Downtown dog park should open next month

Published: May. 7, 2016 at 2:23 AM CDT|Updated: May. 7, 2016 at 3:33 AM CDT
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Ron Perkins with his two dogs
Ron Perkins with his two dogs

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new park for Fido and friends will soon be ready in Lake Charles.

While not the first in the area, it is a first for downtown.

Thanks to a public-private partnership, the $30,000 fundraising goal was met last week which means construction is on the way.

Ron Perkins and his two dogs are regulars at the Ward 3 dog park on Lake Street.

"I'd say on an average about three-or-four days a week. And if it's really nice weather like we're having now, everyday," said Perkins.

While Perkins drives across the city to enjoy the green space with his four-legged companions, he's excited about a new, downtown location.

"I live in north Lake Charles so depending on the traffic when everyone's getting off work it can be kind of congested. The new location will be more direct," explained Perkins.

"The city's really excited about recent progress with the dog park," said Matt Young, public information officer for the City of Lake Charles.

Young said the unleashed dog park will be in a half-acre lot behind the new city court building. It's expected to open in June.

"The concrete slabs have already been poured and that's where the benches, amenities and fixtures are going to be installed," explained Young.

Fencing is expected to go up in the next few weeks - a section for large and small dogs.

"So for those owners that might be a little nervous with mixing the large dogs from the small dogs we have that separation for them," explained Elizabeth Galan of the city's Quality of Life Task Force.

Galan said large shaded trees will also act as a gathering spot.

"So it's something that adds to the community, brings people into a walking downtown. It makes it more walkable," she said.

For Perkins, who actually met his dog Boomer at the Ward 3 dog park through a foster family, the downtown location will provide another chance for plenty of new memories.

When asked if he was excited for the opening, Perkins said, "Definitely."

City officials said they're also working with DOTD to put signs up on the interstate for drivers with pets as well.

The city council also adopted new rules for the park this week.

Young explains them here: "First and foremost, animals have to be vaccinated and we're going to ask you not bring sick animals to the park. But just as general guidelines, we're going to keep glass out of the park, no choke collars or shock collars. You have to be present and observant of your dogs behavior at all times. We're going to ask that you pick up after them and also not bring people food into the park because that can cause aggressive behavior sometimes with dogs."

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