Humane Society: Support a dog park | CraigDailyPress.com

Humane Society: Support a dog park

To the editor:

The Humane Society of Moffat County (HSMC) is competing to win a $25,000 Petsafe grant that if awarded, will assist the city of Craig to build Craig's first dog park. We are asking the community to get behind this effort by entering Petsafe’s “Bark for your Park” contest before June 30. Not only will you have a chance to tell Petsafe why Craig deserves a dog park, you will also have a chance to win Petsafe pet products.

City and County leash laws make it illegal for dogs to be off-leash in public in Craig and Moffat County. A dog park would provide a secure, legal option for dog owners wishing to engage in training and activities like fetch, Frisbee, and other training or games that are hindered by a leash. In addition to providing legal space for dogs to be off-leash, there are many benefits to dog owners and the community.

Dog parks are often the most utilized park in a city because they appeal to a broad demographic of residents. About 40 percent of households have dogs; on average there are about 1.7 dogs per home. Adding a dog park, to the list of city amenities and attractions, helps enhance the wellbeing of citizens and increases the desirability of our community for people looking to move here. Dog parks also benefit less active residents, particularly senior citizens and the disabled, by providing access where they may easily exercise their dogs while socializing with others who share a love of dogs.

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers and respected animal behaviorists such as Sue Sternberg recognize the many positive benefits to dogs and their owners of well-run dog parks and provide additional tools such as Sternberg’s “Dog Park Assistant” mobile app to ensure dog parks are not free-for-alls, but are positively contributing to pet and community welfare.

Well run dog parks help all dog owners become more responsible by offering a place to create a deeper sense of community, forge new friendships and participate in learning opportunities. As a result, many communities with dog parks have increased compliance with leash laws, vaccinations and registrations. Once money to build a park has been secured we will start the design process, rule creation and campaign to establish the means to improve and maintain the park.

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We feel our community and our dogs would benefit from a safe, enclosed, and legal off-leash area for our canine family members. If you feel the same, please “Bark for our Park” submit an entry at http://www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark/win/ before June 30. To learn more about the project and to volunteer to help with the project, please contact HSMC President Ann Anderson.

Human Society of Moffat County