DOWNEY - Along with the other amenities Downey's park system offers, it will soon feature a dog park measuring roughly 100-ft. by 200-ft. in the southeast area of Rio San Gabriel Park where, according to its original advocate Councilman Dave Gafin, there are "lots of trees and shady areas" for dogs to frolic in essentially from sunrise to sunset.He said finishing touches are currently being done to the dog park, including placement of benches, water troughs, waste containers, and, quoting ordinance author Desi Alvarez, deputy city manager, "a whole bunch of miscellaneous things." A 4-ft. wire mesh fence to cost under $10,000 will enclose the area. The dog park should be ready for use, Alvarez said, "in four to six weeks." The city ordinance establishing the park was passed by the city council at its meeting Aug. 10. Both Gafin and Alvarez said the whole thing should cost the city no more than $35,000 out of its general fund. Broadly interpreted, the ordinance basically allows dogs access to public parks provided they are secured by a strong six-foot leash, and for dogs inside the dog park area freedom of movement without a leash. It also requires any dog over the age of four months to be vaccinated for rabies and Parvo, as well as legally licensed prior to use of the dog park area. Parvo is said to be a particularly contagious viral canine disease and, as it is difficult to detect, usually deadly for unvaccinated dogs. Day-to-day park operations fall under the purview of the director of community services (who functions as director of parks and recreation), to whom concerns or complaints should be addressed, who shall act in consultation with the code enforcement division and SEAACA. Other pertinent regulations: 1) No more than two dogs per owner shall be allowed in the dog park; 2) Dog owners must clean up after their dogs, and their droppings placed in the proper receptacles; 3) Minors 14 years of age and younger must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at least 18 years of age while in a designated dog park area, and such children are not permitted to run, shout, scream, wave their arms, or otherwise excite or antagonize dogs therein; 4) By the same token, dog owners shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent their dog(s) from biting, attacking or attempting to bite or attack any person or dog; 5) No one should have a dog that is sick or in heat in the dog park area; 6) No one should place an aggressive dog, of any breed, in the dog park even if such dog is on a leash; and 7) No person shall bring any animal other than a dog to the dog park unless specifically authorized by the director of parks and recreation. These rules and regulations are enforceable by any police officer, animal control officer, park employee, or other code enforcement officer of the city or SEAACA.
********** Published: August 26, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 19