About 300 dog owners have registered their animals with the New Canaan Recreation Department in advance of a lock assembly that’s slated to go onto the entrance and exit gates at Spencer’s Run.
Without a 4-digit code, dog owners won’t be able to enter the popular Waveny dog run, though it isn’t clear yet just when the new system will take hold, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko.
He’s waiting on a welded bracket that will attach a new lock assembly to the Spencer’s Run gate.
“Everybody will have to register their dogs with us to get into the dog park,” Benko said. “Everybody will get a 4-digit PIN number.”
That’s phase one in a new system that proponents—including officers from the New Canaan Police Department’s animal control unit—say will reduce problems at the dog park and make owners more accountable. It also could protect the town from lawsuits, as those who register must sign a liability waiver. (A copy of the registration form is attached as a PDF.)
Some park users say they’re looking forward to the new system.
“I think it’s great,” Kelly Sabloff of Stamford said on a recent morning as she entered the park with her 8-month-old brindle bulldog, Momo (pictured). “I think it will make it an easier park experience if you know that there’s accountability.”
Dog owners regularly are ticketed at Spencer’s Run for failure to have registration tags on their dogs. Police say they often do not know who is causing problems at the park because by the time they respond to calls after dog fights, owners have left. Under the new system, owners will need to punch in their code to enter as well as exit the park.
According to Benko, the 4-digit PIN numbers will expire at 12 a.m. on July 1, when a new key fob system replaces it.
“We might give people a couple of days’ leeway and adjust the clock on that,” he said.
The cards are expected to be available June 1. They’ll run $25 per year for town residents and $40 for non-residents. That’s for one dog. An additional dog