Organization advocates for Cedar City dog park

Posted at 7:32 PM, Sep 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-19 21:32:18-04

CEDAR CITY - It’s estimated there are more than 50 dog parks in the state of Utah, but not one of them in Cedar City.

One local group is looking to change that, even though they’ve been denied by the city council before. Now they’re going back for round two.

Diane Gil is the president of the Friends of Festival Country K-9’s group. She said they don’t feel like they’re asking for much but have met some pretty strong resistance.

“We are looking for a safe, secure, fenced location to be able to let dogs run off leash,” Gil said. “We presented last year to the city council, and they were not interested in supporting us for our plea for a dog park.”

Gil said the council had concerns with liability and maintenance costs. The Friends of Festival Country have pledged to front the cost to install fencing, and they have their eye on a 5-acre piece of land just east of town.

Gil’s group has been working with the city parks department on the proposal. This week they got the approval of the parks advisory board. Now they’ll go back to the city council. Dog owners who spoke to FOX 13 News agree there needs to be a spot specifically for dogs.

“I think it’s absolutely a good thing to have,” dog owner Clarence Samuelson said. “It’s an opportunity for people to get out with their dogs and give them the exercise that they need.”

Current city ordinances indicate dogs need to be leashed at all times, and at some places dogs are limited to the sidewalks. Gil said with all the work going on in the community to make it dog friendly… a park would be the perfect partnership.

“So people have an opportunity to bond with their dogs,” Gil said. “Better bonded dogs make better dogs. It helps with all the incessant barking. People who come to us usually have problems with their dogs, and we help them.”

There’s no exact timeline on when that presentation will be made to the city council. Gil said there are a number of things they need to prepare and work with the engineers on, including design. But they hope to have the presentation ready in the next few months.

More information on the proposed dog park, and information on the services provided by Friends of Festival Country K-9’s can be found on their website.