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How Does Your Dog Park Operate?


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#1 RoyS

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:22 PM

Where I live its cornbread and chicken, no no that's a song nevermind. :D Okay where I live there are no dog parks anywhere around the area. We have a county park district and there has been thoughts about putting one in at one of the local lakes. I am not sure what they have in mind yet as this is just in the thought process. I don't think they even know how to go about it yet. Cost is the main factor as to how to pay for it.

 

What I am wondering is how does your local dog parks operate for those of you who use one. I have been looking online at some dog parks to see what they are doing. Some are a free for all for any dogs and some set out guidelines for owners to follow in order to bring their dog in. Some state that all dogs must provide proof of vaccinations, spay/neuter requirements and such. Here is a link to one that I have come across. http://treecourtunle...com/about/rules  

 

I am thinking about stopping and talking to the council about this and they have invited me to the next meeting to discuss the dog park. This lake has boating, camping, hiking and some other things you can do and I think the dog park would just be for anyone who wanted to let their dogs run free. What are your thoughts on a free for all no rules type park verse one that has set some requirements like the link above. I am kind of interested in looking into this but I would like to hear some opinions about how other parks are setup. I have never been to a dog park so I have absolutely no idea on how they go about their business. Are there any fees? I just don't know and need to educate myself a little here. The committee is looking for ideas, advice or anything they can get to see how and where this goes. Thanks in advance. 



#2 RoyS

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:25 PM

My initial thought about a free for all is that you never know what a dog has or will leave behind at the park. I may be over analyzing this. 



#3 Lisa

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:45 PM

Roy,

 

I am really excited to talk about this subject with you. I live in a small (10,000) college town just 20 min. West of Salem, Or. There are a number of dog parks surrounding our area, yet none in our town. Well, that's about to change next month. The end of Aug. they break ground for our new community fenced off leash dog park. My neighbor(friend) and myself have been working on this project going on 3 years. This is not an over night endevur. We have had support from most of the dog lovers as well as those who dislike dogs. I suggest you start with your town's Parks and Rec. board. Go to their meetings, call ahead and have you® topic put on the adjenda before hand, that looks like your serious. Do what ever they ask you to do in the way of information, etc... Please don't be discouraged, the more you put into this the more they know you are serious. I'd ask others who are willing to help, participate, do grunt work. Our problem here was everytime some one ask what they could do to help us and we'd tell them they would not show up to meetings or funraisers although they "really want it". You will find that there will be many that talk a good talk but when it comes down to the knitty gritty the are MIA.

 

Lisa

 

P.S. please e-mail me personally anytime for help.


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#4 RoyS

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

Roy,

 

I am really excited to talk about this subject with you. I live in a small (10,000) college town just 20 min. West of Salem, Or. There are a number of dog parks surrounding our area, yet none in our town. Well, that's about to change next month. The end of Aug. they break ground for our new community fenced off leash dog park. My neighbor(friend) and myself have been working on this project going on 3 years. This is not an over night endevur. We have had support from most of the dog lovers as well as those who dislike dogs. I suggest you start with your town's Parks and Rec. board. Go to their meetings, call ahead and have you® topic put on the adjenda before hand, that looks like your serious. Do what ever they ask you to do in the way of information, etc... Please don't be discouraged, the more you put into this the more they know you are serious. I'd ask others who are willing to help, participate, do grunt work. Our problem here was everytime some one ask what they could do to help us and we'd tell them they would not show up to meetings or funraisers although they "really want it". You will find that there will be many that talk a good talk but when it comes down to the knitty gritty the are MIA.

 

Lisa

 

P.S. please e-mail me personally anytime for help.

Thanks Lisa! That is really exciting that your hard work is paying off. What kind of rules are you setting up for the park or will there be much of any. 

 

There has already been a couple of thoughts thrown out there about how to raise some money for this project. They park possibly has a spot for this but I don't even know how big of an area or anything yet. I have already had some thought as to approaching the local shelters to see if they would be interested in working to make this happen. The park has already said that this is probably something they will have to do next year but it all has to start somewhere. The town I live in is only about 3200 people and the lake that this is to go into is about 7 miles out in the country but attracts alot of people from everywhere. And that is where my skepticism comes in. I don't know yet until I talk to them but my thoughts are that they are thinking this is just going to be an open park for anybody and I am not sure if I am onboard with that yet. We will just have to see how this goes and see what they are thinking first and go from there. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement. Also thanks for the offer as I might just have to take you up on that. Thanks alot I appreciate that. 



#5 judyk

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:20 PM

We don't have them where we currently live but where we came from did.  It is a tremendous amount of work and not something that one person can do.  There are rules that have to be set in place.  All dogs had to be vaccinated and all owners were responsible for the animal as well as clean up.  If owners can't control their dogs they were warned and if the problem wasn't addressed/corrected they were not allowed back.  Since my husband was Police Chief at the time he and the animal control officer were active in developing and a very dear friend of ours fronted the entire cost, which was major.  Lisa's comments are so true.  Many people 'wanted to be involved' but when push came to shove they didn't want to put in the time or work.  There is also the fact that the park must be maintained and who will do that.  Before you appear before Council it would be best to contact a working park, visit with the people that run and/or maintain it, develop a committee but definitely have all your ducks in a row before appearing and be more than ready for their questions as well as those that animal owners will have, they will be many.  Our local shelters, dog "b&B"s, boarding kennels could not be involved because of stipulations in their licenses.  Who will inevitably 'own' the park?  Is it property that has to be purchased, as was our case.  Again, I'm not discouraging you but there's a lot of homework that has to be done to be very knowledgable so the Committee is ready to proceed.  Good luck with your endeavor but, again, don't be surprised if you hit road blocks.  We had many. 


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#6 RoyS

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:34 PM

Thanks Judy! This is something that I am just looking into at the time but could grow into more. The park already has the land and they would maintain the ground as it is in their park. You have a good thought about going to a current dog park and seeing how things are done there. I am trying to locate one around where I live or within an hour or two driving time. One thought I had and you kind of hit on it was would there be someone there to kind of oversee it when it was open. You mentioned that they were warned. So would that mean that there was always someone there that managed it? 

 

I am sure there are many road blocks when it comes to something like this. I am sure there are alot of things that will be brought up that I would have never thought of too. I don't think I want to spearhead this thing but would like to possibly be a part of it. I would really rather see it within the city limits but that is not going to happen with this particular one if it gets off the ground. They may want to take this in a direction that I personally would don't agree with too. There is alot of speculation right now on my part and I just need to do some homework to see where everything is at and to look into going to another park first. I do agree that if it is going to be done right that it needs rules/policies set in place for vaccinations and so forth. This is all new to me and I appreciate your comments. 



#7 Gib

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:28 AM

We have a little used playfield a couple of blocks away, already fenced, just begging to be an off-leash dog park.  I've talked to a few neighbors who live closer and they have no objections.

 

To undertake this as a project?  I have little time and less energy for that struggle, er, process.  

 

Our local dog parks have no on-duty attendant.  Almost all are double gated to allow a leashing/unleashing area. 

 

Locally, the dogparks are maintained by the government(s), state, county, city and, especially, volunteers.

 

Here's a local group of volunteers:  http://www.soda.org/

 

Here's a local interactive off-leash dog park finder:  http://www.explorerdog.com/offleash/

 

A couple of the local governments:  http://www1.co.snoho...on/DogParks.htm

 

http://www.seattle.g...ks/offleash.asp

 

Good fortune with this.



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#8 Lisa

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:23 AM

Judy you hit the nail on the head. The property that is going to be used for our park is actually owned by the city. So, that was a big expense that we didn't have to worry about. Property can be so expensive and if you had to go out and find a place to begin with, purchase, pay taxes what little money you already have is gone before you know it.

 

I don't know if where you live if you have a Community Foundation. We have two towns basically join each other but still are two different towns. Sounds confusing I know. Well we have a community foundation set up jointly for the benefit of organizations from either town. So, for example if your excepted into the foundation and since they are a 501C3 you may use that ability and the tax I.D. # for applying for various grants. For example, we have a grant into Walmart. Haven't heard yet but hopefully they will come through.

 

Our project is costing the city $85,000. Our group, called "Friends of Monmouth dog park" need to come up with another $16,000 for ammenities. The city has been wonderful, but that wasn't always the case. One of the main things we had to do was prove to them that there is a need for this in our town. I won't go into all the detail but it took us over a year to complete what was asked. Then if the city council approves then you are put into their "Master Plan" for Parks and Rec. From there they decide how much can be alloted for this project. It can get very political.

 

A few really important things to consider. The first thing the "rules" need to be established. This sets the tone for your park. There should be a dog park committee to help to reinforce those rules. what I mean by this is when your at the park politly point out the rules. Don't play "dog park police" with unruely dog owners. This is when you can let your local police know about issues  or another city representative. When your over at the park with your dog keep an eye out for repeat offenders. Again you let the city know.

 

Just some suggestions.


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#9 judyk

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

Another thing since your park is being developed on city property is liability insurance for public use in case someone gets bit or hurt while on their property. Another source for a possible grant and we have this where we currently live is monies from casino revenue. The Native American tribes own many casinos in northern Michigan and award grants for various amounts and purposes. Our Village only has 920 people as residents and the tribe awarded funds to purchase police equipment, pay for a softball field redo and fencing, so check into that. Another government agency to look at is HUD. Yes you read that correctly. I just helped write a grant for equipment and jobs to sew bulletproof vests for police, dogs and our armed forces. It's a lot of work and Tim e but years own the road it can be worth it. Our Village as well as neighboring town are mostly touristy and there is no open space. We have beautiful parks an beaches but animals are not loosed off leash so I wouldn't have anywhere to begin and having done this once I have no desire to begin again. Don't hesitate to throw any questions out there if you're wondering about a topic. I'll gladly share what we encountered and what we learned. In the end the project was a tremendous success and one that we were very proud to be a part of but it was costly, time consuming and at times we were ready to hurt someone!!!
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#10 Nessa

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:05 AM

This is one of my favorite topics!  The best thing about Auburn, Al, other than the university of course, is our dog park.  It's huge.  I would venture to say 5-10 acres +.  The first time I ventured out onto the trails, I'm embarrassed to admit I got lost for a good 10m.  it is completely open to the public, it is enclosed, save for the driveway, but the fence that surrounds is old and does have some weak points.  Within the park are two "gated" areas for large and small dogs if your dog does not do well off-leash to trust in the whole of the park.  You are required to pick up after your dog, and yourself.  Your dog must be on leash or immediately responsive to command if off-leash.  In the "gated" area, you are not to have any dogs under 6mo, or any intact males.  Now, we often see people bending the rules, bringing pups who have had all their shots out for a walk, then taking them to the small dog pin and letting them run around as they might not have a big enough yard at home.  I also have a friend with an intact male heeler whom she brings in all the time, and he has never caused a problem, but I know why the rules are there.  They have doggy olympics and festivals and adoptions there about once a month.  Willow has been going since she got her last round of shots and loves it.  We walk with a pack of about 5-8 people, and 6-12 dogs depending on the day.  We have made good friends there, as Willow has.  The park is one of the only reasons I love living in Auburn.


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