Saturday, November 29, 2003

Temporary dog park opens

Permanent site likely to be ready in spring

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - A temporary dog park has opened at Riverside Park on Round Bottom Road until a 4-acre dog park at Kellogg Park is completed next year.

The off-leash area, over ball fields, will remain open until the diamonds are needed again in the spring, said Amy Mollette, Anderson Park District's communication director.

By that time, officials at Anderson's park district expect the permanent park off Kellogg Avenue near River Downs will be ready. If for some reason it is not, the temporary park will be moved elsewhere at Riverside Park.

"It's really ideal because the majority of it was already fenced in," Mollette said. "It provides a great place for the owners of their dogs to unleash and re-leash their dog before and after using it."

The temporary park comes as a result of a better-than-expected community involvement to raise the $12,000 needed to build and open the park, she said.

So far, a resident-driven committee has raised more than $8,000 toward the park, she said. Those efforts are expected to continue once the park opens in the spring for additional amenities and annual maintenance.

"The momentum has really been strong for the planning and the fund-raising," Mollette said. "This temporary facility was a way to keep it going."

Anderson joins a growing number of Greater Cincinnati communities with dog parks. With more than a third of American households owning at least one dog, the parks are a growing trend.

The latest one, "Wiggly Field" in Butler County's West Chester Township, opened earlier this fall. New dog parks also are planned in Symmes Township and near Lunken Playfield.

Dr. Phil Dill, a veterinarian at Cherry Grove Animal Hospital in Anderson Township, is helping to raise money for Anderson's dog park.

The Anderson resident looks forward to having a place for his Labrador, Nicoya, and others' dogs to romp. He expects the dog park to be heavily used.

"Being a veterinarian, we have been seeing the need for a dog park in our community," Dr. Dill said.

"We have clients that are driving to the opposite side of town to exercise their dogs in a dog park or exercising their dogs in areas such as school yards before or after hours where they are really not supposed to."



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