Grievance Policy & Incident Report
Please review this policy and use the Incident Report Form to record and report any aggressive activity by a canine member that could endanger the health and/or safety of any dog or person entering the Denver Dog Park (“DDP” or the “Park”). Members are encouraged to resolve issues that arise at the Park amongst themselves. If a dialogue between owners is unsuccessful or if a person or dog suffers an injury (defined as protracted pain, blood or a veterinarian visit) at the Park, the owners involved have the option of submitting an incident report to Denver Borough. Please note, the DDP will have video surveillance.
When to File a Complaint
Violations of local, state, or federal law should be immediately reported directly to the East Cocalico Police Department.
The Borough only will consider complaints that cannot be resolved without Borough intervention. Examples include:
- Repeated aggressive or unwanted behavior (stalking, humping, bullying) of a dog at the Park, without a quick and effective response by the owner.
- Violation of a Park rule, such as allowing non-members to enter, smoking, bringing in small children, bringing in food/alcoholic beverages or blatantly ignoring the responsibility to clean up after their dog.
Personality conflicts among members will not be addressed by the Borough unless they are directly relevant to aggressive behavior by a dog or in violation of a Park rule.
Ways to File a Complaint
Option 1 (preferred):
Complete and submit an online Incident Report. Use this report to document aggressive activity by a canine member that could endanger the health and/or safety of any dog or person entering the Park. Reports will be forwarded to the Borough for discussion and resolution.
Submit a complaint via e-mail to Mhession@denverboro.net. Complaints should be succinct and include the following facts:
- Date and time of the incident.
- Names of the dog(s) and/or people involved.
- Brief description of what happened.
- Any attempted resolution(s).
The Borough will not address complaints that are not submitted in writing or are not submitted by those directly involved. Supporting witness statements will be taken into consideration but will not be solely relied upon for decision-making.
Borough Response to Complaints
The Borough will work with owners and their dogs on a case-by-case basis to resolve issues at the Park. The Borough will take progressive action to address complaints submitted by Park members as outlined below.
- Notification. After a complaint is reported, a member of the Borough will notify the owner of the dog that the complaint was filed against. The owner will be reminded of the Grievance Policy and that failure to act on improving their dog’s behavior in the Park can have consequences. If the complaint involves aggressive behavior (i.e. growling, biting or unwanted rough play that is not broken up in a timely manner) but does not result in injury, up to two notifications may be sent before corrective action is required. If a dog physically injures another dog or person in an act of aggression, the dog will be immediately suspended from the Park, and the owner will be required to take corrective action as outlined below.
- Corrective Action. If a dog injures another dog or person or continues to show aggressive behavior, the Borough will suspend or limit the dog’s use of the Park until corrective action, such as training and/or muzzling, has been taken. When formally suspended from the Park, an owner will sign an agreement with the Borough outlining the conditions of their suspension and re-entry to the Park. The Borough may request a statement from the trainer about the disposition of the dog and may request that the trainer, owner and dog meet with a member of the Borough at the Park for observation to witness improvements.
- Revocation of Membership. If corrective action does not prove successful and a dog continues to cause problems at the Park and/or if the conditions of re-entry into the Park are not met, the Board will revoke the membership of the dog in question.
Special Note: If a dog injures another dog or a person on two separate occasions, the dog’s membership will be terminated immediately without a formal grievance process. If an owner brings more than one dog for which corrective action is required, the owner may no longer be allowed to bring any dogs to the Park.
Recommendations for Avoiding Incidents at the Park
- Remove your dog from the Park as soon he crosses the line between play and aggression.
- Be mindful of the entrance gates. When a new dog arrives, call or move your dog from any gate to allow a new dog to enter without incident.
- Wear a regular collar on your dog and keep the leash easily accessible. Remove harnesses, pinch collars, choke collars, bark collars, spray collars and shock collars before or upon entering the Park.
- Keep your dog in sight at all times.
- Focus on your dog while in the Park. It is not acceptable to be reading, on the phone, or in a deep conversation with other owners if this keeps you from paying attention to your dog.
- Small dogs (under 30 lbs.) use the large dog area at their own risk. In case of an incident in the large dog area, small dogs should be taken immediately to the small dog area.
- Agitated dogs should be separated and either removed or taken to another side of the Park to calm down.