New shelter at dog park increases accessibility


By Megan Neary - For the Record-Herald



The new, handicap-accessible shelter at the dog park.

The new, handicap-accessible shelter at the dog park.


Megan Neary | Record-Herald photos

Lane Hufford, 16, and dog Annie visit the dog park to allow Annie to socialize with other dogs.


Megan Neary | Record-Herald photos

Volunteers from Mars Pet Care built the new shelter.


Courtesy of People and Paws for Parks Facebook page

The Washington Court House Dog Park recently installed a new, handicap-accessible shelter within the park.

Dog park committee member Mikki Hunter-Smith said, “We decided we needed it to be accessible to all members of the community. Now people with disabilities can enjoy the dog park and sit in the shade.”

The shelter was assembled by volunteers from Mars Pet Care and erected by the dog park committee. Hunter-Smith said the dog park provides a positive social activity for members of the community. One such member of the community is Lane Hufford, age 16. Hufford likes to bring his dog, Annie, to the dog park so “she can interact with other dogs.” He thinks it’s important for Annie and other dogs to socialize with one another.

According to the American Kennel Club, Hufford is right. It is important for dogs to have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs and to enjoy play time free from leashes. In fact, dogs who are well-socialized and well-exercised are more likely to be well-behaved and less likely to cause trouble in their communities by barking excessively and destroying property.

Dog parks can also benefit human visitors. These parks give dog owners the chance to get some fresh air and exercise as well as to socialize with other dog owners. Doing so can give dog owners the opportunity to learn proper pet-care from other dog owners and to simply bond over their shared love of dogs. In addition, the opportunity to allow dogs to run freely in a dog park can prevent dog owners from breaking leash rules in other areas of the park.

According to Hunter-Smith, the dog park will be hosting events in the coming months, including a dedication of the park to donors that will be held sometime in mid-summer, and a costume event, called Howl-o-Ween, that will be held this fall.

For more information on the dog park, announcements of upcoming events, and photos of cute dogs, visit the People and Paws for Parks – Fayette County Facebook page.

The new, handicap-accessible shelter at the dog park.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/06/web1_dog-park-new-shelter.jpgThe new, handicap-accessible shelter at the dog park. Megan Neary | Record-Herald photos

Lane Hufford, 16, and dog Annie visit the dog park to allow Annie to socialize with other dogs.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/06/web1_lane-hufford-and-dog-annie.jpgLane Hufford, 16, and dog Annie visit the dog park to allow Annie to socialize with other dogs. Megan Neary | Record-Herald photos

Volunteers from Mars Pet Care built the new shelter.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/06/web1_Mars-pet-care-volunteers-build-shelter.jpgVolunteers from Mars Pet Care built the new shelter. Courtesy of People and Paws for Parks Facebook page

By Megan Neary

For the Record-Herald

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124