The demand for dog parks, particularly in Desoto area, is growing. Here in
Desoto County, we
estimate there are 37-47% of all householdsh have a dog,. This is not
surprising when you consider the myriad benefits of owning a pet.
Reports by the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Disease Prevention and
the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have
Owning a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, provide a sense of
care-giver responsibility, and even increase resistance to allergies.
Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain,
which helps regulate mood and reduces anxiety and depression.
As a public gathering place, a dog park often facilitates social interaction
that might not otherwise occur. People naturally find it easier to talk to each
other with dogs as the initial focus.
Dog parks are a shared public space where people can form community-bonds over
the common interest in their pets which is similar to how playgrounds are a
setting where new parents might make life-long friends.
Whether it is families, singles, young professionals, or empty-nesters living in
urban and urbanizing areas, people with dogs are looking for a place to stretch
their collective legs near home. In visiting dog parks in and around our county,
we have heard first-hand stories about friendships and new romances sparked by a
chance meeting at a dog park. One person even told us she didn't know what she
would have done without the support of her dog park friends after her husband
The development of a successful dog park requires a great deal of planning and
effort. But your involvement and dedication will hopefully lead to the ultimate
reward -- the joy of creating and maintaining a special place where dogs and
their families can run, romp and socialize.
The Ideal Dog Park Should
- One acre or more of land surrounded by a four-to six-foot high chain-link
fence. Preferably, the fence should be equipped with a double-gated entry to
keep dogs from escaping and to facilitate wheelchair access.
- Cleaning supplies, including covered garbage cans,pooper
scooper stations. There should be sufficient dispensers to encourage owners
to pick up their dog's waste.
- Shade and water for both dogs and owners, along with benches and tables.
- A safe, accessible location with adequate drainage and a grassy area that
is mowed routinely.
- Signs that specify park hours and rules.
- Parking close to the site.
Members of a dog park committee should establish and enforce reasonable
health and safety rules for the park, such as the following:
- Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by
- Puppies and dogs must be properly licensed, inoculated and healthy.
- Animals should wear a collar and ID tags at all times.
- Owners must clean up after their dogs. Dispensers are provided for your
- Dogs showing aggression towards people or other animals will be removed
from the park. Animals who exhibit a history of aggressive behavior will not
- Puppies using the park must be at least four months old.
- Owners should not leave their dogs unattended or allowed out of sight. If
young children are permitted in the dog park, they too should be under
- Dogs in heat will not be allowed inside the park.
- Owners must carry a leash at all times. Dogs should be leashed before
entering and prior to leaving the park.
- Violators will be subject to removal from the park and suspension of park