Grandview Heights officials plan to consider whether the city's laws regarding dogs in parks need to be strengthened or clarified.

Grandview Heights officials plan to consider whether the city's laws regarding dogs in parks need to be strengthened or clarified.

Grandview resident Chris Stankovich told city council he has a growing concern about the number of dogs he sees at Pierce Field.

"I can't tell you how many times I've brought my two kids, who aren't quite 2 and 4 yet, down to the park and (find) dogs regularly in there," Stankovich said at the Monday, April 4, meeting.

While there are signs posted at the park about the city's laws regarding dogs in parks, they aren't at every entrance, he said.

City code states that no person shall allow their dog or cat to "run at large" on any public property or the property of another person.

At large is defined as not under control by leash or other physical control device or, for cats, within the physical control of the owner.

The code also states that a person owning or having charge of any animal except a service dog must prevent their pet from going on public property where signs are posted. They must also pick up and properly dispose of any waste left by their pet on any public or private property.

A violation of those laws is considered a minor misdemeanor and a subsequent violation would be a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Stankovich told council it appears to him that with the addition of residents and employees in the Grandview Yard development, there are a growing number of dogs at Pierce Field.

"I can't tell you how many times my kids have stepped in dog waste playing on the field there," he said.

Last summer, a dog "lunged" at his youngest child, Stankovich said,

It's getting to a point where he and his wife have to make a decision whether to take their children to the park if they see dogs are there, Stankovich said, adding that he is a dog owner.

His fear, Stankovich said, is that somebody is going to get bitten by a dog at the park.

"Pierce Field is a zero-tolerance park (for dogs) to me" because it is the park most used by the youngest members of the community, Mayor Ray DeGraw said.

"Somehow we have to clarify where we're going to allow dogs and where we're not going to allow them," he said. "If we're going to say no dogs everywhere, we have to actively enforce it."

But enforcing the regulation at every park would be difficult, DeGraw said.

Councilman Anthony Panzera said there have been discussions about establishing a dog park in the city.

The city has looked at potential available spaces, but it is difficult to find a large enough space that would handle the large number of pets and pet owners such a park would attract, he said.

Some people who bring their dogs to Pierce Field simply may not be aware of the city's regulations, Panzera said.

The possibility of posting and enforcing a fine for violation of the regulations is worth considering, he said.

Panzera, the chairman of council's recreation, services and public facilities committee, said he will work with Parks Director Sean Robey to pursue a solution.