Pet owners to ask city for dog park

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - By Emily Luxen

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - A group of Homewood residents are lobbying to bring a dog park to the city. If the idea comes together, it would be the third dog park in the Birmingham metro area.

Residents held a meeting at the Homewood Library Tuesday night to view the plans, and rally support for the project. The plans include turning part of Patriot Park into a fenced, off-leash dog park. The project will likely cost less than $50,000.

Supporters say dog parks provide a lot of benefits for dogs and their owners.

"First of all, I get to socialize with people how own dogs and trade information," said Homewood dog owner Liz Ellaby. "For my dog, I don't have to take him on long walks because he gets more exercise running free in a dog park."

Some people who live near the proposed site have voiced concerns about the smell and noise levels at the park. Supporters said they will do everything they can to change their minds.

"We encourage anyone who has doubts about the project to go out to the Hoover dog park, check it out, and form opinions based on that," said supporter Erik Henninger.

Currently the Birmingham metro area has two dog parks.  Part of Birmingham's George Ward Park was converted into a dog park in September 2009. Hoover's dog park at Loch Haven Park opened in June 2010. Officials in both cities say the parks have been very successful and they have received a lot of positive feedback.

In Homewood, supporters must first convince the city's Park and Rec Board to approve the plans. If they agree on the idea, the city council will then vote on the issue.

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