City hopes to open dog park in JuneMitchell dog owners can soon allow their four-legged friends to roam leash-free in a fenced-in dog park.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
Mitchell dog owners can soon allow their four-legged friends to roam leash-free in a fenced-in dog park.
Dusty Rodiek, Mitchell’s parks and recreation director, said the concept is not a new one.
“The dog park idea is something relatively common in other park and rec departments,” he said.
Not only will Mitchell residents and their dogs benefit from the park, outside visitors such as hunters or tourists will be able to give their dogs needed exercise while visiting the area.
The park will be located on a city-owned lot south of the main parking area at Cadwell Sports Complex. It will have separated areas for large and small dogs — 2.25 acres for large dogs and 0.75 acre for small dogs. Rodiek hopes it will be open in June.
“It’s up to the owners’ discretion to bring smaller dogs into the large dog area,” Rodiek said.
Rules for the park are mainly common sense, he said:
* No puppies under four months old;
* No known aggressive dogs;
* No sick or in-heat dogs;
* Dogs must be properly licensed and have up-to-date shots.
The Parks and Recreation Department has been contemplating a dog park for a while and received requested funding for the 2012 budget.
The fencing, which will include professional installation, will cost between $25,000 and $30,000. Rodiek said the City Council approved $25,000 for the budget, so his department is working with the contractor on pricing.
The fences will be 4-feet-high, coated chain-link that will extend to ground level.
“There’s a possibility that a dog could jump a 4-foot fence, but 95 percent of dogs are going to stay in that enclosure,” Rodiek said.
Parks and Recreation personnel will install water lines later to provide water fountains for people and watering stations for dogs.
Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets, just as they would be outside the park. The city will provide bags and waste baskets, Rodiek said.
“The people who will use the park are those who have the tendency to self-police anyway,” he said. “They’re excited to have the opportunity to have the location so they’ll be interested in keeping it up and encouraging others to do the same.”
Rodiek said dog parks have been “very successful” in other areas, including Kearny, Neb., where he was parks director prior to coming to Mitchell in 2010.
“We’re looking forward to people using it responsibly,” he said. “They’re kind of neat areas. There’s a social aspect to that for the dog owners and the dogs. It’s a neat location for it, and people are really going to enjoy it.”