With most provincially-run parks and trails open, Nova Scotians are reminded that it is illegal, under the Provincial Parks Act, to allow a dog to run off leash in these areas. Off-leash dogs continue to be a problem despite efforts to educate the public through pamphlets, park signs and verbal or written warnings. In order to bring more attention to the law, conservation officers with the Department of Natural Resources will step up patrols June 25-26 at 15 provincial parks in the Halifax Regional Municipality where off-leash dogs have been a concern. “It’s important that people feel safe while enjoying our parks and wildlife,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “The leash law is designed to protect both the public and the dog.” The act states that dogs must be on a leash at all times in Nova Scotia’s provincial parks and complaints are taken seriously. “In recent years, park staff and visitors have been knocked down, intimidated and bitten by off-leash dogs,” said conservation officer Chris MacLean. “We hope our increased presence will help to reduce the number of incidents so everyone can enjoy our parks.” During the increased patrols this weekend, officers will be out in force educating dog owners, issuing warnings and, where warranted, issuing tickets. A first-time offense will result in a fine of $167.71.