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Paris Finally Allowing Dogs Into Their Public Parks

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As of Jan. 1, dogs are finally being allowed into some of Paris’ public parks following a recent town hall vote, according to The Guardian.

The change in policy was passed as part of a suite of measures seeking to make Paris’ public park laws less prohibitive.

Before the vote took place, dogs were banned from about 84 percent of Paris’ public parks, gardens and squares. This is a significant portion, considering Paris has a minimal amount of public green space to being with.

Many pet parents who didn’t live near the 16 percent of Paris’ dog-friendly green spaces had to travel (for sometimes over an hour) to the outskirts of Paris to let their dog play on grass. Others resorted to city walks on the pavement or broke the rules and let their dogs play anyways.

“Most of us have already been given a fine, or have been asked to put our dog back on leash or to go somewhere else,” resident Parisian pet parent Lucie Desnos says.

With the new policy comes some stipulations, including that dogs must be on a leash at all times and must stay on the paths. Additionally, dogs are still restricted from entering parks that have playgrounds.

“We had a tendency, I think, to see parks as spaces that were very closed, very separate from public space,” Pénélope Komitès, the city’s deputy mayor in charge of green spaces, tells the outlet. “We’re in the process of changing that. We’re transforming parks, and the uses of parks, at the demand of Parisians, who want parks to open longer, and who want to ride their bike through parks—which wasn’t possible until now. We are passing from a regime of prohibition to a regime of permission.”

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