Dog parks should be a welcome addition

City of Penticton opens a couple of new dog parks.

Pent up pooches and fed up dog owners finally have a place to play.

After years of dog owners airing out requests for a dog park, they finally have a couple to choose from.

Located in the old SPCA dog run, a fully fenced park has been established beside the public works yard on Dartmouth Road. Another partially fenced space has been opened up behind the water treatment plan on Penticton Avenue, and it can be accessed via the pathway along Penticton Creek. Ellis Creek Park on Industrial Place is also expected to open in May 2012. Bolstered by a provincial LocalMotion grant, that project converted an old railway into the city’s newest greenspace — featuring a fully fenced, off-leash dog area about a quarter-acre in size.

Off-leash dog areas provide a community setting where people and their pets can socialize. It also gives those who have been using soccer fields, ball hockey and tennis courts and baseball diamonds as makeshift off-leash areas the proper area to let Fido play.

One could easily argue it’s not the responsibility of a municipality to provide space for off-leash dogs. Thankfully our community has noted the benefits of having a few dog parks.

Penticton decided to embark on designating more off-leash dog parks in the city despite heeding commands of a tight budget. They have identified five areas where off-leash dog parks can be developed that would require little in the way of start-up or maintenance costs.

While dogs seem happier both mentally and physically when they get to run free, the benefit is also extended to the owners (taxpayers) who get to enjoy the fresh air too.

Let’s hope owners keep up their responsibilities when using the designated areas in Penticton. Typically dog parks promote responsible ownership with users reminding others who stray.