Last month, Carpinteria’s City Council gave dog owners the greenlight on an off-leash area at El Carro Park. With the one-year pilot program officially beginning next weekend, dogs and their human friends are getting excited to finally shed their outlaw status.

“It took a long time and we knew it would, but everybody is really thrilled,” said Van Fleisher, a board member of C-Dog, the local dog park advocacy group. “We are going to be able to do what we do legally and it’s going to make it better because we’ll be able to enforce things.”

In partnership with C-Dog, the city is establishing a set of rules for the dog park and C-Dog will have volunteer ambassadors during off-leash hours to make sure that the rules are being followed. “And if they’re not,” said Fleisher, “ambassadors will politely confront the owners of the dogs and ask them to do the right thing and only if it escalates will we call code compliance. We have an opportunity to do a great job with this, and we intend to. At the end of the pilot program, we want people to say, a lot of dogs and people are having fun, so let’s continue this, that’s our goal.” 

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