Animals, News

Toronto’s battle over dog parks

There are 49 dog parks in Toronto where people can take off their dogs’ leashes and let them run freely.

However, not everyone is allowed to use the parks. Dog walkers walk people’s dogs when they are unable to because they are working. They often walk up to six dogs at a time. When they come to a dog park, up to six dogs may pile out of their car and run into the fenced dog park. One or two dog walkers can fill up a dog park, leaving single-dog owners feeling crowded out.

That’s why dog walkers are only allowed in certain parks. Sometimes, dog walkers have to drive many kilometres to reach the nearest park. And sometimes, they ignore the law and just bring their dogs to any dog park.

The single-dog owners say that one person looking after six dogs is not good. For one thing, it’s hard to watch all of those dogs and clean up after each of them when they poop. Dogs can also get into fights, and it can be hard for one person to keep six dogs calm all the time.

There is another side to the story. For one thing, many dog walkers only walk three dogs at a time. Just three extra dogs in a dog park should not be too much trouble.

Also, dog walkers pay up to $5,000 a year for a license. They say that if they’re paying all that money, they should be allowed to take the dogs anywhere they want.

Lastly, many dogs parks are empty during the day. Dog walkers think it would be OK for them to bring a few dogs to an empty dog park if no one else is there.

The battle between dog walkers and dog owners may continue for a long time.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
If you were the mayor of where you live, would you agree with the dog walkers or the people who own a single pet? What would you say to the reporters when they ask you your opinion?

Reading Prompt
How would today’s article be different if it was written by someone who agrees with dogwalkers/single pet owners? Find specific sentences that would have been different and reword them.

Identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible  alternative perspectives (OME: Reading, 1.9)

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading, 1.9)

Grammar Feature: Apostrophe
Writers use the apostrophe as a punctuation mark to show ownership. The writers add the letter “s” to the end of the word and put an apostrophe between it and the final letter. For example: Dog walkers walk people’s dogs.

When a group owns something, an “s” is not added. We simply add an apostrophe to the end of the word. We see this in the example, dogs’ leashes. We don’t write dogs’s.

Read the sentence below. Put an apostophe before the “s” and draw a picture of it. Then erase the apostrophe and put it after the “s”. Draw a picture of the sentence now. Does where you put the apostrophe make a difference?

Those dogs leashes are too long.