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Dubuque May Allow Dogs in City Parks After all

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DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque may soon allow dogs in city parks after all. Earlier this month, the council agreed to keep dogs out. But on Monday, some council members changed their minds and passed the first reading of a new ordinance that would allow pets in most parks.

The council is still pretty divided on this issue, they voted 4 to 3 to allow dogs in parks. Mayor Roy Buol suggested beefing up enforcement, then re-evaluating the ordinance in one year. About 20 dog owners and their pets greeted council members as they arrived to Monday night's meeting.

"Are you telling me that of all the parks we have we can't take it to any of the parks?" said John Petko.

The council approved the first reading, but with the expectation that park officers will crack down on the new rules.

Mayor Buol said, "To me, there is a total lack of enforcement of the existing ordinance when it comes to dogs on leashes and picking up after your pets."

For supporters the passage of the first reading is the beginning of "Fido's" freedom. But for the group working to keep dogs out, it isn't over.

"You've got a population out there that doesn't want dogs. Let's do something for them also. Let's have a park where dogs aren't allowed," said Jim Kress.

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