Park going to the dogs, literally

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Hoover's Loch Haven Park could soon be going to the dogs, and it could become the area's first park for dogs.

Dog parks allow dogs to run free in an enclosed area without leashes, and are very popular in other cities across the country.

The Hoover Park Board will vote in a week to determine the site of the proposed site. Mayor Tony Petelos said it would be a great addition to the city.

"People want parks," said Mayor Petelos, "People like sidewalks, they like parks. You can go to Veteran's Park any day and see people out there. This is something dog lovers would love to have."

Mayor Petelos said $25,000 in grant money would cover the costs, and the dog park would not interfere with the existing walking trail or pavilion. Dog owners said it would be a welcome addition to the area.

"As a dog owner, it would be wonderful," said Laura Smith, "It would give our dogs an enclosed area to run in with so many other neighborhood dogs."

The non-profit organization, "Bark for a Park," has lobbied for five years to bring a dog park to the Birmingham area. President Claudine Graf said a weekend fundraiser that raised about $4000 shows how many dog owners support the idea. She said dog parks provide a lot of benefits for dogs and their owners.

"You are socializing your pet, and the people are socializing," said Graf, "People are there getting educated. You are able to share ideas on vet care, and training care."

The Hoover Park Board will discuss the matter at their next meeting on Oct. 13.