UNM making changes at popular golf course that has dog owners upset

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Golf course by day and dog park by dusk, but soon that will change. At the University of New Mexico’s North Golf Course, you will see dozens of dogs running around on the course after sunset.

“This is the thing he looks forward to the most,” says Luke Jungmann talking about he and his dog’s trip to the course every day. “He loves to play with the other dogs,” Jungmann adds.

He and so many other dog owners brings their pets here to play and run around, but the UNM Director of Marketing and Communications Officer Cinnamon Blair said it created safety issues.

“Other dogs have been bitten, people have been bitten and people bring their families and children out there and nobody should have any type of fear or anxiety when using that space,” Blair said.

She said UNM has received multiple complaints of the course being damaged from dogs digging and going into the sand traps. Golfers have also complained, saying pets are running on the course while they are still playing.

“It’s about respect for the people using the open space and people playing the golf course, which is what the golf course is intended for,” Blair said.

Peyton Dixon had it happen to him while he was golfing on Friday.

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

Which is why UNM is creating new signs making it clear that anyone who is not golfing can be on the course and that all dogs must remain on their leash. The signs even cite a statute saying dogs must be on leashes. Blair saying the reason for that, “By including the statute it gives us the ability to cite people for that statute.”

UNM is not adding fencing to block the course, and anyone can still use the walking trail that surrounds the course. Still, many say they are upset this is happening.

“We’ve never seen dogs attacking anyone,” Jungmann said. “We’ve barely seen any dog fights, people clean up after themselves.”

Marianna Anaya who lives nearby and also uses the course agrees.

“UNM is a public university, it is funded with public dollars, and every inch of this golf course should be open to the public.” Adding, “It’s not the perimeter that brings us together, it is the middle of the golf course that brings everyone together to talk together and I think that’s the point of having green space in cities like ours.”

UNM said the signs will be up by next week.