A DOG PARK FOR ST. JOSEPH
The Humane Society of St. Joseph is taking the first steps toward building a dog park in St. Joseph. A dog park is a designated area where dogs can safely and legally socialize, play and exercise off-leash.
St. Joseph has many fine park amenities and a park system that is the envy of similar sized cities. However, St. Joseph does not provide an off-leash dog park, an amenity that in the last 10 years many citizens expect from their towns. St. Joseph is the largest city in the state without a dog park.
Why is the Humane Society of St. Joseph interested in building a dog park?
- As the city continues to grow, a dog park would be a great addition. Attracting top talent and new families is a priority for our community. Pets are important members of many young professionals families.
- Promotes responsible dog ownership. Dog parks prevent animals from infringing on the rights of other community residents such as joggers, walkers and those who may be fearful of dogs.
- Makes for a better community by promoting health and safety. Well-exercised and socialized dogs are better neighbors who are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively and have aggressive tendencies.
- Dog parks enable people with disabilities and senior citizens who cannot always walk their dogs a safe alternative.
- Allows dogs to exercise and socialize safely. Dogs need room to run, and enclosed play areas permit them to do so while preventing them from endangering themselves and others (for example, by running into the path of an oncoming vehicle). In addition, dogs that are accustomed to playing with animals and people other than their owners are more likely to be well socialized and react well toward strangers.
- Provides an outlet for dog owners to socialize. Dog parks are a great place for owners to meet other people with common interests. The love people share for their dogs reaches beyond economic and social barriers and helps to foster a sense of community. Park users also benefit from the opportunity to ask questions of other owners and find solutions to problems they might be having with their pet.
DEVELOPING A DOG PARK CULTURE:
To keep the park running smoothly, we will develop a culture in the park wherein patrons will learn the following:
- To be considerate of other patrons
- Clean up after their dog
- Be vigilant in supervising their dog
- Mentor new users in dog park etiquette
- Become comfortable in confronting users that are causing problems
- Feel an ownership in the park and care about its success
- Feel comfortable and safe in the park
- Respect and obey the rules
DOG PARK FEASIBILITY SURVEY:
From September to October of 2010 we conducted an online feasibility survey concerning the development of a dog park in our community.
We had 480 people participate in the survey and the following is a brief overview.
Do you think St. Joseph could benefit from an area where dogs could safely play off-leash?
|I don't know||2.3%|
If St. Joseph had a dog park, how many times a week do you feel you would visit?
|7 or more||4.1%|
Would you be willing to use the dog park if there was a separate area for small dogs?
|I don't know||8.0%|
What type of features would you like to see at a dog park?
|Waste stations & garbage receptacles||91.4%|
|Benches for people||88.6%|
|People/dog water fountains||82.7%|
|Separate area for small dogs||76.1%|
|Water feature for dogs to play in||67.5%|
|Shelter from weather||54.6%|
|Dog training/agility equipment||45.4%|
|Rinse off area||44.3%|
|Bulletin board for member use||43.2%|
|Sandbox for dogs who like to dig||29.2%|
|Time out kennels for dogs||21.5%|
What is most important to you for a safe dog park?
|Separate area for small dogs||28.4%|
|Park amenities-lights, water, etc.||28.0%|
|Hours of operation||22.9%|
Would you be willing to pay an annual membership fee for use of the dog park?
|I don't know||29.0%|
We are currently in the process of getting our costs for building and maintaining the dog park. We will keep you updated as to our progress on this website.
If you would like to make a donation to help build/maintain the dog park please click here.