Dog Park, Yes! - The Missourian: Opinion

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Dog Park, Yes!

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:32 pm | Updated: 8:14 am, Fri Mar 22, 2013.

The Missourian received a letter to the editor signed by more than 25 people urging the city to establish a dog park. We’ve written in support of this idea before.

Yes, dogs do need to socialize just as humans do. Dog owners will tell you it’s a social outing to take dogs to a park. Friends are made.

We are hardly an expert on dog parks, but people who visit them in other cities and counties will tell you they are excellent places for dogs and their owners. They are enjoyable for dogs and their owners. The exercise is rewarding.

Washington has a parks system that is the envy of many other communities. Over the years, the system has grown and the facilities that have been added have made them even more enjoyable. One of the most outstanding is the Lions Lake area. Built more than 50 years ago, the lake and the related facilities have brought pleasure to thousands of people. Among the regular visitors are dog owners who often can be seen walking the lake trail. We’ve heard a few complaints about the droppings from the dogs, but it’s minor compared to the two-legged, fine-feathered birds that have found a permanent and now year-round home there.

There have been a few complaints about dog droppings on the Rotary Riverfront Trail and on sidewalks. With a dog park, there will be fewer dogs and their owners on existing trails and sidewalks.

We have no idea what is the degree of maintenance of dog parks. We don’t know what the cost is to operate a dog park. We think it would be a good investment for the city, adding one more amenity to the parks system.

The park board should look into a dog park. Also, dog owners, such as the people who signed the Letter to the Editor on the next page, undoubtedly would help the park board in obtaining information as to cost, location and so on. Citizen committees have been very successful in past endeavors. Our civic clubs have been invaluable in helping to enrich our parks system.

Where is the best location for a dog park? The letter writers said Burger Park is the unofficial dog park now. Perhaps that’s the best location. We don’t know. We do know that the parks system has enough land to find room somewhere for a dog park.

We’re getting a skateboard park. It’s about ready to open. It would seem if we can afford a skateboard facility, we can find room for a dog park. There are more dog owners than people with skateboards.

/opinion