Subject: Dog Parks (was Re: Leashing leads to aggressiveness?)
From: "Susan Umpleby" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am on the committee for my dog park. The park was originally started when the woman who is president of our committee approached the city about it. She spoke to the city council & the parks & recreation department, telling of dog parks in other cities, the benefits of having a park for dog owners, the types of rules that would be applied to the park and giving a clear plan of what would be needed.
Our dog park is not as large as others I have taken my dogs to--it is about 2 acres. The city provided fencing & gates for it to make it safe for the dogs to run off-leash. A local service group donated $ for benches for the humans. We on the dog committee raised funds to pipe in water & build a fountain that can be used by dogs (lower part) and people (upper part). We raised the $ by having a photo shoot (advertised in local papers) of dogs--people paid $3.00 apiece to have their dog's photo taken (which they could keep) then a panel of judges chose *winners* to be put into a dog park calendar which sold for $10.00 apiece. We also raise funds generally by selling Pooch Park T-shirts!
RULES: a sign at the entry gate lets people coming know the rules of the park.
1) all dogs must have all their vaccinations. People trying to come in with young dogs w/out a full set of shots (incl. rabies) are asked for the dog's sake to leave--most people thank us for telling them the dangers as they take their pup out.
2) owners must pick up after their dogs. We have a plastic trash can with a cover next to the entry gate filled with plastic grocery bags, which people take as they enter. Poop can be placed in several trash cans around the park. And, believe me, you can't get away with not picking up after your dog--people will tell you when Fido is *leaving you a gift* & show you where it is!
3) aggressive dogs not allowed. Actually, you would be surprised how rare this is! By aggressive we mean a dog that constantly picks fights or attacks other dogs. Only a couple of people have had to be asked not to bring their dog back. Dogs being dogs an occasional spat starts when a group of dogs playing gets a little too excited--but owners call to their dogs & it stops at that. In two years fights have just not been a problem.
4) people without dogs (especially children) are not allowed. There is an adjacent *people park* for them to use.
5) dogs may not be left unattended. If a dog is found to be in the park without the owner being present, we will call the # on its tags.
The above information was provided courtesy of the author with permission to DogPlay to publish. I thank Susan for her contribution, and I hope it is helpful to others in getting other dogparks established.
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Copyright © Susan Umpleby Created: March 3, 1998 Updated November 12, 2007