Local dog lovers Mimi Rena and John Dozier have received the go-ahead from the Susanville City Council to begin planning for a dog park within the city limits.
Rena said, “A high-quality dog park is a wonderful recreational outlet for dogs and their owners. The opportunity to run and play off-leash, in a securely fenced environment, is a very valuable tool in a dog’s social development. Dog parks are being established all over the country and offer a wealth of benefits to dogs, their owners and the community as a whole.”
With Quincy McCourt, the city’s project manager, the couple is looking to take their first step to bringing this idea to fruition.
The first step is to choose a location for the dog park. Rena brought the idea up of utilizing city-owned land, which could be donated to the project.
At least an acre is needed for a space big enough to accommodate both large and small dogs; the projected location would need to be scouted for many issues.
Rena said the location of the dog park would need to avoid congestion, parking and noise concerns with the surrounding neighbors but would also need to be easy enough for travelers passing through the city to find.
Rena said an ideal spot would be one which already has an established water supply and mature trees for shade.
Rena also said, “Such a site may not be available, so we will work with what is offered.”
At the moment, Rena is looking to bring together other city of Susanville and Lassen County dog lovers to support the plan for the dog park.
Rena is hoping, “to get people to come out of the wood-work and join a ‘Friends of the Dog Park’ group to help with the current details and in the future.”
Rena said the group of individuals — who could commit to being a part of an ongoing presence — would help in the future with things such as maintenance. They would need to commit to things such as checking on the park’s cleanliness on a rotating basis and helping out with fundraisers for ongoing costs.
With regards to the concerns of the spread of disease at dog parks, Rena said, “There definitely are restrictions. A dog has to be licensed in order to come into the park, and to be licensed, they need to have all of their immunizations up to date. You also can’t have a dog in heat or a puppy under 4 months of age.”
Other dog parks have also included rules, which include it being mandatory for pets to wear a collar and ID tags at all times, owners must clean up after their pets, not leaving your pet unattended in the park and having owners always carry a leash at all times.
However, Rena said there would be clear and obvious signage to inform attendants of the park of whom to call, if in the event there’s an attack from a dog, a dog appears sick or another problem arises within the park.
Rena mentioned the current and future needs for the park. At the moment, the park is still at its early stages, but items such as benches, tables, fencing, grass, shade, parking and possibly a restroom are needed to bring together their plans. Most importantly to the beginning process, they need support.
Support in the form of a commitment from individuals to be a part of an ongoing presence.