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City of Marquette administration balances rules with the need for dog-friendly recreation

City officials continue reminders for community, visitors of K-9 policies.
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 8:16 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Nothing like your best four-legged friend joining you on the walk along sunny Lakeshore Boulevard in Marquette, only to come upon a sign reading: ‘NO DOGS PERMITTED IN PARK EXCEPT IN ENCLOSED VEHICLES’

There are growing complaints of dogs seen out in off-limit areas like lifeguarded beaches (including McCarty’s Cove) and nature preserves like Presque Isle Park.

“Generally, with nature preserves, dogs aren’t allowed for numerous reasons. Mostly with the wildlife. Second is the unwanted dog interactions with other park visitors,” explained City of Marquette Assistant Director of Community Services Andrew MacIver.

There have also been reports of dogs not on leashes on the trailheads, violating city code to keep dogs leashed at all times -- an exception is the seasonal off-leash area at Tourist Park with registration.

“We understand that people have really good control of their dogs. But if the dog has an interaction with another dog or wildlife, there’s no way to take any positive control. Your normally friendly, obedient dog can become less obedient and be in a potentially dangerous situation,” said Officer John Waldo, who serves as Marquette City Police Department’s K-9 handler.

The city’s rules for dog-owners revolve around safety for you and your four-legged loved one -- and picking up after them.

“Especially in the springtime when the snow melts, we get a lot of feces left along the trails, parks. Another big complaint that we see a lot, especially now that we’re opening up our ball fields is of people using our athletic fields for dog parks essentially. It’s really bad out at the soccer fields right now, we’ve got a lot of young kids running around there. It’s a slip hazard, it’s a biohazard -- so it’s definitely an issue,” MacIver said.

“Some of our park areas have dispensers for that purpose. If not, just a shopping bag works -- good to keep a few in your pocket,” added Waldo.

Because dog-friendliness sometimes come with house rules -- to keep things in safe order.

Marquette Community Services explained that exceptions apply to ADA-approved service animals -- contact information for the department can be found HERE.

City officials added that initial warnings may be issued for first-time or visiting dog owners in violation of the K-9 rules -- citations and subsequent fees range depending on repeat offenses.

Find the complete list of K-9 ordinances for responsible dog ownership in the City of Marquette by clicking the link below, and referring to the provided list of ‘Relevant Sections of City Code’:

https://library.municode.com/mi/marquette/codes/code_of_ordinances

RELEVANT SECTIONS OF CITY CODE

Sec. 8-7. – Licensing of dog and cats

Sec. 8-9 – Sanitation

Sec. 8-11 – Restraint and confinement

Sec. 8-12 – Animals prohibited

Sec. 8-13. – Nuisance Animal

Sec. 52-16 – Dogs on beaches

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