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Opinion Letters Franklin’s new dog park needs help

My compliments to those responsible for setting aside an area for a Dog Park In Franklin. It's an ideal setting and has an area for both small dogs and larger non-vicious dogs. However, it seems few people are using the facility and dog owners I have spoken with do not know where it is or that there is even a special Dog Park. A lot of people do not read the local newspapers so have not been made aware of its location.

Having done a great deal of research on Dog Parks for my previous home in Florida, I have visited several successful Dog Parks, and there are several things that would make Franklin's "Bark Park" more successful. But these things need money and support.

First it needs a good sign on the main street in front of the entrance to the main park. I have offered to contribute to the sign and I am waiting for the official to provide me with an estimate.

Another desperate need for the "Bark Park” is a covered shelter, a gazebo or covered seating area where several people can sit out of the sun and watch their dogs enjoy the companionship of other dogs.

Automatic watering is badly needed for dogs at play. With a water fountain close by, it would be simple to provide this service to the park.

Another problem I have observed is often there are never any Doggy Bags in the holders. These bags are definitely needed and on several occasions of my visits to the park, there are seldom any bags available. Some considerate users have brought plastic grocery bags down and left them for use. Unless the bags are available, people will ignore the need to pick up after their dog.

In well established dog parks I have seen, other improvements such as a water pond for dogs to cool-off in and trees planted to provide more shade. All these things take money and support, and I would like to request more public support both from the dog owners and the commercial entities that provide needs for pets.

Financial support is badly needed to make this park successful. If it is not used and supported it could become redundant and cease to exist. The organizers of the park should be complimented for setting aside the area, and there are some groups who have already joined in support of the park. Kudos to The Friends of the Greenway, Franklin Daybreak Rotary Club, Noah's Ark Companion Animal Hospital, Animal House Vet. Clinic, In Memory of Charlie McLauglin and Kelsey, and Dee Beamish who are now mentioned on the sign at the "Bark Park" entrance. There are still lots of room on that sign board for more supporters’ names. So ... all you dog lovers out there, let's get together and get behind this civic effort and make this facility successful and available for not only our local dog owners but the many visitors to our area who travel with their dogs.

Gary G. Puckett — Franklin, N.C.





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published: 10/18/2013
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