Small dogs get new digs
New exercise area could be finished by the summer
The Parks and Recreation Commission decided to move forward on plans to create a small dog exercise area within the current dog exercise area at Muirwood Community Park. During the meeting earlier this month, commissioners asked city landscape architect Mike Fulford to proceed with the project by drawing specific plans and presenting a detailed budget. Fulford will present his findings to the commission at the next meeting on May 11.
The small dog exercise area would only be for dogs 20 pounds or less and would be located in the far north end of the existing dog park, according to the staff report.
"Everything is just about the same, it's just a separated area," Fulford said.
The area would be approximately 50 feet wide and 100 feet in length, meaning the area would take approximately 4,000 square feet from the existing park's 30,000 square feet. Modifications include adding fencing to section off the area, a drinking fountain for people and dogs, benches and trash bins. There was also discussion about using a different surfacing material in the small dog area instead of the mulch that is used in the current dog park. The city is looking into finding a material that would be more comfortable for dogs with smaller feet, Fulford said. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $8,000-$10,000 and would come from the city's park renovation fund, which is established to cover minor park projects.
The idea to create a small dog exercise area first came to the Parks and Recreation Department about a year ago when it received requests from the public, Fulford said. Although Pleasanton has not had problems with big and small dogs interacting at Muirwood Park, other cities have, most notably when a small dog was mauled and killed by a larger dog at the dog park in Danville a couple years ago. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kurt Kummer said that, although there have not been problems, he has heard from community members that some people with small dogs are not comfortable bringing their dogs to the park.
"At first (a small dog area) didn't make sense," Kummer said. "The small dogs are usually the most active in the park, but what I heard was there are people who are scared to take their small dogs there, and that's why we are taking a look."
Even with the small dog area, dogs of any size will still be allowed to play in the current dog exercise area.
Once the commission approves a detailed plan, the city plans on having the small dog exercise area completed by the summer, Fulford said.