Individuals come forth after destruction was shared online.
UNITY — Earlier in October, visitors to the Unity Paw Park were shocked that vandals had been through, leaving a trail of destruction.
Paw Park founder, Laura Howdle, took to Facebook the morning of Oct. 3 with photos of damaged solar lights, a missing sign and a stolen trail cam. Many residents, even those who do not use the park, were quick to comment. Most comments were about how shameful it was to see, after all the work the committee had done gathering donations, fundraising, planning work bees and constant upkeep of the park.
As Howdle surveyed the damage, she found broken bottles, an area that was charred where a small fire was built and some of the materials that were pulled from the parking lot area were left beside the burnt spot. She had contacted the Unity RCMP about the damages, the fire and the stolen items.
By day’s end, Howdle reported on the Paw Park Facebook page that the missing sign was recovered along with four individuals coming forward to admit destroying the park’s property. The board held an emergency meeting, deciding how they wanted to proceed with the vandals. Since then, another individual has come forth.
The total cost of damages equals $500 and the board decided each individual would be responsible for reimbursing the Paw Park $100 plus putting in some volunteer hours to help keep the park in usable condition.
“The area where the Paw Park sits is leased to us by the town, under the condition that it is to be maintained and kept up, otherwise the gates will be locked and signage will be removed,” says Howdle.
“After 10 years of work, the committee does not want to see all the hard work fall to pieces because of those who want to wreck it.”
Howdle also expressed that if the off-leash park goes away, according to the town bylaw, there is no legal place in Unity that allow dogs to run free.
“All residents need to treat it like your own backyard or we won’t have this amenity anymore.”
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