Dog owners speak out against UNM golf course changes in virtual meeting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Golf course by day and dog park by dusk – that’s what’s been happening at the UNM North Golf Course, but now the county and university are stepping in to stop that from happening.

At a virtual meeting Wednesday night, officials discussed new fencing and signs that will be put around the golf course. Plenty of angry dog owners were speaking out against it.

It became pretty chaotic during parts of the meeting. There were a hundred people who watched and there were dozens more that wanted to join, but the meeting only allowed for a hundred people.

Some want the course to remain open for dog owners, but UNM and the county say it’s not a dog park and – while hundreds of people want it to be – the county said they have received dozens of complaints from citizens saying they are concerned for their safety. Now changes are coming.

"We just bought our house a year ago, a block from here and a big part of that was the draw of having an open space like this for our family and dogs."

But this has nothing to with what people saw last month when dozens of dogs took over the course. Dogs were running around even while golfers were still playing.

"We did pay and we are playing on the course and it is frustrating that we have to wait for 15, 20 dogs to clear off the green and get out of the way,” said Peyton Dixon, golfer.

That is why the university and county decided they will put up fencing and new signs to let people know, this is a golf course, and dogs can no longer be off-leash and on the course at anytime.

As soon as the virtual meeting started, comments started pouring in.

"To get rid of something like that in a town like Albuquerque, which is really gritty, would be a big loss."

Out of the entire hour and a half meeting, there was only one person who disagreed with the majority.

"I support UNM and the county’s decision. Thank you for your leadership."

Officials said it really comes down to a public safety issue and dozens of complaints they’ve received.

"There have been three reported bites, there have been a number of other incidents."

But those in the meeting, against the changes, don’t believe it. And became angry when that was brought up.

"So I think that is a crock of *beep* that that’s your excuse."

By the end of the meeting, there wasn’t really any common ground found, but Bernalillo County commissioner Adriann Barboa did say she would take any proposals from the community and UNM said they are open to talking about this more.