Call for dogs to be banned from cemetery comes before council

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>Lorraine Woodworth calls on civic politicians in Bridgewater to do something about dogs at Brookside Cemetery.</p>

Lorraine Woodworth has grown weary of locking horns with dog owners over the years who let their pets roam freely in Bridgewater's Brookside Cemetery.

He told a March 26 meeting of civic politicians that they are his last hope to finally legislate a measure to prevent dogs from urinating on headstones in the town-owned graveyard, including the site marking the final resting place of his aunt who died three years ago.

He said it's time someone takes control of a loved one's final resting place.

"Somebody's got to have a little respect for these people," he told town council. "They didn't go there for dogs to urinate on them .... that's not right."

Woodworth said he's been in arguments with people in the cemetery and has sought help from the town's recreation department and police service with no satisfaction.

Council promised to look into Woodworth's concern, which Richard MacLellan, the town's chief administrator, believes will return to government's agenda in about a month's time.

The town recently promoted responsible pet ownership messages, reminding people to pick up after their dogs. The reminders have been publicized from time-to-time but the information isn't sinking in.

"Clearly the status-quo is not meeting that objective," MacLellan told LighthouseNOW, commending Woodworth for bringing his concerns to council's attention.

In Bridgewater, dogs are allowed in cemeteries as long as they are on a leash and controlled by owners.

There is signage, but a bylaw officer is commonly notified if repeat offenders are ignoring the rules.

Dogs - except for registered service dogs - are completely banned from entering cemeteries in other jurisdictions such as Halifax.

MacLellan said he would have to review existing bylaws, but he said there is the ability to ban or regulate dogs on municipal property.

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