash.
She says she stopped for water at the fountain and was approached by police officers.
"Well this isn't your lucky day, you're getting a ticket for having a dog near the park or in the park, and I got a ticket," said Blades.
Lynn didn't bring her dog to back to the park, but introduced us to Belle at her home.
"There's dogs all the time here and if we're responsible dog owners, not doing anything, we're not sure why, what exactly it's about."
Lynn isn't alone; Palm Springs resident, Christina Verdugo, was also cited the same day.
"My dog should be able to sit in the grass or in the sun, it's a nice park, what's the park for if nobody can come to it," said Verdugo.
At the entrance to the park there is a sign that says all dogs must be on leashes and please consider using the dog park, but there is no sign that says dogs are not allowed.
"Even though there's no sign that say we're not allowed to have any dogs in the park ever, they were giving everyone that was here tickets, they said don't talk to us, it's nothing that we thought up, city hall sent us to do it," said Verdugo.
Palm Springs Police referred us to a section of city code that says people cannot bring dogs into public parks.
"I asked if there could at least be a warning, if I could step off the sidewalk, and nope, they were given orders, and if they didn't follow orders they'd be subordinate, and they were just following orders and to take it to city hall," said Blades.
So we did, and Palm Springs city attorney, Doug Holland, told us years ago they repealed a code that prohibited dogs in parks, but forgot to change it in another code.
"It is council's intent to appeal that prohibition, where we will be making whatever changes need to be made, we will be dismissing these citations that we believe have been erroneously issued," said Holland.
Dogs are welcome in Palm Springs parks -- on a leash.
So Belle can once again join her companion, Lynn, and enjoy the park.