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Resident asks questions about dog park

Dear Editor,

I love your paper! It’s so nice to read all the stories about our town, and to have all the color pictures. I’m so glad you’re here.

I wanted to weigh in about the dog park, or potential for Martinez to have a dog park.

Whenever I’m driving downtown, I always see people walking their dogs. Martinez seems like a “dog town” to me. I love dogs, though I don’t have one and haven’t had a canine companion for many years now.

I read in your paper how much a group of dog owners want a dog park, and I’d like to know more.

I’m particularly interested in the following, and I hope some of the dog owners in Martinez that are advocating for a dog park will write in and answer my questions. They are:

1) Are there any requirements to bring a dog into a dog park, or to gain membership? I ask because I’m curious to know whether dogs that are sickly can go into a dog park and possibly transmit their illness to another dog. Does this happen in other dog parks? Is it common?

2) Is it typical for a dog park to have a “host,” or someone that stays on the premises during operating hours that ensures dog owners clean up after their dogs? If so, who pays for that?

Walking around downtown, I see a lot of dog mess, and it’s disturbing. I really wouldn’t want a park near my home or near a restaurant, because I think it may be unsanitary.

3) Will my taxes be raised if a dog park comes into town? If so, by how much? I want others to be able to enjoy the outdoors with their pets. If I were younger, I’d sure like to do the same. But at what expense must other non-pet owners put forth to accommodate this?

4) What’s the closest dog park to Martinez? Where else can you legally take your dogs in or near Martinez? Is it important to have them off-leash?

5) How do you prevent dog fights in a dog park? Are children allowed in? Is there any danger?

Thank you to those who might write back and answer my questions.

And thank you, Tribune, for the paper. I hope you stick around awhile – forever! Martinez needs this newspaper.

– Ruth Stanton, Martinez

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4 comments

  1. In regards to answering the publics questions regarding a future Martinez dog park, I invite you all to join us on Facebook: Martinez Dog Park Group. We are a group of citizens banning together to get a dog park opened in the downtown Martinez area. We are in the beginning stage of the process where all questions may not be readily available but we encourage any like minded persons to join the process with us. Currently we are waiting to hear back from the dog park subcommittee whom is organizing a workshop to help lay all the Q&A’s out on the table. There are many surrounding cities with successful dog parks and we are leaning on them for support and guidance in the process of foreseeing our own future Martinez Dog Park!

  2. Ruth:

    The American Kennel Club, among others, offers specific guidelines for building a dog park; a minimum of 1 acre of land, seating, shade, water, etc. are just some of the more common sense amenities. That’s why I’ve been surprised by the amount of pressure to speed up the process by crafting proposed site locations that are just too small.

    The location across from McNabney Marsh could be a viable dog park location, is of more than adequate size, presents no potential neighbor conflicts and already has some seating and fencing.

    I have to question why there is such determination to force a dog park in the downtown where neighbor conflicts will most certainly occur and where available, adequate, land mass is already accounted for.

    I also question why someone would determine that the formation of a PAC is a more suitable choice as a citizen over-site committee for a dog park when most dog park organizations are nonprofits.

    I want a dog park, but not at the expense of existing plans or, ultimately, the dogs. Here’s hoping those offering advice and guidance take heed. We may only have one bite at this bone.

  3. Public Martinez Dog Park Workshop
    Save the date…
    January 13, 2016
    6:30 pm
    525 Henrietta St. Martinez

    Pros of a downtown dog park:

    *bring hundreds of people a week to downtown Mtz
    *increase downtown and city-wide commerce
    *reduce crime and loitering; improve property value in the community
    *allows dogs to exercise snd socialize safely
    *promotes responsible dog ownership
    *provides an outlet for the community to socialize
    *promotes health and safety by giving dogs a designated spot

    http://sfbayappraisal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Martinez-Dog-Park-Group-Proposal1.pdf

  4. This is for the people and for the dogs. It’s time to conclude this 12 year project and create a safe place for dog owners to bring their dogs to play and socialize.

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