Digging in for dogs

Photo by Diana Lejins<br><strong> Mrs. Long Beach Kym Cloughesy (with Delaney); Parks, Recreation & Marine Director George Chapjian; Parks and Recreation Commission President Sarah Tong Sangmeister; 5th District Long Beach Councilmember Gerrie Schipske; Vice Mayor Robert Garcia; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ron Antonette; and Maritime Enforcement Specialist Nick Antis (with his K9 partner Rider) break ground on a new dog park in El Dorado Park on Aug. 24. The off-leash area will honor the work of service dogs.</strong>
After several rounds of controversy over fiscal and environmental issues, 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske hosted a groundbreaking for a new off-leash dog area within El Dorado Park on Aug. 24.
The 1.5-acre dog park, which has yet to be named, will be located on the north side of Spring Street, across from the El Dorado Nature Center and Animal Care Services. Plans are for it to include double gate entry, separation between large and small dog areas, a drinking fountain and waste-bag dispensers.
The new park will be dedicated to the contributions of service dogs. Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, one of several area agencies that use service dogs, were present at Saturday’s event, including Coast Guard Lt. Fredrick Pugh and Maritime Enforcement Specialist Nick Antis with his K9 partner Rider. The canine is one of several dogs used to sniff out drugs and bombs at the Port.
The initial construction of the dog park is being funded with $65,000 in oil-surplus funds, and expansion and development of the dog park will be funded by donations and corporate sponsorships, Schipske said.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that this dog park will soon be open and serving the community,” Schipske said. “We’re creating a safe, fun area for dogs to run and play, and that will be so much fun for them as well as us.”
Although he was not in attendance at the groundbreaking, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster issued a statement prior to the event. “El Dorado Park East Dog Park is the city’s seventh dog park since our first opened at Recreation Park in 1996,” Foster said. “Dog parks promote responsible pet ownership, give dogs a place to exercise safely, and also provide an area for residents and their pets to socialize.”
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

To read more about the background of the new dog park, visit lbreport.com/ news/aug13/dogprkgnd.htm .

One comment on “Digging in for dogs
  1. A big thanks to Gerrie Schipske for getting this off the ground. Her focus on service animals makes this a very special park, indeed. I am looking forward to my many disabled friends being there for the grand opening.

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