Dawg Park is taking shape

By Joseph Slacian

Things are taking shape at the Dawg Park of Wabash County, a new dog park coming to the City of Wabash.

A fence has been placed around the park, located on South Carroll Street just south of EcoWater.

The grand opening for the park will be Friday, June 9, according Gary Henderson, who is spearheading the private effort to create the facility.

“Everything’s not going to be in there,” he said. “We have to make sure we’ve got enough room. As funds come in, it depends on what we can do.”

The committee is contemplating a water feature.

“But it’s $1,300 just to dig a pit,” Henderson said. “We’re still debating on that.”

The city has offered to make signs for the park, he continued, so the rules and regulations for the site will be posted.

The charge to use the park is $40 per year, Henderson said.

“That is to cover the cost of a key fob,” he said. “We’ll have a key fob entry, and there will be video cameras watching over it at night. So, $40 will get you in, and it also will help control it.

“If you have $40 invested, you don’t want to ruin a good thing.”

The fee is per family, he said.

“What we don’t want is someone with eight dogs who brings down all the dogs at the same time. We can’t control that. But if they have eight dogs and they’re all controlled, who cares?”

Henderson said officials are trying to keep the cost as low as possible.

Issues at the park will be sent to officials who will decide how to deal with rule breakers.

It will be a three-strike system, Henderson said.

“Three strikes and you’re out,” he continued, noting that the duration of the penalty will be “depending on the situation.”

“If you’re not responsible for cleaning up after your dog, or if it has aggression, and you don’t take care of that, than chances are you probably won’t be able to come back,” he said. “If there’s a dog problem and it just needs to be trained, its manners need to be changed … it depends on the situation.”

Henderson admits early on will be a learning experience for everyone.

“As we open this up, we’re going to find out a lot of these things,” he said. “I’m trying to stress that this is not city owned. It’s a not for profit owned by the Dog Man Corp., and the fees going in there are helping to maintain the park.

“This is new to the community. It’s going to be different than any park, because we’re going to have tunnels, we’re going to have A-frames, we’re going to have teeter-totters, we’re going to have jumps, the kind of thing where throwing a ball can create an issue.”

Before the dog is allowed in the park, the park committee must “sign off on that dog, and the owner has to sign off on the liability.”

Owners also must provide proof that the animal is up-to-date on its shots.

There will be no charge for those wishing to attend opening night. That will give owners a chance to see the park before deciding whether to purchase a membership.

The celebration will be from 5-8 p.m. Originally, the opening was to be on June 2 during First Friday activities. However, because of numerous high school graduations that night, it was pushed back to June 9.

There will be a booth during First Friday to promote the opening, Henderson added.

Posted on 2017 May 09