LA MESA – The open space for dogs in La Mesa is getting a little tighter.
The City Council last night asked city staff to begin the process of making it illegal for dog owners to walk their pets on the many baseball and athletic fields located on city land.
Local athletic leagues complained of investing thousands of dollars to rehabilitate baseball diamonds, soccer fields and football facilities, only to find the new fields damaged by animal urine and feces. Officials of the newly renovated Rolando Little League facilities officially brought their complaint to the city’s Public Services Commission and that led to Tuesday night’s discussion at the City Council meeting.
The commission, which surveyed cities throughout California, recommended to the council that it consider banning pets – on or off leashes – from the community’s athletic fields. Council members talked of urine actually staining new artificial fields installed at great expense and children playing in areas tainted by dog owners who had exercised their pets in the same area earlier.
It’s really a no-brainer,’’ La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid said moments before the council voted unanimously to ask city staff to begin drafting regulations.
Madrid directed the staff to include fines for violation that would be commensurate with other similar laws and also recommended signage be developed so that those who attend some of the games know it is no longer kosher to bring their pets with them to these sporting events.
Many of the facilities affected by this new animal control effort are located in city parks which, council members noted, have other areas that will remain open to leashed pets.