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Not chew toys: New Westminster asks dog owners to keep pups from munching on park swings

Last Updated May 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm PDT

A chewed-up park swing at Riverside Park in New Westminster. (Source: Instagram/new_westminster)

NEWS WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – Stop your dogs from munching on the swings! That message is coming from the City of New Westminster, after five swing seats have had to be replaced in the past month at Riverside Park.

“In the middle of the seat, there’s a metal insert to keep with the rigidity of the seat. Once that gets exposed, that is a hazard to kids or adults — anyone who wants to use that swing set,” said Jonathan Marcone, supervisor of Parks and Open Space Maintenance.

The City of New Westminster posted a photo of a chewed-up swing on its Instagram feed.

“In honour of doing your doo diligence as a responsible dog owner … SERIOUSLY?! We have good reason to believe a dog has been chewing on swing seats at Riverside Park, based on previous encounters. We’ve replaced five swing seats within the last month at this location. As a responsible pet owner, please remember that swing seats are not chew toys. Doing your doo diligence goes beyond just picking up poop. Thanks!”

Marcone says each seat replacement costs about $60 in taxpayer money.

“We’re working with animal services to try and do patrols and different things. If my staff — when they’re out during the day — are able to spot the dog, then we report it as soon as possible,” he said.

“Technically, it is vandalism. So we are working with the police regarding this, as well, to potentially treat this as any other vandalism issue.”

If you see a dog chewing on a park swing or off-leash where it shouldn’t be, you’re asked to report it to animal services or the city’s engineering operations office.

Marcone says aside from damaging property and costing taxpayers money, allowing your dog to chew up the swing seats is just bad manners.

“Respect the area. Respect the parks. Respect the playgrounds. Any damage you do can affect other families and other people who want to use those spaces.”