New Dog Park In Douglas Brings Out The Pets Along With Praise - And Some Critics
“Who let the dogs out?”
No, this is not about the very popular but, according to music critics, the very annoying song that hit the U.S. airwaves the first summer of this new millennium, it’s about at least one Douglas city resident not pleased with the city’s newly constructed dog park at Shultz Park.
However, feedback from other local residents has been positive for the most part so far, say Douglas city officials.
“(Dog park) rules and signs with posted hours are now up,” Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere reported to council during Monday’s meeting.
The dog park was constructed on March with new fencing, but signage had not yet been erected until more recently.
Drinking fountains and doggy fountains are also part of the new features at the park.
The idea of a dog park had been kicked around for a number of years in varied public forums, and the city has been proactive in regards to dog issues.
In the summer of 2016, the city amended its ordinance so as to increase the number of dogs each household could have from two to four.
That was soon followed by another adopted local law to protect animals from cruelty, making it a crime to neglect and fail to provide adequate care and shelter to any pet animal.
Parkside subdivision resident Joel Broussard wrote to the city in a March 28 letter, in part: “I’m tremendously opposed to this monstrosity of a chain link fence being built so close to my home for a number of reasons. First I can’t understand who would want to use it. Second, it’s way to [sic] large.
“Third, it’s extremely ugly and ruins the entrance to the park. Fourth, it’s located where there is no nearby public parking (let me say in advance I would not be advocating for parking to be installed anywhere near this thing).”
He went on to claim the city had not considered the opinion of people living nearby.
LeFevere responded in an April 3 letter, noting, in part, “The city has been asked over the years (by local residents) about installing a dog park somewhere in the city as the closest one is located in Saugatuck Township.
“We have had trouble with dog owners running their dogs on the soccer and ball fields at Schultz Park which resulted in removing the gates from these fields.”
LeFevere further noted that the Parkside subdivision was buffered by a “significant line of evergreen trees” from Schultz Park and the new dog run area. It is a claim the city can support with documented pictures of the area.
The dog park was part and parcel of discussions the city has had about possibly creating a sound berm with dredge spoils material along the city and highway property line starting just north of the dog park area, LeFevere added. Many residents have praised city council for the dog park.