Sunday, September 28, 2003

Dog park to open in Butler

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - This Butler County suburb will become the latest Greater Cincinnati community to go to the dogs when a park for canines opens this week at the Voice of America Park.

Some basic rules include:

• Limit two dogs per person per visit.

• Owners must remain with dogs and carry a leash within a fenced area.

• Owners must clean up after dogs.

• Dogs must be licensed and have current vaccinations.

• Dogs in heat and puppies under four months of age are prohibited.

• Hole-digging by dogs is prohibited.

The 3-acre dog park, Iams Wiggly Field, sits on the eastern portion of the VOA park along Tylersville Road between Cox and Butler-Warren roads.

Contributors donated $60,000 to pay for the park's creation. It opens, free to the public, Wednesday and will remain open seven days a week from dusk to dawn.

Marty Davis of Liberty Township, one of the major park contributors, plans to visit the park often with her 20-year-old, three-pound Yorkie named Sassy who is blind, and a second dog she plans to get soon.

"It's a good place to just let the dogs and people socialize and the dogs run off their leashes and have a place to play," said Davis, 62.

West Chester joins a number of communities that recently opened a dog park. With more than a third of American households owning at least one dog, the parks are a growing trend.

Dog parks are planned in Symmes and Anderson townships as well as near Lunken Playfield in Hamilton County.

West Chester's Wiggly Field has a large fenced grass area for dogs to play and explore, dog drinking fountains, benches, paved staging area and a secure gate.

Only well-behaved dogs are permitted. Each person is asked to bring only up to two dogs per visit. Owners must clean up after animals.

Canine commemorative bricks will be laid out in a bone shape creating a waiting area where pet owners can gather while their dogs roam.

The bricks cost $75 and can be engraved with up to three lines of type.


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