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The goal of many pet owners will be realized when leashed and licensed dogs and cats will be allowed in most areas of Billings’ city parks starting Wednesday, Feb. 1. Pet owners will be required to have necessary clean-up equipment in their possession and to remove any fecal matter if they choose to use park facilities with their animals. Pets still will be banned in the following specific park areas, due to health and safety concerns:
· Playgrounds with play equipment;· Spray grounds or swimming pools;· Athletic fields;· Tennis courts;· Basketball courts;· Community gardens or formal garden areas;· City-owned golf courses;· All park buildings; and· Organized events including outdoor concerts, markets, shows, programs, exhibits, assemblies, festivals, carnivals and fairs.
Leashed and licensed dogs and cats will be allowed only on roads in City-owned cemeteries. Organized dog events may be held with Park, Recreation and Public Lands permits in designated areas of City parks at specific times.
High Sierra Dog Park is the only City park where dogs are allowed off- leash.
Any owner convicted of having a dangerous or potentially dangerous animal will not be allowed to bring that animal into a City park.
Owners whose pets are not wearing current licenses when in parks will be subject to a Municipal Code civil violation.
The City Council approved pets in parks amendments to the City’s animal control ordinance on August 8, 2016, but delayed implementation of the amendments until the first day of the month following a report that the City had 10,000 dogs and cats licensed. Council members were told during a pre-budget and work plan meeting on Saturday, Jan. 21, that more than 10,000 licenses had been issued.
Pet owners seeking more information on licensing requirements can visit the City’s web site at http://ci.billings.mt.us/2450/DogCat-Licensing-Fees. For the location of parks where they may take their pets, pet owners should visit www.billingsparks.org/park-finder.